OK, I've made some homemade pizza with fairly ordinary (by my standards) tomato sauce, cheese, and green stuff. Hard part is the dough -- I don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer and Uncle Alton says
you have to knead for at least fifteen minutes. I don't have that kind of endurance any more.
So I bought a bread machine. Cost me $8 at Value Village
. After making a couple of indifferent loaves of bread, I figured it was time for pizza.
This started out as the NY Times recipe
and mutated, due to a couple of problems: Kit is very sensitive to sodium, so I have to keep the salt to a minimum, and Kit's innards don't like white flour very much, so it's 100% whole wheat. Makes two large (2 person) or four small (one person) pizzas. (The small ones are a lot
easier to handle):
- 1.5 C water
- 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 scant tsp salt
- 3 C whole wheat flour
- Dump everything into the bread machine in the order given2.
- Run the bread machine on the "dough" cycle.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Oil the outside of the balls, put into 1 quart plastic bags and put into the fridge.
- Let it sit for a day or so.3,4
- When it's Pizza Time, put your pizza stone5 on the lowest possible rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature it will go to reliably6,7 It should preheat for 45 minutes to an hour8.
- Dampen down a section of countertop, and your hands. Dump a ball of dough onto the counter.9
- One ball of dough will make two little pizzas or one big one.10 If you're making two little ones, divide the dough into two.
- Smoosh the dough down into a rough circle. Shape doesn't really matter, but you'll have to fit it all (or them both) onto the peel.
- The more toppings you plan to add, the thicker your crust will need to be. I usually make it about 0.5 in/1 cm thick in the center. Leave a little raised area at the rim to keep the sauce under control.
- Sprinkle a layer of corn meal onto the peel
- Carefully lift the rounds of dough and put them on the peel.
- Add toppings 11
- If you want a thicker, "breadier" crust, let it sit and rise for up to 0.5 hour.
- Gently slide the pizzas from the peel onto the pizza stone.12
- Cook for 7-9 minutes until the crust is brown and the cheese is melted
- Remove on the peel 13 and let cool for a couple of minutes.
 The bread machine instructions call for 1Tbs of yeast. That's what I used, and when I cooked the pizza, this gave an effect similar to the "instant pudding" in Woody Allen's Sleeper
. As in 2 inch thick edges. Next time, I'm using a lot less.
 The instructions say to put the yeast into a little well in the top of the flour to keep it away from the salt; I don't see how that would make any difference here.
 If you seal the bags, be sure to look in on them occasionally to vent the generated CO2. You don't want to have to scrape pizza dough off the inside of your fridge.
 It'll last for a week or so.
 Following Alton Brown, I use unglazed quarry tile. Cheap and nearly indestructible.
 Modern ovens have safety interlocks to keep them from getting too hot. You don't want to trigger this -- it'll turn the oven off.
 You probably shouldn't mess with the "self clean" settings. Yes, it's hotter ....
 The thermostat measures air temperature; you're concerned with the temperature of the stone.
 Yes, this really does work to keep the dough from sticking. It has a lot
of oil in it, and you don't need to add any more flour.
 Little ones are much easier to handle. You can also have different toppings on each one.
 Uncle Alton wants you to spread some olive oil on the dough before you add other toppings. This is not necessary with this dough; it's already got a lot of oil in it.
 I find a thin metal spatula helps maneuver the raw pizzas
 possibly with the help of the spatula.