Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Favorite Pizza Crust

I love California Pizza Kitchen.  In fact, it's probably one of my FAVORITE restaurants.  Despite eating it ALL THE TIME during my former life as an auditor every busy season (only open restaurant to order from when we were working overtime on the weekends in downtown LA), I could do it everyday.  In fact, one job in Pasadena consisted of a team who had the same love of CPK and I think at one point, we had it everyday for four consecutive days.  There's so much variety in the menu, healthy and not so healthy, that we couldn't resist!

So here's an ode to CPK through my favorite pizza crust recipe, taken from the Pioneer Woman, who I adore but when I need to make my favorite pizza dough - waiting for all her photos to load and scroll down becomes a nightmare.

So here it is (mainly for me) but maybe for you too!

1 tsp yeast (the kind you make poofy with water)
1-1/2 cup warm water
4 cups flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 or 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil - depending on how I feel, or how much I feel is necessary.

I sprinkle the 1 tsp of yeast over the 1-1/2 warm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes.

Combine 4 cps of flour with 1 tsp of Kosher salt (trick to sift it in is using a mixer by hand).  With an electric mixer (because it's easier), drizzle in the 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil until it's all combined... now add in the proofed yeast and continue mixing until your dough gets caught up in the mixture because it's so sticky.

Coat a separate mixing bowl (when I'm lazy, I use the same one.. it's no biggie) with a bit of EVOO and roll the dough into a ball and cover it with a towel and set aside for 1-2 hours to let it rise.

I normally put the dough away in the fridge, taking it out an hour before I want to use it to let it rise again.  Pizza dough tastes best when it's done beforehand - 24 hours up to 3 days.  

I cook it at 375 degrees with my awesome pizza pan (with holes underneath to let the heat get through and helps to make the dough crunchy) for about 10 minutes.  You can also just see when the dough is starting to brown on the sides and the toppings are melting.  

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