Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thin Crust Pizza - With Artisanal Baker's Dough

I am not sure what it is with pizza. It is easy to get anyone into good spirits just by mentioning it. I normally don't make pizza because it feels like a lot of work. I changed my opinion a tiny little bit when I tried this whole wheat pizza crust. While the crust is the hardest part of pizza making, getting the toppings ready and baking it is the fun part. Unlike store bought pizzas, in home made pizzas you are free to add the toppings you like and as much or as little as you want.

The crust when the dough is made at home is the best part of the whole equation. The same Washington Post Food Section which carried the blueberry cake also had the recipe for a pizza made with Artisanal Baker's Dough. Baking pizza has become something of a conquest for me in terms of challenge.

Take the flour in a bowl, add the yeast and salt.
Whisk the dry ingredients and then add the milk followed, .
by the oil. Use a fork or with the fingers mix the flour into the liquid.
Knead into a ball and transfer to a larger well oiled bowl. Place wax paper on top of the dough. Cover and let sit in a warm place ideally for 24 hours.
Get the vegetables ready by grilling or broiling them till almost cooked.
Place a desired size ball of dough on a floured board, I used a lemon sized ball and roll it out thin.
Dust the lined baking sheet with some corn meal, transferred the rolled pizza dough on it. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 6 minutes till the underside starts getting brown spots.
Flip the pizza so the browned side comes on top. Get the pizza sauce ready.
Apply the pizza sauce, arrange the desired topping and bake for another 4-5 minutes till the cheese is melted and the other side is browned as well.

The recipe is pretty simple and though the recipe called for fermenting the dough for 24 hours mine had just about 8 hours and it came out just fine. The fermentation replaces the kneading in this recipe so the longer it ferments the better is I guess. I used homemade pizza sauce and grilled vegetables as topping for the pizza.

Thin Crust Pizza - With Artisanal Baker's Dough
Preparation Time:20 minutes + 8-24 hours fermentation
Cooking Time:30-40 minutes
Serves: 5
  1. 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  2. 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  3. 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups of 2% percent milk
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp more for the bowl
  6. 1/4 cup of corn meal

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the oil and then the milk to the flour and using a fork mix the liquid into the flour.
  3. Knead the dough enough to make it into a ball.
  4. Oil a larger bowl, place the dough, apply some oil over the dough, place a wax paper and cover the bowl with a wet towel.
  5. Place the dough in a warm place for 24 hours. The fermenting that takes place replaces the kneading that is required. (I placed in the oven with the light on).
  6. Once you are ready to use the dough, separate them into required size and roll them out.
  7. Making the Pizza Sauce - Harissa flavored
  8. 2-3 tomatoes pureed
  9. 4 cloves of garlic minced
  10. 1/4 of an onion minced
  11. 1/2 - 1 tbsp olive
  12. 1 tbsp harissa or salt and any spice of choice
  13. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and add in the garlic and onions and saute for a minute. Pour in the tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes or so.
  14. Add in the harissa paste and cook for another 10-15 minutes till the tomatoes sauce has become thick and most of the water has evaporated.
  15. Making the Pizza
  16. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  17. On a floured board, place the ball of dough and roll out the pizza into desired thickness.
  18. On a Pizza stone or a grill pan, spread a little bit of corn flour and place the rolled out pizza.
  19. Bake on one side for 6 minutes, by this the underside should have brown spots.
  20. Flip the pizza, so that the browned side is on top. Place the toppings and cook for another 4-5 minutes till the pizza is done.
  21. Arranging the Topping
  22. Spray the vegetables with oil and broil in a toaster oven till they are partially cooked. (I used pobalano pepper, mushrooms, onions, jalepeno pickled pepper and smoked turkey slices.
  23. Spread pizza sauce on the browned side of the pizza, place sliced mozzarella cheese mingled with the roasted vegetables and bake for another 4-5 minutes till done.

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1 comment:

  1. Leave it to you, ISG, to make harissa flavored tomato sauce. That sounds (and looks) delicious! I know when G makes pizza dough he likes to leave it overnight in the fridge. He thinks it makes the crust better. I will show him your recipe as he's the pizza maker here -- I just get to eat it :)


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