Summer bounty pizza

Summer is a great time to make pizza. I’ve made pizza at home off and on for years but have never been truly satisfied with the end result. One day, hubby and I were roaming through a tiny neighborhood “Italian store” in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Normally, as you readers know, I am completely devoted to King Arthur Flour products; but I’d also been wanting to try a true Italian pasta flour. I saw this on the shelf; it called out to me:

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While the intent was to use the flour for pasta, I couldn’t help noticing the pizza crust recipe on the side of the package. The recipe made enough dough for several pizzas. I made one using my baking  stone and put the other balls of dough, individually wrapped in plastic,  in the freezer. The pizza crust was much, much better than any I’d made before. Weeks later, with an array of summer veggies on hand,  I decided to try again, this time using the sheet pan. I took the dough out of the freezer and let it defrost on the counter in the plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, I cut up fresh tomatoes, mixed them with good olive oil, basil from the garden and sea salt. I sliced fresh garlic (garlic before it’s been dried out—only available at the beginning of the season and just sensational—you can see it in the cover photo). I sliced an eggplant, drizzled it with olive oil, and roasted it lightly.

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When the dough was fully defrosted and ready to roll, I preheated the oven to 450 F (the recipe says 400—in my oven, I’ve found that 450 works better). I sprinkled semolina flour on my KAF dough mat and began rolling it into a rectangle. This time, I used a pasta technique–flipping it every so often during rolling. The result was a beautifully thin and pliable crust. I coated the sheet pan with olive oil and a sprinkling of semolina, then carefully placed the dough, stretching it gently to reach the corners. I drizzled it with olive oil and allowed it to rest for about 15 minutes.

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Next, I topped the pizza with the vegetables and added fresh mozzarella and a generous grating of parmigiano. Into the oven it went. In about 20 minutes, I had, at least by my measure, a perfect thin crust pizza. It was so good that I tried it again the next night, just to see if I could duplicate the results. I did. I celebrated.

I suppose you could try any 00 flour, but I had such good results with Anna that I’m going to stay loyal. It’s widely available and not at all expensive. Here’s the recipe:

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