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September 22, 2008

Cornmeal Pizza Crust


1 Tablespoon Granulated sugar
1 Cup Warm water 110-115 degrees F
1 Envelope Active dry yeast
2 ¼ Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Cup Cornmeal, coarse ground
1 Teaspoon Salt (Fleur de Sel)
¼ Cup LeBlanc extra virgin olive oil


In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water, (water should be warm but not hot to the fingertips; too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold it will not activate it).
Sprinkle yeast over water and sugar and stir to dissolve; about 1 minute till you have a smooth beige mixture.
Let stand in a warm place or proof in a convection oven until a thin layer if foam covers the surface, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl combine 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour with 1 cup of cornmeal and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Make a well in the center and add the olive oil and the activated yeast.
With a wooden spoon mix vigorously until the flours are incorporated and the dough begins to hold together.
Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface.
Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough gently.
Press down on dough with the heels of your hands and push it away from you, then partially fold it back over itself.
Shift it a quarter turn and repeat the procedure.
If dough is tacky or sticky gradually add the remaining ¼ cup flour as you knead.
Knead dough 10-15 minutes until it feels smooth and springy.
Don’t over knead, it will over develop the gluten and give you a tough crust.
Form a ball of dough and lightly oil the dough ball and place it in a lightly oil bowl.
The oil keeps a crust from forming which would prevent the dough from rising.
Cover bowl with a cloth and place in a warm (75-80 degrees) area in your kitchen that has no drafts or proof in the convection oven 45 minutes for quick rising yeast and 1 ½ hours for a regular yeast.
Dough should double in size.
Punch the dough down and form into a ball, this will remove any air bubbles. Cut dough in half and press the dough into a tart pan. Don’t worry about tears as this dough patches easily. Once you have dough formed in tart pan you can place toppings on it immediately and bake; let it rise again for 20 minutes for a thick crust or bake dough 4 minutes in a 450 degree oven and place toppings then bake or freeze.


4-6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
2-3 Pears, sliced
3 tablespoons D’Anjou pear vinegar
15 ounce can Quartered artichoke hearts, sliced
2 teaspoons White truffle oil


Marinate pear and artichoke slices in pear vinegar 15 minutes.
Spread crumbled cheese on crust.
Arrange marinated pear slices and artichoke heart slices on top of cheese.
Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 450-degree oven 20 to 25 minutes till brown and bubbly on top.
Drizzle a small amount of white truffle oil over top, slice and serve.

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