Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Best Pizza Crust and Best Pizza Sauce Recipes

The pizza crust recipe came from the Fresh Loaf website.   The crust is similar to ciabatta.  If you like your pizza crust light and airy like I do, this one is perfect.  The pizza sauce recipe is from the All Recipes website.  I made a few changes, to our tastes.  This one is also perfect.

Pizza Dough

Flour: 3.25 cups + 1 2/3 teaspoons (450 grams)
Water: 1.5 cups + 1 scant teaspoon (360 grams) (105 degrees F.)
Salt: 1.5 teaspoons (9 grams) (use sea salt, if available)
Yeast: 2 teaspoons (8 grams) (Rapid Rise or bread machine yeast)

Combine water and salt in a stand mixer mixing bowl.  Stir to dissolve salt.  Thoroughly stir flour and yeast.  Add to the with water mixture in the mixing bowl.  Attach paddle to your stand mixer.

Mix on stir speed to form a dough. Once the flour is all incorporated, attach dough hook, turn the mixer to speed 10 and mix with the dough hook 8 minutes. (Do not walk away from your mixer, it will move. Hold on to it).  Divide dough in half.  Transfer to two bowls (I use rising buckets, which have tight-fitting lids) greased with oil (or you can spray with cooking spray), cover tightly with plastic wrap, and proof for one hour.  About halfway through the rising, set your oven to highest degree your oven will go.  Mine goes to 550 degrees.  If baking two pizzas, set pizza stones on the bottom and top rack.

After the full hour of rising remove dough onto parchment papers that is placed on a pizza peel.  If you don't have a peel, you can use cookie sheets. The dough is quite soft and extensible, much like ciabatta.  Handle dough very lightly.  Very carefully form into pizza rounds on parchment paper.  Start from the middle of the dough and gradually work your way around to form the outer crust, called cornicione.  If your hands stick to the dough, wet hands to help form rounds.  Let it rise on paper for about five minutes. Coat the dough with the pizza sauce (see recipe below). Add about 1 cup of cheese (to your liking), then top with your favorite toppings.

Place pizza on stone.  Mist pizza crust with water.  Turn oven down to 475 degrees.  Bake the pizza on the hot stone for 4 minutes, then rotate, remove parchment paper and bake another 4 minutes.  (If you are using two stones to bake both at once, switch positions when you rotate the pizzas.) Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool 5 minutes before slicing. This is important!

Cut and enjoy.

Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.

(If you want to make only one pizza, wrap the other dough half with plastic wrap, place in freezer bag and freeze before the point of letting it rise.  Will keep in freezer for 2-3 months. When ready to make the pizza, cover dough with plastic wrap and let thaw at room temperature for 2 hours or until thawed completely.  When thawed, place dough in large bowl with bowl coated in olive oil to prevent sticking.  Flip the dough so oil is coated on top.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise for one hour.  Follow remaining instructions for forming dough.)

Pizza Sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 ounces water (from tomato paste can)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  1. Mix together tomato paste and water. 
  2. Add seasonings.
  3. Keep refrigerated until ready to use on pizza crust.
Makes enough for two (sometimes I can get enough for three) 12-inch pizzas, or use to your taste.

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