Pizza, I love you.
Seriously, who doesn’t love pizza? Or anything covered in cheese for that matter. Some people live and die by a New York style slice. Others love that Chicago vibe. As far as I’m concerned, good is good.
And its crazy easy to make, but most of us opt for the cheap takeout version rather than investing a little time (and mostly dough related) patience. All you need for my version is an oven, a pizza stone, and some quality ingredients.
3 cups AP flour
1 package of dry active yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup warm water
In the bowl of your stand-mixer (or large bowl), combine water, yeast and sugar and stir. Allow the yeast to active (it will be foamy, and smell amazing).
Add half the flour and olive oil, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the other half of flour, parmesan cheese, salt and knead on medium for 5 or 6 minutes until the dough comes together in a nice ball.
Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil, place your dough in and cover with cling wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours)
Half an hour before your dough finishes its climb, preheat your oven with a pizza stone to 500. Yes, 500. Let your pizza stone get smoking hot (this will give your dough an amazing crust with fantastic pizzeria style dough bubbles etc).
When your dough is done, cut in half, and roll out (I generally roll out to about ½ inch thick, but this is kind of personal preference stuff).
Grab a pizza peel and top with parchment paper a little larger than your pie (this will help the pizza slide into the oven easily). Place your dough on top of the peel and load it with your favourite toppings. (Future Dennis will post on pizza toppings)
Carefully slide your pie into the oven. Keep an eye on it, but it shouldn’t take any more than 8 – 10 minutes.