Basic Pizza Dough

I said “Basic Pizza Dough”, meaning that it has few ingredients but is by no-means an “easy” recipe. It calls for love, patience and practice. But, if done right, it’s to die for!

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups of lukewarm water, {Refer to: how to dissolve yeast, I typically use step one}
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt {I use Sea Salt}
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 7½ cups of all-purpose flour

You will also need:

  • More flour for rolling {if you choose}
  • Parchment Paper {if you choose}
  • Cornmeal {a must}
  • Olive Oil {a must}

In a bowl {or use a liquid measuring cup} warm up the water as stated in the link above. Adding yeast to water and a pinch of sugar to help dissolve and bubble. Set aside. Place in microwave or away from any draft to allow it to bubble and get “active”.

Note: If your yeast is not getting “active” try adding more granulated instant yeast to the water and trying again. But, have patience!

Spread oil in a large bowl, up the sides too, and set aside.

In your Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook attachment, add flour, salt and sugar.

Combine on low until all dry ingredients are all well mixed. Take out 2 cups of flour mixture and set aside.

Take your “active” yeast and slowly  pour into flour mixture while mixing on low, or level 2. Try not to pour fast. Don’t allow your liquid to “puddle” in the flour mixture. Once all yeast is poured in, allow to knead on speed 2 for a few minutes until all mixture is well kneaded and mixed. Keep on low-speed, level 2, and slowly shake in the remaining flour mixture ½ cup at a time. Let dough knead for 4-6 minutes. Dough should be a bit sticky, and that’s okay.

Place dough in oiled bowl turning once, to make sure all the dough has a nice coat of oil on it. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm area, out of any drafts.

Tip: I turn my oven on to the lowest setting, usually 170°. Once it reaches temperature, I turn it off and leave oven door open for a few minutes. Once I think it’s not too hot, I place my bowl with the covered dough in it. It should stay warm enough to allow dough to rise well enough.

Let your dough rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
{It may take longer, but don’t worry. I usually let my dough rise for most of the day, then put it in the fridge an hour or two before I want to use it.}

Once doubled in size, gently pull the sides away from edge of bowl, using your hands. Some air should come out. If not, and you need to get out some anger, punch it down. Separate the dough in half. You can place portions of the dough in a air-tight container and place in refrigerator for use later.

Tip: Refrigerated dough is much easier to work with. I highly recommend you chill your dough before you start to roll it out.

Sprinkle your pans with cornmeal. Now, you can either choose to roll out your dough with some flour on the parchment paper and move it to your pan or do what I do and form your dough straight on your cornmeal sprinkled pizza pan using your fingers. Pressing from the middle out and leaving a raised edge for the “crust”.

Tip: If you love cheese like me, cut up some mozzarella into chunky small strips and lay in circle on the edge of the dough, then fold the edge of the dough over the cheese creating a cheese filled crust. Soooo goood!

Drizzle Olive Oil over the surface of the dough and over the crust before you dress with your favorite toppings!

Bake at 450° for 15-20 minutes or until crust is browned.

Makes three 12″ pizzas

Happy Pizza Making!

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