February 24, 2007
Here I combine two of my favorite activities: photography and making pizza. I bet you can guess the ending. My visual story is a bit obvious, but yummy.
- 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour (King Arthur)
- 1⅔ cups of warm water
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until the dough begins to form into a sticky ball. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Continue to knead until the dough is velvety smooth, adding flour when necessary, about 20 minutes. “Wetter” dough seems to yield better results. Put the ball of dough in a greased bowl, and put the bowl on the top rack of your oven. Pour about 4 cups of boiling water into a glass pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Let the dough rise for about an hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop, and form into a ball. Divide into four pieces (or fewer if you desire thicker crust or larger pizzas). Form each piece into a smooth ball, oil lightly, and place in a covered bowl. I like to keep at least two balls in the fridge for up to a week. They get a bit sour and even better after a few days.
The balls should rise in the fridge for at least 24 hours. For the impatient, you can leave one ball out (covered) to rise for immediate use. Press out into rounds; I like a French rolling pin for even, thin crust. Cover with your favorite toppings; I find the less I use the better the ‘za.
I bake with a stone: you should put your oven on its highest setting for at least a half hour (my oven goes to 550°). Baking time varies on oven temperature, about 8-10 minutes.
Note that you cannot use the same amount of table salt as a replacement for the sea salt above—sea salt is much less dense.