Pizza Dough

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Let’s talk about yeast breads again today. I think that amongst the population of casual bakers, yeasted bread is way too much effort for the payout. I’ll start by saying that I agreed with that sentiment when I first started working with yeast doughs. Over time though, you start getting the routine down and it’s really not so bad. In fact, it can be downright satisfying. You can even spread the endeavor out over a couple of days so that it isn’t as daunting. A stand mixer always helps, but it’s not a necessity. I’m sure that I’m not an expert at bread kneading, but let me show you my tricks anyway.

So you’ve proofed the yeast and mixed up the dough, and then what? You have to knead this sticky, raggedy mess of flour? Doing it by hand, I’ve found that working fast is the best way to go. No matter what amount of flour a recipe calls for, I almost always reserve up to a quarter of a cup of the flour on the side. The humidity plays a big factor in how much flour you’ll actually need in a dough.

From what I’ve found, the most important thing to keep in mind is that finished, kneaded dough ball will always be just a little bit sticky. You should be able to knead it without having it stick to your hands or the table, but you shouldn’t be able to hold it for more than 10 seconds without it sticking miserably to your skin. “Tacky,” is the technical term for it. In a mixer, the dough will gather into a ball on the hook attachment.

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A trick I picked up from Alton Brown about letting dough rise: put the dough ball into a straight-sided, clear container and mark the level of the dough on the container. You can easily monitor how much the dough as risen by referencing the container marking. Slick, huh?

Okay, so pizza dough. It leads to pizza. I like to top my pizzas with a fresh, cracked egg a few minutes before pulling the pizza out of the oven. “Egg on a pizza? You’ve gone off the deep end!” you say? Not at all! This idea is from Chez Panisse’s own Alice Waters. Try it on a Margherita or veggie pizza. Trust me!

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After seeing that picture, can you really protest? : )

Pizza Dough | Amy’s personal recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1 package yeast, or 2 1/2 tsp
  2. 1 tsp sugar
  3. 1 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
  4. 1 tbl olive oil
  5. 1 1/2 – 2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Mix yeast, sugar, and warm water together. Let stand for about 5 minutes, or until frothy.

Mix together flour and salt.

Add olive oil to yeast mixture and then pour the entire thing into the flour mixture. If using a stand mixer, mix dough with paddle attachment until it starts to come together before switching to the dough hook.

Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand, or 10 minutes by mixer. The final product should be slightly tacky and be elastic. Roll the dough into a smooth ball and lightly cover it in olive oil before putting it in a bowl and covering with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled. Turn out the dough and knead for a minute. Press or toss it into a disk, put it on an oiled baking sheet, drop on your toppings, and bake at 400 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, depending on your toppings.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi I think this is a fantastic blog, keep up the good work…

  2. […] wrote about my pizza dough recipe in a previous post, and while I felt like I had the dough perfect, I sometimes had issues getting […]

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