Do you see how crispy that dough looks?? Yes, Los Angeles is known for sushi and Mexican food and not for excellent pizza HOWEVER... I made dough yesterday at home with my West Coast tap water and I thought it was SUPERB. So take THAT my Brother And Sister Who Live In Manhattan.
I love making pizza at home, especially when you have lots of yummy leftovers like heirloom tomatoes, Burrata cheese and roasted chicken to use as toppings. But until yesterday, I always used to pick up dough from my local Pizzeria instead of making it from scratch. By the by, did you know you can pick up dough from your local Pizzeria instead of making it from scratch? Cost next to nothing and tastes much better than the store-bought stuff! However, yesterday I felt ambitious enough to try it myself. Very glad I did... it was simple, fun and it tasted great. Even got the thumbs up from my boyfriend who spent many years eating the NY pie.
Basic Pizza Dough
Recipe from My Bread, by Jim Lahey
(Makes dough for 2 13x8 inch pies)
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp plus a pinch sugar
1 1/3 cup room temp water
Cornmeal (my addition)
Combine flour, yeast salt and sugar in a bowl.
Add water and stir with a wooden spoon or your hand (which I think works best). Dough might not look very smooth, which I was worried about, but it was all good in the end.
Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise at room temp for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove dough with spatula or dough scraper. Cut in half. At this point, if you're not ready to make the pizza, you can refrigerate in lightly oiled bags for 1 day, or you can cover it well and freeze for 1 month.
When ready to make pizzas, preheat oven to 500. Spread extra virgin olive oil on 2 baking sheets, and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Take dough balls and place on baking sheets. Using lightly oiled finger tips, start pressing up and to the sides until you've spread your dough out entirely.
At this point, I put my dough in the oven for 1-2 minutes. It doesn't say to do this in the book, but I think it ensures a crispy crust. Remove from oven and top with toppings! Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese has melted and is bubbly and golden brown.
I made BBQ Chicken Pizza (BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, chopped red or white onions, Burrata cheese, dried oregano, garlic powder, sea salt and some grated Asiago cheese)...
...and Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Pizza (heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese, Arrabiata sauce, fresh garlic, freshly chopped rosemary and oregano, sea salt, red pepper flakes)...