|Put the yeast into a small bowl. Add the honey or sugar to feed the yeast (you can cut down the amount of sweetener or leave it out entirely if you choose) and the warm water (about 110F or baby-bottle warm). If the water is too cool, it will take the yeast longer to proof. If it's too hot (140F or above), you'll kill the yeast. Yeast is a living thing, so treat it with a little TLC!|
Let the yeast mixture sit while measuring out the flours.
|Measure the flours into a large bowl and add the salt.|
|This is how I measure my flour. I put a piece of wax paper down on the counter, and scoop the flour out of the storage jar with a spoon. Fill the measuring cup (use a measuring cup made for dry ingredients) with spoonfuls of flour until it's mounded up. Don't pack it in there.|
|Level the top of the flour off with a knife or straight edge. Again, don't pack it down. Dump the measured flour into the large mixing bowl. Since I'm using a lot of different types of flour, after each measurement, I pick up the wax paper, bend it in half to make a funnel, and tap the excess flour back into the storage jar.|
|I'm done measuring the flour, I've added the salt to the flour, and my yeast has "proofed". It should be nice and foamy. That means the yeast is alive and well, and ready to do its thing.|
|Add the olive oil and give the yeast mixture a stir.|
|Add the yeast mixture to the bowl of flour.|
|Mix well with a spoon.|
|Dump the dough out onto a floured board. Now we're going to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You can also use a stand mixer or a bread machine. I don't have either one, so I have no idea how long you should mix the dough "mechanically".|
|Here's what the dough looks like after kneading for about five minutes. It's still a bit rough, and the gluten hasn't fully developed, so it doesn't feel very stretchy or elastic yet. It will still be sticky, but resist the temptation to add too much additional flour. I probably added less than 1/4 cup of extra all-purpose flour while kneading this batch.|
|After the full ten minutes of kneading, the surface is nice and smooth. It feels elastic, and it smells good! And remember, a "little sticky" is OK.|
|Let the dough rest on the board, and wash your mixing bowl. Grease the bowl with some olive oil (about a tablespoon or so), add the dough, and flip it over to coat both sides with oil.|
|Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I use a plastic shower cap I got from a hotel - works great!)|
|Put the bowl of dough in a warm place and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled. Hmmm, sorry about the blurry picture. I shouldn't attempt to hold a camera when I have olive oil on my hands.|
|Take your fist and punch down the dough. Take out your frustrations on your pizza dough.|
|Grab the dough and put it on a cutting board. I knead it very briefly just to get a rounder shape.|
|Divide it in half.|
|I take a pizza pan, put a piece of parchment paper on it, and sprinkle the paper with semolina. A completely unnecessary step, but I like semolina on the bottom crust. Don't worry if you don't have any. Just put the dough right on the parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, put the dough right on the pizza pan, but you might want to grease it first with some olive oil. Then put parchment paper on your shopping list. (Now, wait about 45 minutes for the 2nd rise)|
|After the 45 minutes, the dough is ready to shape. Pre-heat your cooking device to 450F (we use our gas grill as you'll see in a minute). Press the dough into shape using the pizza pan as a guide, and pre-bake the crust for about 5 minutes.|
Now we're ready for the sauce and the toppings. We use homemade marinara sauce, and the next time BarBQ Bill makes a batch, I'll write down the recipe 'cause it's really good stuff. For two pizzas, we use 3 cups of sauce.
|Looks like enough sauce on mine.|
|Here's where we begin to disagree on "how to build a pizza". I like the mushrooms and the pepperoni underneath the cheese (no, I'm not done putting cheese on it yet!) I like to brush my crust with olive oil and a dusting of garlic powder before baking.|
|BarBBQ Bill loves anchovies (none for me, thank you) and sliced hearts of palm. And mushrooms. And pepperoni. And string cheese. And provolone. It's a forty pound pizza by the time he's done.|
|Here's how we bake them on the grill. Underneath the pizza stone is a rectangular baking pan, which lifts the stone off the grill for better heat circulation and even browning (that's what we think, anyway). Pre-heat the grill and the stones for about 20 minutes (or until we're done building our pizzas). Slide the pizza off the pan, keeping it on the parchment paper, and close the lid. My pizza, being quite a bit less "topping heavy", will bake in 15 minutes.|
You don't really need any of this extra equipment. Pizzas bake quite well in the oven (we just haven't gotten around to fixing ours yet) on just a pizza pan, so don't let that discourage you from trying homemade pizza.
|After 15 minutes, voila! Mine's done. Another ten minutes for the monster pizza. I like my pizza about room temperature (too many mouth burns from hot cheese) so I don't mind waiting until his is done.|
|A total of 25 minutes and BarBBQ Bill's pizza is done. Let it rest for about 5 minutes, then slice and devour!|
And I love cold pizza for breakfast.