Monday, June 11, 2012

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

Oh, yes.  And it is just as good as it sounds.  Actually, I didn't think the garlic was as pronounced as I had expected it to be (however, we do like a lot of garlic).   But it did make for a wonderfully chewy crust that my husband pronounced as one of the best pizzas yet which is high praise indeed (I loved this recipe as well but can't forget about this arugula pizza). 

I included two options in the instructions below about how to bake the pizza.  Many people seem to have no problem with putting the entire pizza with all its toppings together and baking it all at once (this is what the original recipe calls for).  However, that doesn't seem to work well for me as the crust gets soggy and just never completely bakes through.  Instead, I partially pre-bake the crust and then I pull out the pizza rack and add the sauce, cheese and toppings.  The complete pizza then bakes for 10-20 more minutes until done. Either way you try it, enjoy this pizza!

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust
Taken from: How Sweet It Is
Makes 1 pizza crust (I doubled this recipe and froze the second one)
  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup white whole wheat and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • cornmeal, if using a pizza stone
  • Pizza sauce (I used probably 1/2-1 cup marinara sauce)
  • Cheese (I used a 6 oz. container of fresh mozzarella, torn in small pieces as well as about 1/4 cup grated parmesan)
  • Pizza toppings (we used thawed chopped artichokes, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, chopped red bell pepper and sliced cherry tomatoes)
  1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder and dried basil, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. If using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed and you might even need more dough like I did) into the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. (Alternately, you can combine in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until dough starts to come together and then switch to a hook attachment for 4 minutes on low to medium speed.) Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  (If using a pizza stone, place that on the bottom rack while the oven preheats.)
  3. After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on a very floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (you can form a pizza on a baking sheet or do a free form pizza that you can transfer to the pizza stone).
  4. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes. While the dough is rising again, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix it with the minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
  5. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone, if using (don't sprinkle the cornmeal too far in advance before placing the crust on the pizza stone as it can burn).
  6. OPTION 1 (the original way): Bring the dough back out and using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. You can spread the butter all over, just make sure to focus on the edges (I just brushed on the edges). Continue to make your pizza with your desired toppings. Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden.  While pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last tablespoon of parmesan. Remove pizza from oven and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Serve.
  7. OPTION 2 (my way): Move pizza to pizza stone very carefully (I often have to use a bench scraper and need extra flour to help move the pizza without changing the shape too much.  Cook pizza dough for 8 minutes alone.  Once partially baked, top with sauce, cheese and toppings.  Continue to cook for 10-20 more minutes (depending on your toppings) until bottom is crispy and cheese is completely melted.  While pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last tablespoon of parmesan. Remove pizza from oven and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Serve.


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