My food worlds collided this week when I went online to order my weekly haul from Farmigo, the Israeli-owned CSA (consumer-supported agriculture program)-type thing I subscribe to, and found — among the mostly-local fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and artisanal culinary treats — a gorgeous-looking heart-shaped challah from Hot Bread Kitchen.
Cheesy, comforting, versatile and full of flavor, pizza is a food that’s impossible not to love. And today, February 9, we have even more reason to celebrate it: It’s National Pizza Day!
We like a puffed-up, pillowy pizza crust with a charred surface and a tender, chewy crumb. A combination of fine-milled, low-gluten 00 Italian flour mixed with a higher-protein bread flour helps achieve this result. The dough is mixed and allowed to rise in bulk, and is coated with olive oil while being turned at 30-minute intervals, to help achieve the elasticity and strength needed to be pulled superthin. After 2 to 3 hours (depending on the ambient room temperature), we punch the dough down a final time and retard it in the walk-in fridge for a minimum of 24 hours. Then we divide it into 6½-ounce portions and allow a final rise before shaping the pies. We have found that a dough with some age has a more complex flavor, caramelizes to a more beautiful golden hue, and develops a crisper outer crust than a younger dough made under the same conditions.