Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pizza Bianca

I'm a big fan of ATK (America's Test Kitchen) and I love their philosophy of trying to find the BEST of a recipe or kitchen tool. This is a recipe I loved, but needed to make faster. Really, I can't wait 2 1/2 hours anymore for pizza dough to rise. I usually have 1/2 hour, tops. So this works with the modifications I've made and many a family friend have asked for the recipe. Well, here it is. It's so not good for you (read fattening), but oh so delicious. Focus on portion control here, folks. I had 1/6 of a pizza today and stopped (that's two pieces).

Pizza Bianca with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

AKA Company Pizza at our house
modified from the America's Test Kitchen Recipe

Serves 6 to 8

(14-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
teaspoon table salt
teaspoon sugar
cloves of garlic, minced
ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
leaves of fresh basil, chiffinade
ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups water, warm
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
2 1/2
teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2
teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the two cans of crushed tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Let sit 30 minutes, stirring 3 times to allow juices to drain.

2. Mix flour, yeast, sugar, water, and table salt in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed until no patches of dry flour remain, 6 to 10 minutes. (Dough will only pull away from sides while mixer is on. When mixer is off, dough will fall back to sides.)

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.

4. Using fingers, coat large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, rubbing excess oil from fingers onto blade of rubber spatula. Using oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl and pour 1 tablespoon oil over top. Flip dough over once so it is well coated with oil; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until nearly tripled in volume and large bubbles have formed, 1/2 hour.

5. Combine 3/4 cup tomato solids, olive oil, sugar and salt. (Save remaining solids and juice for another use.)

6. Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Using rubber spatula, turn dough out onto baking sheet along with any oil in bowl. Using fingertips, press dough out toward edges of pan, taking care not to tear it. (Dough will not fit snugly into corners. If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 to 10 minutes before trying to stretch again.) Let dough rest in pan until slightly bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Take out of oven and top with tomato mixture, garlic, basil and cheese. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes more or until cheese is melted to your desired level of browning. Using metal spatula, remove pizza from pan and serve on cutting board or pizza peel.

The crust is crisp and sturdy. Like the ABI5MAD, the process uses high hydration for gluten development, so it is VERY sticky. It also uses a long kneading cycle to reduce the wait time. The result is a shattering crust that holds LOTS of toppings. Oh, and if you are going to add pepperoni, first microwave it between paper towel in a single layer for 30 to reduce the grease. ENJOY!

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