A Piece on Pizza

A Piece on Pizza
If you don’t like pizza, there’s something wrong with you.  It’s the perfect canvas for any culinary expression from savory to sweet, plus it’s cheap, quick, and easy to make yourself.  No wonder Wolfgang Puck made a mint on it.  It’s so versatile yet calls out to each of our inner child.
Ourfive year old son Lyric often talks about how nice a Pizza Tree would be and he loves to help me make the pizza dough. Lyric gets as excited as a puppy after its owner gets home when the timer goes off. Its truly like Pavlov.Here’s a simple, solid recipe that holds up well to variation.  It will keep for up to three days, but if you know you won’t be using it for a while, freezes just as well.  I make 3-6 dough balls at a time and that lasts about two weeks in our house, but we eat a LOT of pizza.  Remember that it takes a day to rise properly.This recipe makes enough for one 16-18” pie.

11 ½ oz (by weight) all-purpose flour
1 heaping tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

6 ¼ oz warm (not hot) water

– Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
– Add water and mix until evenly distributed.  Dough should be springy to the touch and not stick to the sides of the bowl.  Add small handful of flour if necessary.
– Squeeze all the air pockets out of the dough ball.  Grasp it in both hands and roll your knuckles together, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat several times.  Don’t do it too much or the dough gets tough.
– Lightly coat the dough in vegetable oil and cover loosely with plastic.  Set it in the fridge for 24 hours or freeze immediately.  When using a frozen ball, set it out for 3-4 hours, then 20 more in the fridge.
– To cook, lightly dredge the ball in flour and hand toss or roll with a pin for a thinner crust.  Diameter should be about 16” round or half sheet pan if rectangular.  Place on a high quality cookie sheet or pre-heated pizza stone.  Top with your choice of sauces, meats, veggies, and cheese.  (I like my pepperoni on top so it gets crispy).
– Bake in a pre-heated oven at your highest setting for 6-10 minutes, rotating once and checking once a minute after six minutes to avoid a burnt crust.
– Remove from pan and let cool 2-3 minutes before cutting to allow the cheese to set a bit.

Serves 1-6 depending on your hunger level.


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