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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Homemade Pizza on Pizza Stone

Ok ok.. My pizza stone is not solely for Naan.  It is also, most appropriately, for pizza.  Before I start getting adventurous with crazy pizza flour and oil combinations, I'm sticking to the simple, straightforward pizza dough the stone was made for.  I also want to master the normal before attacking the paranormal.  I'm giving the flour in weight, because US flour is different than French all purpose flour in density.. and it helps if a different flour than wheat needs to be used.
220g all purpose flour
5g (1/2 tsp) salt
12cL (4 fl oz) warm water
5g sugar
10g (2 tsp) yeast
2 tbsp EVOO
Cornmeal for rolling and base
1.  Stir the sugar into the warm water, then add the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.  It should foam.
2.  Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt together.  Oil your hands and add the oil to the flour, mixingwell with your oiled hands, then make a well.
3.  When the yeast is foamy, add it into the flour well and incorporate with your oiled hands.  Doing this, rather than using a machine, will make you feel in touch with your inner human.. Or whatever species you are.  What I mean is, it makes you feel alive and aware of the process, which is very important.  Plus, you get to take your rings off and get your hands dirty.
Do this for a few minutes, until the dough has come together into a nice wet ball.
4.  Slather just a bit of EVOO over the dough ball and either cover and let rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, punchung it down after 1 hour, or plastic wrapping it and putting it in the fridge for a slow rise...16-24 hours later.  I chose the later route, because it's 10pm and I already ate and don't have any mozzarella or fresh basil right this second.  If I did, I would still be making pizza, regardless of whether I had already eaten or not.
5.  When ready to roll, prepare all the toppings you're going to be using.  Stretch out the dough to fit your pizza pan or pizza stone, sprinkling cornmeal liberally on the base.  Mine is 1 ft (30cm) in diameter, so I'm going for that.  I read somewhere not to use a rolling pin, but to do it by hand, if possible by tossing.  I tried, but gave in to the rolling pin, at least to get the round shape.  Then I pressed it with my fingers.
6.  Preheat the oven to the highest setting with the pizza stone inside on the lowest rack.  Slide the prepared pizza onto the stone and cook until done... about 8-10 minutes.  I'm going for crispy crust, chewy on the inside.  The cornmeal makes it perfect.

Toppings I used:
Rocket Pesto
Roasted artichoke hearts
Roasted tomatoes
Roasted bell
Shredded swiss
Shredded chicken
Chili oil

I had been saving my roasted eggplant slices for this moment, and completely forgot about them.  Shame on me.
This pizza was beyond delicious!  Not only were the toppings wonderful together, the crust was exactly how I wanted it.  I was actually surprised at how perfect it came out.  I was told it was better than the place I usually go for pizza!
I kept a small part of the dough to secretly make one later with truffle oil...mmmmmmm
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