PIZZA DOUGH FROM SCRATCH

We like to make our own fresh pizza dough at home. Cost is pennies on the dollar for store or deli purchased dough. The flavor is out of this world. How can you beat the freshness of made today crusts?!?!? We love to have friends and family over for “make your own pizza” parties. I developed this recipe over the last few years and many batches. Using this recipe I simply make enough dough for the crowd about 6 hours in advance.

Just enter the number of 8″ personal sized pizzas you want to make and calculate your custom recipe.

(this form is calculated to produce 8″ pizzas. If you want to make 12″ pizzas input 2.25 for each 12″ pizza, i.e. enter 4.5 if you desire two 12″ pizzas)

Using a gram scale, weigh out your ingredients and mix as follows. First step is to weigh your water. Use “luke-warm” water. Neutral temperature to touch, or barely warm is alright. The water MUST NOT BE OVER 105°F. Add sugar to the water. When dissolved add yeast. Let hydrate for a few minutes and then mix well into sugar/water solution. Now allow this mix to “prove” for 5 minutes. If the yeast is live you will begin to see frothing and smell a heady, bready, yeasty aroma (yum!). This is good yeast. If this foaming does not occur in under 10-15 minutes, your yeast is dead. Discard and start over with brand new yeast.

While waiting for yeast to prove, mix flour, salt (first) and then extra virgin olive oil. Mix very well in a large mixing bowl. When well combined you may add the proven yeast/sugar/water solution. Add slowly, mixing in steps. Start with perhaps half the water and mix well. Then add water in smaller increments until you have a moist slightly sticky ball of dough. The environment in your kitchen effects the amount of water used in this recipe. If you achieve this moist slight sticky result with a little bit of water remaining, that is OK. Just rinse it down the drain. (It’s also OK to drink. It tastes really good!) If you run out of yeast water mixture, then simply add small amounts more water until the desired texture is achieved.

The next step is 30 minutes of “hydration”. Put the ball into a sealed plastic container. This container keeps the mass from drying out. The time allows the flour particles to equally absorb all the water in the recipe. The dough ball may also rise a bit during this phase. After 30 minutes, tip the dough from the plastic container onto a bread board. Knead the dough by rolling and folding it 6-12 times. You should feel the dough stiffen with each turn/fold. This is developing the “glue” in the flour to cause the bread to have a nice crumb. Once you feel some resistance, stop put the dough-ball back into the proofing chamber and let rise for 4-6 hours.

After it has risen, you are ready to portion out the dough into individual balls. Keeping the bread board finely coated in a little flour, divide and roll out into crusts. These can be stored back in the plastic box to rise for a thicker crust or decorated right away and baked.

Bake at 500F for approximately 8 minutes. The crust should be crispy and the cheese melty. Bake longer for browner cheese/crust, bake less for softer crusts. Keep track of your times and the ones that come out the way you like them.

  • I use metal screen trivets for each crust. I spray them with Pam, then apply the crust. Once the pizza is finished baking it peels off the trivet easily.
  • for a slightly different flavor try using brown sugar instead of white.
  • experiment with topping, cheeses and sauces. Why not make a chicken alfredo pizza or a cheddar and carolina pulled pork pizza?
  • The oil I use is Evtra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Never use tap water. The treatments may kill the yeast.
  • For summer pizzas try putting a pizza stone in your outdoor barbecue grill. Preheat on highest setting for 20 minutes. Put your pizza trivets directly on the stone. Mine makes a perfect pizza in 4 minutes without heating up the house!

Cost – <$0.25 per serving, Difficulty – 1.5/5, Working time – 30 minutes , total time 4.5-6.5 hours

Molto divertente, mangia bene

 

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