The Elusive Crispy Crust – Tips on Getting a Snap

Reader Aimee writes:

“So how about you tell me why my pizza won’t friggin’ get a crusty bottom!  It tends to be a wee bit on the floppy soggy side.  The top seems to cook the quickest. I tried drying my fresh mozz for a bit and using less sauce, didn’t work. Do you still use pans or do you use a stone now? I use a stone.”

Great questions Aimeee! I think this is probably a big issue for a lot of home chefs for many reasons. Let’s talk about some of them now.

  • Temperature – this is, of course, the obvious first tip to getting crispier results out of your pizza. Many recipes you see – maybe even some recipes on this very blog. Yikes! – will have you preheat the over to 400, 425, 450, something like that. ALWAYS DISREGARD this advice. Commercial pizza ovens operate in the neighborhood of 800 to 1100 degrees, so in order to get even remotely close to the pizza you know and love, you need to crank your oven up to the highest possible setting! For me, this means setting it to 550+. I saw “+” because my oven has a knob which allows me to select “bake” or “broiler” as well as a temperature dial which goes to 550 and then continues on to “broiler.” The double up in terms is a bit confusing, but I think what I’m doing what I set it to “bake” on the mode knob and “broiler” on the temperature knob, I’m asking the oven to try to keep the heating element on as long as it possibly can at the highest temp it possibly can. Goal achieved. Now, because you are running your oven hotter than before, hopefully more liquid will evaporate off your pie and out of your crust which will equal a crispier end product.
  • Preheat – Preheat your oven and let it sit at full temperature for at least 45 minutes to an hour before trying to bake in it. Especially if you are using a pizza stone, this will allow the stone to absorb all the heat it possibly can, as well as the sides of the oven, ensuring that you get the hottest bake out of your oven as possible. I know that my general theme on this blog is that time is the most secret of all ingredients and here it is again – don’t rush pizza, and as Alton Brown says, “your patience will be rewarded.”
  • Baking Stone – This is a big must for a crispy pizza crust. Again, commercial ovens have stone floors in them, not metal, so we can all take a tip from the pros and duplicate this scenario at home. Baking stones are beneficial for two main reasons:

    1) Baking stones absorb and store heat, so while your oven can only generate so much heat, the stone will store much of that heat and radiate it back out to the surrounding oven space. This will not only allow you to achieve temperature higher than what your oven would normally be capable of, but will also regulate heat loss when you open the oven to check on progress. In addition, it will also regulate how wide of a temperture swing occurs as your oven sycles the heating element on and off. Think even heat.

    2) Baking stones absorb water. They have small holes in the surface unlike metal baking pans, so they have the ability to capture and dissipate water. This is a good thing.

    The quick science behind a baking stone (or pizza stone – same thing) is as follows. The stone is both intensely hot and moderately porous. When the dough hits the stone, the water in the dough instantly wants to turn to steam and get the heck out of there, and since there are small air pockets in the stone, the steam has a space to move into. In essence, the stone both causes, and then absorbs, the steam trying to escape from the dough. Again, less moisture, more crispy. Soild petal pizza pans give the water nowhere to go, so the water is either retained in the dough, or must make its way to the surface of the pie before escaping.

  • Dry your ingredients – This may sound funny, but it really really helps out a lot. Especially when you are trying to make a pizza with a lot of fresh veggies! Vegetables and wet cheeses are notorious for releasing a ton of water once they hit the oven, so simply chop everything up before hand, lay it down on a kitchen towel, and fold the towel over so the water from the fresh cut veggies has somewhere to escape to before it hits your crust. I do this with my fresh mozzarella as well and I even take this theory a step further: One I’ve got everything sliced and drying in towels, I place the towels on top of the range where the radiant heat of the pre-heating oven moves up into the veggies and gives them a more thorough drying. Be careful with oven-drying the cheese though. I got a little careless last weekend with some cheese in a towl on the top of a hot oven and when I went to open up the towel, I found that I had glued it together very thoroughly with six dollars of nice fresh mozzarella! Never got that damn towel clean either!
  • Use less stuff – It is always tempting to over top your pizza, but here is a tip: don’t. In general, take whatever your natural instinct is for topping pizza is, and then consciously dial that bake 30%-40%. Pizza is a balancing act between bread, cheese, sauce and toppings, but zen philosophies aside, you’ll find that if you give everything a little breathing room, your cheese will stick to your crust better (no sliding off with the first bite), your pizzas will be crispier, and most importantly, you won’t be as full after eating a slice which means you can eat more! Who can argue against that??

