Thursday, March 15, 2012

Best Pizza Crust

I've been making my own pizza crust for close to four years. Yesterday I finally found the one I've been searching for! While it's more high maintenance than I like, it will be a pizza crust to make for special occasions or whenever I remember to make it.


    3 cups bread flour, plus a little extra for your work surface
    2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
    1 1/3 cups ice water
    1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 1/2 tsp table salt


Pulse the flour, sugar and yeast in a food processor (fitted with the dough blade, if possible) until combined, about 5 pulses. With the food processor running, slowly add the water; process until the dough i just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes.
2. Add the oil and salt to the dough and process until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and knead briefly by hand until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl; cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 hours.
Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position (4 to 5 inches from the broiler) and set a baking stone on the rack.
Transfer dough to a clean work surface and divide in half. With cupped hands, form each half into a smooth, tight ball. Place the balls of dough on a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.
5. Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on a well-floured work surface (keep the other ball covered). Use your fingertips to gently flatten the dough into a an 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of the outer edge slightly thicker than the center. Using your hands, gently stretch the disk into a 12-inch round , working along the edges and giving the disk quarter turns. Transfer the dough to a well-floured pizza peel and top with toppings of your choice.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Bake until the crust is well browned and the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pizza halfway through the baking time. Transfer pizza to a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Repeat step 5 to shape, top and baked the second pizza.

Serving size: 12 inch pizza, cut into 8 pieces. This recipe makes 2 pizza crusts.

Serving Size: Make 2 12-inch pizzas, 16 slices total

Tip: Since this is a thin crust go easy on the toppings so the middle gets crispy and not soggy. I use 1/2 cup sauce, 1 cup a cheese and light on the other toppings. It works out great!

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