Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thin Crust Pizza

There are few things in this world greater than pizza. Coffee, ice cream, chocolate, cake. That's about it.
I love pizza. I love it bougie like Matchbox in DC. I love it college late night like the old Bella's at Penn State. I love it deep dish like it's known in Chicago. I love it famous like Boston's Regina Pizzeria. I love pizza.
And I'm not a pizza snob. I eat it frozen, fresh, homemade, delivered, white and grilled. And because I love it all, Alex got me a pizza stone and slicer for Christmas... along with a lot of other food gadgets that I'm sure I will introduce to you soon.
So, what's a girl to do when the craving strikes? Call Pizza Hut? Um, no. Whip up two (almost three) thin crust circles of heaven for the whole fam on movie night. For the record, we had three different kinds of pizza. A whole one for Sue and Dick to split (chicken sausage, mushrooms, onion, olives), and a whole one split down the middle for Vanessa (chicken sausage, feta, olives, onions) and me (onion, pineapple). But you can do whatever you'd like. Let me show you how, from Wolfgang Puck.
Thin Crust Pizza
1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, oregano and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water. Mix until the entire mixture forms a ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 2 hours. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).
3. After it rises, divide the dough into 2 balls. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 500 F or highest temp. Lightly oil cookie sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Roll out dough ball, on a lightly floured surface, to the shape of your cookie sheet or pizza stone. Lightly sprinkle cornmeal on cookie sheet or pizza stone. Carefully transfer dough and lightly press and stretch out to the edges cooking surface. For crispier crust, prebake for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add your favorite sauce (but not too much) and toppings. Start with sauce, then cheese, veggies and meat.
Cook for 10 - 12 minutes, more depending on the thickness of crust due to size of pan you used.

Oh, it will only be a few months before I bite into Regina Pizzeria... I could not be more thrilled. But until then, this will have to do!


Devon said...

mmmmm....you're making me hungry at work!

And I miss Bella's more than any other food at Penn State. Well, Max Mex's and Cafe Fries are close too ;)

Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie said...

That pizza cutter is SO cute! Love it!

kamran siddiqi (the sophisticated gourmet) said...

That cutter rocks! You will totally love your pizza stone! I tend to use it a lot. Once you start testing recipes on that baby, you'll want to make everything including this delish pizza!

Monet said...

You and me both. I could eat pizza every night of the week and be a very happy girl. I love pizza of all kinds...but especially homemade thin crust. Too good! Thank you for sharing this delicious pie! I hope you have a wonderful end of your week.