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Print this Recipe    Pizza 11

Pizza

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 oz, plus some olive oil
yeast
dash of sugar
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

28 oz (large can) unseasoned tomato sauce
2 to 6 cloves garlic
one small to medium onion
some olive oil
1 to 4 tsp each basil, thyme, oregano, black pepper, paprika
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 to 1 lb mozzarella, or less with other cheeses added (jack
and/or feta are good, cheddar makes for an oily pizza)
toppings to taste
some cornmeal or any coarse ground grain

First I make the dough. I mix the water, sugar, and yeast and set
aside. I measure out 3 1/2 cups flour and mix in the salt. Then
I pour in the oil and yeast water together, stir to a dough, and
knead in more flour until it is not sticky, then knead some more.
Then I pour some more oil in the bottom of a bowl, put the dough
in and rotate to cover the dough surface with oil, cover with a
damp cloth and put aside to rise. The oil, both in the dough and
on the surface, and the damp cloth help a lot.

While the dough is rising I prepare the sauce. The garlic and onion
get chopped finely and lightly sauteed in the oil. I prefer to
start the garlic first, the co-habitant of my kitchen prefers onion
first. Cook until lightly browned then add the sauce. Stir in the
spices and salt, turn the heat way down and let simmer uncovered.

By doing all of the prep work for the sauce, cheese and topings
after the dough is made it doesn't feel like letting the dough rise
is a slow point.

At this point I start to preheat the stone. I feel that the proper
tempature to cook pizza is about 700F, but since my oven doesn't
go that high, I just use the highest temperature. The stone needs
ten to to fifteen minutes to heat. After that make sure your oven
mits are thick to handle it. Skillets need not be preheated but
cook the pizza slower.

Next I grate the cheese. If I do it by hand then the dough will be
ready to shape when I'm done.

I divide the dough in half and shape it on a *well* floured surface.
No kneading is needed at this point, just stretching the dough out
to a thin disc with a thicker rim. If the dough gets too thin, it
can be thickened by pinching a bit to fold over the thin spot.
Usually I make one entire pie and start it cooking before I begin
the other.

After the dough is shaped I transfer it to peel, which I've floured
for easy removal. I put the sauce and cheese on. Toppings likely
to dry out are best placed under the cheese. Corn meal should be
sprinked on the stone to prevent the dough from sticking and the
pie put on it to cook. I find it helpful to rapidly jiggle the peel
to loosen the pie before I try to put it on the stone. This can
cause loose toppings to scatter but I think it is better for this
to happen outside the oven than in.

Figure ten to to fifteen minutes to cook the pie. I think it is
done when the crust begins to turn a medium brown. I make the second
one during this time. I also make sure I have a clear space to put
the hot pizza when it comes out.

The best way to get pie off the stone is probably a very thin peel.
I don't have one though. So I take the stone out of the oven (with
thick mitts) and slide it off. The stone needs some more corn meal
and is then ready to cook on again.

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