Monday, June 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Pizzas

More confession time. I love pizza. Bad pizza is good pizza. My favorite pizzas, though, all share similar traits: thin, crispy, yeasty, crackly, chewy, perfect ... oh, did I mention I'm a bit of a dough/crust fan? Screw the toppings. I want to talk about pizza crust.

Making your own dough is SO EASY. Seriously why are you not doing this? And here is my trick/commandment: make it as far in advance as you want. A week even. All that time in the fridge just lets the yeast work its magic and get all stretchy and delicious. Here are two pizzas, made within one day of each other.

Day One: FLUFFY DOUGH. My nemesis. Still delicious, but still. This tasty but you know it could be better.

Toppings: skirt steak, caramelized garlic and shallots, roasted cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, Mexican crema (have you had this ish? It is like sour cream but TANGIER. This probably deserves an entire post unto itself but that would be kind of gross, just C Fierce, eating a jar of Mexican sour cream. I'll do it, Internet. Don't tempt me.)

What could POSSIBLY be hiding behind the jump? Let's find out!

Day Two: CHEWY CRISPY DELICIOUS CRUST. My favorite. I wish I could have waited a few more days but hungry friends require immediate pizza.
Toppings: my favorite pizza sauce (it comes in a yellow can and costs $1), pepperoni, mozzarella, parmesan, caramelized shallots, roasted cherry tomatoes. And, um, red wine.

Here is the dough recipe. You can't mess this up. (Well, I'm sure there are ways to mess it up - I just have yet to figure them out. Give me some time.)

Pizza Dough

adapted - hardly - from America's Test Kitchen


4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for the counter

1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid-rise yeast (please don't call your sister wondering why your dough did not rise before checking what kind of yeast you are using)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups water, warm

Pulse 4 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor (fitted with a dough blade if possible - I always forget this and nobody's died yet) to combine. With the processor running, pour the oil, then the water through the feed tube and process until a rough ball forms, 30-40 seconds. Let the dough rest for two minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 5 minutes. (Don't get too aggressive. Not that A Sister Fierce would ever do that.) Add the remaining 1/4 cups of bread flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Put it in the FRIDGE! And let it rise for days. 

When you have finished your dough and let it rise for centuries, make some pizza. Roll it out as seen above (I remembered to take a picture halfway through, that is the only reason this is included).

Top it, bake it at 500 F (YES THAT HOT) on a pizza stone if you have it, on the back of a sheet pan if not, for 12 minutes max. Think about all the weight you are losing in your kitchen in June with an oven at 500 degrees. Drink more red wine because you're so damn hot. Enjoy your pizza.


  1. If you are going for crispy and chewy at the same time (and not in the mood to sweat to death) try grilling it!

  2. I tried to! But I was out of gas. Literally. On the grill. Next time!