Great Pizza Crust (And Some Topping Ideas)

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Pizza is one of my favourite go-to recipes when I have company, because it’s so versatile. You can keep it simple, dress it up a bit (which can be as easy as adding a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano, some coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper), or even experiment with entirely new flavours (I once had a slice of butter chicken pizza, which was absolutely amazing). The key with pizza is not to let the crust (or the mozzarella, if you’re using it) overwhelm the toppings. My favourite pizza crust recipe for the past two years came. believe it or not, from a book by Teresa Giudice of Real Housewives of New Jersey fame. She may not be great at staying on the good side of the law, but it turns out she makes a really great pizza crust. The following recipe makes 6 10-inch pizzas. I’ve modified it slightly, because I never have instant yeast on hand.  I tend to halve it for the two of us, and it makes a great dinner plus a few days of leftovers for lunch.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast.
  • 1 3/4 cups tepid water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1.2 teaspoons salt
  • ~4 1/2 coups flour

Soften the yeast in water, then add olive oil, salt, and two cups of flour. Stir in the rest of the flour until the dough is sufficiently stiff, and knead until it’s elastic. Put in a bowl greased with some olive oil, cover it with a towel, and let it rise until it’s doubled. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Line a pizza stone or pizza pans with cornmeal, stretch out 1/6 of the dough into a 10-inch circle, cover with your favourite toppings, and bake for 8 minutes.  Let it cool on the pan or on a cookie rack, and you’re good to go.

If you’re looking for topping ideas, margherita is always a good pick (mozza, tomatoes, and some fresh basil after it comes out of the oven). I also like to cover the crust with some grated mozza, add some sliced nectarines or peaches, sprinkle them with some parmigiano reggiano, salt, and pepper, and add some fresh basil and reduced balsamic when it comes out of the oven). I also tried this roasted garlic, chicken, and herb white pizza yesterday and it was phenomenal.

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