Finally, let’s address one of Aimee’s specific problems she has had trying to combat the floppy soggy crust syndrome.

  • The top seems to cook the quickest – pay attention to how your oven cooks your pizzas and where you are putting your oven racks. If Aimee seems to always have an overcooked top, and an undercooked bottom, she should consider moving her pizza stone down to the next lowest baking rack. Even though we’re talking about the interior of a 550+ degree oven, the laws of thermodynaics still apply: heat rises. A too-quickly-cooked top means that her pizza is too high in her oven and the heat that pools at the top of it is cooking the top of the pizza faster than the bottom. To learn an oven, I would start the stone at the lowest possible rack setting, and then based on how the bottom of the crust turns out, I might move one or two spots up the next time around.

    Interesting technique: many home pizza chefs bake with their pizza stones as low in the oven as possible to get the stone as close to the heating element as possible, then, when they have checked the bottom and it is looking nice and crisp, they move the pie to their oven rack which has been positioned at the very highest spot in the oven to finish off the top. This gives you precise control over how done the bottom and top of the pie are when it finally comes out of the oven. I personally use this technique often, but if I could find that sweet spot in my oven where I didn’t need to do it, I wouldn’t

I hope this has been enlightening and helpful and I hope to see photos of reader Aimee’s improved crispy crusts real soon! Please submit any other questions you guys may have and I’ll answer as best I can. If there is any last tip I could leave you with, I would simply repeat myself in saying that time is the only secret ingredient. So many people are looking for quick eats and dinners in 30 minutes or less, but when compared to dinners that took you 3-4 days to prepare, they all start to taste like fast food!

Spend some time with your food.

Talk soon,

Ryan

Thanksgiving Pizza from… Not Martha!

This was too good to not pass on to you. It’s a Thanksgiving pizza… pie! The Not Marthas, over at wearenotmartha.com created this genius Thanksgiving invention, complete with homemade cranberry sauce, turkey, herbs, and what else, an apple pie in the middle! I personally consider it a step towards the futuristic meal-in-a-pill – just this pill is about 16″ in diameter. What can I say, they’re working on it!

Check out the Thanksgiving Pizza Pie at wearenotmartha.com.

Breakfast Pizza and Test Dough

Tonight I was testing a new dough formula (think secret ingredients) and came up with a few simple combinations, and photos, that I hope get your mouth watering and your brain looking around this here blog for a good dough recipe to try out in your own kitchen. One was a simple pie with fresh tomato, provolone, and parmesan. The other was a breakfast pie with my breakfast potatoes from this morning, two raw eggs, ricotta, parmesan, and white truffle oil. There were both fabulous, and we all agreed that the secret ingredient was promising to boot! Here’s to inspiration!

-Ryan

A Recent Thin Cracker Crust Success

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 7:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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Alton Brown’s Latest Wood Fired Pizza Recipe

Alton Brown of the Food Network recently released another episode in which he covers recipe and techniques for making flat, crisp, BBQ’d pizzas. I have to admit, I’ve always loved Good Eats, but for some reason, never really liked his pizza dough recipes. From my point of view, the best dough comes from two to four days of prep time, and I don’t think his half-hour show has the ability to showcase the BEST techniques, so this might explain my WANT to love his pizza dough, and my subsequent let down. I was sad to discover that this recipe, as like the last try, was not a contender to recipes from Tony Gemignani and Peter Reinhart.

Now again, I love that good ol’ Alton, and his show is always chock full of useful knowledge, regardless of whether you like the recipe or not so I still full-heartedly recommend watching the episode (below) and picking up a little pizza science. Also, he did suggest one novel ingredient (novel to me anyways): Malted Barley Syrup. Really enjoying the results from the Syrup so far 🙂

Enjoy!
-Ryan

Ingredients

Dough – Enough for 3 (16-inch) round pizzas:

  • 16 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for peel and rolling
  • 1 envelope instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces warm water, approximately 105 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for bowl
  • 1 tablespoon malted barley syrup

Margherita topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
  • 5 to 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 ounces part skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 to 6 large basil leaves, shredded

Date and prosciutto topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 3 1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 to 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1-ounce prosciutto ham, approximately 3 slices, coarsely chopped
  • 4 whole dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Pizza cracker:

  • 2 to 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:

  • Vise-Grips

Directions

Dough:

Combine the flour and yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt, water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and malted barley syrup. Start the mixer on low, using the hook attachment, and mix until the dough just comes together, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 15 minutes.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disk. Gently stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the bakers windowpane, or a see-through, taut membrane has formed. The dough will be quite sticky, but manageable. Fold the dough onto itself and form it into a smooth ball. Oil the bowl of the stand mixer or other large canister with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat with the oil. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to double in size, approximately 1 hour.

