dessert pizza shells

Categories
Crusts
Yield
1 Servings
MeasureIngredient
½ ounce Active dry yeast
2 tablespoons Nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup Very warm (120-125'F) water
1 tablespoon Sugar or honey
½ cup Apple juice
1 teaspoon Salt
5 cups Flour
½ cup Lukewarm water (or more)

Dissolve the yeast and the skim milk powder in the water. Add the sugar or honey and stir well to dissolve. Let this sit for about 10 minutes. Add the apple juice and combine well.

Put all of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and combine. Add the liquid mixture to the flour along with enough additional water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough for 4 minutes if using a stand mixer; 8 minutes if kneading by hand.

Divide the dough into balls of about 4 ounces each, put them on a floured sheet pan, cover the pan and allow to rise for 1½ to 2 hours, until doubled in bulk (or let rise, covered well, in the refrigerator overnight).

Thickness: To make a dessert pizza shell, the dough should be rolled thicker than that for a thin-crust pizza because it will be holding more weight. Go with a dough shell that is at least ⅛-inch thick.

Forming: Pull up the sides to form a crust cuff or a well to hold the dessert toppings. The pizza shell should like like a pie or tart shell.

Size: A four- or five-inch diameter pizza seems to be the best size, because it can be served as an individual dessert or as one for two people to share.

Preparation: The best way to go from this point is to dock the crust and bake it completely. This baked crust will then be ready to take various toppings. In a few situations you might want to only par-bake the crust -- when doing a baked apple pizza, for example.

Toppings: Cheeses: For the sake of simplicity and good taste, cheeses can be narrowed down to three: ricotta, mascarpone and cream cheese.

Fruits: Just about any fruit will work. Using fresh fruit will control the moisture. Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pine nuts are favorites. Miscellaneous: Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves work well. Crushed or ground amaretto cookies make a great topping over cheese and fruit. Chocolate chips, raisins and zest of oranges, lemons or limes can be used most effectively to pump up the flavor. A dusting of confectioners' sugar looks good and goes a long way in the taste department. Brushing or layering fruit preserves or a fruit glaze on the crust before toppings go on adds a lot of flavor and offers a wide range of taste possibilities.

Source: Pat Bruno Jr., Pizza Today, June 1992.

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