Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday night is pizza night here. Honestly, I'm not usually too picky about where the pizza comes from, but when I know I'm gonna be making it, I get pretty excited about this pizza. My friend Amie gave me the dough recipe, along with the idea for using pesto. My favorite pesto to use is the jar from Costco in the deli cold case (which, by the way, is also VERY tasty on the Spinach and Cheese Ravioli they sell). With 6 people eating, I like to have two sauce options, so I'll do both pesto and tomato sauce pizzas. I'm definitely a pesto fan, because the oil in the pesto makes the crust nice and crispy, while it stays tender inside. Actually, tonight I did a pizza with some pesto and some tomato sauce, and loved it! It had the rich herbiness(a word?) of the pesto that was perfectly balanced with the sweet freshness from the tomatoes. Mmmmmm, I think I need another slice...
Dough(makes 2 large pizzas)
4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/4 cups beer or water
1 packet active dry yeast
8 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
Heat liquid to 110 degrees(really warm). Put yeast in mixing bowl and sprinkle some sugar over it. Pour in water, and let sit until foamy. Whisk in olive oil, egg and salt. Add flour. Mix with dough hook on lowest speed for 6 minutes. Increase speed one notch and mix for another 2 minutes. Drizzle some additional oil along outside edge of dough; turn dough until well-coated. Cover with plastic wrap until doubled in size. Remove from bowl, cut into 2 equal pieces, form into balls and place on lightly oiled tray. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use. Dough not used after 2 days can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Puree a can of diced tomatoes(I use an immersion blender). Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and a dash of Tobasco.
Turn oven as high as it will go. If you have a pizza stone, put it in now. I put some parchment paper on a metal pizza pan, and spray it with Pam. Then I press out the dough onto the parchment. After topping with sauce, mozzarella, and desired toppings, I put the metal pan on top of the pizza stone. When the cheese and crust are golden brown(I like some definite brown spots in my cheese), I pull out the pan, then slide the pizza off onto a wire rack by pulling on the parchment paper. After making sure the pizza is loosened from the paper, I pull out the paper and let the pizza sit for a few minutes. This helps the bottom of the pizza to stay nice and crispy.