A good pizza starts at the crust, one that has the right texture as well as flavor. But you don't have to be a baker to achieve the perfect pizza dough! Baker extraordinaire Cristina Valencia from Jordan Winery shows how to make the best pizza dough in this how-to video (get the recipe below). Top your fabulous pizza with mushrooms, a good triple-cream cheese such as Mt. Tam, crushed red pepper flakes, a drizzle of Jordan Winery’s high-quality olive oil, sea salt or a fine finishing salt, and pair it with a Russian River Chardonnay or an Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
1½ cups warm water (about 90-100°F)
1½ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
2 cups unbleached bread flour or Tipo 00 flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp kosher salt
Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
Cornmeal, to prevent sticking
Yeast works best at temperatures between 70°F and 80°F. Before you begin, take the temperature of your flours and determine the temperature your water should be to get into this range.
Combine water, yeast and honey into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Gently whisk to ensure the yeast begins to dissolve and does not remain at the bottom of the bowl. Add flour and mix on low speed for approximately 1 minute, until the ingredients mix together.
Remove bowl from mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes. After the dough has rested, remove plastic wrap, place bowl back on the mixer and add the salt. Mix the dough and salt on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes. The dough should be one smooth mass and not shiny, lumpy or sticky.
Using a dough or bowl scraper, transfer the dough to a bowl that has been lightly coated with vegetable spray. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area until doubled in size (approximately 30 minutes to an hour). Remove dough from bowl; knead by hand until smooth.
Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into four sections (approximately 6 ounces each). Shape each section into a ball.
Prepare a tray or pan with a thin layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking and place the dough balls on top. Allow enough room between the dough balls for each to double in size. Let rest for a minimum of 20 minutes before use. The dough can be reserved up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Preheat a gas grill to medium. Lightly brush grill with olive oil. (If using a wood-fired oven, let fire heat to 600-700 degrees.) Shape one dough ball into a thin disc using fingers, as demonstrated in our video. Dust pizza peel generously with cornmeal to prevent sticking and place disc on peel.
Slide dough on grill. Close the lid and grill until the bottom is firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the crust over; reduce heat slightly and add toppings of your choice. Close the lid and bake until crust is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. (For wood-fired cooking, simply place pizza in oven for 2 to 3 minutes, turning frequently.)
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