Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Pizza Dough

So many pizza doughs get so dry and tough. This one stays light and delicious regardless of how thick or thinly it is rolled and is perfect for any pizza! Try pepperoni, margherita, hawaiian, a fruit or dessert name it -- here is your crust!
Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups very warm water
1 Tb sugar
1 scant Tb yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tb olive oil
4 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl (Kitchen Aid, Bosch, etc.) dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water - let sit for 10 minutes. Foam should form on top. Whisk in salt, olive oil and 1 cup flour. Whisk in 2nd cup of flour. At this point put on dough hook and turn mixer on low as you add the last 2 cups of flour. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a little bit at a time until dough forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes. (Or 10 minutes by hand) Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an hour in a warm place until double in size. Punch down dough and divide into 2 parts.
Each half will make a 12 inch pizza. (If you only want to make one pizza now, then put other dough ball in an oiled freezer bag and pop in the freezer for another day!) Take the dough ball that you want to use immediately and allow it to rest for 15 minutes then roll out.
This part is totally your choice, you can roll it by hand by pushing and forming the dough ball into a circle or you can use a rolling pin. They both work great, I usually do it by hand but have done both. Also, pizza's don't always have to be round, just make sure you can fit it onto your pizza stone, cookie sheet, grill...whatever you are cooking it on.
Bake according to pizza directions however, 425 for 15-18 minutes is a safe standard.

*to freeze the pizza dough... at the point where you divide the dough into two parts, you can put one half in an oiled plastic bag and put directly in the freezer. When you want to use it, let it thaw in the frig or at room temperature. Once thawed, there is no need to allow it rest/rise again - just roll out and use immediately.

Addition 10/28/2011: I made the most amazing pizza the other day (coming soon) but love this dough fresh so much that I just couldn't bring myself to freeze it so, i made breadsticks out of it! BRILLIANT! I was quite proud of myself. I know there are severeal of you out there saying, "duh!" but this was like an epiphany for me so let me have my moment! Thank you. :)
Well, they were delicious and easy. I rolled them out like the Pizza Factory Breadsticks and made a glaze out of parmesan cheese, butter, dill weed (which by the way is my favorite topping for breadsticks) and kosher salt. They were yummy and light and wonderful. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. These were really light and airy. My husband prefers the Pizza Factory Breadsticks because they are more dense but that is your choice! MMM! Bon Apetite!

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