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)
1 tsp.
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!


Heavenly Housewife said...

Beautifully done! I've never made my own pizza from scratch, I've always been a bit intimidated by the idea, but it's definitely on my list of things I'd like to try.
Hope you are having a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

Dee said...

Thank you Heavenly Housewife! I know you love good pizza so your comments mean even more! I hope you have a wonderful weekend across the pond! Hugs!

Diana's Cocina said...

Thank you for sharing! I love pizza night, it is my all time favorite!

Angie's Recipes said...

The pizza looks great! I also prefer making my own pizza crust. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Foodessa said...

In Italy...they say that their meals are the very best because of the fabulously fresh olive oil used...especially in pizza! Therefore, it's no surprise that New Yorkers think that their water is what makes their pizza best ;o) I truly had never heard of that before.

Dee, I like what you've done with your dough...and pizza day at your house must be something to really look forward to ;o)

Ciao for now,

Pattie T. said...

It's a little after two in the morning and you now have me craving pizza! That dough looks wonderful, I love the addition of the oregano.

Donna-FFW said...

I am originally from NY, now live in NJ.. for past 17 years.. anyhow, IMVHO, nothing is like NY pizza.. however yours certainly looks MIGHTY terrific, and Im with you, BLT topping sounds fabulous!! Have a great day, Dee!

Dee said...

Diana, Angie & Claudia~thank you so much, nothing beats homemade as far as that wonderful yeasty crust!
Donna~when we lived in South Florida we always at a the local well known New Yorker's Pizza joint. I hear ya. There IS nothing like those family tried & true pizzas. I loved the crusts. We had someone down there who had a Sal's pizza place, some relation to the Sally's pizza place in NYC & the pizza still to stands out in my mind as the best. That BLT was pretty awesome here for Family Pizza night.

Dee said...

Pattie, you are up might late! LOL You must be sleeping in late this morning & may need a slice of that pizza! Bet you were busy baking again at your house. I'd better check your blog again!

Reeni said...

I love that you put oregano in your dough! I always add lots to my pizzas. Off to check out your other site!

Chef Fresco said...

That's some work for a great dough, but looks totally worth it!

mangocheeks said...

I like the inclusion of the herbs in the pizza dough/crust.