Lent has arrived and it’s always a challenge to figure out meals that the carnivore, AKA “man of the house”, will approve. I like fresh seafood…he likes salmon loaf and tuna casserole. As a compromise, I often pick up some Trader Joe’s ready made pizza dough and create a pizza Margherita. But I knew I could make an even better crust from scratch. My plan was to whip up this classic pizza dough on Thursday and give it an overnight rise in the fridge…well, life got in the way and I didn’t get started on the dough till Friday. The slow cool rise allows for extra flavor development, but the dough was quite lovely with a more traditional one hour doubling in a warm spot. I topped our dough with sliced Roma tomatoes which I had drained on paper toweling, sliced fresh mozzarella, a chiffonade of basil plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper.
I stretched the dough by placing on on the back of my hands and allowed gravity do it’s thing with a little help from my thumbs and knuckles to rotate. I placed the stretched dough on my pizza peel which was topped with a sheet of parchment. A little poking and prodding with my fingers finished the shaping, then I added my toppings. The oven and pizza stone were preheated to 550º (the stone needs some extra time to heat thoroughly) and slid the pizza and parchment onto the hot stone. Baked till the crust was browned and the cheese was bubbly resulted in a simple, yummy meatless meal.
This classic pizza dough is my February contribution to Twelve Loaves, a monthly bread baking group started by my friend, Lora, of Cake Duchess. This month’s theme was open…make sure to check out the wonderful loaves below.
If you’d like to join the Twelve Loaves group, here are a few simple rules:
- When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the month’s theme. February 2013’s theme is open and you can bake whatever bread you like.
- Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of this blog post. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
- Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2013 posted on your blog by February 28, 2013.
- Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home via The Cafe Sucre Farine
- 1 ½ cups warm water, 105-115 degrees (use a thermometer)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, (one ¼ ounce packet)
- 4 cups unbleached bread flour (preferred) or all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Combine water, honey, and yeast. Let rest about 5-10 minutes..mixture should be foamy. Mix flours and salt the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the dough hook. Knead on low speed (check your manufacturer's instructions so you don't burn out your motor) or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Dough should be elastic and slightly sticky.
- Oil a mixing bowl, add dough then turn to coat dough with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. Or, if you have time, put in the fridge for an overnight rise...for improved flavor development. If using this method, bring to room temperature before proceeding.
- Punch dough down and divide dough in half. Pat out on pizza pan, top and bake as directed in your pizza recipe.
- Yields: enough for 2 pizzas.