Friday, February 26, 2010
Rosemary Basil Pizza Crust
I'm a bit surprised with myself for not yet having blogged about homemade pizza; although, I'll admit that it's been at last a couple of months since I've made one. What I really like about this dough is how simple and easy it is to make, and I equally love how easy it is to manipulate with little additions. I've used it for calzones and even bread that was perfect for pannini's. You can make it as this herb version, or even role cheese into it. Once before, I baked it as a three cheese bread with cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. It was very tasty! You can also substitute one cup of all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour to make a healthier crust. It changes the texture, but it is still very good, like anything baked from scratch.
(You'll notice that one corner of the pizza looks a little different. That part was pepperoni only--for the boys.)
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yeast, warm water, sugar and olive oil. Let sit for about 3 minutes to fully dissolve and activate the yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
With a rubber spatula, gradually mix the yeast mixture into the flour until just combined and dough barely holds together. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter surface dusted with flour.
Knead the dough with flour-dusted hands until the dough has become smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. The surface should be tight and silky and bounce back slightly when pressed. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Once doubled, punch the dough down. Knead the dough into a ball; set aside and cover with plastic wrap to rest for half an hour.
Dough can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight. Keep covered tightly in plastic wrap or in a sealed food storage bag.
Prior to rolling the dough for baking, knead in herbs. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll dough out in a pizza stone or no-burn cookie sheet. Sprinkle on garlic powder, if desired. Bake dough for approximately 5 minutes before topping. This method helps prevent a soggy crust.
Once topped with the desired sauce and toppings, continue to bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.