Friday, January 30, 2009

Pizza and the Joy of Dining with Grown Children

My Beloved has two delightful daughters, one who lives in Boston with her handsome husband and our granddaughter, the so-adorable Mia, and one who had the superior sense to stay locally in the Bay are where we can sometimes hook up for a meal and a visit, as we did last weekend.

Katie and her squeeze, Adam, who used to manage a pizza parlor, made cornmeal crust pizzas for us that were out of this world. We had three to choose from so I had a slice of each - luckily, these were 8" pizzas so my gluttony was somewhat contained.

The first had a combination of homemade tomato sauce, goat cheese, basil and asparagus - an inspired choice. Next, I sampled the fresh mushroom pizza, also with a layer of the tomato sauce. The third was a traditional melding of mozzarella and tomato.

By the end of the evening, I was soliciting the recipe for the cornmeal crust from Adam and he kindly emailed it to me the next day. I'm including it here along with his warning that he does it by memory so the measurements may be a little approximate. It's worth the risk - go for it!

Corn Meal Pizza Dough, compliments of Adam

1) Start with 2 packs of fast acting Fleishman's yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Put a tablespoon of sugar in the water and add the yeast and stir. Let this sit until a foam develops on the top.

2) In another bowl add roughly 2 cups flour and 1/4 cup coarse ground corn meal.

3) When the foam develops on the yeast water pour it into the flour and cornmeal mix along with 1 tablespoon olive oil

4) Mix this up and it should be a wet mix

5) Throw some flour out onto the counter to prevent the dough from sticking and dump your bowl out on to the flour

6) Knead the dough, mixing thoroughly and adding water and flour as needed
If the dough starts to break jaggedly, you have too much cornmeal in it and need to add some more flour; if the dough sticks to your hands you need to add some more flour; if the dough is tough add more water.

7) Separate the dough into 1 or 2 balls depending on what size pizza you want to make. Generally speaking a dough ball unrisen 2" in diameter will make a pizza crust about 6".

8) Let the dough sit somewhere warm for about 20 minutes with a damp towel over it.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

9) Once the dough has risen begin your crust; the cornmeal makes it a little harder to work than a normal flour dough so spread it out by your fingertips rather than tossing it. .First form the crust edge and then slowly work towards the middle working the dough to an even shape and thickness.

10) Spread a little olive oil on some foil and sprinkle with cornmeal.

11) Put the pizza dough on top of the oiled foil and then add sauce and toppings. Olive oil on the crust will help it retain more moisture and crisp the edges.

12) Put the foil right onto the oven rack. Depending on the toppings it will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes for a 6" diameter pizza, 20-25 for a 12". Check the center of the pizza first to see if the crust has crisped yet; that's what will take the longest.



Blogger Greg said...

Homemade pizza is the best. I ordered a medium delivery pizza with two toppings and it cost $22!

Friday, January 30, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Home made pizza - once you've tried it you can never go back to the shop stuff! Afterall, only you know exactly how you like your pizza.

Friday, January 30, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

OMG, you're a foodie family! How wonderful.

Friday, January 30, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, I hadn't thought of that angle, but you're right!

Morgan, I find that I'm lazy enough to order in some days, even knowing that it's not going to be exactly as I like it...

Cookiecrumb, I think it's in the air around here - everyone's a foodie!

Sunday, February 01, 2009  

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