Monday, September 17, 2018

Grandma Pizza

I am, admittedly, a little old lady.

Yeah, yeah, I'm 33. But think about it. I like fall and cozy stuff (someone once told me I dressed like a human tea cozy and I took it as a compliment) and jigsaw puzzles and tea and British tv and knitting and baking and going to bed at 8pm and corgis.

So I'm a British little old lady it seems.

But I also really like pizza, the ultimate kid and lazy college student food. In fact, we LOVE pizza in our house. Pizza is a problem though.

1. You get a frozen pizza and it's fine, but it never gets crispy and what do they even do to that sauce?

2. You get pizza delivered but they always forget something and also you have people. Hard no on that one.

3. You make pizza, but it takes forever and sorry, home ovens are not brick ovens and never will be.

Luckily, we have a solution.

Grandma Pizza.

I first read about Grandma Pizza in this Bon Appetit article a few weeks ago. The basic idea is that little old Italian grandmas (hey girl hey!) have never had time to do all the weird stuff we do to pizza dough, including long, strict rising times. Like Sicilian pizza, Grandma Pizza is stretched in a pan in a pool of delicious olive oil, but the rise time is much shorter. It's a New York thing, apparently (I rode the train under NYC once so no, I have not eaten this before) but I knew I had to make it.

Using this article as a guide*, I decided to just do it. And we're so happy we did.

Grandma Pizza
easily serves 4 with some leftovers, but it's just as good the next day!

4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil (if there was a ever a time to spring for the good stuff, this is it)
3 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer and add yeast. The water should be warm, not hot.

2. Let the yeast bloom for 10-15 minutes - it will kind of start to foam.

3. Add salt and oil to the yeast and stir, then add 2 cups of flour.

4. Stir flour until the mixture is relatively well incorporated.

5. Place bowl on mixer and attach a dough hook, then add the remaining flour.

6. Knead mixture for 10-11 minutes on the lowest setting. You may need to add more flour if your mixture is too sticky - do this 1 teaspoon at a time.

7. When dough is fully incorporated and bounces back slightly when poked, remove dough and add to a smooth bowl coated with olive oil (I use another mixing bowl).

8. Don't freak out! This is a dough that rises slowly but then does it ALL AT ONCE. Let rise for 2-3 hours if you have it, or chill the dough up to 24 hours and then let rise and come to room temperature for about an hour.**

9. Preheat oven to 500F, pour about 1/2 cup of olive oil in a sheet pan (it's going to look like a lot, it's okay, I promise).

10. Plop the dough out and kind of smush it into a rectangle with your fingers. You don't have to get it all the way to the corners, just close.

11. Top with whatever makes you happy and then bake for 20-25 minutes! Take it out and let sit for 5-10 minutes so all the toppings set, the oil gets soaked in, and to get your beer/mimosa/camera to take pictures of your creation.

12. Slice and eat!

We made a classic Margherita pizza the first time and a breakfast pizza (sauce, homemade breakfast sausage crumbles, cooked and chopped bacon, spinach, mozzarella, then topped with eggs at about the 12 minute mark, with more cheese and spinach and Everything but the Bagel seasoning on top!) that was eaten so quickly I can't believe we actually got pictures! No matter what you put on Grandma Pizza, it's going to be good!

Thanks, Grandma, from a fellow little old lady.

*I used the Bon Appetit recipe but, most likely because of the humidity here, realized that I had to add way more flour and a little more water and salt. I also used my KitchenAid because I literally refuse to knead anything by hand. No thank you.
**For reference, I made the dough, went to a 2 hour yoga class, came home, took a shower, got a beer, and then started the oven. The dough was huge, but it was fine. 

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