Specifically, I would like to discuss the. best. pizza. ever. I acknowledge the boldness contained in such claims. But, this is for reals. The-Pizza-Man-Approved-kind-of-for-reals.
In general, I am on a never-ending quest to find or achieve a go-to recipe for beloved treats. Chocolate chip cookies? Check. Brownies? Check. Pound cake? Check. Pizza? Maybe!
Within my early Pinterest recipe bounty was ‘Perfect Pizza Crust’. I was alllll over it. Well, not completely. For example, I did not follow the recipe to a T. Firstly, I did not have, nor use, a pizza stone in my London flat. Lastly, I did not have a pizza stone in my London flat.
On a recent occasion (let’s say it was last night, since it was), I decided to follow the recipe to a T. It was helpful that I was visiting The Pizza Man at his boasty house/dog-sit. This house contained a pizza stone! This house DID NOT have a stand mixer and accompanying dough hook, but somehow the hard labour of kneading paid off. This crust was WELL!
Crust is only half of any good pizza story, though. The literal finishing touch is what you put on top. Left with the incredible responsibility of topping these gluten-filled masterpieces, The Pizza Man came up with THIS magical deliciousness:
- basil and garlic-infused tomato sauce base
- fresh garlic, sliced
- grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
- white onion, sliced
- capers (so delicious!!)
- Bermuda-grown basil
- Bermuda-grown avocado
- red pepper flakes
All of the above was what was suggested instead of the meaty pepperoni I said I was pining for. “But, isn’t that so typical and regular and full of nitrates?” he said.
The resulting pizza was beyond nom-worthy. The pizza also adds one more deserving title to The Pizza Man’s list of honorifics. You, exceeder of expectations.
Perfect Pizza Crust
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 envelope of rapid-rise dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 1/4 cups water (at room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting/kneading/rolling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- olive oil for greasing the bowl
- Place warm water, yeast, and sugar in a measuring jug. Allow at least five minutes to rise. Yeast will be dissolved and there will be two layers of the mixture in the jug – one will be fluffier/thicker than the other.
- Add all other ingredients, and begin kneading. Do not stop until the dough has come together into a nice cohesive smooth ball. Add flour if you need to.
- Once it is a smooth ball of dough, place the ball into an oiled bowl. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and a tea towel.
- Allow dough to rise. This will take between 1.5 and 2 hours.
- Punch ball of risen dough in the centre.
- Separate dough into two equally sized balls. Allow to sit for another 10 minutes or so.
- Roll out dough.
- Top pizza with favourite toppings.
- Bake on a pizza stone for 10 – 12 minutes at 500 degrees F/ 260 degrees C.
- Enjoy the magical deliciousness!
* Everything I have listed or suggested has an accompanying beneficial reason. There was a huge taste differential between when The Pizza Man and I attempted this a couple of weeks ago, and then again last night.
Definitely preheat your oven to 500 degrees F with the pizza stone inside. Bake your pizza at 500 degrees F.
Roll out the dough as thinly as can handle your toppings for an ultimate experience in crispness.
Use a pizza stone, not a pizza pan.