Friday, December 30, 2011

Hobbes' Best Thin Crust Pizza - Quatro Formaggio with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

This is a KILLER, KILLER thin crust pizza recipe!

I made a lot of dough and portioned it into 2 oz pieces and put them in the freezer for a rainy day.  So you can cut the recipe in half if you want.  I ended up with about 20 pizza portions in the freezer.

Recipe for the dough:
2 c King Arthur flour
4 c semolina
31/2 c slightly warm water
2 t honey
1 t sea salt
1 packet yeast

2 tomatoes
Sharp Cheddar
2 slices, pancetta

First thing to do is set your oven to 300* and place a pizza stone on the center rack.  Slice the tomatoes into thick slices and place them in an oven dish, season with salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.  Cook for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  When finished, remove from the oven and set aside, now turn the oven up to it's highest setting, ours was at 500*

In a jug, add the water, honey, yeast and stir until honey has dissolved, set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the flours together with the salt.  When mixed, pour flour out onto a clean surface and form into a circle.  Pour the water into the circle and slowly incorporate the flour, drawing more flour into the center.  It will start to look like porridge.  I use my fingers but you can use a fork or spatula.  Soon you will have a big sticky lump of dough.  If it's too dry add a little more water, if it's too wet add a little flour.

Add some more flour to your working area and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, stretching and turning the dough as you go!  When it's done, flour the dough and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  I put parchment paper on the dough first and then the plastic, to avoid toxins from the plastic going into my food...  Let it rest for about a half an hour at room temperature.

When the dough is ready, clean up your work area and re-flour, now shape the dough into a log, and roll out until you have a long log about 3" thick.  If it gets too long cut it in half and work with two pieces.  Now with pastry knife or scraper cut the dough into 2 oz bits, about 2"-3" pieces.  At this stage you can wrap what you don't need and pop them in the freezer.

Now let's make the best pizza!  Take a chunk of the dough and with your hands press it down and flatten it a bit.  Now you can use a roller to form a really thin crust, making sure to flour the dough as you go.
Take the pizza stone out of the oven and place the crust on it, now drizzle some olive oil on and smear it around with you hand or a spatula.  Then add the pancetta and cheeses that have been cut or crumbled up.  Don't add too much cheese because it will melt and run all over the place!  Finely grate some parmesan around the edges of the crust using a micro plane if you have one, this is the secret to a good crust.  Now place the tomatoes on top, and place the stone and pizza back into the hot oven.  It will cook quickly, like 5 minutes, so keep your eye on it.

I suggest having a nice pint of IPA with this!

Bon Appetit!   Chef Hobbes

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