Episode 120: Pizza

This week’s show is about pizza. Most people don’t think about making pizza from scratch on a weeknight but I have come up with a 6 minute crust (I mean it takes just 6 minutes to make in a food processor, starting from the moment you measure the ingredients) so there is no excuse anymore. The food processor does it all for you. While the dough is rising you can prep the ingredients.

Recipes

  • Food Processor Pizza
    Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, page 29
  • Middle Eastern Pizza
    Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, page 188
    Recommended side dishes: Stewed Green Beans with Tomato and Mint, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, page 238 or a large tossed green salad
    Recommended Wine Pairing: Merlot or Pinot Noir
  • Grilled Southwestern Pizza
    Sara’ Moulton Cooks at Home, page 204
    Recommended side dish: Caesar Salad
    Recommended Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • Tips

    To tell when the dough has doubled and is ready to shape, poke your finger into it. If the indentation remains, it is ready.

    Yeast doughs have the tendency to spring right back when you roll them out on a floured board, so oil your board instead and the dough will stick to it and keep the shape want yet be easy to lift off the board when you want to move it.

    To make the crust crispier, I like to bake pizza dough with no topping for 5 minutes at 500 F, then pull it out of the oven, add the topping, and finish baking it.

    You can make my pizzas with frozen dough but many require rising time in addition to their thawing time and may end up taking longer than making my Food Processor Pizza Dough.

    To make chopping easier, stand peppers and tomatoes on end and slice off the skin and outer flesh leaving the seedy center portion behind.

    Tools

    If you make a lot of pizza at home, you might want to invest in a pizza stone for the bottom of your oven. To get a crisp, brick-oven-like crust, just preheat the stone, slide the unbaked pizza onto it and bake it until the bottom is well browned. Pizza stones are available wherever gourmet kitchenwares are sold.

    If you love grilled foods but don’t always want to heat up an outdoor grill, I recommend a cast iron grill pan that fits right over the burner on your stove. They come in one burner and two burner versions and are available in housewares and often hardware stores as well as on line.

    Ingredients

    Quick rising yeast uses a different variety of yeast that doesn’t need to be dissolved in a liquid before it is added to the dry ingredients. You mix it right in with the flour, add hot (not the usual warm) water, and it rises in about half the time required for regular active dry yeast.

    Although I use kosher salt in almost everything I cook, I always keep some table salt on hand for baking because it mixes with the other ingredients better and dissolves faster.