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Wolfgang Puck's Pizza

1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 t. honey or sugar
3/4 C. warm water (105 to 115°F)
2 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 T. olive oil (or Chili and Garlic Oil, plus additional for brushing. Recipe below)
Topping of your choice (See Vegetable Topping below)

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and when absorbed, scrape in the dissolved yeast. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and knead on low speed about 5 minutes.

Turn out onto a board and knead 2 or 3 minutes longer. Dough should be smooth and firm. Let rise in a warm spot, covered with a damp towel, about 30 minutes. (Dough will stretch when lightly pulled.)
Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be loosely covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 525°F. Place a pizza stone in the oven.

To prepare each pizza, place a ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Press down on the center, spreading the dough, or roll a 7 - 8-inch circle, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. Brush lightly with oil and arrange the topping o your choice only over the inner circle.

Arrange the pizza on the baking stone and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pizzas are nicely browned. Transfer to a firm surface and cut into slices with a pizza cutter. Serve immediately.

Topping for Vegetarian Pizza  
Makes 4 7- or 8-inch pizzas

3 C. grated mozzarella cheese
2 C. grated fontina cheese
2 C. (about 1/2 pound) sliced fresh artichoke hearts, cooked
2 C. (about 5 ounces) sliced eggplant, grilled or sautéed
4 t. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. grated mozzarella cheese
1 t. chopped fresh oregano

Sauté the eggplant and mushrooms separately, each in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Use more oil if necessary.
Arrange ingredients on the pizza dough in the order listed at left. See Pizza Dough recipe above, steps 6 and 7.
Note: The vegetables listed are the ones we usually use. You can substitute vegetables of your choice as desired.

Chili and Garlic Oil  
1 whole head (about 2 1/2 ounces) garlic, peeled, cloves, separated
2 C. olive oil
1 T. chili flakes

In a small saucepan, combine the cloves of garlic and olive and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until garlic turns golden brown, 10 to 5 minutes.

Let cool and then add the chili flakes. Let sit for at least 2 hours before using.
 

    
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