Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pizza Dough

This has got to be my very favorite pizza dough recipe. And trust me, I've tried quite a few. Figures that it came from my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook (the standard version -- not to be confused with the also-excellent Vegetarian version). It's truly better if you can wait a day to use the dough, but if you can't, give it the 30 minutes to rest a bit after all the abuse it will take from kneading and then use it on up in your favorite pizza recipe. This recipe doubles nicely to freeze half (yup, just plop it in a freezer bag and into the freezer...move it to the fridge on the morning of the night that you'd like to use it for it to defrost). If you have a stand mixer, use it. If not, you'll have to get a bit of a workout. Sorry.

I'm going to try this one a bit differently by listing the ingredients with the steps as I go. Just know beforehand that you'll need all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and water. The bread flour might be a stretch for some...if you're not willing to take that trip to the store to get some, just use the all-purpose flour for all of it.

1. Put 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a heaping teaspoon of yeast (about half a packet, if you're using that kind) in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a medium bowl if you don't have a stand mixer). Stir to combine.

2. Add 1/2 cup of very warm water (the temperature you'd take a shower in on a really cold winter night) and 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil, and mix on medium speed (either in your stand mixer with the beater attachment, or with a hand mixer) for 3 minutes.

3. Begin adding enough bread flour to form a soft dough (probably about 1/2 to 3/4 cup). When it forms a ball, switch out the beater attachment for the dough hook. If you're using the workout method, dump the dough onto a clean surface covered with a bit of flour (this is what they call "bench flour," but it's just regular old flour that you use to keep the dough from sticking to the counter).

4. Knead the dough for 8 minutes, adding additional bread flour as necessary to keep the dough from pooling at the bottom of the bowl (or to keep it from sticking to your hands if you're hand kneading it). To knead the dough by hand, press the heels of your hands into the dough, pushing it away from you. Pull the edge of the dough furthest from you up and over the top of the dough towards you, and then turn the dough ball a quarter turn and do it all again. And again. For 8 minutes. It doesn't have to be precise; you just have to beat it up by stretching it for awhile.

5. After the 8 minutes are up (or your arms hurt, whichever happens first), spray some cooking spray to coat a bowl. Put the ball of dough in there, and spray it too. Cover it with plastic wrap and wait 30 minutes.

6. Your pizza dough is now ready to use, or to put in the fridge to use tomorrow, or to put in the freezer to use the next time you're feeling like a pizza and a beer.

Also featured on...Pizza Dough on Foodista (thanks for suggesting me, Alisa!).

1 comment:

Alisa@Foodista said...

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