Has everyone seen the newest Harry Potter movie yet? My good friend Dana is in town and we saw it last night. I have to say, I wasn’t terribly impressed with it. The movie itself was very good, don’t get me wrong, but we were both really disappointed with how many major scenes were left out, and how many others were created just for the movie. On the other hand, we got a kick out of all the one-liners, Harry’s behavior after drinking the Felix Felicius (he acts like he’s on drugs!), and the first “Slug Club” dinner. We’re really excited that the last book is being split into two movies.
But, back to the food. A few weeks ago Mike and I were craving pizza, but we have very different ideas as to what constitutes a good pizza- I like thicker crusts, and he likes ultra-thin. Fortunately, the internet delivered a recipe for a thin-crust pizza dough that doesn’t require several hours of prep time. This dough comes together in about 20 minutes because it doesn’t require a rise time. I feel like next time I might let the dough rise a bit, then punch it down and make two separate pizzas because the dough seemed really dense to me, but Mike loved it, so I guess it’s just personal preference. The only real problem I had with this dough was that it needed to be kneaded for more than two minutes. After two minutes, it wasn’t at all elastic and just tore when I tried to stretch it. I probably kneaded the dough for at least 6 minutes, just until it was elastic enough to stretch. I think next I’ll have to try a recipe for ultra thin, crispy, cracker-like crust. Does anyone have one they like?
Combine your water, sugar, and yeast, and let set for eight minutes. If your yeast has no reaction, throw it out and try again.
While you wait for the yeast, prep all of your ingredients.
Combine your yeast with the flour and salt.
Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes. This was my dough after two minutes, and you can see how it just cracked and split when I tried to stretch it. Just keep kneading until the dough is elastic.
Once your dough has been kneaded, spread it out on a greased pizza stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. If you don’t have a pizza stone, a cookie sheet will work, but you might want to try doubling up cookie sheets.
Spread the pizza with your sauce…
And add your toppings. Mike likes sausage and sometimes jalapenos (although he also had pepperoni this time), and I love pepperoni and black olives.
If you’re me, add an ungodly amount of cheese- it’s ok, my dad is from Wisconsin. Please know that if you use this much cheese, your pizza will most likely spill out into the bottom of your oven, burn, and force you to clean the oven. And in the background is the oven thermometer that my oven killed… may it rest in peace.
It was worth it, though! Also, please remember to rotate your pizza halfway through its cooking time, or it may end up looking like mine…!
This crust wasn’t super thin and crispy like I was expecting, but we still had a really good ratio of crust-to-sauce-to-toppings.
Thin Crust Pizza Dough
adapted from Robbie’s Recipes
1/4 oz. active dry yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F.)
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Sauce, toppings, and cheeses as desired
1) Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow to rest for eight minutes.
2) Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
3) Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix well with a heavy spoon.
4) Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for two minutes. I had to knead for at least 6 minutes for the dough to become elastic enough to work with.
5) Working from the edges to the center, press dough into a 12-inch circle. You can also hold the dough in the air and use gravity to stretch it, making sure to rotate the dough the whole time.
6) Place the dough on a lightly greased pizza pan and stretch to the edges. For a really crisp crust, sprinkle the pan with cornmeal after you grease it.
7) Top the dough with whatever sauce, toppings, and cheeses you want. Bake in a 500 degree oven until the edges are golden, about 8-12 minutes. I had a lot of toppings and had to bake this a bit longer than that. Just keep an eye on it and take it out when it looks done.