Dough is a mystery to me. Even easy dough. No, wait. ESPECIALLY easy dough. I usually over think it, and screw up the whole batch. This almost happened again the other night, while I was making pizza crust from scratch. A little disclaimer about my love affair with pizza: I will eat any kind of pizza. ANY. Hot circle of garbage pizza? Yes. Orv’s thinner than tortilla crust pizza? Of course. Seriously people. I love pizza.
With that being said, I knew there was a certain amount of grace I would give myself if the pizza turned out like crap. And crap, it almost did turn into. Since I used active dry yeast instead of instant, I had to activate the yeast in warm water. I thought this wouldn’t be a problem until I started mixing everything together.
So far, so good.
Uhh…Wait… What? The dough was massively sticky and unmanageable. It was everywhere and my mixer was shuttering like it was about to burn out.
But wait! It gets better. After a quick google search, I found that adding just the right combination of extra water and flour can redeem the mixture. I mean, it took me at least 3 attempts, but finally I got it!
Letting these badboys rest covered for an hour proved that the yeast did correctly activate. I was worried about this because temperature of the water is pretty important, and I always worry that I’m making the water too cold/hot. Quick tips, when forming the dough into a boule, I used a light oil on my hands. This made it a ton easier to work with. Please don’t use cooking spray for this. It makes things kind of nasty! 🙂
Shaping the pizza was easier than I thought. The recipe I used suggested draping the dough over your knuckles and rotating as gravity sort of weighs the dough down. It was a little tricky, but an overall cool technique that made me feel like I was doing something authentic. After shaping the pizza, I laid down a layer of cornmeal to give the crust an extra grit. I don’t think I’ll ever make pizza crust without it, because I am crushing on this texture.
First pizza was a cheese blend with thyme. I didn’t want to overload the crust on the first try, not knowing how dense it would actually turn out. Cheese is always a safe bet!
In the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. My little cheesy masterpiece.
My second pizza was far braver. Leftover mexican beef with onions, mushrooms and black olives.
I really love pizzas that are strangely shaped. See: Maria’s Pizza.
VOILA!!! This crust is delicious, easy (once you figure out the stupid dough) and keeps well. I’ve had it for lunch twice this week, and it hasn’t even started getting tough. All in all, this was a pretty decent trial and error 🙂 YAY PIZZA!
View the full recipe at the Couple of Cooks blog.