Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Basic Pizza Dough

Very few people (that I at least know) make their own bread. I grew up on homemade bread. I remember watching in amazement as that little ball of dough grew into this bubbly beach ball! And I LOVED being allowed to "punch it down". I still love to make bread, and do so as much as I can. Admittedly I do buy for sandwiches when life is too busy. We RARELY order in pizza (honestly CANNOT remember the last time we did... years probably!). I've just always made pizza. Kids love to build their own, select their own toppings.... the dough is very quick & easy to make. If you have a bread machine (I do not, but used to), you can put all the ingredients (wet first like usual then dry) and select dough cycle and skip the *messy* part. :)

Pizza Dough.
2 tsp. active dry yeast
pinch sugar or honey
2-1/2 to 3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2 TBSP good olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast, sweetening & 1 TBSP flour into warm water. Stir until dissolved & let stand until foamy, about 15 min. (IF it doesn't go FOAMY - THROW it out, your yeast is OLD) :)
2. In a large bowl, place the oil, salt 1 cup flour and the foamy yeast mixture. Whisk hard until smooth (about 3 min.. depending on your pipes!) Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time with a wooden spoon until a soft, sticky dough is formed that just clears the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface & vigorously knead to form a springy ball, adding flour 1 TBSP. at a time as necessary to prevent sticking, about 3 min. The dough should be quite soft, smooth & very springy. Form into a flattened ball & place in a greased deep container, turning once to coat the top & cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temp (I usually stick it in the oven with the light on) for about 1-1/2 hrs (triple in size it should be).
4. Shape the dough, cover it with toppings and bake in a preheated 500 degree oven (I use a pizza stone), for about 8-10 minutes. Pans can take 10-15 minutes. ENJOY!!!
Just remember to limit yourself to 3-5 toppings.... too much and it's well... too much! Always coat the dough with a layer of sauce or olive oil before assembling.
Makes one 16-18 " crust, two 10-12" crusts, three 8" crusts or ten 4" appetizer pizzette :)
We love to have family movie nights on Friday night -- usually it's with hot, fresh pizza!

1 comment:

Giovana said...

Hi Jen!!
Thanks so much for the recipe, I love to make my own dough too.
I have checked your creations, awesome as always.

Have a great and blessed day