Unfortunately, I don't have boatloads of time to make it. And though I'm not A.D.D., I am a geek and really hate waiting around for things like "proofing". So, I went on a quest to make great pizza but not spend more than 15 minutes at a time doing any one step.
This ible is all about saving time, but still making pizza worthy of a full bore Pizzeria like Regino's (Norfolk, VA) used to be. Oh, and if you're a dough purist, stop now. I'm about to suggest using a bread machine ::shudder:: for making the dough and freezing it!!! (the dough, not the bread machine)
Anyhow, this ible will take you a total of about 30 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time but spaced over a day... ish. So what are the steps and how long for each?
Making the dough starter (5-10 mins.)
Making the dough (5-10 mins.)
Wrapping the dough to freeze (5-10 mins.)
Thawing the dough (30 secs. - 5 mins.)
Day 1 or Day N
Making the 'Zaa (10-15 mins.)
Cooking the 'Zaa (10 mins.)
It may look like a lot of steps, but it goes really fast. I make the dough one day, freeze it, and make the pizza some other day. The routine at our house is to make the dough on a Thursday, but make the pizzas on Sunday and Monday night for dinner. Heck, I've even gone so far as to make enough dough for 5 pizzas over several days and served pizza to 4 adults, 6 teens and a toddler in one night.
Use a bread machine to make the dough.
Use a parchment paper to cook the pizza on even if you use a pan and not a stone.
Use a baking stone or tiles if you have them.
Preheat your oven with the baking stone in it to 500F for 30 mins.
Use a pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet to remove the pizza from the baking stone.
Use the best ingredients you can. I prefer organic when I can get them because of flavor and handling in the recipe.
Step 1: The dough
The dough is really the core of the pizza. Bad dough = bad pizza, right? So, I worked for a national Dine In/To Go/Delivery pizza joint one summer and learned how to make pizzas really fast, but not so good. They tasted just like they came from a national Dine In/To Go/Delivery pizza joint. Eh. Why bother making that one at home?
How do you make good rustic Italian dough using a bread machine? I'm glad you asked. This is a two part process involving the starter (5-10 mins) and the dough (5-10 mins).
The Starter: (5-10 mins)
1 1/2 C. water
2 C. All Purpose Bread flour
1/4 tsp yeast.
Put this in the bread machine and start on the dough cycle. Let it sit for 3 - 9 hours before the next step. It's best the longer you let it sit.
The Dough: (5-10 mins)
Using the well proofed Starter in the bread machine, add:
1/2 C. water
2 C. All Purpose Flour (or 1 C. All Purpose Flour & 1C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast.
Start up the bread machine on the dough cycle again. This time, it's very important to listen to the beep when it's done. It will attempt to take over the bread machine, then the counter and the kitchen if left too long.
Wrapping it up.
If you don't want to make pizza immediately, freeze the dough. This makes about 2 lbs of dough which is plenty for two fairly substantial 15 inch pizzas. But, you need to wrap it up and freeze it. Get out a large cookie sheet (or a clean counter) and dust it with flour. Turn out the dough and lightly cover the outside with the flour. Divide it in half and wrap in plastic wrap to freeze it. Make sure the dough is completely covered by the plastic wrap or the exposed portion may freezer burn.
Oh yeah, fair warning, this makes an intentionally sticky dough. Dust it liberally with flour.