Split the dough into 3 equal parts using a knife or dough scraper. Flatten each piece into a disk on the countertop. Form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball on the counter until they tighten into rounds. Cover the balls with a tea towel and rest for 45 minutes.

To shape and cook the margherita pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Toss the tomato with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto 1 end of the hot grill, leaving room for the tomatoes on the grate. Put the prepared tomatoes on the grill, close the lid and cook until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the tomatoes are softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel. Top with the grilled tomatoes, smashing and spreading the tomatoes to create a sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, mozzarella and basil. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook the date and Prosciutto pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Layer 2 paper towels on a plate and lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer. Top with 2 more paper towels, a second plate, and a 2 pound weight. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto the hot grill. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown, for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel, brush with remaining 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and top with the Parmesan, prepared mozzarella, prosciutto, dates and thyme. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook cracker pizza:

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11 by 17-inch rectangle to fit a standard, stainless steel cooling rack. Lay the dough sheet onto the rack and gently stretch around the edges, pinching to hold in place. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Attach the Vise-Grips to 1 end of the cooling rack to use as a handle. Turn a gas burner on high. Hold the rack about 2 inches above the flame, and move back and forth constantly until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the dough over, brush with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Cook, as before, until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

A Great Pizza Read – Recipes from a Pro

Recently I’ve purchased Peter Reinhart’s fabulous pizza book, American Pie, and let me tell you: best – pizza – book – ever! The book details Peter’s travels through Italy, New York, California, Chicago and other locations in search of his most favorite pizza in the whole world. The first half of the book is his tales of pizza travel. The second half of the book, however, is a giant pizza resource center wherein Peter tries to re-create all of the various pizzas he had across the world and shares his recipes and findings with you. This would be cool enough for me to pick up a copy, but then you consider that Peter is a professional baker AND recipe product developer and suddenly his collection of dough, sauce and toppings recipes seem like the Lost Arc of the Pizzanant! I guess what I’m trying to say is that Peter’s book was not only a mouthwatering good read, but also has become my #1 go-to guide for new dough and sauce recipes.

I wanted to share with you a recent recipe I made from his book, as well as some photos of the results. This dough was much different to work with than my dough that I usually make, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and the flavors and texture (not to mention the great big bubbles that formed out on the crown of the pizza) were well worth the learning curve. I would highly recommend you go spend $15 and pick up this great resource!

Peter Reinhart’s Neo-Neapolitan Dough

The dough to use for making New-Haven-style pizza and/or pizzas in the style of Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, or Grimaldi’s. Makes a “thin, crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown”. Slightly sticky and may be tricky to work with. Requires high-gluten flour.

Makes 4 10 ounce dough balls ( but I like to make 13.3 ounce balls)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. With a big metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined.
  2. Fit mixer with dough hook; mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball.
  3. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on med-low speed for 2 more minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom.
  4. *If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful.
  5. The dough should pass the windowpane test—snip off a piece of dough and gently tugging and turning it, stretching it out until it forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane somewhere near the center; if dough does not form this membrane, it probably needs another minute or two of mixing).
  6. Immediately divided the dough into 4-equal portions; round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil.
  7. Place each ball inside its own zip-lock freezer bag; let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze any pieces you will not be using the next day.
  8. The next day, remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to take the chill off.

