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Rollin’ in the Pizza Dough

A mound of tomato cheesy goodness!

How do you like your ‘za?  Thin Crust or Deep Dish?  There are definitely two camps when it comes to pizza.  Being from Chicago, the division is especially severe… much like being a Cubs or White Sox fan.  You can’t be both (at least in Chicago).  And much like your baseball team choice, the passion is much the same when it comes to pizza.   Really there are no wrong decisions (except for the recent verdict to have Andre “Awesome” Dawson’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame sporting an Expo cap instead of a Cubs cap) when it comes to making your own pizza.  But what you need is a good base to support all those wonderful ingredients. 

The pizza line-up

Putting all differences aside, here’s a double recipe today – a recipe for deep dish and one for thin crust.   Both are from the Frugal (Got Caught Looking) Gourmet.

Deep Dish Pizza
Makes 2 9-10″ pizzas

2 packages quick rise dry yeast (2 tsp)
2 cups tepid water
1/2 cup canola oil
4 Tbs olive  oil
1/2 cup cornmeal
5 1/2 cups flour

A Kitchenaid mixer is best for this.  In the bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.  Add the oils, cornmeal, and 3 cups of the flour.  Beat for 10 minutes with the mixer with the dough hook.  Gradually add in the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour.  Knead for several minutes with the machine.  Pour out the dough on the countertop and cover with a larger bowl.  Allow to rise until double in bulk (30 min-1 hour usually). Punch down and allow to rise again.  Punch down a second time and divide evenly into two mounds of dough.  Oil round cake pans (I like to use springform pans like you would use for cheesecake).  Put one half of the dough in one pan and spread out evenly using your fingers, pushing the dough up the sides of the pan.  Repeat with second pan/dough.   

Filling for each pan (note this is per pan, so if making two pizzas double the ingredients below)
1/3 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
2 cups canned tomatoes (drained and squished) – you can also use diced tomatoes, be sure to drain)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste

Place the cheese in tile like layers on the bottom of the pie.  Next put in the tomatoes, spices, garlic and salt.  Add your favorite toppings and if you like more cheese, add some grated parmesan on top.  Bake at 475 degrees for 35-40 minutes. 

Thin Crust Pizza
Makes dough for 3 14-inch pizzas

1 1/4 cups tepid water (about 110 degrees)
1 pkg fast-rising dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb and 2 oz wheat flour (about 31/4 cups) measure on a good scale
1/4 cup cornmeal

Place the tepid water in a mixing bowl. dissolve the yeast and salt in the water. Add the oil. 1 1/2 cups of the weighed out flour, and the cornmeal. Beat together for 5 to 10 minutes to form a sticky batter. Knead in the remaining flour until you have a smooth dough. Place on a clean counter and cover with the bowl. Allow to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and divide into 3 equal parts.

To make a pizza, roll a portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14-inch diameter. Place the rolled dough on a lightly oiled Pizza Pan.  Add your favorite pizza sauce (I just use regular tomato sauce and sprinkle Penzeys pizza seasoning on top) and toppings and bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes.

*If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a big baseball fan that can’t wait for spring training to start (Go Cubs!).  In this post (recipes excluded) I have mentioned an amount of baseball terms…come up with the correct number and you will be featured in an upcoming blog post!   Just post your guess in the comments section and you may be a weiner…I mean a winner!

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