As mentioned before, the dough needs to rise for about an hour. What I had not mentioned is that I take the bowl out of the oven and set on the counter after 30 minutes. Because at this point I place my baking stone on the middle rack and turn up the oven to 500 degrees. And to ensure the best baking conditions, once the temp as been reached, let the stone heat up for at least 20 minutes at this temp before cooking your pizza. Oh and you might want to turn off your smoke detector... ours seems to go off and the neighbors think we are on fire!
I first prep whatever toppings we happen to want that day....
While someday I will want to experiment with pizza sauce, I usually just buy a jar - this one from Trader Joe's is pretty good
Next, prep your pizza paddle by placing a couple tablespoons of corn meal on it (this helps the dough slide on the stone without getting stuck)
Take half the dough from the last post and place on a floured board
Start working with hands to make it into a circle - do not use a rolling pin... it's ok if it is not shaped exactly.
Notice below the small pockets of bubbles... this give the crust a nice texture. Also try to make the center thinner and the outer edge a little thicker - this will make a nice "crusty" crust
Before adding the toppings you will need to move the dough to the paddle
Start with the sauce
Add toppings and cheese (I use a fresh type mozzarella)
I give my paddle a little shake at this point to make sure it will slide off onto the stone ok. Then slide on the hot stone.
I bake for about 12-13 minutes until it looks like below - melted cheese, browned crust.
Notice how nice the outer crust is and you will have to take my word - it is the best crust ever!
I also love "dough" bubbles
The key to a good dough is below - you want air bubbles to give it a nice texture.
I hope you enjoyed Pizza Making 101! What toppings would you like? The DIY guys loves anchovies but I won't do those :-)
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