Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The BEST Pizza Dough

Making pizza dough is super easy. I promise. I know that yeast can be scary, but I promise this is a good way to get over the fear, because this is an easy recipe and honestly yeast is not scary at all. Especially if you have a handy Kitchen Aid Mixer. Did I tell you I got a new Kitchen Aid Mixer for Christmas from my darling hubby? Yes, he won the husband of the year award this past Christmas and surprised me. He got me a professional grade mixer, a digital kitchen scale and a very cute King Arthur Flour pink shirt that says "bake." I loved each thing he got me. Opening that Kitchen Aid mixer though was like falling in love again. Yes, with my hubby, not the mixer, although I love the mixer too. Back to pizza dough.
This recipe is great because it makes enough dough for two regular sized round pizzas (or four small round pizzas). You can use it all at once, or freeze for future use, or whatever. I usually make this with half white whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour but it is so versatile, you can do it with all wheat or all white. It truly is up to you and what you have in your pantry.
Let's get started, shall we?

here is the recipe in its entirety from Everyday Food magazine Jan/Feb 2009 and the step by step is pictured below the recipe

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm (115 degrees) water
2 packets ( ounce each) active dry yeast (or instant yeast works too)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for kneading
2 cups whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)

Directions
1. Place water in a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Brush another large bowl with oil.
2. In bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil, and salt. Stir in flours with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl; brush top of dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead until smooth, about 15 seconds; divide into two balls.
4. Use immediately or freeze.
5. To freeze set balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

First, you need 1 1/2 cup of warm water - 115%. It is important to make sure your water is the right temp to activate the yeast, so I always use a thermometer to make sure my water is the right temp. Got it?

This is what it will look like once the yeast is activated (about 5 minutes), it will get foamy and bubbly. Then you add the rest of your ingredients. I use a whisk to combined the oil, sugar, salt and then the kneading hook to combine the flour.

You do not need to have a mixer to make this dough, because it really doesn't need to be kneaded, just combined until a sticky dough forms. This is what it should look like after you add your flour and combine.

Brush a large bowl - sides and bottoms - with olive oil so your dough doesn't stick. I like to use a clear bowl so I can easily see my dough rise.

Put your sticky dough in the oiled bowl, and brush the top of your dough with some oil too so it stays moist and doesn't dry out as it rises. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in size.

Here is the dough, all risen and ready to use. It took about 1 1/2 hours for me to get a good rise. You can always punch it down and let it rise again if you aren't ready to use it yet.

Divide your dough in half and roll out each half to your desired size (or divide and freeze). I sometimes do rectangles but today was round pizzas. I like to make a nice thick crust around the edge simply by rolling the edges over and sealing the seams by pinching together. If you don't like a thick crust you can omit this step and leave it rustic and raw looking around the edges. No problem.

You can roll your other half into another full size pizza OR you can divide it again and give it your cute little kiddos to roll and make their own pizzas. They will think this is the coolest thing ever. There is something therapeutic about playing with dough, even for grown ups.

Don't worry Dad, they washed their hands. I think they did pretty good making circle shapes, but they were not big enough so I rolled them out a little more when they were not looking to get their crust looking good too.

Here are the boys' pizzas crusts. I usually bake my crusts for 10 minutes before I sauce and top them. If you aren't use a non stick pan, you might want to oil your pans, or sprinkle heavily with cornmeal so the dough doesn't stick. The best thing about homemade pizza is that you can top your pizza the way you like it best. I use pizza sauce, garlic salt, and this King Arthur Flour's pizza seasoning before I sprinkle with cheese and toppings.

Lots of cheese maybe?

Or maybe some leftover pulled pork with BBQ sauce, corn, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese? Definitely not something my father in law would eat, but Adam and I devoured this pie. It was sooo good.
I told you making pizza dough was easy. It truly is. We have homemade pizza often (at least twice a month). It is affordable and tasty. Give it a try and let me know how yours comes out!

Remember that Christmas present I was telling you about?
Here I am on Christmas morning opening "the Kitchen Aid mixer". I knew when I saw the big box exactly what it was, and I was so excited. Apparently Ethan was too.

Here is my wimpy old Kitchen Aid mixer that I faithfully used for the last eight years. It served me well but the lock feature broke this winter and it wasn't large enough for those double batches of bread. Look how big the new mixer is next to the old one! I have definitely entered a new realm of cooking here.

Shiny. Heavy duty. Professional. But not necessary to make pizza dough.

Have I reached a record now for the most pictures I have ever used in one post? I'm done, don't worry.

4 comments:

  1. You have the BEST Mixer, but, the BEST Dough?????? I am not sure about that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pizza! And you are correct, your father-in-law would not eat that pizza with all that "stuff" on it!
    Love reading your blogs. It makes me wish I loved/liked to cook :)

    It's great the boys help you will all your cooking. They will never forget this time spent with you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Andrea, you are so cute in your Christmas PJs! Anyway, about the Carol Snow books, they are definitely not Christian fiction, just so you know. :) But that one (Here Today, Gone to Maui) was really good!

    ReplyDelete

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