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Thin Crust Pizza Dough

6 September 2008 One Comment

We’ve tried many different doughs for pizza. Quick ones, ones that sit in the refrigerator for a day or two and ones in between. This recipe, taken from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking just comes out best. Made with the proper flour, and cooked in a hot oven, it makes a very tasty and crisp crust. The best part is that it’s very easy to make, and only needs a few hours of advance preparation.

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Yield

2 pizzas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour (ideally pizza flour or ‘doppio zero’ as it is known)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Sir the yeast into 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water. Let sit 10 minutes, and then add 1 cup of flour, and stir with a wooden spoon, or mix on low speed using paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Continue adding 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup lukewarm water and 1 cup more flour. Stir to combine. Keep adding the remaining flour and water in batches, but only add enough flour to end up in a soft dough, tacky but not too sticky. You’ll want it looser rather than firmer.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes somewhat stretchy. Pat into a round shape, place in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled. Once doubled, punch it down. At this point, you can place in a plastic bag, close tightly, and refrigerate for a day or so before using.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and place a baking stone on the bottom shelf. Cut the dough in half, and shape into a ball. Form into a 12-14″ disc, either using a rolling pin, or by spreading it with your fingers. Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal or flour, place the disk on top, and add toppings as you like. In general, place sauce and cheese underneath other toppings, and you can pre-bake the pizza with sauce and cheese before adding very wet toppings (like squash) to keep it from getting soggy.Place the pizza on the stone and bake 3-5 minutes, or until it’s done. You can test doneness by rapping the bottom of the pizza and testing to make sure it sounds hollow.

One Comment »

  • Bob said:

    I love the idea of a baking day, and given that we suvirved without an oven for nearly a year (gasp!) I think it should be instated starting now. We had a gas stove that worked fine, but the stove components were electrical so the temp, time etc couldn’t be programmed but now we have a new gas stove and my boys love baking too thanks for the inspiration!~Erin

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