Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I had my doubts

I recently subscribed to yet another farm/garden/homesteading magazine, The Herb Companion.  Our first issue arrived with a cover story on pizza.  We make pizza all the time; it is definitely a favorite in our house. Their recipes look amazing, not your ordinary sauce-and-cheese pizza (which I don't like), but I had my doubts about their speedy crust recipe.  No rising time with a yeasted crust? Hmmm ... that goes against all of my intuition as a bread baker. 

I decided to give it a go last night. 

More of a flatbread than a pizza, but very delicious.  My very picky 10 year old proclaimed it the best pizza ever.  The recipe made two thin crusts - the kids had a half cheese only-half cheese and mushroom pizza; we had mozzarella, provolone, artichoke hearts, mushroom, roasted red pepper, garlicscape and shallot. 

This is the crust recipe here 
from The Herb Companion
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 cup lukewarm water
• 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope dry rapid-rise yeast
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1/4 cup cornmeal
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoons honey
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. To prepare dough, add sugar to lukewarm water and stir. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and stir again until dissolved. Let the yeast mixture sit 5 minutes.
2. Using a food processor with a steel knife blade, add flour, cornmeal, oil, honey and salt; pulse off/on several times to mix. Add yeast/water mixture through feed tube while the food processor is running and allow it to “knead” for about 1 minute or until dough is smooth. Add more flour or water, if necessary, while kneading to get a smooth dough.
3. Remove dough from food processor and allow to rest 5 minutes. Spread/stretch or roll out dough on a floured surface to about 14 inches in diameter or the size of your pan. Transfer pizza dough onto a pizza screen, or to a pizza peel spread with coarse cornmeal (for easy transfer to a preheated pizza stone). Turn edges under to form a slight rim.

For the plain pizza, I made plain dough, taking half out of the food processor and rolling it right out.  For our pizza, I added fresh rosemary, basil and chives from the garden to the remaining dough in the food processor and let it mix just a bit more.  Also, I was out of corn meal, so I subbed flax meal. 

The only thing I will do differently the next time is to bake the crusts separately, with no toppings, until they are slightly crisp and golden.  Even though the recipe says it will make 1 thick or 2 thin crusts and you should only have to bake the crust alone with the thick crust, I found the thin crust to still be very doughy after baking the pizzas.  Delicious, but I would prefer a crisper crust next time. 

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