Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shrimp Pizza

I decided pizza sounded good for tonight since we haven't had pizza since Zeb's birthday celebration. I started by making my favorite pizza crust. It is a crust that I enjoy more than most pizza parlors. I still love working with yeast doughs. It is amazing to me what you can do with water, bread flour, instant yeast, salt and olive oil. It takes about 3 hours from the beginning to a rolled out pizza crust. It is crusty on the outside and very tender on the inside.

I started the topping part of dinner by roasting a red bell pepper and peeling and chopping it. Once I had the crust rolled out, I brushed it with a little olive oil and spread a little marinara sauce on it. I then sauteed some shrimp that were drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with some Creole seasoning. Once cooked, they were set on a plate to cool.

While the shrimp were cooling, I sprinkled the pizza crust with some Pecorino Romano and mozzarella cheese. I proceeded to top it with the roasted, chopped red pepper, chopped red onion and sliced scallions. The cooled, sauteed shrimp went on last along with a little more Creole seasoning sprinkled over the top.

The entire pizza went into the oven on the hot pizza stone for 12 minutes and came out perfectly.

Perfect Pizza Dough
Adapted from Annie's Eats

For the Pizza Dough:

½ cup warm water (about 110°)

1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting

1 ½ tsp. salt

olive oil for greasing the bowl

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow it to dissolve and swell (about 5 minutes). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low seed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.

To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Top as desired.

If you don't plan on using our dough immediately, freeze it. To do this, mix up the dough as usual and let it rise as normal. After dividing the dough into two equal portions, wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and store inside a freezer-safe bag, and transfer to the freezer immediately. (Reuse these bags to avoid being wasteful!) The double layer is important here. Even after the dough is moved to the freezer, it will continue to rise a bit before the rise is completely suspended. It always pops through the plastic wrap so the extra layer of protection is needed to prevent exposure.

Freeze the dough until it is ready to be used. The day you plan to use the dough, transfer it to the refrigerator in the morning to thaw in time for dinner that evening. (If using the dough for lunch, transfer to the refrigerator the night before.) The dough that has been frozen tastes every bit as good as fresh, so it is incredibly convenient to have available for a quick, throw-together meal.

If you are planning on using the dough the very next day, the refrigerator is not cold enough to stop the rise quickly and the result is an over-risen, crazy puffy monster dough. Use the freezer initially to completely stop the rise, and then transfer the dough to the refrigerator until it is ready to be used.

Our rating for pizza dough:

1 comment:

  1. Haha...Can you take a guess who else had pizza tonight?!? Great minds think alike :)