Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Small Dough-nation

I'm not asking for donations, but I am offering one to you in the form of pizza dough. The only thing small about this dough is the ingredient list and the difficulty factor. It serves up big-time in the delish department. I feel every cook should have a good pizza dough recipe blessing their kitchen with a base on which to create endless masterpieces.

I've been fascinated with pizza since...forever. It's easily on the top 5 of my fav foods. Trips to Napoli only reinforced the love. It's embarrassing to divulged the amount of pizza I could eat at a I won't. I think what draws me in is the crust. I adore food with crunch. If the crust is crunchy, it may be possible to toss anything on top of it and I would eat it, just to get to the crust. Okay, maybe not anything. My husband would be tossing anchovies, raw oysters and seaweed on there...things he always tries to get me to eat, because he loves them so.

Oh, and a note on instant yeast. If you have not used it...try it. It's amazing. I love it because I don't have to let it proof in the sugar and water until it's puffy. Nope, just toss it into the flour with everything else. It's cheap at your local wholesale club and it keeps forever in the frig. Just sayin'.

Pizza Dough

Prep time: 10 minutes plus 45 minutes to rise, plus 15 minutes to rest (for the dough, not you:)
Makes: 2 pizzas

2 c. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbls. olive oil
2 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 c. warm water (110 degrees)

Dump all ingredients into your stand mixer with dough hook attachment, turn to medium speed and let it rip! If the dough looks a little dry, add a tsp. water. If it looks wet, add a bit of flour.

When it pulls together in a ball, that is when you start the timer for the 5 minutes of kneading. Just let the mixer do the job for you. You can also do this by hand.

After the five minutes, you should have a soft, elastic dough, the expression, "soft as a baby's bottom" would be appropriate here, and in most cases the bowl will be "clean" as in all the dough pulled away from the sides.

Pour in a tsp. of olive oil into your bowl. Coat the dough ball in the oil, this prevents it from drying out.

Cover the bowl with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise. I happened to put mine outside because it was warm and toasty, much warmer than my air conditioned would have taken forever! So after rising in a warm place for 45 minutes (it should double in size), punch it down and divide into two balls. Let them rest for 15 minutes more. Don't skip this part, trust me. I've gotten antsy pants around this time, skipped this part and it was like trying to roll out an inflatable inter tube. (Okay, weird analogy, just roll with it) It was snapping back, not obeying my rolling pin and just overall difficult to work with. SO, let it rest that 15 min.

Then you're ready to make some pizza! Ciao! P.s. stay tuned for my next video, I will be making pizzas with my me you'll want to watch that one.
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