Minimalist Thin Crust Pizza

Posted By Stephen

We often cook pizza on a Friday night, but this weekend we ended up cooking it for lunch on Saturday. We had bought some “Tipo OO” flour which we were keen to use, as it should result in a better crust. We used the same recipe that we’ve used a few times recently – Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough recipe. We left the yeast to rise for about 20 minutes though, rather than just the few minutes that the recipe states. And we left it in the oven on a very low temperature to keep it warm, rather than at “room temperature” because “room temperature” was rather chilly yesterday.

Using our hand mixer with dough hooks worked rather well last time and shortened the kneading time, as well as giving a better result than my not very well honed kneading skills. This time however, I had the hooks on the wrong way round. This isn’t as stupid as it sounds… there is a little plastic thing on one of them to ensure that you put them in the right way, but this had fallen off so I just put it on one of them randomly. But I put it on the wrong one. With the result that it sucked up the dough upwards all the time.

Which worked okay actually, because the dough would rise up the hooks and then flop down again, to be sucked up again, etc. Only after several minutes of this did I realise that the mixer had slowly been committing suicide by sucking dough up into itself (through the holes that the hooks fit into) while doing this and it finally ground to a halt. I tried to get the dough back out through the holes that it had gone into, but was getting nowhere as it was sticky and just clogging everything up. So clearly I needed to take the mixer apart. But the screw holes had been covered over with little plastic plugs to prevent me from doing so.

I ranted for a while about how rubbish this was because clearly they expected us to give up and just buy a new mixer when the old one sucks dough into itself and asphyxiates itself. (“They” being Wahl the manufacturers and also James Martin whose face was all over the packaging; I generally avoid celebrity-endorsed products like the plague, but this one actually looked pretty good for the price against its competitors and in my opinion James Martin is certainly one of the lesser evils in this area.) Then I got a chisel out and scraped enough of the plugs away to allow me to get a screw into them and pull them out. Hooray, I could actually see the screws now. But we didn’t have a screw driver that was long enough to reach them, so need to buy one of those before we can resuscitate the mixer. Will let you know how that goes.

Anyway, back to the pizza itself rather than the mixer-related rant. Despite the drama with the mixer, it had actually done a really good job of kneading the dough and it was very smooth and very elastic. After letting it rise for a while, we made it into a couple of pizza bases. Then I decided to try spinning one of them around in my hands, which I had expected to go horribly wrong, but actually it was a remarkable success. The stretchy dough stayed together and didn’t break and stretched out really, really thin. Thin and large. So large that it was too big to fit onto our pizza stone, so we trimmed the edges off and turned these into crispy garlic bread fingers (yum!).

We laid the base onto our pizza stone, covered it with some of Kerri’s special cherry tomato pizza topping (described in this post), some mushrooms that we had sliced, seasoned and fried, some very tasty buffalo mozzarella and a sprinkling of truffle oil. There weren’t quite enough mushrooms, with the result that the pizza looked rather minimalist, especially when combined with the very thin base. It was good though, and from now on I think we’ll always be making our pizza bases as thin as possible as it gives a lovely crunch and helps prevent them from going soggy which is something that ours tend to suffer from when being cooked in our not-really-hot-enough oven.

Nov 23rd, 2008

3 Comments to 'Minimalist Thin Crust Pizza'

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  1. Baby Bro said,

    Chunky Mushrooms! Looks like a popadum for a base, I dont like crunchy pizza base,

  2. Stephen said,

    Hehe it does look a bit like a poppadum, but it didn’t taste like one. It tasted just like pizza, except thinner and crispier.

  3. This is the true ultra thin pizza crust! So cool!

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