Thursday, June 28, 2012

Old-World Style Pizza

Crust: 

2 cups whole-wheat flour - good fresh flour such as King Arthur's brand works better than most store brands...
4 cups unbleached flour - again, fresh flour is better
5 tsp yeast
3 cups filtered, spring or purified water - as Chlorine affects taste and kills yeast
1/2 cup honey
2 Tsp olive oil
3 tsp salt (approx.)
stainless steel bowl (or glass)

whisk the above ingredients until mixed, cover with damp flour cloth, allow to rise for about 1hr.

As I said before, make sure you get all antibacterial soap off your hands - use lemon juice or baking soda to cleans your hands before working with the dough - it will make a difference in how this turns out.

mix into the proofed yeast mix:
4 cups unbleached flour and add more until dough is not sticking to your hands
knead into a rough ball for about 3 minutes
return to the bowl and cover with damp flour cloth
allow to rise for 30 minutes
punch down and rise again for 30 more minutes.
remove from pan onto floured surface, divide & pinch into 3 (or 4) balls


toppings:
olive oil
tomato paste
stewed tomatoes with garlic, basil and onion
grated Italian cheese (mozzarella, romano, parmesean, etc. mix)
black olives - pitted, sliced or chopped roughly
turkey pepperoni - cuts down on the grease and fat
sweet Vidalia onion or red onion slices
fresh garlic
fresh oregano
quartered crimini mushrooms (baby bello)

hand flatten, toss and shape into pizza shape

place onto peel covered in coarse corn meal...
shake front to back to insure it will move smoothly on the peel...

generously pour olive oil on the crust

spread thinly with Tomato paste - only tomato paste - no salt added...

spread Garlic, onion and basil tomatoes onto crust - not too much...

sprinkle finely chopped oregano

evenly sprinkle about 1pkg cheese over entire pizza - don't worry about the evenness of the spreading - random always makes for better pizza.

spread toppings over cheese...  whatever order you wish, but I usually start with pepperoni as it is flat and burns if above all the other toppings - this is a downside to turkey pepperoni

sprinkle some finely chopped garlic over top

bake for about 8 minutes at 500-525 F on pizza stone - higher temperature will need to shorten time about 2 minutes for every 50 degrees


If you need to cook more pizzas, then at about 5 minutes into cooking you can move the first pizza to the middle rack in the oven... keep watch as the toppings may burn as the top of the oven is hotter

Remove from oven with the peel (or flat cooking pan) and place on wire rack to cool ... keeps crust crispy longer...

allow to sit for about 3 minutes, slice and serve...

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