If you're a huge garlic lover (like we are) then you simply MUST make this pizza! The crust is so simple to make and oh-so flavorful. The toppings can be as I've shown here or you can load it up with all your favorites. Your call. You can do whatever strikes your fancy, just as long as you don't skimp on the garlic!!!
3-1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, starting with only 3-1/2 cups of flour. More may be necessary later.
The Crust (continued):
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup beef stock
1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tablespoons dried minced onion
In a small saucepan (over low heat) heat the above ingredients until the butter is just melted. Allow to cool slightly so that you can comfortably stick your finger in and not be burned.
Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour (if needed) to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). When dough has fully risen, punch down and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
After the dough has risen, add approximately 1 tablespoon cornmeal to the surface of your baking pan (I used a pizza stone) and using your hands, flatten the dough out, on top of the corn meal, into whatever shape you wish.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and pre-bake the crust for approximately 15 minutes. This is a thick crust so the pre-baking of the untopped crust is definitely something you'll need to do.
After the initial pre-baking, take the crust from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Using your fingertips, lightly dimple the top of the crust to form little wells.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 (or more) freshly grated garlic cloves
4 red ripe tomatoes
1 log fresh mozzarella cheese
dried basil and oregano (*Note - fresh herbs are preferred but dry is what I had on hand, use what you have)
Using a pastry brush, and being liberal, brush the olive oil (gently) on top of the crust. Next, peel and grate the garlic and (gently) spread it over the crust, along with the olive oil.
Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into 1/4" thickness. Starting with the tomatoes, arrange them on top of your crust making sure to cover as much or surface area as possible.
Next, layer on the fresh mozzarella cheese however you choose (*note - you can also grate this cheese to form shreds if you prefer) and sprinkle the top with additional basil and oregano.
Increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees and slip your pizza into the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
Open wide...your pizza is ready!!!
Now, let's see how well you were paying attention. There is a surprise hidden somewhere in this post. Can you spot what, or who, it is? Say "Cheese"!!!
Until we eat again!