Monday, January 14, 2013

The Promised Pizza Dough Recipe

Here is the recipe that we use for our pizza dough. You can use whatever sauce you would like. We have used spaghetti sauce, we have used pesto, chili sauce, we have used (what you see here) a homemade sauce with diced Roma tomatoes, oil and creative!

We have also done different cheeses: cheddar, mozzarella, Monterrey, ricotta (for less fat)...whatever you decide. Personally, my favorite is cheddar. :)

You can add any number of toppings: sausage, peppers, onions, chicken pieces, meatballs, pepperoni, summer sausage, I think we even tried turkey bacon! You can tell we enjoy having meat on ours, but you can do all vegetables if that is your preference. The combinations are endless.

Basic White Bread (Pizza dough)
From "A Short Course with King Arthur Flour in Baking with Yeast"
2 cups water (hot)
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 Tablespoon or packet active, dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt (or less if desired)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry milk (optional)
6 cups King Arthur unbleached flour

To the 2 cups of hot water, add and let dissolve in 3 successive stages, the sugar or honey, yeast, and salt. When all three are dissolved, add the dry milk, oil and 5 1/2 cups of flour. Pour the other 1/2 cup of flour on the board where you intend to knead.

***Some facts about dissolving yeast. The water should be about 110 degrees or less, otherwise the yeast will die. The yeast loves and grows on your sweetener that is why you add your sweetener first. Both salt and oil cause the yeast to stop growing, so you add these later.
If you knead the dough by hand,(you can bypass all of the kneading and put it into your kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook, then follow the same procedure for rising) you will knead it until the dough begins to feel "together", adding only enough more flour to keep it from sticking to the board or you. Let it rest while you clean and grease your bowl. Continue kneading the relaxed dough until it feels smooth and springy. Form it into a nice ball, place it in the greased bowl turning it so the top is greased, cover it, and place it where it will be warm and cozy (no drafts)let rise for about 45 minutes - 1 hour. When you can poke your finger int he dough without it bouncing back at you, knock it down, and form two balls to make loaves out of (or to make two pizzas). At this point, you will flatten them for pizza in the pizza pans. If you make loaves instead, place the two balls into grease loaf pans and let rise for another 30 minutes.

For Pizza, bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes (20 if thicker crust).
For bread loaves, bake at (pre-heated) 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Changes and shortcuts from the recipe
- We usually don't put in the dry milk, but the milk adds some extra protein if that is something that you would like.
- We usually use Olive oil in the crust and when it says "grease" the bowl, we use Olive oil here too. Before putting your sauce on, you should also brush on oil to "seal" the dough so the sauce stays on top and doesn't soak into the dough. This may seem to be a lot of oil but the dough itself is more dry. It really is just perfect.
- When my son divides the dough up, he then flours the counter and actually rolls the pizza dough with a rolling pin. Once he has it all stretched to the desired size, he then places it on the pan and rolls the extra dough (hanging over the pan) in like a pie crust. That is how he gets the wonderful rolled crust you see in the pictures.

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