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I am resolved. I am resolved never to make another recipe for pizza dough. Seriously. This is it. My family has been making this recipe for years and it is incredibly delicious. Tried and True. Foolproof. No tweaking necessary. Caramelized onions, grapes (or figs), gorgonzola and mascapone (or some other creamy cheese like ricotta) is one of our favorite combinations.
These strong feelings stem partly from several recent failed experiments but also because I am realizing now truly wonderful homemade pizza is. Really, for me, the idea of a perfect dinner is this: several of these thin-crust pizzas (each topped differently), a salad (a homemade Caesar salad sounds nice at the moment) and a glass of wine.
I can think of only one thing that might — MIGHT — improve this recipe: A wood-burning oven. Which I intend to build soon. Or, let’s say within the next six months. Seriously. It only takes a day-and-a-half to build. It’s just a matter of getting organized. I saw the construction of a wood-burning, adobe oven in San Francisco at Slow Food Nation last month, and I have been wanting my very own ever since.
This recipe yields enough dough to serve about 6 to 8 people. I am submitting this recipe to the World Food Day blog event. Created by Val of More Than Burnt Toast and Ivy of Kopiaste, this event seeks to raise awareness about world hunger: Around the globe there are 862 million undernourished people. Since 1945, October 16 marks World Food Day, an event created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. To participate in the blog event, follow these instructions.
Want to build your own adobe oven, too? Buy this book: Build Your Own Earth Oven. I met the authors at SFN and they were pretty awesome.
These pizzas take about 10 minutes at 500ºF. When they emerge from the oven, all they need is a sprinkling of fresh herbs and perhaps, but not critically, a drizzling of olive oil.
One key to making a good pizza is this: keep toppings to a minimum. A thin layer of yummy ingredients is all this is needed. It helps keep the crust crisp and allows you to taste the dough. (I may have over done it a bit here. Refraining from overloading the dough is a true skill.)
This adobe oven was made in one-and-a-half days. Supplies, if I recall correctly, cost under $50. I am dying to make one.
7 Secrets to Mastering Pizza at Home
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- Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 8- to 10-inch pizzas (Serves 1 to 2 people per pizza)
Adapted from Todd English’s The Figs Table
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 2/3 cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Place the flours and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Or knead by hand. I have not had luck making this in the food processor — the engine starts smoking after about five minutes.) Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and let sit for five minutes until the mixture bubbles slightly. Add the olive oil and stir. With the mixer on low, gradually add the oil-water mixture into the bowl. Knead until the dough is firm and smooth, under 10 minutes. The dough will be very wet and sort of difficult to work with. I liberally coat my hands with flour before attempting to remove it.
- Divide the dough into four balls, about 7½ ounces each. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Be sure to oil the parchment paper.) Place two balls on a sheet. Lightly rub the balls with olive oil, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. The dough is very sticky and wet, so, be sure to coat the balls or the plastic with oil. Let the balls rise in a warm spot until they have doubled in bulk, about two hours.
- To roll out the dough: Dab your fingers in flour and then place one ball on a generously floured work surface. Press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin (or continue using floured hands if you are skilled at making pizzas) and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. The outer portion should be a little thicker than the inner portion.
Note: This dough freezes beautifully. After the initial rise, punch down the dough, wrap it in plastic and place in a Ziplock bag. Freeze for several months. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for about an hour, then proceed with rolling/topping/baking.
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper. Place rolled out dough onto parchment paper. Drizzle dough with a little olive oil and with your hand, rub it over the surface to coat evenly.
- Top with a thin layer of your choice toppings. Here I used caramelized onions, grapes, gorgonzola and mascapone cheese. (The mascapone is really wonderful). Place in your very hot oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown and the cheese is melting.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. A drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil is nice. I used a little bit of truffle oil, which would be wonderful over a mushroom pizza.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
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46 Comments on “Pizza Pizza”
This is a gorgeous looking pizza…just needs a big bottle of wine to accompany it. very nice blog.
Just found your blog from No Fear Entertaining featuring you on Finest Foodies Fridays… Love your pictures! That pizza looks delicious, I’ll have to try your pizza dough recipe.
Okay, this looks exactly like what I’ve been on the hunt for for YEARS! Is is chewy? Tell me it’s chewy!
This has to be the best looking pizza I have ever seen… it puts California pizza kitchen to shame… I can not wait to try your pizza recipe…thank you allowing all of us to enjoy it.
goodness under $50 for that oven? This is life changing for pizza lovers everywhere!
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this amazing post and insight. I’m definitely going to have to try your recipe. I’m a huge gorgonzola fan!!
That is one oven I want in my backyard.. So glad I found your blog! It’s amazing.
Made this dough last night (i’m late just creeping your blog because it’s my current obsession!) seriously the pizza dough i made was perfect, i made the base thin. I’ve made another batch so i’ll make it thicker.
but all in all this is a great and easy recipe.
The pizza was like pizza express pizza, i was so glad!!
Fuchsia — Wonderful to hear this! I haven’t made this in ages, but I do love it. Such a good recipe. Glad you approve!
Question , Todd Englishs’ recipe calls for 1 1/3 cup of water and your version calls for 1 2/3 cup of water. Is that a typo?.I made your version and just read his version. Now I’m wondering if it’s going to turn out okay.
However the recipe is written here is how I’ve always made it. Hope it turned out OK! Let me know.
THE RECIPE SAYS TO KNEAD UNTIL FIRM AND YET IT ALSO SAYS THE DOUGH IS VERY STICKY AND WET. WHEN I MADE IT THE DOUGH WAS FIRM. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
I haven’t made this dough in ages, but it sounds as though you may have just gone a little heavier on the flour. It should still be fine. Is the dough super tough/stiff?
If I use instant yeast, would you recommend a 1:1 replacement of the active dry yeast? Or should I decrease the yeast amount by 25%?
I think either is fine! I tend to substitute 1:1, but you probably could get away with using less. I don’t think it will make much of a difference here.
Can I let the dough to rise in the fridge overnight? Without dividing it into balls.
Yes! In an airtight container.