Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homemade Pizza

You know you've been reading way too many fancy French cookbooks when you start splitting your garlic cloves in half to remove the germ. I mean, who does that in real life?

Apparently Dorie Greenspan does. Almost every recipe in Around my French Table, one of my favorite new cookbooks, states that you should.

So I have been, recently, and I am not quite sure how to confirm that it's worthwhile. Does my food taste good? Well, yeah, but I thought it was just fine before I started picking apart garlic cloves and obsessing over the bits of green in the center.

Anyway, this pizza was a winner. So maybe picking out the garlic germ is a good thing. I'll never know for sure if it's worth the effort, but please feel free not to do it yourself when you try this recipe. You have my permission. (Thanks, Annie's Eats for the great pizza recipe. I made some changes but based it on your original. Thanks!)

Thin Crust Cheese Pizza (adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 2 pies; 1 hour prep plus lots of waiting 

2 cups white flour 
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ teaspoon salt

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, thoroughly drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, split in half, germ removed, and then minced
1 teaspoon salt
some fresh basil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Olive oil, for brushing
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella
canned mushrooms, sauteed onions, olives, or any other favorite pizza veggies 

First, make the dough. Combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to combine and then, with the machine running, add the water. Process just till combined and then add the oil and salt. Process until it forms a smooth ball, about a minute. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

Now, make the sauce. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor (no need to even wash it from the dough prep! Yay.). Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook on medium-low heat for about 1/2 hour, to reduce and thicken. Refrigerate until ready to use.

One hour before baking the pizza, remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature on the counter.

About 15 minutes before baking time, adjust an oven rack to the second highest position and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat. Preheat the oven to 500*. 

Assemble the pizza. Divide the dough in half. Transfer one of the balls of dough to a VERY well floured work surface. Flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the rim. Gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with olive oil. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the crust and then spread ½ cup of the pizza sauce over it. Sprinkle evenly with the shredded mozzarella and any desired toppings. 

Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated baking stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 12-14 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Linking this up to My Meatless Mondays


  1. Thanks for the recipe and tips! I've really been wondering about the garlic germ thing (too much time on my hands?). I bought into it at first, and was picking it out for a while, then remembered that most parts of the garlic plant are edible, including the scape (curly flower bud) and shoots (which is what the green bit is, right?).
    So now, I sometimes pick it out and I sometimes don't. My family - pearls before swine! - don't seem to notice or care either way. The pizza could be takeout from Tov Li for all they care... :-\

  2. This look incredible! I can't wait to try it! I've never even heard of a garlic germ before, much less removed it, though...

  3. Hi Rivki, the pizza looks amazing with all the melted cheese and mushrooms, I love that you use a slow fermentation method and include whole wheat in the dough. Looks great, you are inspiring me to make a pizza this week! Thank you for sharing.

  4. This looks fantastic. And what you say about the garlic is so funny . . . I also felt pressured into cutting out the green sprout from garlic cloves when I read Dorie Greenspan's book. Then I happily forgot all about it . . . I have read elsewhere that the green part is bitter, but I can't really tell the difference.

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