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The pizza dough recipe… that changed my life

So I mentioned in my post yesterday that I was trying out a pizza dough recipe as I have been nothing short of disappointed with my attempts to date. I purchased this book for a couple of reasons, one is the ‘no knead’ obvious answer, although I have to admit I really don’t mind kneading dough, it can be quite therapeutic, just like boxing.

The other main reason I bought this was from the reviews I read, people just cant seem to get enough of Jim Lahey and his bread making ways.  Confession time, I also bought his ‘My Bread’ cookbook, but haven’t attempted any of those recipes yet so more on that another time. Back to the reviews, the book boasts (as do the reviews) a fantastic thin crust. I am a sucker for thin crust, it is definitely, in my opinion, the better of the crust family. Thin & crispy, and identical to the front cover of the cookbook. That being said, still not sold on the ham & peas, but lets leave that alone. For now.

Back to the pizza dough. So while spending quality time in the kitchen yesterday, I made up the basic dough recipe, which took about three minutes, and the idea was to let it sit until it doubled in size. Up to 18 hours it said, shorter in warmer conditions. Well we certainly had the warmer conditions so I thought I was a shoe in for pizza for dinner yesterday. By 7:30pm, after checking on the hour every hour, I realised it was not going to happen. Shamefully (but not really because it was delicious), we had cheese & grapes for dinner. Whoops 😛

So at about 10pm, I divided the dough into four equals, created ‘balls’ like the instructions in the book said, floured ’em, cling wrapped ’em, and stuffed ’em in the fridge to be todays problem. Today, after a hefty gym session after work (cheese guilt?), we came home, and I ‘kinda’ followed the instructions in the book for cookin’ the pizza. I preheated the oven to 500 with the pizza stone in there. I opened it for 30 seconds when switching to grill/broil. Left that for what was meant to be 10 minutes but I got impatient and only did 6, while prepping the dough. It was SO EASY to work with. It stretched easily, I didn’t have to overwork it to get to the shape & size I wanted, and after those efforts I ‘decorated’ the beautiful dough with a red tomato base, yellow tomatoes, proscuitto, mushrooms, chilli flakes, mozzarella, green onion, olives & of course, prosciutto. I transferred the pizza to the stone, and six minutes later, BAM, this is what came out:

I was worried that the ingredients would be too heavy, or make the pizza soggy, but f%$! me, this was perfect! Perfect bubbles in the dough, perfect thin strong crispy crust, it was utterly… Perfect! This is everything I ever wanted out of a pizza dough recipe. Yeah yeah, the 18 hours in advance thing could be a problem, but honestly, this dough keeps in the fridge for 3 days, so why wouldn’t you plan ahead for such awesome results?! It takes stuff all time, so why not?

I was so excited about how this turned out, I made another one. And I probably should be ashamed to admit it, but we ate that too, and it was good. And I *may* have got sweaty eyeballs at how glorious the pizza looked, smelled and tasted.  This recipe has changed my life, just like Kung Fu Panda, but that’s a whole other story.

Final words? I am pimping the hell out of this cookbook, if you haven’t tried it and have had pizza dough let down all your life, do yourself a favour and spend the $20 on Amazon. Totally worth it. Plus there are some amazing and whacky toppings in there for inspiration. Next stop… Bread Town.

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