Results

Pizzetta 211 Margherita Pizza – My Photographic Results

I was very intrigued by the LONG mixing time for Sunset Magazine’s “Pizzetta 211” pizza dough, so I did some testing and here’s what I found so far (the dough is still rising, so not finished results yet) Following the instructions, I first bloomed the yeast. As a side note, many chefs today do not believe that this step is necessary any longer.  It used to be that dried yeast came to us in such a poor state that it needed this short developmental period to reactivate (and so you could tell if you had just purchased dead yeast or not.) These days, it is perfectly safe to skip this step – especially when you are planning on a long, cool rise time. Anyways, I did it despite my modern learnin’. Then I started the mixer in to its half an hour long trek – stopping once to snap a photo at five minutes. As you can see below, the difference between 5 minutes of mixing and 30 was pretty dramatic. As the dough came out of the bowl after thirty minutes, it was very soft and very smooth. I placed it directly in the fridge where I plan to rest it for the afternoon before pulling it out, resting it on the counter for an hour or so, and then tossing it up.

After a few hours in the fridge, and then one more on the counter, the dough had risen substantially. What I had thought would make just one pizza turned out to be two sizable pies. The dough was extremely elastic and spread very evenly and nicely. I baked a pizza both on a baking stone as well as in my normal pan and each of them came out very nicely. Overall, I felt the recipe was a bit too salty, and the yeast was a bit too active if I wanted to give it a 3 day rest in the fridge. I am going to experiment with using less yeast and less salt and see if I can hone in on the flavor I prefer. As for texture, this was tried by my testing staff (alicia) and was deemed “the best crust yet” by a mouth that knows 🙂 Once I get the salt/yeast thing figured out, and try it out with a nice long rest, this dough just replace Tony’s dough that I have sworn by for the better part of 2009.

I’ll keep you posted.

Yeast-Free Pizza Dough – The Photographic Results

After trying the recipe in my original post on Yeast-Free Pizza Dough, I have some results to report. The dough itself was much more solid feeling than a regular pizza dough – I began in the same fashion I would normally flatten dough out, on the counter with my hands, but after a certain point, it began to feel like I was trying to toss a big sheet of cookie dough, not piza dough. So I got out my trusty rolling pin and went to town – this easily created a very thin, very pliable dough that I could then load onto my pizza pan and prep for the oven. When the pizza came out, it looked as if it had not risen at all – I suspect that my long rest in the fridge negated any effect the baking powder had, and the double acting feature was all but absent. The dough baked very thin, but because of the high oil content, it was very crispy – it began to taste like a homemade cracker after a few bites. There was good snap, it supported the weight of the toppings, it had a real buttery flavor ( even though there was no actual butter in the dough) – all in all, it wasn’t bad.

However, coming from the yeast world and knowing what I was missing, it wasn’t great either. I think it was just a preference thing. I felt it was a bit dry and a bit dense. I can actually get my yeast dough just as thin, but the yeast dough feels much lighter and airier in your hand and in your mouth. Also, as you eat the yeast-free slices, they feel heavy in your stomach – the yeast slices feel like you could go on eating forever! My dad tried a slice and actually liked the yeast-free pizza a lot, but I think for my money, if I had the option, I would stick with a yeast leavened dough. Now please enjoy some photographic samples of a yeast-free pizza.

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The Number One (#1) Secret Ingredient in Pizza Dough – You May Not Like The Answer

For a long time, I was an impatient pizza chef. After all, a recipe that required almost a week to prepare sounded ludicrous! Who could plan their eating habits that far in advance, I wondered? Well my friends, you and I have to become those exact people if we are ever to reach our lofty pizzaiolo goals. Time, after all, is the number one secret ingredient in pizza dough.

There is no one bigger ingredient in a dough recipe that will affect the flavor and depth of your dough. Brand of flour, oil or no, salt or no… all of these options are minuscule compared to the choice you make when you prepare a dough half  an hour before you bake it.

I have found this one rule to be true for almost all home pizza making: If the recipe calls for two hours of rise time in between mixing and baking, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. If the recipe calls for twelve hours of rise time, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. A long, slow, cold rise time will do wonderful things to your dough. In fact, about a day or so into the rise, pull the dough and and punch it down – then place it back in the fridge of course. This will further develop the flavor and texture (not to mention redistribute the bubbles which have formed in your dough).

So there you have it. I know, it’s kind of a bummer. As you read this article, the spark went off in your head “How about pizza tonight!” But what you need to retrain yourself to think is this, “How about pizza five days from now??”

It’s time to start paying attention to time, the secret ingredient in all pizza dough.

Jim Lahey’s Pizza Bianca – A Great Low Calorie “Pizza”

This is a great, simple, and super tasty recipe you can make with your dough when you don’t feel like all the cheese and sauce, etc. For the original article from Smitten Kitchen, click here.

