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The Best Pizza Dough for Mimi

This picture does not include a picture of my pizza dough.  But it was taken at my favorite pizza place in the world- Vinnie Van Go-Go's in Savannah, GA.

I have toiled in vain to make a homemade crust that is in any way similar to Vinnie's.

I'm not going to say I've done it, because I haven't.  But what I can say is I think this version is the closest I'll ever get.

For 10 years I have played around with basic pizza dough recipes, trying to find one that yields a thin, crispy crust, with bubbly edges.

I think there are two things that make this possible... very high heat (most home ovens can't get hot enough) and 00 Italian flour (it makes such a soft, pliable dough).  To manage the heat problem, I usually cook my pizzas on the grill, and let it heat to at least 600 degrees.  Hopefully one day my husband will build the wood fired pizza oven of my dreams.  And to manage the flour issue, I order my flour from Amazon.

Here's the basic recipe and process:

Mimi's Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups 00 Italian flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup warm beer

I throw all of these things in my Kitchenaid and use the dough hook.  Depending on the weather, sometimes I have to add more beer to get the dough to come off the sides of the bowl.  I knead it in the mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes.

After that, I take the dough out and play with it a little, make it into a ball, pour a little olive oil back in the mixer bowl, and put the dough in.  I cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise the rest of the day.  I usually make the dough before lunch, then put the covered bowl on top of the stove until I'm ready to roll it out.

When it's about 30 minutes before supper time, I preheat my grill on high, then come in and cut up my toppings and make my sauce.  My sauce recipe is simple... throw a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, garlic, fresh oregano, fresh basil, and fresh thyme, and a little tomato paste in the blender.  Buzz it about 30 seconds and you're done.

I take the dough out of the bowl, put it on a well-floured counter and roll it into a big circle with a marble rolling pin.  I have read so many articles on whether or not to roll crust.  I used to stretch it, but it was never as thin as I wanted it.  I finally gave in and rolled it with the heavy rolling pin, and it worked like a charm!

I have a wooden pizza peal (peel?) that I dust liberally with cornmeal, and I transfer my huge dough circle to the peal.   I dock it with a fork all around, take it outside, oil my grill grates and throw it on for about 5 minutes.

After it has parcooked, I bring it back in and put the sauce and toppings on.  I start with sauce, then cheese, then whatever else I want.  Last night I made a mushroom, red onion and spicy sausage version.  I take it back out to the grill and let it cook on raging high for about 7 minutes.  I don't take it off until the edges are charred and the bottom looks too done.

Then I force myself to wait 5 minutes for the pizza to rest, cut it and inhale it.

You can make two smaller pizzas from the recipe, if you have some picky eaters.  Fortunately, I don't have any of those.


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