I'm Freeeeeee, Free-Forming....

I have a long-standing yeast dough phobia.  After many an epic breadmaker fail, I gave up and donated it to the Salvation Army.  I had an unexpired jar of yeast in my refrigerator--purchased when I started to see no-knead recipes and glowing testimonials on various food blogs.  It took a trusted source (Tracy at Shutterbean) and some kick-ass toppings to help me overcome my fears.  On the hottest day of the year in San Antonio (110 degrees), I bit the bullet and preheated my oven to 500F.

Kitchen slave shucking on the porch in case of corn worms.

I've modified Tracy's recipe only slightly because I made two pizzas and used shallots instead of red onions.  Also omitted the jalapenos and red pepper flakes.

 For the dough (two crusts worth):

  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • extra virgin olive oil for pan

Stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a sturdy spoon, mix well. Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half.  Oil a 13x18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Place the dough on the pan stretching it and pressing it til very thin. If it springs back wait five minutes and then proceed.  If it tears, just push it around til the holes close up, don't freak out if you have some small holes, it didn't seem to affect my pizza.

Topping: (for two pizzas)

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (I used food processor for zucchini and shallot)

2 shallots, thinly sliced

Kernels from ~2.5 ears of corn

1 cup grated parmesan

1 cup crumbled feta

1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

olive oil

Toss veggies in olive oil, spread on prepared dough.  Top with cheeses and cilantro.  Bake at 500F for 15-20 minutes.

Squeeze a little lime juice over the top and eat immediately.  OK, you can wait a little bit so you don't burn the roof of your mouth.  I can also attest that it is delicious cold at 2 in the morning. 

My yeast-avoidance syndrome is cured.