(WTNH) — Chef and cooking instructor Aaron Gruen of Hopkins School makes veggie pizza with dough made from scratch.
3 cups bread flour – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast – 1 cup plus two tablespoons water – Olive oil – 1 cup tomato sauce – 8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces (although it’s tempting, don’t use pre-shredded mozzarella! It has a cornstarch coating that prevents it from melting properly.) – Your favorite pizza toppings! I love caramelized onions, mushrooms, goat cheese, and basil.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk bread flour, salt, and yeast thoroughly. Pour in the water. Using a wooden spoon, mix ingredients together until you have a shaggy, rugged mass of dough.
2. In a stand mixer equipped with the dough hook, mix dough on medium speed for about seven and a half minutes, or until the dough has formed a uniform mass and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Dust your work surface with flour. Turn dough onto the work surface and shape into a ball. Let dough rise at room temperature for 5–8 hours in a covered container until doubled in size
4. Divide the dough into three equal sized portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil on each dough ball, and coat the dough thoroughly. Place dough balls on a sheet tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (the dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days before making pizza).
5. An hour before baking, place a pizza stone on the top rack of the oven and heat to 500 degrees, or the hottest temperature possible. Remove the dough from the fridge and proof at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking to help it relax.
6. 10 minutes before baking, turn the broiler on to high. Once ready to bake, sprinkle corn meal over a pizza peel. Lightly dust a counter with flour (any type will do). Working one at a time, place each dough ball on the counter, flatten with your palms until it forms an 8 inch round, and gently stretch with your knuckles until it is 14-16 inches in diameter, and you can see your knuckles through the dough. Place the pizza on the peel and add sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.
7. Turn the oven back to 500 degrees. Carefully slide the pizza onto the heated stone, and bake until it is puffed and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the broiler back up to high, and continue to bake until the pizza is browned, about 2 more minutes. Remove pizza from the oven, place on a platter, and allow it to cool for about 2 minutes before slicing. Repeat with the other two dough balls and serve!