Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crisp 12 Grain Pizza Crust - Making Pizza 2 of 3

I had a hard time deciding which step came first , the sauce or the crust, as when I'm making everything from scratch I usually start both at about the time.  Both steps require about an hour to produce, but no fear, that is almost all resting/simmer time.  If you are pressed for time, both can be prepared ahead of time.

Just a quick comment before we get started on this easy to make crust .  I've recently changed how I upload my photos to the web album, then onto here.  It has an option for a large file size, which limits it to 1600pixels,  instead of the 4mb original shot which was around double that.  So please , if you see a drop in picture quality let me know.  Either by posting a comment or sending me an email, the link to which is on the right hand column , near the bottom.  Thank You. 

So , now on to bread making .   I should note I prefer a crispy crust, so that is what this will produce.  I'm working on a couple of other styles, and will be posting them sometime in the, hopefully, near future:)  You will need
  • A large mixing bowl, and wooden spatula 
  • 1 cup 12 grain flour - no additives, just the whole grains ( some ground , some whole )
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour - If you don't have any just add some of either above
  • 3 1/2 tsp of yeast
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper,   
  • Basil, and a clove or two of garlic ( You can add almost anything you like here ) 
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Pizza Stone or Baking Sheet
Please keep in mind, all the above ingredients are quite flexible ..  I rarely use any thing other than a mug a Teaspoon for measuring, and never follow my original recipe ( Thanks Jean :) anymore. 
 

I recommend assembling everything before you begin, photos are optional :))

Add all your dry ingredients, and give it a good stir to blend everything.

Make a well in the middle of your flour. Then add a couple of glugs of olive oil , and a cup of water to start

I do all the mixing in the bowl now. Just with a spatula, just keep stirring it around ,  adding a bit of oil if its sticking too much.  Keep going until its a consistently thick.  Usually 5 - 10 minutes. Then place a clean tea towel over the bowl and leave it to rest.
 You can do things,  a couple of different ways here. Usually I let it rest for 30 minutes , twice knocking it back down ( remixing ) with a spatula.  
 I forgot about it for an hour,  and it had risen right to the top of the bowl!!
 If your going to be cooking this right away, now would be a good time to preheat your oven, and pizza stone.  360F is where I cook mine,   I go for the slow and lower method ( partially due to my oven not holding high temps well ) 


After it has risen,  I give it one last mix, more oil maybe required,  and divided the dough ball in two ,  saving half for the next day.  This should make 2 nice 12" pizzas...  I say should , as well...  see for you self :)

The dough will be very elastic, and a little unwieldy..  I have two methods,  this one is way more fun :)  I simply stretch the dough as far as I can in my hands, and then flop it onto the stone,  The spread it out by hand , until Ive reach my desired thickness.  

Or as in this one ( same batch , next day )  I flopped it onto the hot stone , and rolled it out .. nice and even. 

Once your crust is cooked , almost all the way ( approx 20 minutes depending on the thickness, I like to check at the 10 & 15 minute marks ) Remove it from the oven.  
 If your saving it for another day , place it on a rack to cool for about twenty minutes. I have a large freezer bag that I keep handy for flat breads, and such.  Other wise : 


Add your sauce and toppings...    and away you go.
I realize a lot of you are thinking.. this is not how to make pizza :)  Well your right,  but this is my way of making pizza , and I love it.  It allows a lot of forgiveness, its super easy , and can be all be prepared ahead of time, and even frozen if that's the way you like to do things.  :)  Please check back soon , for part 3. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking :)
Rich

Baking on FoodistaBaking