Saturday, January 19, 2013

Basic Pizza Dough

We make this dough almost weekly!

1 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
1-1/2 c warm water
4 c. all purpose flour or you can do half white and half whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c olive oil

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.
Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.
When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.
Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 500 F., or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

For the NY style baked pizza dough in pic above:
I preheat oven to 500 F. with the pizza stone heating and then when it's very hot, evenly with metal spatula, evenly coat stone with corn meal and skip oiling process above.

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