Pizza Dough

I love pizza. So good. I think if we could eat pizza every week, several times a week, we would. The problem with that is it is so expensive! Our local pizza place is relatively inexpensive but it’s still not cheap, so we find ourselves indulging in pizza far less these days. I just can’t justify the cost when that same amount of money could go to so much more food if I buy ingredients at the store. Well, I couldn’t just give up pizza and I’ve never made it from scratch before. That is of course unless you count using Boboli crust or making english muffin pizza, which I seriously haven’t had since I was a kid.

So the challenge… homemade pizza dough. A relatively easy challenge considering I’ve made homemade bread sucessfully before and attempted bagels. We’ll get to that story someday. The thing I hate about making bread or doughs yourself is the waiting. There is at least one or two waiting periods. I’m having to force myself to get use to this because it comes up in a lot of recipes… toss it in the fridge for x amount of time, let rise for x amount of time, etc etc. I get it. There is a reason for waiting and setting aside but it doesn’t satisfy my immediate wants and needs.

I had a little problem with my first attempt. It wasn’t a major one since in the end the pizza still turned out amazing. I had expected my dough to rise a huge amount and it honestly just didn’t. Maybe my water was too hot or maybe my store has a bad batch of yeast. The recipe also is suppose to make enough for two full pizzas but since it didn’t rise a ton and I couldn’t get it to stretch out like it probably should… okay I maybe didn’t try that hard but again, in the end it didn’t matter… I made two small pizzas. This made a super thick but delicious crust. I was a bit dissapointed leading up to putting my pizzas in the oven but after I had plated and sampled it, I was no longer upset in the slightest bit. I will of course be trying again. But in the meantime… do enjoy this recipe. As you can tell, even if something small goes wrong… it may still turn out amazing.


Pizza Dough II

Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg instant yeast
1 1/2 cups water, room temp
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

In a bowl or multi-cup measuring cup dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until the yeast puffs up, about 5 minutes or so. Add in second batch of water and oil, stir to combine.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix dry ingredients. Add in your liquid mixture slowly. You want this to form a fairly nice mass. Remove from your bowl and knead by hand for 5-10 minutes. Form your dough into a ball and tranfer to a large greased bowl. Flip the dough after tossing it in so both sides are now greased a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, but not hot, location. Sometimes I will put my dough on the dryer and turn it on to help give it a boost. Especially in the winter, we don't always have a nice warm spot for the dough to rise. Counters can feel cold or at least not warm enough, even if the house itself is a comfortable temperature. Let your dough rise until it almost doubles in size, 2 hours or a bit more.

Divide dough into two equal parts. On a lightly floured work area, shape each part into a small ball knead and add more flour if necessary. If it sticks to your hands, add some flour, but just a small bit at a time. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 10-20 minutes more.

Preheat your oven to 500. Take one of the balls and roll out or stretch with your hands, to fit your pan. I've since read up more, if it doesn't want to stretch out or roll out on your first attempt... let it sit for 10 or so minutes and try again. I really just wasn't up for waiting... again, not a big deal because it was still super good. If you don't mind a thick crust, don't worry about it. If you are only making one pizza, toss the second ball of dough in the refrigerator or freezer.

Top your dough as you like and toss in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden color and your cheese is completely melted and bubbly.

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