October 19, 2010

From the Baker's Rack: Pizza Dough

A couple of Christmases ago my friend Lisa gave me a cookbook on pizza, Pizza and Other Savory Pies. While I have always enjoyed the pie, yeast breads were still a bit new to me so the book sat on the shelf for about a year.

What a mistake!

The recipe for Thin-Crust Pizza Dough is wonderful. Very easy and inexpensive to make, and there is nothing like the joy of seeing a yeast dough actually rise like it is supposed to. This recipe will yield enough dough to make two pizzas. I usually just freeze half the dough, and the next time you are ready for homemade pizza just defrost, roll out, and bake -- no additional rise time needed. Enjoy!

Thin-Crust Pizza Dough
from Pizza and Other Savory Pies by Brigit Binns

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
1 package (2 ½ tsp) quick-rise yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 ¼ cups warm water (110 F), plus extra as needed
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra as needed

1. Combine both flours, yeast, sugar and salt in bowl of your mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix until the ingredients are well incorporated.
Pizza 004

2. With the mixer running, add water and oil in a steady stream. Mix until ingredients form a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1-2 tsp water until ball comes together.
Pizza 008

3. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

4. With mixer on a medium-low speed (think 2 or 4 on your KitchenAid), knead the dough for 10 minutes. Though dough should be tacky but not sticky. If you have a question of whether you should keep kneading it, err on the side of a little longer knead vs. shorter.
Pizza 009

6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, the cover with plastic wrap. Place dough in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Pizza 011

7. Turn onto lightly-floured surface and shape into a smooth ball. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. You can then freeze one if you so choose.

8. Preheat oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone, go ahead and put it in the oven now to get really hot.

9. Roll out one ball of dough to a 9-inch circle. Let rest 15 minutes.
Pizza 013

10. Coat fingers with olive oil, then press dough outward from center until you form a 14-inch circle of even thickness. If dough springs back, cover with kitchen towel and let it rest for a few minutes before any more coaxing.
Pizza 015

11. Brush dough with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pizza 018

12. Top with your favorite tomato sauce (I like homemade) and your choice of cheeses and toppings. (This past Saturday I made a pie with spinach, tomatoes, and feta -- yummmm).
Pizza 021

13. Carefully transfer pizza onto hot baking stone (or onto pizza pan if you don't have a stone), then bake for 9-12 minutes.

14. Enjoy!
pizza 002

1 comment: