One of my favorite things to do over the weekend is to cook (and bake, of course!), preferably when it is a collaborative effort with my boyfriend, John. On this particular recipe, it was he who took the lead and I played sous-chef and of course, photographer. For quite some time he has been perfecting not only his recipe for pizza dough but the technique that you actually cook it. I am proud to announce that he has done both of those things with perfection. This pizza crust is fantastic and in my personal opinion it is like eating a slice of pizza on a piazza in Rome. Continue for recipe...
The key to making amazing pizza crust is starting out with a great recipe, we used this recipe. There are many techniques to making great dough, but kneading is the most important. He kneaded the dough for at least 20 minutes to ensure that all of the gluten in the yeast blended with the flour. Once this was done he rolled the dough until it was fairly thin - this ensured that the crust would be chewy but also a bit crispy.
For the longest time, he was trying to find the best recipe, let alone a way to actually cook the pizza. We tried 500 degree ovens, pizza pans and then a pizza stone, we have this version. Initially both options failed to produce the crispy crust that a traditional coal or brick oven would create. But one day after reading countless pizza blogs, he learned the trick - turn on the lower broil (or upper broil if you have one) and place the pizza stone in the oven for one hour to fully heat through. The next step is to carefully add the pizza, toppings and all (we used fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce), from the pizza peel onto the stone. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is browned to your liking. We garnished with a few basil leaves for the finishing touch. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
*All photographs by Alison