Makes: 2-3 pizza crusts
Bake at: 450 degrees for 15-17 min
I just love pizza night at my house. Its essentially a giant cracker loaded with all of my favorite foods, and then topped off with every kind of cheese I can find in my refrigerator. Unlike the corner pizza delivery restaurant, nobody’s charging me $1.50 extra per topping. I can heap it on as I please.
Making a pizza is like dressing yourself. The base is critical. All the other stuff is important too, but without that quality base, the rest cannot meet its full potential. Thats why the key to a good pizza starts with the crust. It should be textured and flavorful. Thats why this crust has 3 different grains, spices, and olive oil.
1 1/4 C lukewarm water
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast
3 1/4 C bread or all purpose flour
1/2 C coarsely ground semolina
1 T & 2 tsp olive oil (divided)
2 tsp salt
1 T corn meal
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic
1. Combine sugar and water in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and allow to dissolve. This will take approximately 10 minutes. You will know that the mixture has dissolved when the water looks murky brown.
2. Pour 2 tsp olive oil into the mixture.
3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in 1 1/2 C bread flour and 1/4 C semolina flour. Then add another 1 3/4 C bread flour, 1/4 semolina flour, and 2 tsp salt. Mix together until it forms a mound.
4. On a flat, unfloured surface, knead the bread for 5-7 minutes by repeatedly folding the dough onto itself and pushing down. You will know the bread is done when it is smooth. This is tricky because it will never feel smooth on the surface due to the semolina, so you are looking for the sensation that the ball of dough is cohesive, and no longer lumpy. In the alternative, knead bread in your Kitchenaid for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.
5. Form dough into 2-3 balls, depending on your preferred size of pizza (the cover picture, above, is the size pizza you will have if you make 3 doughs). With a drop of olive oil grease a medium size bowl. Grease the ball and set it inside the bowl, covered with plastic wrap, to rise for 1-2 hours. Do this with each dough ball. The dough ball will have doubled in size when its ready for use.
* In the alternative, the balls of dough can be frozen in sandwich bags (grease each one before freezing). When ready for use, simply remove the dough ball from the bag, grease a medium size bowl, cover, and allow to defrost and rise for 1-2 hours.
6. Roll dough with pastry roller on a lightly floured surface. Once it is rolled out, sprinkle 1 T corn meal on the bottom of the pizza pan. Place dough on top. This will add flavor and texture to the pizza crust.
7. Drizzle uncooked crust with 1 T olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over, and then brush with a pastry brush so that they are almost a part of the crust.
You are ready to go! Simply add sauce, toppings, and cheese, and bake at 450 degrees for 15-17 minutes. This dough holds up even underneath a mound of ingredients. And thanks to this post, I am now wishing I was experiencing that first crunchy bite of my favorite pizza dough!
Hungry for more great recipes? Explore more at Lawyer in the Kitchen!