Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pizza Dough

Anyone that knows me well will say I am a real sucker for pizza.  Bread, sauce, and cheese - how could you go wrong?  Pizza is a staple that most kids grow up with, and as you age, your taste buds tend to morph into a more acquired taste, but that just means you up the ante and upgrade from a frozen pizza to a fresher homemade pie. 

For beginners, most grocery stores sell ready-made pizza dough, but if you want the real experience of doing it all from scratch, here are the easy shake down steps to follow for your own simple a'pizza dough:

Ingredients - Thin Crust
1/2 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 + cups flour, bread flour or all-purpose
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Ingredients - Thick Crust (a.k.a Doubling up)
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 + cups flour, bread flour or all-purpose
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1.  In a medium sized bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add 1 cup flour (2 cups if following a thick crust), salt, sugar, and Olive Oil.  Combine together (I recommend getting your hands dirty at this point).  The dough will come together and form a ball.  When combining the dough, if it feels too sticky to form, just add a little bit more flour.

3. Set dough aside for about 30 minutes.  If you want, you can cover it with plastic wrap, but let the wrap hang loose, allowing air to come through, as the dough needs to breath for the yeast to rise.
And watch it grow...
The Dough is best when used immediately or within a few days.  If you want to keep it longer, freeze it right after it rises for up to a month.  Be sure to defrost for a couple of hours before using it.