Monday, August 23, 2010

A Tale of a Party and a Pizza Stone

I would like to preface with an apology for the strange name of this post but I promise, I have a point.

So we had a big weekend. A few of us threw a little bash for my big brother and his fiancé on Saturday and I must say, it was a success. We had a great crowd and the happy couple left with some great loot!
Here are a few pictures of Chris and Jessica from the party.

So now on to topic numero dos. A pizza stone. Chris and Jessica received a pizza stone at the shower and of course I got on my soap box and stressed the importance of using it properly!

Tyler and I use ours EVERY time we cook a pizza. The key is to put it in the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes before you cook your pizza. This way the stone is hot enough to start cooking the bottom of the pizza the second you put it on the stone. If you are cooking a pizza from scratch you will only need to cook the pizza for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and your crust will be PERFECT!
A little tip: We build our pizza on parchment paper and then slide both the pizza and parchment paper on the stone. Less clean up and it's easy to maneuver.

Once we started making our own dough we decided that we could never go back to the store bought stuff! Here is our favorite pizza dough recipe from Annie's Eats (check out her post for more tips on freezing leftover dough)

Basic Pizza Dough
makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas or 4 calzones

 ½ cup warm water
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes (If you dont have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer or even just a good ole spoon, be sure to kneed on a floured surface until smooth and elastic). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.) Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands (I prefer a floured rolling pin). Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.

My friend Lindsay from A Pinch of Yum also has a post on pizza dough using beer so check it out!


1 comment:

  1. Lovely pictures, and thanks for the shout out! :) PS. I saw those bottles at IKEA yesterday. Tempting, especially since I had a very good idea of what to use them for!