The perfect pizza crust

As a kid, pizza was a treat for dinner. Mom made them completely by hand, starting with the dough from scratch. She got pretty good at it. So good, in fact, that she could not only churn out enough to feed a family of 10, but would sell them to neighbors for the princely sum of $1 for an entire pie (actually, she baked them on cookie sheets).

Not bad for a woman of Eastern European heritage.

By the time I reached adulthood, I had pretty much given up on pizza. Maybe it had to do with the fast-food aura this dish had acquired since my youth, especially as a steady sustenance for cramming for college exams.

But these days, I’m back to trying to create the magic of Mom’s original recipe, including hand-made dough.

Well, truth be told, I use a bread maker to mix and proof the raw material. And while we’re in the mood for full disclosure, I have found the recipe for French bread to work as well if not better than the original Italian version. For this dough, I use simply water, a little lemon juice, flour and water. That’s it.

One trick I have discovered over the years is to bake the pizza dough for a good four to five minutes before slathering it with the sauce of your choosing. This gives the dough a nice crusty texture and makes leftovers far less soggy.

My recipe:

–1.25 cups of water

–3.75 cups of flour

— 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

–2 tablespoons of rapid rising yeast

Bake on high (400 degrees with a convection setting if your oven has it).

Give it a try!

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