Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n18)
Life of the Party - Pizza Dough - by Elizabeth Morse
posted: Sept. 05, 2019
Many of you follow my blog, schlepicurean.com and have seen my pizza oven project come to fruition over the last year. For those who haven't, I've built a wood-fired oven in my backyard as an addition to my outdoor kitchen. I've spent a few months now perfecting my dough and though it would be fun to share the results with you. And who doesn't love a pizza party?
No matter where you plan to cook you pie(s), a great crust is essential. I like one that is chewy, flavourful, pretty thin and gets those lovely big air bubbles. The following recipe is what I've come to like best. You can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days, making it even more versatile.
image courtesy of Elizabeth Morse
4 cups flour (I've used both a "OO" Pizza flour and all-purpose- both work)
2 cups warm water
2 t active, dry yeast
2 T sea salt (using a smoked salt is also tasty)
2 T granulated sugar
Combine in a large bowl, or stand mixer. Mix until the dough forms and knead for 8 minutes - if kneading by hand, in the bowl or on the counter is fine. The dough should have "picked up" all the flour and the bowl should be clean. Your dough should be pretty firm and smooth.
Drizzle a little oil (I like olive) in your bowl and place dough ball in to rise for about an hour.
At this point, divide into portions ( I can get 8, 10' pies from this recipe) and on a floured surface, begin to tap out the dough with your finger tips.
Place the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and top as desired. Bake in a preheated (500 degrees) on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.
I like to have dough set out and ingredients so that everyone can make their own pie. Of course, taking turns means that you have to man the oven for a bit, but it is a fun party and always a hit.
Great combos that I love include:
- Tomato sauce, fresh slices of mozzarella, tomato, crushed red pepper, garlic and basil. (a zesty take on traditional Margherita pizza)
- Fig jam (instead of tomato sauce), caramelized onions, prosciutto, and blue cheese crumbles.
- Tomato sauce, Italian sausage, onions and several kinds of sweet peppers.
- Mozzarella and asiago cheeses (no sauce) with large slices of deli pepperoni, crushed tomatoes and pepperoncini peppers.
This is a great party to host on football nights with a few beers or a good bottle of red wine.
Elizabeth Morse, owned the Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple for close to 20 years. She is a graduate of IU, Hoosier Chef, Food Writer, Wine Guru & Advanced Master Gardener who believes in supporting all things local. Check out her blog: www.schlepicurean.com
. Email her at email@example.com