Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pizza Perfected

Sorry for the minor hiatus. Had a busy week and even busier weekend. Here's the pizza dough post I promised...

Finding a good pizza dough recipe can be a long and daunting task. You find one that seems promising, but it ends up being too thick/thin/doughy/whatever. I know I tried several different recipes before finding one that we all really, really like. The original recipe can be found HERE.

The first time I made it, I followed the directions as closely as possible. But the next time I made a few changes. Each time since then I've tweaked it a bit here and there (not so much the ingredients, moreso the process) to make it the best for my family's tastes. Here's what I've come up with, and it's by far the best homemade pizza dough I've tried.

Ingredients (for two large pizzas)
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups cold water

Start off by chilling the flour in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together (I start with a metal spoon, then mix by hand) until equally distributed.

Split your dough into two equal pieces. If you are not feeding a large group, freeze one dough ball (they stay fresh for up to a month in the freezer). I stick mine into a freezer bag and spray some olive oil in there, works great. Take it out of the freezer the day before you plan to use it and place in refrigerator to thaw. Then let it sit out for an hour or two on the counter right before you plan to bake it.

Sprinkle the counter with flour, and then roll your dough ball in it. Work the extra flour into the dough until it is more manageable. Then roll the dough out to an even 1/8 - 1/4". Place your sauce and choice of toppings evenly over the pizza dough (and not too thick, or the center will remain doughy). Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on how done your family prefers it.

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