Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pizza Dough

I never buy pizza dough now that I know how to make my own. It's really not that difficult a chore. The satisfaction of creating pizza from scratch, one that your family and friends will enjoy is priceless. Roll up your sleeves and grab the flour. We've got pizza to make.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup wheat flour (or skip this and the above measurement and use 4 cups all purpose flour)

1 cup water

1 package active dry yeast (equals 2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil, but canola and vegetable will work)

Pour sugar and yeast (magic fairy dust) into a container large enough to hold 1 cup of water.

Add 1 cup of warm water. Warm water and sugar activates the yeast. Be sure the water is not too hot; 100 degrees is a good temperature for the yeast.

Stir the yeast and sugar in the water and allow it to sit for about 8 minutes. A foam will form (it's alive! alive!).

While the yeast is activating, whisk flour and salt together until it's well blended.  

Push the middle of the flour out to the side, creating a small hole in the middle of the flour.

Pour the yeast, sugar, water mixture into the middle of the bowl.

Add the oil and stir the ingredients of the bowl thoroughly (I use two wooden spoons). Continue stirring until the consistency of a dough is formed.

Put the dough onto a floured surface.  

Cover your fingers in flour and knead the dough thoroughly for 6 to 8 minutes. This video will show you how to knead dough.  

Coat a bowl with olive oil. Add the dough ball, turning it a few times to coat thoroughly with the olive oil.

Cover the bowl of dough with a dish towel and sit it in a warm place. A temperature of about 70 degrees works well.

Wait for an hour (allowing the dough to rise). Remove the dish towel and punch the dough, working it back down to nearly its original size. The picture below is prior to slugging the dough.

Wait an additional 30 to 45 minutes, then divide the dough (we're making two pizzas!). Sprinkle a 12 inch pizza pan with corn meal then push or press the dough out until it covers the entire surface of the pan.

You're ready to add your toppings. Bake your pizza in a 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza becomes a golden brown color.

Here are a few pizzas I've made.


Pineapple, jalapeno, red onion

Chicken pizza with mushrooms

Taco pizza (prior to going into the oven)

Two slices of taco pizza with diced tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream

My pal, Alexis Rotella, penned this splendid tanka about food:

Before he arrives
I run out to buy
his favorite flowers
and every food
he said he loved.

I'll post a recipe and poem by Colin Stewart Jones tomorrow.                                                                                                              

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