Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Search Of: Perfect Pizza Crust

Oh, that elusive pizza crust. Why is it, that you go to Pizza Hut, Papa John's, even Domino's in their heyday, the crust has a totally different taste and texture than you get when you make it at home? I've been at it for 7 years now. I know how long, because I've been making pizza since we've been first married. So 7 long years of pizza dough. By hand. In the bread machine. Bought raw from Trader Joe's. Recipes from, literally, all over. Well, I'm happy to report, that I've finally found IT. Or, at least, a reasonable version of IT. That is, homemade crust that isn't too soggy, too crisp, too salty, too yeasty, not yeasty enough, too flat, too chewy, you name it. It authentic pizza crust. And those of you that attempt pizza crust at home, you know what I'm talking about. So here it is - I found the recipe online, and only altered it slightly:

In the bread machine, combine:
1 C. water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. all-purpose flour
Scant 1 Tbsp. yeast (I use bread machine yeast)
Set machine for dough cycle, 1.5 pound "loaf". After the cycle ends, I usually leave it in there for at least another 10 minutes because it rises more.
Roll to desired thickness (using flour on your hands and more to shape and roll), top and bake on the bottom rack of your oven at 385 for 18-20 minutes or until the cheese gets bubbly. Yum. This makes a lot of dough - if you roll it to the edges of a 15x11 jelly roll pan, you have a very large, rectangular pizza. And the crust is fairly thick. I usually split the dough into two portions, freeze one, and use the other to make a round, 12 inch pie on my pizza stone.
Tonight's pizza? Roasted red pepper seasoned with rosemary and oregano. The kids picked off the peppers - who am I kidding, trying to hide veggies in the pizza? And Ragu pizza sauce - in the jar with a green lid is WONDERFUL. Been using it for years. Good luck!

No comments: