...Thin Crust Pizza

About a year ago, I bought a pizza stone for about $10 at Benix.  Since then, the pizza stone has proven to be invaluable, producing the best tasting pizzas I've ever had.  My favourite kind of pizza has a thin crispy crust and fresh toppings.  The pizza dough can be made in advance and formed into several discs and stored in the freezer for future use. When you have the dough ready in the freezer, dinner can be as quick as 15 minutes.  This is how we make it...

Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life
Pizza Dough (from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home", our favourite Jamie Oliver cookbook, slightly modified for simplicity sake)

-7 cups white bread flour
-1 tbsp salt
-2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
-1 tbsp sugar
-4 tbsp olive oil
-2.5 cups lukewarm water

You can use anything and as much as you want, I like minimal tomato sauce so the crust doesn't get soggy.  In the pictures seen here, we used tomato paste, caramelized onions, browned mushrooms, mozzarella, sage and of course, salt and pepper to taste.


1.  Mix yeast, sugar, and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes.

2.  Onto a clean surface, make a well using the flour and salt.  Pour wet mixture above into the center of the well.  Gradually mix the flour and salt with the wet ingredients.  (We opted to use a stand mixer and a dough hook).

3.  Once the wet ingredients have been incorporated, knead the dough until it is springy and smooth.

4.  Place the ball of dough in a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth.  Place it in a warm room for about an hour until the dough is doubled in size.

5.  After an hour, knead the dough on a floured surface to remove the air.  Then divide up your dough into separate discs or balls.  We prefer to make medium sized pizzas (approx. 9" across) so we can each have our own pizza.  We divide the dough into 8 balls. If you prefer larger family style pizzas, make 5-6 balls.  Wrap the balls you are not using in plastic and place in the freezer for future use.

6.  At this point, it's a good idea to have your oven (with pizza stone inside) pre-heated at 450 F and your toppings ready to go.  This ensures your dough stays fresh and doesn't shrink after you've rolled it out.

7.  Roll out a ball or disc of dough to about a 1/4 inch thick.  Add your toppings and place them into the oven.  Use a pizza peel or if you are too lazy to get one like us, put your rolled out dough onto the back of a floured roasting pan.  Once your toppings are set, you can slide the pizza onto the stone the same way as a pizza peel.

8.  If your oven is already pre-heated, your pizza should be ready in under 10 minutes.  When the edges of the crust are golden brown, its time to take it out.



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