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Update: I just got a pizza stone for Christmas, and they're fantastic. I need to experiment with it a bit more, but they're the way to go. I like to make a batch of dough & cook several 7" crusts, perfect 1-person size. The recipe below will make 4 7" crusts, they cook in 7 minutes or so on the stone, and they can then be frozen for later use.
1/2 to 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 package Fleishmann's yeast (or equivalent)
1-4 Tblspoon oil (olive), use 1 if you're watching your calories/fat intake use 3-4 if you're not. The fat makes it better.
1/2 tsp salt
"Enough" warm water; usually around a cup - maybe a bit less.
Mix together everything but the white flour and water. Add in the white flour & water slowly, kneading as you go. Make sure you don't add too much water. As you knead, toward the end it should feel like the dough has a life of its own (which it does!) You'll need to knead for 7-8 min.
Now make a ball, coat lightly with extra oil, and let it sit in a warm place for 1 hour (I usually turn my oven on for about a minute, then turn it off, and let it rise in the oven) It will have doubled in size; at this point, roll out your crust. (Actually, what I'll usually do is make the dough the night before, and at this point I punch it down, make another ball, coat it lightly with oil, & throw it in the fridge in a glass container + lid for use the next day) Use a rolling pin to roll out the crust, unless you're a pro. Roll it out on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, first spread some margarine around on the pan, then sprinkle on a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking.
It's usually easier to roll out the dough on the counter, or someplace where you have more room, then transfer it to the pizza pan/cookie sheet. Once it's on the sheet, fold over the outer 1/2 inch of crust to make a raised area around the perimeter. Let the dough sit for 10 (thinner crust) to 40 (thicker crust) minutes before popping it in the oven.
Sauce: for your first time, use a commercial pizza or pasta sauce. If you're a pro, start with some canned crushed tomatos, and add some oregano, basil, finely chopped onion, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, and a dash of pepper & salt, and anything else that sounds good (I usually include sage and thyme as well). Simmer the whole mess on your stove for a bit & yer done. During summer/fall, of course, tomatos from your garden work better. I like to use some sweet cherry tomatos along with the traditional Romas.
Toppings: could be anything! I usually chop up some onions, shrooms, green pepper, black olives. I also usually cook the onions with the meats.
Cheese: There are 2 kinds of cheeses that must be on a za: Mozza, and parmesan. It is almost, but not quite, impossible to put on too much. Other types of cheese are optional, but these two are mandatory. Re: Parmesan, there's only 2 reasons to use that pre-ground kind that comes in those large cylindrical containers: 1) You're cheap 2) You don't know any better. (Yes, sometimes I use them! Make sure you use them for the right reason.)
Meats: I like to put 2 kinds of meat on a za; usually 2 of (hamburger, salami, pepperoni, sausage). The important thing is to cook and de-fat the meat first. I usually do pepperoni or salami in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels (be careful not to burn it!), hamburger and sausage in a pan.
OK, preheat your oven to 350, and throw the CRUST ONLY in for 7-10 minutes (make sure your pizza tray isn't too close to the bottom of the oven). The purpose of this step is to avoid the 'doughy center', which is what you'll probably get if you throw it all in together.
Now turn the oven to 400.
Now take it out, spread the sauce around, load up the toppings, and cook until it's done; check the top (to make sure the cheese hasn't burned) and the bottom (ditto for the crust). It will take another 15-20 (or so) minutes. The perfect za has a golden brown crust and golden brown areas of semi burnt cheese on top. If it's been in there long enough, you can brown the top using the broiler.
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