being a New Yorker i was always spoiled by amazingly delicious pizza... every New Yorker says its one thing that makes the pizza, the artisan breads and the bagels stand way above the rest... the water...
so whats a part-time Mainer to do... one of two things... (1) suck it up and get use to "pizza" or (2) try my hardest to make some really good homemade pizza-pies... do i sound snobbish... i truly apologize to the wonderful and sweet people of Maine if i do (i really do like it here, it's a beautiful place full of really nice people)... but... it's just hard to beat NY pizza...
so... i have been working with different kind of dough... simple 5 minute doughs (blaahhhh)... and dough's that need to rise 24 hours (i'm too impatient)... and then there is the standard 2 hour yeast doughs... now these are more my speed...
here is the recipe i have been using lately... it's not perfect but it's pretty darn good and easy to make...basic pizza dough (makes a single pizza)
prep: 10 minutes rise: 2 hours
1 cup warm water (about 110)
2 1/4 tsp (or one package) of active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1. place water in a bowl and add the yeast (let it bloom for 5 minutes)
2. in a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt, and the sugar... make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and the olive oil... with the dough hook attachment stir the dough until it comes together, adding in as much of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, until the dough forms a ball
3. place the dough in lightly oiled bowl (turning over so the dough is coated with olive oil), and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until 2 hours
4. punch down the dough, place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into desired diameter
one of the things i like to do, is right before i put the pizza in the oven, i brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and a bit of grated parmesan cheese... this makes an amazing almost bread stick like crust... my boys love it...
the quest is still on for the perfect pizza dough... i'll let you know if i find it... either that or i'll be asking my family to ship me up bottles of new york tap water :)
the boys are strictly plain cheese pizza guys... but i love anything on pizza... fresh spinach, red wine sauteed mushrooms and onions... lots of fresh mozzarella cheese... creamy melty goat cheese... the sky is the limit...
so... we are still looking about our surrounding area of Maine looking for a good pizza joint... and hey, if any of you know of one between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine let me know...