Cornmeal Pizza Crust
The dough can be made the night before and then formed into rounds just before the party. Set out a variety of toppings in bowls, and let guests assemble their own pizzas before baking them. We particularly like roasted tomatoes with fresh mozzarella cheese, and thinly sliced baby artichokes and eggplant with grated Asiago cheese. Pureed butternut squash, caramelized red onions, grated fontina cheese, and toasted pumpkin seeds make for an unexpected but perfectly delicious autumnal pie.
- Yield: Makes 4 seven-inch pizzas
Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2002
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 2/3 cups warm water
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup cornmeal, plus more for pizza peel or baking sheet
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
- Roasted Tomatoes, optional topping
- Easy Butternut Squash Puree, optional topping
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, optional topping
- Caramelized Onions, optional topping
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture and oil. Slowly stir ingredients with a wooden spoon just until dough starts to come together. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes.
Divide dough into four 4-ounce balls. Place balls in a shallow oiled bowl, turning to coat with oil; cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone on lowest rack. Stretch dough into 6- or 7-inch rounds. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Place dough rounds on top, and cover with toppings, as desired.
Slide rounds onto pizza stone, and bake until crust is crisp and golden and toppings are bubbling, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven; serve immediately.