PIZZA

Friday Night Pizza

Like many of my recipes, I adapted this one from Mark Bittman’s cookbook, How to Cook Everything.  He calls his recipe Basic Pizza Dough.

ingredients
  • 14 oz. all-purpose flour (or 3 cups)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (between 80º to 100º F)*
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a bit more for oiling the bowl in which the dough will rise)
Note:  *Cooler water is fine, but I wouldn’t use icy cold water.  I recommend warm water simply because it makes the dough easier to handle.
directions

For either method:  Warm up your oven (anywhere from 170º – 200º F).  Once it hits this temperature, turn the oven OFF.  Coat the inside of an oven safe bowl with some (maybe 1/2 tsp?) olive oil.

In a food processor:

    1. Place flour, salt and yeast in bowl of food processor fitted with either the plastic dough blade or the steel blade.  (I’ve used both and noticed no real difference.)  Mix for 5 seconds.
    2. Measure out the water and add 2 Tbsp olive oil.
    3. With the machine running.  Pour the water & oil into the bowl through the feed tube.  Process for about 30 seconds.  The dough should come together into a ball (more or less).
    4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times.
    5. Put the dough smooth side down into the oiled bowl, rub it around, then flip dough over.
    6. Place dampened tea towel, sprayed with cooking oil, over the bowl and place in that warm cozy oven or in another draft-free spot in your kitchen.

To make dough by hand:

    1. Proof your yeast if you are not sure it is alive.  You can do this by mixing the warm water and the yeast.  Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes.  It should begin to foam by then.
    2. In a bowl, combine flour and salt (and yeast if you do not need to proof it).  Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and water.
    3. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together.  This will take a little work.  Resist the urge to add more water.
    4. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes.
    5. Put the dough smooth side down into the oiled bowl, rub it around, then flip dough over.
    6. Place dampened tea towel, sprayed with cooking oil, over the bowl and place in that warm cozy oven or in another draft-free spot in your kitchen.

You can use the dough right away, but it becomes more elastic with time.  I usually make my pizza dough in the morning and then it is ready by dinner time.

Turn dough onto floured surface and knead a few times.  Cover again with your tea towel.  Let the dough rest while you preheat your oven to 500º.

After about 15-20 minutes, start stretching out your dough.  If, when you stretch the dough, it bounces back a lot, it needs to rest some more.  Walk away for at least 5 minutes.  Keep dough covered when you are not stretching it.  Stretch it out to the desired size and shape.  Using fork tines, prick the dough all over.  This should prevent air bubbles from forming.  Bake dough for about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 375º.  Top your partially cooked dough however you choose.  Typically, I only use pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Bake again for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully after 8 minutes.  Different types of cheese will brown at different rates.

 

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