Dr. Maring's pizza

One of the really great things about being retired is that I get to hang out in the kitchen with my wife and cook good things. I had never really been satisfied with the pizza crusts I had made and tried to perfect in the past. They were never light and crunchy and didn't really get browned enough in my oven even at 525 - 550 degrees on a pizza stone. Also, a stone has to be preheated for an hour of wasted heat.

I had heard about metal pizza "stones" but the stainless steel ones were very heavy and expensive.  We found an aluminum alloy pan that can be used on the grill or in an oven and it works great.

While whole grains are used at our house in almost everything, we are trying pizza crusts for now with the recommended all purpose and "oo" flour which can be found at some grocery stores or at an Italian deli. We make up for the lack of whole grain with lots of veggies on top.

The most important revelation came via this New York Times article and video. Watch the video -it's short and informative.

The toppings for one of our pizzas included a homemade pizza sauce (such as this one), a bunch of swiss chard sauteed in olive oil with garlic and crushed red chilies, and topped with roasted cauliflower florets then feta cheese. (For more ideas on toppings, see a previous post here or here."

We baked it for 8-9 minutes at 525, set it on a rack while number two pizza was baking, then finished it for 2-3 more minutes. The results were fantastic.

We made and divided the dough, but, instead of refrigerating it, simply let it rise covered with plastic wrap, for about three hours at room temp.

Servings: 2 12-inch pizzas

Prep Time: Three hours

Ingredients

  • For crust:
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon "00" flour (153 grams) 
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (153 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  •  
  • For suggested topping:
  • The toppings for one of our pizzas included a homemade pizza sauce (such as this one), a bunch of swiss chard sauteed in olive oil with garlic and crushed red chilies, and topped with roasted cauliflower florets then feta cheese.

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together about 1 cup of lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.) To make pizza, preheat oven to 525 degrees. Place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top with sauce, vegetables and cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes (or until crust is just brown).

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • For crust only (1/4 of 12" crust, or 1/8 of recipe)
  • Calories: 110
  • Total Fat: 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 290 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 23 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD