- As authentic as you can be in your own kitchen!
- S. Chokel
Serves/Makes:1 13-inch pizza crust
- 3/4 tsp (4 ml) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (225 ml) all-purpose flour, plus some for the kneading/rolling board
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) very hot water
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt, sea salt best if you have it
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) fruity olive oil, plus more for pan and baking
- Cornmeal for baking pan
- Optional: 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely snipped fresh herb leaves
- In a food processor, pulse the yeast and 1/2 cup (125 ml) flour briefly to mix, then add the water and process 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl, add the remaining flour, and process 1 minute. (The dough will be sticky).
- Lighly oil a 1 quart (950 ml) sized glass bowl, add the dough and roll it to cover in oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a 70 degree (20 C.) environment for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured board a dozen or so times, pat it to 1/4-inch thick and dimple it with your fingertips.
- Sprinkle the salt and any herbs you choose to use onto the dough disk.
- Fold the dough in thirds one way, brushing off excess flour, then repeat, folding the other way.
- Knead 2 to 3 minutes until the herb is evenly distributed and the dough is silky. Oil the quart size bowl again and add the dough, oiling it, then let it rise until it's topping the bowl, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch it down and do not knead it again.
- About 30 to 40 minutes before baking the pizza, place the oven rack on the lowest position in the oven at 500 degrees (250 C.). Have a stone or pan ready. If you use tin foil, oil the shiny side and use it.
- To shape the pizza dough, on a floured surface, pat and roll and VERY gently pull the dough to make a round a scant 14-inches wide. This is rustic pizza, so don't worry if the form isn't even. Fold over th edge of make a rim no more that 1/4-inch thick.
- Sprinkle corn meal on the bottom of the stone or pan and lift the dough onto the stone or pan and coax it to make it about 13 inches wide. Lightly dimple the dough again.
- At this point, it is ready to accept all your fillings, sauces, and cheeses.
- The dough doesn't need to rise again, but a 10 to 15 minute puffing is fine.
- You can do an oil and garlic or marinara sauce, lay any toppings you like, and as much cheese as you like. The dough will work like a charm for your creative ideas!