Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cornmeal Parmesan Pizza Dough

While visiting Chicago recently, my husband and I were astounded to learn that my mother-in-law had never tasted Giordano's pizza despite living in Chicago for over 30 years. She'd had deep-dish, of course, but never Giordano's which in my opinion is the best big-chain deep dish place in town. Naturally, we had to expose her to its delicious goodness.

Perhaps we had built her expectations too high but she didn't care for it. Crazy, I know! Her criticisms included that the Giordano's pizza had doughy crust, rather than the cornmeal one featured by a competitor who shall remain nameless. Even though I had tasted the competitor's pizza before and noted that the crust was different, it never registered in my mind what the difference was (other than that I preferred Girodano's deep dish). I also had never heard of a cornmeal crust, only that cornmeal was a popular dusting ingredient. Then I stumbled upon this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Cookbook, which I had checked out from the library, and had to try it. It was fantastic! The texture is crisper than my regular dough recipe and the Parmesan is subtle but definitely there. Though I am not sure that it will replace my regular recipe, I will definitely make it again in the future and likely start some sort of dough rotation on Pizza Fridays. :)


Cornmeal Parmesan Pizza Dough
1 c water
2 TBS olive oil
2.5 c bread flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 c grated Parmesan
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients in the order recommended for your bread machine. Set to dough cycle.

For thin-crust pizza, divide dough into desired portions and roll or pull to 1/4-1/2" thickness, depending upon your preference. Grease pan. Pre-bake in 425 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Add toppings and bake for another 10 -15 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

For thick-crust pizza, shape into a 13-14" pizza. Cover and rise for 30-45 minutes or until nearly double. Pre-bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Add toppings and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until topping is bubbly.

Makes two 11-12" thin-crust pizza or one 13-14" thick-crust pizza.



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