Sunday, May 9, 2010
Pizza Crust - adapted from Julia Child Pita Recipe
• 1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
• 1 1/2 cups tepid water
• 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
• ¾ cup cake flour
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir the yeast and ½ cup water together in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon and stirring in one direction, stir in the flour and water about a cup at a time ; then stir 100 times or until the mixture look smooth and silky. This is the sponge and it needs to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes, although it is best if it can rest for as long as 8 hours in a cool place, a rest that will give fuller flavor. Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and then stir in the olive oil, mixing well, again stirring in the same direction. Add the flour about a cup at a time, mixing until the dough is too stiff to stir with a spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it mixing until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be moderately firm and have a slight sheen. Clean the mixing bowl, dry it, and coat it lightly with oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turn the dough around to oil its surface, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours or so, or until it doubles in bulk. Turn the dough onto the work surface.. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and, with lightly floured cupped hands, form the pieces into tight balls; keep the balls under plastic as you work on the other.
On a well-floured surface, flatten the dough with you fingertips and then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle less than 1/4-inch thick. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover the dough with desired toppings and bake until edges are brown.