Basic Pizza Dough

Submitted by tueda

My brother first bought me a pizza stone back in ought... five? I think? Anyway, I made my first pizza with it and bam, never ordered pizza again. That's a blatant lie, but while I do still occasionally order, it's never as good as homemade. This recipe is the hand-kneaded and slightly altered version of the one found in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. This is one of the pages in my copy that the book automatically opens to because it's so wrinkled from use. Major differences? I use about twice as much yeast, a little less salt, and completely eyeball the flour.

Makes 2 medium pizzas.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
  • 2+ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. In a medium-to-large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, 2 cups flour, and salt, and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour in the water and olive oil. Mix it all together, adding little bits of flour at a time, but only enough to keep it from being a sticky mess. You should not have major clumps sticking to the side of the bowl, but stop once those are gone.
  3. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead. I normally keep kneading until the dough starts pushing back. Or in normal person terms, when you push it outwards, it noticeably resists and creeps back to its original shape.
  4. Coat a large bowl with oil, dump the dough in the bowl, and flip it over to fully coat the dough. Let rise for at least an hour (if you're impatient), preferably 2+.
  5. Once risen, punch the dough down. Divide and freeze any portion you won't use. Shape, top, and bake the rest as hot as your oven goes for about 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes

To reconstitute any frozen dough, just leave it out to defrost and bring it up to room temperature. If you're impatient, bring the oven up to 175 degrees, turn it off, and toss the dough in after about five minutes. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want to bake it. Yet.

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