Family Game Night
Pizza Crust (& Focaccia Bread) Recipe
I grew up eating deep dish pizza, a pizza crust so thick you really need silverware to eat it. Wilson grew up with hand-tossed, brick oven pizza. While we both see the merits of both, we find that at home we tend towards that thicker crust because it’s the easiest to replicate with home-milled flour and a regular ol’ oven. It is true that using the whole wheat kernel changes texture and flavor—for the better if you ask anyone who has learned to bake with it. Like all new skills, give yourself some grace and experiment a few times until you find your family’s favorite texture and flavor combination. As we have learned in our family, pizza is personal.
I felt like I hit the jackpot when I altered a focaccia bread recipe to serve as our pizza crust; it’s delicious and adaptable.
We love fresh focaccia bread, as well. It’s amazing with a bowl of homemade soup or with a pasta that just needs something else to go on the side! If I make 2 full loaves (or crusts), one can go in the freezer.
We all have our favorite toppings! Some of mine are dehydrated tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese!
Chaya’s Focaccia Bread & Deep Dish Pizza Crust Recipe
Start to Finish: Focaccia Bread-- 1 hour, 15 minutes
Pizza Crust-- 1 hour, 30 minutes
4 cups warm water
4 tsp. active dry or instant yeast
8 cups home-milled flour, an extra ½ cup for dusting
4 tsp. sea salt
3 tbs. olive oil
1) Mix yeast into the warm water and let proof for 10 minutes.
2) Add flour and salt, barely mixing it until the dough is just sticky.
3) Cover and allow to rise for approximately 1 hour in a warm place. Preheat oven to 350 degrees prior to starting the next step.
4) After the dough has risen, separate into 2 equal halves.
5) Roll both out into the desired size and shape for pizza crust.
6) Brush olive oil liberally onto the top of the dough, then perforate the crust everywhere with a fork.
7) If using dough for pizza, sprinkle seasonings lightly. If using as focaccia bread, apply seasonings very liberally.
8) Put both crusts into the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes (20-25 minutes if using as focaccia bread without additional toppings).
9) If using as pizza, apply sauce and toppings as desired and bake for approximately 15 minutes longer.
If you want to freeze pizza dough:
After the crust had the original 15 minutes in the oven, remove it and allow it to cool. When it is completely cool (not a minute before), you can place the entire thing into an unscented (!!) kitchen-sized trash bag, and use a twist-tie on the end. Label with the date and lay flat in your freezer. When you want to have a quick dinner, allow it to thaw before adding toppings for the additional oven-time.
All pictures are property of Pantry Paratus.