What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Impressive Pizza Crust! When it comes to making homemade pizza, two factors are critical to taste: Crust and Sauce. (We’ll address pizza sauce another day.) It becomes personal whether you prefer a thin and crispy crust or a deep dish pizza pie. Fortunately, my husband and I are partial to a thin crust. Choosing your “method of madness” takes practice as well. Experts recommend kneading the dough and getting pretty rough to develop the gluten. Others use a bread machine for maximum results. I found my food processor passed the test with this impressive crust. Later on, I may try another.
IMPRESSIVE PIZZA CRUST
2 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for work surface
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
Cornmeal for pizza pan
In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube. Process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Then add olive oil and salt to dough. Process until dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, 30-60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on a lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
After 24 hours divide the dough into 2 equal portions. (Wrap one tightly with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for later use if you are only making one pizza pie at this time.) Shape dough on lightly oiled baking sheet; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let stand one hour. Preheat the oven to 425°. Then coat the ball of dough with flour and place on a well-floured countertop. Knead and stretch the dough without breaking. Spread olive oil lightly to grease pizza pan. Sprinkle corn meal over the olive oil forming a thin even layer. This keeps the crust from getting soggy and adds a nice crunch to the texture of the crust. Transfer dough to pizza pan. Using fingertips, gently flatten and stretch as you go, until it reaches the edges. Press down around the edges of the pan to create a border, which will keep the sauce and toppings from seeping while baking. Place in oven and bake crust for 10 minutes without toppings. Remove and add pizza sauce plus desired ingredients. Reduce oven heat to 400° and bake an additional 20 minutes until crust is crispy and toppings bubbly.