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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pizza Night

Last night, we made pizza. Yummy! The optional crust add-ins are essential to improve flavor if you have a "ew, not whole wheat again!" in your family. They add interest and take the focus away from the flour grain.

4 cups whole white wheat flour
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
2 Tbs honey or agave
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs active dry yeast + 1/2 cup warm water + drizzle of honey/agave

Optional Add-ins: 1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese + 1 Tbs dried basil + 2 tsp kosher salt.

Combine flour, vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 Tbs honey and olive oil in a large bowl. I prefer the wooden spoon to incorporate then hands to combine method. Work into a nice dough ball, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 25 turns. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rest on the counter at room temperature for 24 hours (preferred).

Before baking, activate yeast by combining it with the 1/2 cup warm water (95-105F) and a drizzle of honey or agave. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast becomes frothy and bubbly. Make an indention in your dough and pour yeast in... combine thoroughly (I prefer to use my hands). Then add in your cheese, salt and seasonings. Mix well. Allow dough to rest for 20 minutes or so then separate into two portions.

We use hand stretching vs. rolling for each crust. I pick up one portion of dough and start stretching into a circular shape. Then we turn, pull, turn, pull... also allow gravity to to help with the shaping.

Place dough onto stone, top and bake at 500F for about 15 minutes. I bake both pizzas at once since I have two stones. I switch the pizza's half way through bake time so one doesn't overcook on the bottom.

These pizza's were topped with yummy red sauce, grated cheese, ground beef and sliced mushrooms.

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