Monday, January 17, 2011

Pizza Dough

I've made at least 8 pizzas in the last month, but each time they are eaten so fast that I don't have time for a picture. This pizza dough and the sauce (post below) have become family favorites.

Pizza Dough

*makes enough for four 14" pizzas

4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups cold water

Measure water into large measuring cup and then place in freezer to chill until needed.

Combine flour, salt, and yeast. Add olive oil and water. Stir until all flour is incorporated. Knead by hand (5-7 minutes) or with dough hook (3-5 minutes) until dough is smooth and elastic.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions.

Spray the inside of 4 sandwich-sized plastic baggies with cooking spray. Place 1 portion of dough into each bag. Refrigerate overnight or up to three days. This dough also works well if frozen and then moved from the freezer to the refrigerator one to two days before baking.

Two hours before you want to cook the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly flour your counter top. Shape the dough into a small disc, about 4-5" in diameter, and place on top of floured counter. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil. Every 30 minutes or so, come back to the dough and stretch it out a bit further. The dough is very supple and will stretch easily. The goal is to have a pizza dough that is about 14" in diameter.

The way you cook the pizza will vary depending on what equipment you have. Here is how I do it...

Approximately 30-45 minutes before baking, turn oven to the highest baking temperature it can handle (mine does 550). Place cast iron pizza stone on lowest oven rack while preheating oven.

Once oven is heated, remove pizza stone and quickly place pizza dough on top. Cover lightly with sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Return pizza to oven on lowest rack and cook for 6-8 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. When pizza is done, remove from cast iron stone immediately. Lightly brush edges with olive oil and serve.

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Please leave a comment and let me know--I'm always looking for new ideas. Our favorite pizza currently is fresh mozzarella with bacon and prosciutto.


Amy and Wil Castillo said...

you said every 30 minutes or so stretch the pizza...but for how many segments? I am sooo bad at making crust, so I hope this works!

Rachelle said...

Amy--I usually divide it into four segments. Basically what you do is to stretch it until it feels like it is about to tear/rip (but not doing so) and then let it sit and relax. The dough will relax to that point, and then you pick it up and stretch it out a bit further. Let it sit and relax, stretch again, repeat. Let me know how it goes!

Amy and Wil Castillo said...

will have to try this again with a different type of cooking ware...used a pizza stone...I am not sure what I did wrong...but it was flat and probably too hard. Do you think I am under or over kneading the dough?

Rachelle said...

Amy--I'm sorry to hear that it didn't turn out for you. I'm sorry! It is a bit of a thin crust dough--but it shouldn't be hard. Here are further instructions using the same recipe, and the author used a pizza stone to cook it. I hope it helps!