OK, I am so excited! One of my favorite foods in the world is pizza- hands down. And, thanks to a very generous gift of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer (from T's mom) my dream to make it at home has come true!
Firstly, I must start with the dough. We made a dough before this one and it was OK, but just OK...
This one? Mamma Mia...
I adapted a little from the Gourmet Today (best book -fyi!):
What you will need:
1 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour (unbleached)
3/4 cups of warm water
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps olive oil (come on! use the good stuff!)
Stir the yeast and 1 tbsp of flour into 1/4 of warm water
Let it stand for about 5 minutes (it says until creamy, but water with flour in it IS creamy already, so I waited until the yeast seemed to be expanding)
If it does not look like the yeast is reacting, try again with another packet.
Stir 1 1/4 cups of flour and the salt in a bowl
Add the yeast & the oil
Stir until smooth
Add the remaining flour
Now, you can use the mixer or just knead by hand until the dough is pulling aside from the bowl...I stirred about 6-8 minutes at medium on the stand mixer
It needs to be smooth, soft and elastic-y
Form a ball, and sit it on a floured surface and dust it with more flour
Cover it first with loose saran wrap, then with a towel
Let it sit about an hour and a half until it doubles in size.
So, I did all this and then, after about 5 hours, we decided to have it the next day. So we refrigerated it for a day. The next day we took it out about 1 hour before we cooked and it rose again slightly.
The book has this 'steering wheel' method of getting the dough ready, I say nevermind to that!
I opened it up and you would any dough, with light kneading to not lose the air, and then, since I needed it to expand more (the dough can be a little tight)I LIGHTLY ran a rolling pin over it to get the size that I wanted.
I did not create a crust, I made a flat rectangular pizza.
I will tell you what I did, but from here it is carte blanche my friends- add whatever toppings you love!
I drizzled olive oil on it and added some tomato sauce we already had (more on that later). Then, I pan roasted some garlic, added some spinach (I let it steam down and reduce in the pan) and covered everything with mozzarella.
Seriously? I never thought I could make pizza this good!