April 14, 2008
Wolgang Puck's Pizza
After I finished watching Julia Child's chefography yesterday, I watched the beginning of Wolfgang Puck's. Seeing all the gourmet pizza inspired dinner so did a Google search for his pizza dough recipe, and what do you know, he conveniently had it on his website. I made it in my Kitchenaid with the dough hook and not only was it fast, it was delicious! It's definitely the best pizza dough I've made yet (thanks for perfecting the recipe, Wolf!) We made four individual pizzas and used whatever we had in the fridge for different flavors- BBQ Chicken, a few Pesto pizzas, and a Hawaiian. I think next time I'll try brushing one with butter and garlic and leaving it bare for an appetizer like they do at The Smokehouse. Yum.
Wolfgang Puck's Pizza Dough
1 package active dry or fresh yeast (I used 2 1/2 t. since I don't buy the packages)
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105º F to 115º F)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.
2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (This only took about three for me)
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. (I oiled my hands and surface first, and then the bowl)
Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.)
4. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500º F. (My pizza stone is in storage so I just used two regular rimmed baking sheets, and did the oven at 500 convect bake)
5. Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
6. To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough. Lightly brush the inner circle of the dough with oil and arrange the toppings of your choice over the inner circle. (I skipped the oil and used pesto, marinara, or BBQ sauce according to the toppings)
7. Using a lightly floured baker’s peel or a rimless flat baking tray, slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remember that the oven is very hot and be careful as you place the pizza into and out of the oven. Transfer the pizza to a firm surface and cut into slices with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife. Serve immediately.
Toppings we tried:
BBQ Chicken Pizza- BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, fontina cheese
Artichoke Pesto Pizza- Pesto, artichoke hearts, grilled chicken, fontina cheese
Hawaiian Pizza (I know, so creative)- Marinara sauce, ham, pineapple, fontina cheese
Pepper Pesto Pizza- Pesto, sauteed onions and peppers, fontina cheese