I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Bit might be putting it lightly. But I say bit because I only want things to be perfect to a point, then I don't care. For example, tomorrow I'm co-leading a tour of West Hayden Island - explaining all the flora and fauna. We have spent countless hours preparing for the tour. Getting maps printed on write-in-the-rain paper (yes, it will be raining tomorrow), putting together lists of birds, renting vans/port-o-potties, gathering RSVPs, etc. It's planned out perfectly. But come tomorrow, my attitude will be that we have done all we can and the rest will just go how it goes. I have this same belief about everything, because no matter how well you plan, something not-planned-for will happen. I maintain this is why I not only remember, but enjoyed my own wedding.
Applying that philosophy to cooking. I get the best ingredients, find the best recipe, chop, mix, pour and then leave it up to the universe to finish the product. The universe, for as long as I can remember, doesn't seem to be helpful when it comes to breads including pizza crust. That is until tonight. Finally, the perfect pizza crust!
2 3/4 to 3 c all-purpose flour
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1 1/2 t active yeast
3 T oil
1 c very warm water
Mix 1 c flour, sugar, salt and yeast together. Add oil and very warm water. Beat for 3 minutes. Add remaining flour. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes until dough is smooth and springing. Wrap in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat 450 F. Divide dough in two. Roll out on to two greased pizza stones (or cookie sheets) - roll to very thin and then turn up the edges. Add toppings - whatever you like. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
My toppings included: red pizza sauce, fresh basil leaves (lots and lots), fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4 inch rounds, sliced mushrooms and feta cheese. It was delicious! I mean really, really delicious! It is worth using fresh basil and fresh mozzarella - the taste and consistency is unmatched. Even if you are making a traditional pepperoni pizza, I would recommend toping with fresh mozzarella, not that pre-shredded, dried-out stuff in a bag. You will notice the difference.
I did manage burn my forearm in the exact spot where I burned my forearm on a previous pizza-making advemtrie. It's already blistered. Thankfully, lots of wine will dull the pain ;-)