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February 10, 2007


Pizza, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups lukewarm warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.

2. Mix on medium speed until the dough forms a shaggy mass.

3. Press into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

4. Invert the dough onto a floured board and knead. Periodically pick up the dough and smack it down onto the board as hard as you can. This is the most fun and therapeutic stage of the process. It also develops gluten. Mmm. Gluten. Don't stop kneading until you see a qualitative change in the consistency dough. It will go from stiff and dry to smooth and stretchy. You'll know when this happens. it should take at least 5 minutes, give or take, depending on the efficiency of your kneading technique.

5. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Drape the pieces with plastic wrap. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a tight ball. Then, roll the ball up on itself like a carpet. Turn the cylinder 90 degrees and roll it up on itself again. Turn another 90 degrees and roll again. Squeeze back into a tight ball and set on a floured tray at room temperature. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

6. Let sit at room temperature until swollen and puffy. This should take about two hours.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or hotter. You will have to experiment. If you have a pizza stone, now would be a good time to use it. If you don't have a pizza stone, put a rimless cookie sheet in the oven to heat up.

8. Get your toppings ready.

9. Sprinkle a wooden pizza peel or another rimless cookie sheet with cornmeal.

10. Stretch your ball of dough out to the desired thickness. Place on the pizza peel and sprinkle lightly with toppings. Transfer immediately to the pizza stone or hot cookie sheet.

11. Cook the pizza until it seems done. Again, you will have to experiment. The dough should bubble up and start to char just slightly in the thinnest places.

12. Transfer to a cutting board, slice, and serve.


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My favorite recipe:

1) pick up the phone

2) order pizza

3) wait for the guy (this should take between 30 minutes and an hour)

4) when the buzzer buzzes, it's ready

5) go downstairs

6) pay the guy

7) return upstairs.

et voila!

I replace steps 1-6 with "Buy pre-made dough from Trader Joe's."

Tres formidable!

Adding about 1/3 corn flour to the dough sure makes great tasting pizzas. I'm a vegan who loves great vegan cooking, some brands of soy cheese and other items sure make great tasting pizzas.

Very nice. I use some oil in my crust, usually the garlic-chili oil from one of the Wolfgang Puck cookbooks. I'll have to try one without any.

Pizza stones are overpriced, and every one I ever bought cracked within a couple of months. A box of unglazed quarry tile is about $12 at Home Depot, and it should be enough to replace the tiles in the oven when they get all nasty (about every six months, for me) for the next several years.

An overnight rise in the fridge produces a much tastier crust. We did the Pepsi Challenge with the standard Puck crust (risen for a couple of hours) versus one risen overnight ala Alton Brown, and the overnight crust had a much more complex flavor. Now if only I could ever decide that I want pizza the night before...

Now all I need a non-crappy kitchen and either my own place or an apartment I share with people who don't have an annoying tendency to sleep at night.

Still, thanks for the recipe.

Looks great, sounds great, and I'll bet it tastes great...and I look forward to trying it myself sometime...but I must say, dan's got a point. 8^)

For those who live and/or work in the westerly reaches of midtown Manhattan: John & Tony's West, 547 9th Ave, right here in beautiful Hell's Kitchen. We just ordered in from them last night. True NYC pizza, thin crispy crust and everything. Bliss. Nice guys, too.

13. Eat with fingers.

Where did you get those proportions of flour, water, and yeast? That looks like a really really stiff dough that doesn't rise very much, to my eye.

When I make pizza, I use my standard sourdough bread dough recipe and stretch the pieces of dough real thin prior to topping.

And parchment paper works wonders, much better than cornmeal.

Oops, that should be 1 1/2 cups of water! The pizza shown here used the 1 1/2 cup water to 3 1/2 cup flour ratio.

The dough looks really dry when you first mix it together, but if you let it autolyse for 15 minutes after your first mixing, the transformation is incredible. The dough is soft and stretchy and not sticky at all.

Throughout my baking life, I've struggled with sticky pizza dough. With this recipe, I find I don't even need the cornmeal to prevent sticking. I use it because I like the taste and texture.

I adapted this recipe from "Artisan Baking Across America." It was the pizza dough recipe used at Gemelli in the WTC. I added the sugar and decreased the recommended heat to get a more attractively browned crust in my sad-ass commercial oven. The original recipe doesn't call for cornmeal, but I added it because I like it.

I also drizzle oil on the crust as a "topping" before baking.

Lindsay, do you deliver?

Just tried this crust for myself. Delicious! Just the sort of crust I like--yeasty and chewy, despite what I thought was a very small amount of yeast.

I always cook pizza as hot as the oven will go. I'm doing well to get my current oven up to 550, which does OK. My oven at my last house (an old crappy gas oven in that late 70s Harvest Gold color) could bury the needle on a 600 degree oven thermometer. I really miss it.

You have to get the crust rolled out pretty thin to do it that way, though, or it stays gooey on the inside (a cardinal sin, IMO).

That's a nice looking pie! I'd also recommend using cold water and letting the dough sit over night, or even several days, in the fridge. Cast iron pans work really well for pizza baking, as well as reheating leftovers on the stovetop, and it's not going to break like a stone.

"Then, roll the ball up on itself like a carpet."


I can roll a ball, and I can roll a carpet but I can not roll a ball like I roll a carpet.

I know it sounds strange, but it is possible. The idea is to shape the ball into a cylinder without tearing it. The dough is stretchy enough that you can do this without flattening the ball out first.

To make a really great pizza at home try this

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