** Before I begin, I must warn you that this post is intended for the serious Pete-za followers who are interested in playing along at home**
** Also, send in your Pete-za party photos and stories. I can make you a pizza blog superstar**
1. Pesto PizzaOftentimes, I inspire myself to do great things. I had made some brilliant pesto the other day using frozen basil leaves. It turned out so incredible, I had to use it on a pizza and blog about it.
Based on my years of pizza eating, I thought a thin crust would be most appropriate. I hadn't intentionally made thin crust before, so I picked up some tips from a recipe I found on the internet for a California-style thin crust, and combined these tips with the standard dough recipe I had written about previously.
There are 4 important deviations from my previous dough recipe to make the crust thin. (use a rolling pin, dust dough with flour while rolling it thin, "dock" the dough with a fork, and pre-cook the dough without toppings)
1.1.1 Combine 1/2 cup of warm water with 2 tsp yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir to prevent yeast from clumping. Let stand for 10 minutes. It should be foamy and cloudy.
1.1.2 Add olive oil, 1 cup of warm water, some salt, and beat in 2 cups of flour with a wisk. Ideally, you should use a high gluten flour (bread flour). I used all-purpose flour, since it was what I had on hand, but will try to keep bread flour on hand.
1.1.3 Switch to a wooden spoon , and add flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix. Keep adding flour until dough forms a ball, but is still moist and shaggy.
1.1.4 Cover bowl with Saran Wrap; let stand for 15 minutes.
1.1.5 Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, adding flour to keep from sticking to your fingers. The dough should still be moist.
1.1.6 Put the dough in a bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Turn the dough over to make sure all sides are coated with olive oil.
1.1.7 Cover again and put the bowl in a warm place and let it rise for an hour. It should double in size. Ideally, the dough should rise slowly over a 24 hr period in the refrigerator. However, I'm not so good at planning ahead.
*Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees*
1.1.8 Return the dough to the floured surface and knead until smooth. Dust the dough and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out flat, making sure to continuously dust the dough and counter with flour. Flip the dough over several times. Thin-crust pizza dough should be somewhat dry and dense. You will need to dust the dough with flour several times as you roll it out in order to incorporate more flour into the recipe. This also helps ensure that the dough will not stick to the countertop and your rolling pin.
1.1.9 Carefully place the dough onto a pizza pan, making sure to cut off excess dough. I screwed this part up my first time. The dough fell apart, and I had to ball it up and start again. My second attempt was a success.
1.1.10 Using a fork, prick the dough thoroughly. This prevents the dough from bubbling up. This is called 'docking' and there is actually a 'docker' tool you can use, but a fork works just fine.
1.1.11 Place the dough in the pre-heated oven for 4 minutes. This prevents the ingredients from weighing down the dough before it can crisp.
1.1.12 Add toppings and return to oven for 12 minutes, or however long it take to get good and crisp, but not too crisp.
Using a large food processor, I processed the following ingredients. I have no idea about the quantities. I continuously tasted the outcome and adjusted the ingredients accordingly.
- Olive Oil
- a couple handfuls of Walnuts
- misc. mixed greens
- salt and pepper