Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pizza with Scratch Dough

This is a new one for me, pizza dough from scratch.  I like making pizza at home, but in the past I have used store bought crust (which tastes fine, but I don't like all the preservatives/additives) and store bought dough (not the most flavorful).  I was pretty impressed with how easy and tasty it was to make the dough myself.  It's really not complicated, had all the ingredients in my pantry already, and the flavor is so much better than from the store.  This would be super fun to make for New Year's Eve or day with the family (if you're not into the party scene). Here's what I did:

Begin by blooming yeast (waking up the yeast) in warm water for about 5 minutes in a large mixing bowl. 

You'll know it's working because it'll get bubbly.  I can already smell the yeast - I love it!

Add in flour olive oil, salt and sugar and mix well.

Swap out the mixing paddle for the dough hook...

and knead for about 10 minutes.  Do you see how in the previous pics the dough was just a big lump, and here it's stretchy, that's just what you're looking for. Now the dough needs some time to rise.

Spray a lid or some cling wrap with non-stick spray and loosely cover.  Notice I didn't seal the lid on tight, just set it on top, if you use cling wrap make sure you leave a little bit open, too.  

Place in a warm spot til the dough doubles in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.  I have mine on top of the fridge, you can also do this in your oven: preheat your oven to 175F while the dough in kneading.  Cover as shown, place in oven and turn oven off, let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours. (this is not the best pic-sorry- but notice the size of the dough here)

Again not the best pic, but you can see how the dough has really expanded.  Now it's ready to punch down, which isn't actually punching the dough. This just means to release the dough of all the excess air. 

Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface, you can see my finger marks in the dough. Do this by pressing down on the dough with your fingers, no aggression necessary!  

From here you can decide what size pizza you want.  I'm making individual pizzas, so I divided it into 4.  If you make 2 you can easily fit them onto a standard cookie sheet to bake, if you make one large pizza you'll need a pizza baking stone.

Cover loosely and let rest for about 15 min.

Preheat your oven and gather your favorite toppings while you wait.

Now the dough is ready to roll out, using a rolling pin roll out the dough into an even surface.

Move it to a baking sheet that has some cornmeal on it...

layer on toppings, starting with a thin layer of olive oil..

pizza sauce (easy, yummy recipe below)...

cheese and toppings...

bake for about 12 minutes and enjoy!

Pizza Dough

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/3 c warm water (105F-115F)
3 1/2- 3 3/4 c ap flour
2 T olive oil
1 T salt
1 T sugar

Place yeast and water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes.  When yeast is bubbly add in remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Place dough hook on mixer and knead for 10 minutes.  Cover loosely and allow dough to rise in a warm spot for 1- 1 1/2 hours.  Punch dough down, and divide according to your desired pizza size.  Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. While the dough is resting preheat oven to 475F and gather cheese, sauce and toppings.  With a rolling pin, roll dough out to desired size and place on a cookie sheet that has corn meal on it.  Brush olive oil on dough, then spoon on pizza sauce, add a layer of cheese and finally, top with your favorite toppings.  Bake for about 12 minutes.

Pizza Sauce

1- 15 oz can tomato sauce
1- 6 oz can tomato paste
1 T ground oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t ground paprika

Mix all ingredients on a medium mixing bowl.  Spread on pizza dough.

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