Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Perfect Pizza Crust #2

This excellent pizza dough recipe is my second-favorite! Using traditional (rather than quick-rise) yeast, it takes a little longer to achieve the result of The Perfect Pizza Crust #1. The method is somewhat different - there’s no “rolling out” of dough - but the flavor and texture are every bit as good! I often make notes on the recipes I keep on file: My note on this pizza crust literally reads “Fantastic!” This recipe makes one thick-crust 12-in. pizza or two thin-crust pizzas with the toppings of your choice. The pizza recipes below this post offer some suggestions! 

The Perfect Pizza Crust #2:

1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 c. warm water (100-to-110 deg. F.)
1 pkg. (2-¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tbsp. olive oil
2-½-to-3 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp. salt (do not reduce)
Cornmeal, as required

Preheat oven to 450 deg. F. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and let stand 10 min. Stir in oil, 1-½ c. flour, and salt. Beat with electric mixer until frothy and well combined. Gradually, hand-stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough (To gauge how much flour to use, please see the Note I added to the recipe for The Perfect Pizza Crust #1). 

Knead on lightly floured flat surface about 10 min., until dough feels smooth and elastic, adding extra flour if needed. Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl, turning dough until all sides are greased. Cover and let rise in warm place away from drafts until dough doubles in size, 30-to-45 min. Briefly knead on lightly floured flat surface to eliminate large air bubbles. 

Spray-oil one or two 12-in. (30 cm) pizza pans, depending on crust thickness you prefer. Sprinkle surface/s with cornmeal. 

For two crusts, gather up dough, dividing in half and flattening slightly. For one, use entire ball of dough. Press dough (or roll) very thinly using method for The Perfect Pizza Crust #1Slip into pizza pan/s, topping as desired. Bake 20-to-25 min. Makes 1 large thick-crust  pizza or 2 large thin-crust pizzas.

Note: There was a time when I tried very hard to do as the Italians do by whirling pizza dough into the air to enlarge it. My efforts were a disaster - not as bad as Lucille Ball’s, but still hopeless. If your mobile device won't let you see Lucy’s efforts at making pizza, I hope you’ll catch this YouTube classic at 

Tip! Preheating a baking sheet or cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven can make your pizza crust crunchier. When the pizza’s ready to bake, toss ice cubes into the hot pan, creating a burst of steam.

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