Saturday, October 23, 2010
Family pizza night kneads to start with the right dough.
I've heard interviews which quote New Yorkers as saying that the secret to great crust is the water in New York. I really don't know about that "true-ism" but the water here seems to work out quite well when we have Family Pizza Night in Texas. I believe the real secret to great crust is the joy one gives or receives in feeding a crowd & satisfaction of a yeasty crust filled with favorite toppings. We recently had Pizza with Bytes from Texas as she used some Foodbuzz Tastemaker products from Fresh Express. The pizza toppings she used were wonderful (especially the BLT!!) & I took the pizza dough over providing the 2 crusts. New York or Texas it is all the same when sharing food with those you love. Last evening we made homemade Focaccia bread which we made using a variety of fresh local ingredients & is posted on our Fresh from the Heart of Texas blog. Fall is in the air at the local Farmer's Market & we are sure to find more tasty toppings for both Pizzas & Focaccias. For your own Pizza night try the Pizza Dough I prefer.
Pizza Dough for 2 Pizzas
1 pkg. active yeast*
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 tbsp. cooking oil
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)
Dissolve yeast in warm water, stir in oil. Sift flour and salt together and stir into first mixture. Knead for 15 minutes, loosely cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk.(Approximately 2 hours) Makes 2 pizzas. Divide dough in half, work with 1/2 the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into circle/ball then either stretch into the round pizza shape or roll with a floured rolling pen. Place onto a bread baking stone which has been lightly dusted with cornmeal or lightly oiled pizza pan. Either way this crust is a very light New York style crust. Add your sauce and desired topping. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
*Proofing the yeast: for this recipe I proofed my yeast, I dissolved the yeast, water, sugar, salt & 1/4 cup of the flour for the recipe into a small glass bowl & let it rest 20 minutes. This proofing created a nice spongy yeast mixture which assured me the crust would rise well. When taking this step remember you have already used 1/4 cup of the 4 cups of flour & adjust accordingly.
Hungry yet? Don't forget to check out the Focaccia at Fresh from the Heart of Texas!