joe and i are expert pizza makers. in college we began our friday night pizza tradition, buying Mama Mary’s crust and throwing on sauce and toppings. this is cooking to a couple of college students. ever since graduating, we started making our own crust, which we now know is the heart and soul of a good pizza, and an art form. here is the recipe we have adapted from smitten kitchen:
- 7 1/2 tablespoons warm water (may need 1 T more water)
- 1/2 T white vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups white flour
- 1/4 C wheat flour
- Whisk vinegar, water and yeast in a medium bowl until yeast has dissolved. Add honey, salt and olive oil and stir. Add flour and no matter how dry it looks, work it with a spoon and your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you need, but in my experience, this is almost never necessary.
- Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough for a minute or two, until elastic.
- If you’re like me and always trying to reduce the number of dirty dishes left at the end of the night, wash the bowl you made the dough in, dry it and coat the inside with olive oil. Put the dough in, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour or up to two, until it is doubled. If longer – stick it in the fridge
- Meanwhile, make some sauce .
- Preheat your oven to its highest temperature. If you have a pizza stone, sprinkle it with cornmeal and put it in the oven. Otherwise, sprinkle a baking pan with the same.
- Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured counter and gently deflate the dough with the palm of your hands. Form it into a ball and let it rest on a floured spot with either plastic wrap over it (sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it doesn’t stick) or an upended bowl. In 15 minutes, it is ready to roll out.
- Do so on the floured counter until pretty darn thin, then lift it onto a cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet or pizza paddle. Add the sauce, torn-up mozzarella and slivers of fresh basil.
- Slide the pizza from the paddle to your preheated pizza stone, or just put the baking sheet in the oven as is.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, checking at 7. Slice and serve immediately.
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