Monday, March 23, 2009

Thin Crust Pizza Dough

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tbs olive oil

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Turn mixer on low and gradually add the water and olive oil until the dough comes together. Continue kneading on low for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean, lint-free, tea towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

To roll out the dough, punch down and divide into four equal balls. Place, one at a time, on a floured work surface and press down with your fingers, stretching it with your hands, until dough has doubled in width. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out until dough is 8 to 10-inches in diameter. Transfer to a hot pizza stone that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Top with your favourite ingredients. Bake at 400F until done. Repeat with remaining balls.

Topping Suggestions

Caesar Pizza (pictured)
Generously brush pizza dough with garlic-infused olive oil. Top with whole roasted garlic cloves, anchovies, capers and provolone cheese.

Pizza Margherita
Brush dough with garlic-infused olive oil. Top with thinly-sliced Roma tomatoes and sliced mozzarella. Bake, then drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with fresh basil.

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