Sometimes, I like to hang out with friends. Maybe on a nice late summer afternoon, in a beer “garden” of sorts, drinking beer and shooting the breeze.
One of those lazy Sunday afternoons took me to Brooklyn, where my friend and I moseyed on over to Franklin Park a bar in Prospect Heights and partook in the open bar sponsored by Yelp and Fire Island Beer.
Being in a chatty mood, I found myself chatting with one of the brewers from Fire Island Beer and got on the topic of pizza dough. Now, I love making pizza at home and I hate using the stuff from your friendly grocery freezer aisle. But I’ve always ended up with either a tough or yeasty or a not that tempting product.
This brewer fellow said that I’d have a great thin crust pizza pie if I followed this recipe:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Pour water into a bowl and add yeast. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and knead for 5-10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1.5-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Makes about 3 pizzas. Enjoy!
(Note: when when you are separating out your risen down for the pies, make sure you punch down all the air and then lightly knead the dough again with some additional all-purpose flour to remove any residual stickiness. You want a nice, smooth, stretchy dough. And you can bake the pies right away or let them rise again for about 20 mins while you're prepping your toppings.)
So, I did all of the above, made my oven as hot as it could possibly go (most standard ovens go up to 550 degrees F – crank yours up to its max if you want a nice crisp crust). I don’t have a pizza stone – yet, but I do have pizza pans and I stretched the lovely dough on to them and added my homemade tomato-basil sauce and toppings galore. And you know what, those pie crusts were the best homemade pie crusts I’ve ever made. Thanks beer guy!