Monday, March 9, 2009
puffy, chewy pizza
Rachael and Annie came to my house for dinner last night, and both were impressed with my pizza crust. It's chewy but not rubbery, and puffs up into attractive bubbles around the edges. It's very easy to make, but requires special high-gluten flour. You can either get expensive Sir Lancelot from King Arthur or get a cheap 25-lb bag of Power Flour at Cash & Carry.
Chewy Pizza Crust
dough for 2 14" pizzas
5oog high-gluten flour
2T olive oil
In the morning, while your tea water's cooking, mix the flour and water together to a shaggy mass. Let it rest till you've drunk some tea, at least 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and knead it all together as best you can. It might be a little rubbery, in which case let it rest a while and then knead it till it's a nice, smooth ball of dough. Give it a quick knead every twenty minutes for the next hour, then let it slowly rise all day, till you're nearly ready to bake your pizzas.
Heat your oven to 475º with either a pizza stone or a pizza pan in it. Divide the dough in two and form into two balls. Let them rest on your floury counter for 10 minutes to relax, then stretch one into a 14" circle. Put it on your semolina-ed peel or (easier) a piece of parchment paper and decorate with your choice of toppings. Slide onto the stone or pan and bake for 8-9 minutes. Get the other pizza ready while the first one bakes.
The pomegranate pizza above had pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, capers, pine nuts, picholine olives (Rachael's new favorite), tofu ricotta salata (scroll down to find the recipe), and a sauce of pomegranate molasses and caramelized onions.
To make the arugula pizza below I brushed the dough with olive oil, then scattered over it dried marjoram, pine nuts, macerated sultanas, olives (pitted and quartered lengthwise), capers, and tofu ricotta salata. When it came out of the oven I threw on a couple of handsful of arugula.