Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Simple Cheese Pizza

I feel like I've hit a cooking milestone - I used a baking stone for the first time! Can't believe it took me this long, especially with my love of pizza. I was really impressed with how this turned out - it was super easy to put together and tasted great, too. Perhaps not as awesome as my famous pan pizza, but still pretty darn good. Not only that, but Baby liked it. A lot! He ate almost two whole slices! Can't beat that!

Basic Pizza Dough
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Click here for printable recipe!

4 1/4 cups bread lfour, plus extra for the counter
1 envelope (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups water, warm

1. Pulse 4 cups of the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor (fitted with a dough blade if possible) 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 2 minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 4 minutes, adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Classic Cheese Pizza
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough
Flour for the counter
3 cups pizza sauce (I use Ragu's and I think it's pretty good)
12 ounces mozzarella, shredded (3 cups)
Olive oil

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Let the baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, cut it into three even pieces, and cover with plastic wrap. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape into a smooth, round ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
3. Uncover one ball of dough and stretch and shape the dough into a 12-inch round on a piece of parchment paper. Spread 1 cup of the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch edge of dough uncovered. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella all over. Lightly brush the edge of the dough with oil.
4. Slide the parchment paper and pizza and pizza onto a rimless (or inverted) baking sheet, then slide it onto the hot baking stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden in spots, 8-13 minutes. Prepare the second pizza while the first bakes.
5. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, discarding the parchment paper. Slice the pizza into 6-8 wedges and consume immediately!


Lora said...

I may have to try this! I need to get a baking stone...

Visiting you from SITS--have a great day!

ModernMom said...

I have never used my baking stone! I keep threatening to get it out. That pizza might just make me do it:)

S3XinthePantry said...

Oh! Sounds & looks YUMMY!

Debbie in Nashville said...

That looks so tasty. Great job!

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