Enjoy!

jim lahey's pizza bianca

Much to most New Yorkers’ aggravation, television screens were added the backseat of most taxicabs last year, effectively poisoning the one place left in the city not already inundated with a constant media blitz. Whenever I get in one, and yes, the television is always on, I immediately hit mute, but then find that I’m watching the images broadcast on the back of the front seat and not this gorgeous city whizzing by and then usually force myself to turn it off completely and restore my view to the window, frustrated that the choice has to be so complicated. I don’t like them one bit.

n'th picture of pizza dough

But. There was this one time, I think I was zipping out to Jocelyn’s this past winter and I still remember exactly what street the cab was on–Houston–when I had to drop everything and turn the volume up because what I saw before me was too awesome to resist: Jim Lahey making Pizza Bianca for a Time Out New York segment. And hoo boy, did I ever fall hard for it.

rolling out dough

A little background: Jim Lahey’s name may be familiar because he’s the guy who teamed up with Mark Bittman of the New York Times in November 2005 to show him the No Knead Bread-Making Technique Heard Around the Internet. In New York, he’s famous for his work at Sullivan Street Bakery and in my tiny corner of this city, he’s famous for teasing us for months about opening a pizza place so close to our apartment, I feel certain he’ll be cooking me dinner several nights a week, which is still plywooded despite a promised mid-December opening date not that I’m counting the days, minutes, seconds or anything.

lots of olive oil

Back to that day in the cab, the video–followed by another of Patsy Grimaldi, making the pizza that made both his first and last name famous–it was hard for me not to press my nose against the screen and I spent the next two months hoping against hope that I would find myself in a cab playing this video again. When this finally happened–an otherwise horrible morning when I was running so late for work, I had no other choice but to throw money at the problem–I was consumed with such joy, it was hard not to jump up and down in the backseat. The funniest part was that it was only then that I realized how remarkably simple it was, but it didn’t stop me from trying to hunt down a recipe as soon as I got home, which brought me to Martha Stewart’s site, and yes, I am totally jealous that he has made that pizza for her and not for the girl who has been trying to sneak peeks at his next effort through plyboard cracks for one-hundred-and-eighty days.

jim lahey's pizza bianca

Nevertheless, after gasping breathlessly over this schacciata, as they say it in Italy, for several paragraphs you may be confused as to the fact that it’s just pizza dough with olive oil and rosemary but there is no “just” about it. Finished with a little sea salt, I’m in love with the complexity behind its simplicity. We slice it into odd shapes and eat it with a big mixed greens salad, proscuitto, cheese and toasted marcona almonds on nights when we want a low-fuss dinner. One time–shh, don’t tell anyone–I made it with a pizza dough from a local place when it was too late after the gym to make our own and it was nearly as awesome. I’ve decided I’d rather bring this out, even with a pre-made pizza dough, than any baguette or bread next time we have people over. It doesn’t hurt that it makes the apartment smell like heaven.

jim lahey's pizza bianca

Thank you: So much for all of the suggestions for Prague and Vienna, as well as those of you who volunteered your WordPress services. We’ll be in touch!

One year ago: Tequila Lime Chicken

Jim Lahey’s Pizza Bianca
Sullivan Street Bakery via a TONY taxicab video via MarthaStewart.com but not really, because it turned out that recipe was all wrong. This is correct.

Makes two long pizzas

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary

1. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer, and slowly add 1 cup cold water. Mix on low speed until ingredients begin to combine, increase speed to medium-high, and continue to mix for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, and cleanly pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

2. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and allow to rest for 2 to 4 hours until it has doubled in size. Split the dough into halves, and form each into a log. Place each log on a generously floured surface, and allow it to rest until the formed dough doubles in size again, at least 1 hour.

3. Put dough on a lightly floured baker’s peel. Dimple dough by pressing it down with your fingertips. Work the dough outward toward the edges of the peel until you reach your desired size and thickness, about 1/4 inch. [Or in our case, realize that I forgot to do this, and instead rolled it out!] Drizzle with remaining olive oil, rosemary and sprinkle with remaining salt.

4. Place a baking stone, sometimes known as a pizza stone, in the oven. Set oven to broil, about 520 degrees. Slide pizza onto baking stone with the baker’s peel. Bake until the bubbles range from golden to deep brown in color, 10 to 12 minutes. [Great trick if you don’t have a peel: Use the back of a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.]