My pizza oven project came to fruition over the last year. For those who haven’t seen me carrying on about it on FB, I’ve built a wood-fired oven in my backyard as an addition to my outdoor kitchen. I’ve spent a few months now perfecting my dough and though it would be fun to share the results with you. And who doesn’t love a pizza party? My apologies! I've been up slacking big-time with my blog posts since I've been so busy making pizza. I'm back in the saddle and have pie-making tips to share.
No matter where you plan to cook you pie(s), a great crust is essential. I like one that is chewy, flavourful, pretty thin and gets those lovely big air bubbles. The following recipe is what I’ve come to like best. You can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days, making it even more versatile. I prefer it after it has proofed in the 'fridge for at least a day. I also normally don't use much sugar when I cook, but I like it here. Not only does it really get the yeast active and bubbly, but it creates a nicely browned crust.
4 cups flour (I’ve used both a “OO” Pizza flour and all-purpose- both work)
2 cups warm water
2 t active, dry yeast
2 T sea salt (using a smoked salt is also tasty)
2 T granulated sugar
Combine in a large bowl, or stand mixer. Mix until the dough forms and knead for 8 minutes- if kneading by hand, in the bowl or on the counter is fine. The dough should have “picked up” all the flour and the bowl should be clean. Your dough should be pretty firm and smooth.
Drizzle a little oil (I like olive) in your bowl and place dough ball in to rise for about an hour.
At this point, divide into portions ( I can get 8, 10’ pies from this recipe) and on a floured surface, begin to tap out the dough with your finger tips.
Place the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and top as desired. Bake in a preheated (500 degrees) on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.
I like to have dough set out and ingredients so that everyone can make their own pie. Of course, taking turns means that you have to man the oven for a bit, but it is a fun party and always a hit.
Great combos that I love include:
This is a great party to host on football nights with a few beers or a good bottle of red wine.
Elizabeth Morse cooks professionally, is an Advanced Master Gardener and lover of all things local.