My husband Mike is a pizza nut, in fact, he would prefer cold pizza for breakfast over just about anything else! Thus, my hunt for a good crust recipe. We were watching TV recently, and we landed on the cooking channel and a show called Extra Virgin starring Debi Mazur and her Tuscan husband Gabriele Corcos. Together they make lots of authentic, wonderful Tuscan recipes.
On this episode, they were making pizza from the recipe Gabriele learned from his father in Italy. Mike, being Italian too, was eager to give it a try so off to the supermarket we went for bread flour, yeast, fresh basil, Italian sausage, mushrooms and cheese.
This crust is exactly what we hoped for! It’s thinner and crispier than you might be used too, but it’s actually much more authentic. In Italy, they don’t use nearly as much cheese or those thick and bready crusts like we do in America. It’s actually lighter and crisper and really allows the toppings to shine. And, that’s just what we were looking for!
So, here goes. Mangia!
Mix yeast, water and 1/2 cup of flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let it rest 30 minutes. It will bubble up and look like foamy beer.
In an electric mixer, add cold water, olive oil and 3 3/4 cups of flour in increments. Let the dough rise for 2 hours. Now, punch dough down. It makes a poofy sound when you do this as it lets out air. Let rise another hour.
This one has Italian sausage, fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh garlic and mozzarella.
This will be a Margherita pizza with fresh basil and mozzarella.
Grate some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
Homemade Margherita Pizza. How gorgeous is that?
Homemade Pizza Dough
From the recipe by Gabriele Corcos – 4 individual pizzas
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water, between 105 and 115 degrees
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for bowl
Homemade Pizza Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
- Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.
- Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.
- Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal disks. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands (and a rolling pin, if you prefer) stretch the disks out to a 10-inch round.
- Repeat with the remaining 3 pizza dough disks.
Thin Crust Pizza
- 1 (28 ounce) can of Italian tomatoes
- salt to taste
- 1 recipe pizza dough divided into 4 balls, at room temperature
- 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
- Toppings of your choice
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Cornmeal for dusting your pizza peel
- Preheat your oven to 500. If you have a Pizza Stone put it in the oven now and let it heat for an hour. This will make your crust crisp and golden brown.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on your Pizza Peel (that big wooden paddle -like thing they use in pizza restaurants) and stretch your dough to a ten inch round. Place on peel.
- Put tomatoes in your food processor and process till smooth. Season to taste with salt.
- Spread sauce to within an inch of the edge of the dough. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the mozzarella.
- Add any other toppings you like.
- Gently move the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone.
- Cook from 8 – 10 minutes in your hot oven. Pizza should be golden and crispy.
- Using your peel, gently slide it under the cooked pizza and carefully remove from the oven.
- Slice and serve hot sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese.
- This recipe makes 4 ten inch, thin crust pizzas.
- Make sure you use bread flour for this recipe. All purpose flour just won’t cut it. Bread flour has more protein than regular flour which is essential when using yeast. I use this one: King Arthur, Unbleached Bread Flour
- Use anything you like for toppings. We used crumbled cooked Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, grilled eggplant (not shown), fresh chopped garlic, whole basil leaves and lots of cheese.
- You could do an all white pizza with ricotta and mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheese.
- Use sliced onions, diced green pepper, pepperoni, anchovies, black olives, Pesto, or anything you like!
- We like to have friends over when we make pizza and we can each make our own. Kids love that too!
Sprinkled with oregano and crushed red pepper. Divine!
How do you like your pizza?