Back by popular demand, my husband returns with another post from Dave’s Bread Corner…
Like most people, when I think of pizza I think of some sort of fresh pie at a local pizzeria. Who can’t claim to love the chewy crust and melty cheese of a slice that’s only managed to cool enough to avoid serious damage to your mouth? There must be some magic secret that pizza shop chefs know that no one else can reproduce right? Well, I certainly thought so.
I’ve had the pizza dough you buy in the tube. I’ve had the kind many grocery stores make and put in convenient little bags. I’ve had those pizza crust things that come in a vacuum sealed pouch and hang there in the store like some sort of an art piece on what pizza you could make with them. I’ve had frozen pizza from almost every brand there is. I assumed that the magic must be somewhere else. All these things simply reinforced the idea that something done with magic dust or a magic wand by the lord of dough at the pizza palace was too arcane for anyone else to reproduce.
The good news… I was mistaken. Let me show you. 🙂
Pizza Dough Recipe
(Makes 2 personal sized pizzas)
- 1 and 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Add the salt.
- Turn the stand mixer on low (speed 2 on my Kitchen Aid mixer).
- Add all of the flour (both kinds) 1 cup at a time.
- Turn the stand mixer up to a slightly higher speed (I used speed 3 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) and let it run for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Divide the dough evenly into 2 separate greased bowls.
- Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and put them somewhere warm to rise for 2 to 3 hours.
Try to use immediately. I don’t know how well it holds up in the refrigerator.
UPDATE: This recipe makes about 1 and 1/2 pounds of pizza dough.
Just like other bread recipes, the first thing you need to do is prepare the yeast. I always love the smell this step makes. It’s that delicate yeasty aroma that for some reason I find both pleasant and somehow almost comforting.
Once all the ingredients are in the bowl you may think you’ve already ruined it. It just doesn’t seem like there is any hope of “real” dough being the result at this stage. It’s crumbly and stringy and weird, but it’ll get better.
Just a few minutes of the dough hook on your stand mixer working its magic and look at the difference! I’m not kidding, the only difference was a bit more kneading the dough. Amazing huh?
Now it’s time to split the dough, wrap it up, and let the yeast do its thing.
For those of you that also read about my Italian Bread you may have noticed something about how long it takes to rise. This is not an accident. You definitely do not want to use my warm oven rising technique for this dough. I’ve tried it several times and I’ve never been happy with the results. For this dough to come out properly, you really need “low and slow” rising. In other words, put them on the counter in the kitchen with some plastic wrap over them, and go away for a long time. In this case, patience is a virtue.
Your goal is for them to look like they have doubled in size. The time estimate in the recipe is just that, an estimate. You need to go by “feel” for this and that means wandering by from time to time to see if the dough has doubled yet. If you live in Georgia and it’s August, it may only take a couple hours. If you live in Siberia and it’s January, you may actually need to give it a lot more time. At my house, 3 hours did the trick.
Heavily flouring your board makes working with the dough much easier. If you’ve gotten everything right up to here, you should find that the dough is a complete pain in the butt to work with. It’s rubbery and when you spread it out it tends to want to shrink back. I won’t lie, I hate this part. It’s super frustrating. However… If you want the secret to pizzeria pizza (or anything else you could imagine pizza dough being used for), I think this is it. If it’s not fighting you a bit here then you haven’t quite captured the essence of pizza dough.
Use your hands, use a rolling pin, use your elbows if you think it will help. Eventually you will win the fight and the result will astound you. 🙂
This is a wonderful start to an almost unlimited variety of delicious Italian dough based meals. Pizza is just the start of the list that can include bread sticks, calzones, Stromboli, and countless other recipes.
Other recipes from Dave’s Bread Corner: