Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pizza Dough

A friend of mine asked for a pizza dough recipe, so I thought I would share with you all.  If you have limited experience kneading or using a countertop mixer, you might want to watch a video online first on how to knead.

2.5 cups flour,
1 cup water,
1.25 teaspoons salt,
1.5 tablespoons olive oil,
1 teaspoon sugar
half a packet of instant yeast (~.125 ounces)

Run the faucet on hot till you get to 105 degrees. Add the yeast and the sugar to one cup of this hot water and stir.  The mixture should bubble up nicely in about 10-15 minutes.

Add the flour to a bowl and make a well in the middle.  Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil.  Using a mixing spoon, partially incorporate the ingredients by stirring a couple of times, then sprinkle on the salt.  Then mix with the spoon till it comes together into a clumpy mass.  There will be excess flour on the bottom of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a surface and begin kneading.  If the dough begins to stick to your fingers, add some of the excess flour.  If you've used up all the flour, add a couple of drops of olive oil.  This will make the dough more consistent and easy to knead.  Knead for about 10 minutes, or until you can stick your finger into it and it leaves a soft indentation, or when you stretch it, you can stretch it pretty thin (bakers call this "the windowpane"; it means the gluten bonds have formed to a satisfactory degree).

Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours (it can go up to 3 hours if you like) or overnight in the fridge.  Then separate the dough into 2 balls and allow them to rest on a floured surface for at least 20 minutes prior to stretching out into pizza pie.

Note: For more authentic pizza, use fine ground semolina flour.  Semolina flour absorbs more water, so you will need slightly less of it.

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