Tuesday, August 27, 2013

“Champagne” Pizza Crust

A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. – Carolyn Birmingham

Who doesn’t like bubbles? Especially fine delicate ones rising in racing lines up the sides of your champagne flute.

Just mixed.
I have to say no champagne was harmed in the making of this crust, although if you did have some “hanging around” you could substitute the water for it. No harm, no foul.

My recipe's name comes more from the bubbles and structure in the dough.

You could also substitute beer, for that matter. Both are listed as options in this recipe. Both would give a slightly different result. But don’t crack a bottle of Dom for this. (Although I’ve never really liked it as much as other cheaper champagnes. Guess I’m plebeian. To each his own.)

This crust was a bit of an experiment. I had a little time before dinner (2 hours to be exact) and had fixin’s in the fridge for pizza. You can make thin crust or regular, but what about something in-between. Low-ish and light?

Quite the rise.
The day I made this was humid and warm so bread rose spectacularly in the kitchen. I would hazard a guess the same result would be able to be obtained once the heat kicks on in the house in the not too distant future. Sigh... heating bills.

As far as toppings, the world’s your oyster. This crust, although looking very delicate will stand up to it. The result is quite unexpected. It has a great crumb and a satisfying crunchy sound when you cut it and bite into it.

I’m assuming, from past experience, that you could do the first rise when you’re at work in the fridge. So even if you do this through the week, there’s not a lot of work to make a great tasting pizza from scratch.

I’m supplying the crust recipe. Now the rest is up to you!

Very, very bubbly. Dimple it down with "determination.
“Champagne” Pizza Crust
Time: 1.5 hrs  |  Yield: 1 large crust
1-1/4 cups water, 110°F (or cheap champange, sparkling or even beer)
2 tsp yeast
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Proof the yeast in the warm water until it is frothy. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. The dough will be quite “liquidy.”

Oil a pizza pan (up to 12x19) and spread out the dough. Let rest again for about 30 minutes. It will become very bubbly.

Using sone force, dimple the dough down with your fingertips before adding your favourite toppings. Bake for 25 minutes at 425°F.


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