Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Central Market Pizza Dough

This past weekend, for the first time in who knows how long, The Hubs and I were at home all weekend with nothing to do.  And it was lovely.  Until Saturday afternoon when we got bored.  After nixing the idea of going to see "The Help" again,  The Hubs turns to me and says, "Hey, do you want to go to Central Market?"  Now you're speaking my love language!  YES!

So off we went to one of my happy places.  It's also my land of impulse buys.  It never fails that I walk out with something I don't need or "just wanted to try."  This trip's impulse buy turned out to be one of my all time favorite Central Market purchases - Fresh Pizza Dough.  OH-MY-HEAVENS!  It is some kind of wonderful.  If you live anywhere near a Central Market, go get some today and make yourself a pizza.  You'll thank me later.



A couple of quick notes before I get to the process/recipe:  In this recipe, I talk about a pizza peel and a pizza stone. While these two items will help make you pizza especially perfect, they aren't a must-have.   If you don't have them, see the notes at the bottom.


Ingredients:

  • Central Market Pizza Dough
  • Your favorite pizza sauce
  • Your favorite pizza toppings
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese 

Directions:

1. A couple of hours before you're ready to make your pizza, lightly oil & flour a large bowl.  Take your dough out of the container and drop it into the bowl.  Allow it to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size. 



2.  At least 45 minutes before you're ready to bake your pizza, place your pizza stone on an oven rack in the lowest position in the oven.  Preheat to 500 degrees.


3.  Once your dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.



4.  Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten out the dough to a 9" to 12" round.  No need to be a perfectionist.



5.  Lightly dust your pizza peel with flour and carefully transfer the dough to the peel. Give your peel a quick jerk.  If the dough moves around on the peel easily, you're good-to-go.  If if sticks, take it off and add a little more flour.  Reshape the dough, if needed.


6.  Spread a layer of pizza sauce around the dough, leaving a slight edge.



7.  Top generously with your favorite toppings.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.



(Now come the dangerous/tricky part - hence there are no pictures.  I didn't have enough hands to take pictures and transfer a pizza to a 500 degree oven carefully at the same time).


8.  Leaving the pizza stone in the oven, line up the far edge of your pizza peel with the back of the stone.  Jerk the peel gently to get the pizza moving off the peel.  Once it starts to come off, carefully ease the rest of the pizza onto the stone.  Once it's on there, don't move it.  Let it be.  Your fingers will thank you.


9.  Bake pizza for 7 minutes for a perfectly crisp crust.  Using a large metal spatula (or 2), scoop the pizza off the stone and transfer to a cutting board.



10.  Slice.



11.  Enjoy!



My Tid-Bits:

* If you don't have a pizza peel or stone, you can just use two rimless baking sheets instead.  Put one on the oven to preheat and use the other just like you would the peel.  


* At our Central Market, we found the pizza dough in the prepared foods section in the refrigerated case with their pre-made salads.


* Note: This dough is ALIVE!  It will grow.  Even if you leave it in the refrigerator.  When it starts to ooze out the sides of the container (and it will) just give it a gentle push back into place.

* This dough would be perfect for an easy make-your-own-pizza party.  Just divide the dough into smaller, individual sized portions before rolling out.  


* Oh, and those hands slicing the pizza? They belong to The Hubs.  While my hands may not be dainty, they aren't that manly. 

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