I posted my recipe for pizza dough a long time ago but it was accidentally deleted. No worries, though...I have new and improved directions for you! This is especially for my dear friends who have told me they want to try to make their own dough but haven't been brave enough yet. To you, I say, "Go for it!!" Despite the steps and all of the photos, it is really a simple process and once you make it a couple of times, it will be very easy.
I use this dough for pizza, breadsticks, pizza rolls, focaccia, and calzones. I have used it so many times over the years that I don't even have to look at a recipe. LOL I will share some of those tips and recipes as I make them and take pictures.
*My confession* I usually use my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook to make my pizza dough and breads. But I didn't start out that way. Since I know that many of you might not have a mixer or dough attachment, I am demonstrating how to make your dough by hand. :)
*This recipe will make 2 medium/thin pizza crusts or one really big/thick crust. I usually just half the recipe but I am trying out saving half of the dough in the fridge for another day...I will let you know how that works out.
3 cups flour (I used bread flour today but I have used all purpose for years and it works fine. I also often substitute whole wheat for half of the flour.)
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or one of those little envelopes of yeast)
2 TBS olive oil
WW points- the whole recipe comes out to 30 points. I use half of the dough for one pizza so if you cut it into 8 slices, each slice will have about 2 points worth of dough. Then you can calculate the rest of your pizza depending on how much cheese and other toppings you add.
1. Mix the water and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of it and let sit for about 5-10 minutes or until it gets foamy.
2. While the yeast is doing it's thing, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. When you measure flour, always use something else to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Don't scoop the flour out with your measuring cup or you will end up with too much flour.
6. Now you get to KNEAD the dough. If you have never done this, you might be a little intimidated. But trust me, it is easy. And it is a bit theraputic once you get into the "zone" (unless you have little hands trying to get in to help knead it like I normally do.)
To knead the dough, all you do is fold the dough over on itself and press it down. Then you turn it and fold again and press. I usually use two hands to do this (since you need to put a bit of muscle into it) but I had to take a photo with one of them. :) Keep kneading it and kneading it for about 5-10 minutes. You can add a touch more flour if you need to...I added about a 1/2 teaspoon or so.
7. The photo on the left was after 2 minutes of kneading. The one on the right was after about 8 or 9 minutes. Place the dough into a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover it with plastic wrap (also sprayed with cooking spray.) Place the bowl in a warm area for about 20 minutes to rise. I always put mine in the oven after turning it on for 1-2 minutes. (I made the mistake once of forgetting to turn the oven off and ruined the dough...so now I ALWAYS set my timer for 2 minutes so I can remember to shut off the heat.)
8. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down. (Just press your fist into it and fold it over itself once or twice.) This is when you will want to cut it in half to make your two crusts (or save half for another time.) If you like a really thick crust, then by all means, just use the full amount to create your crust. We like it thinner.
Turn on your oven to 400 degrees to start heating up while you chop toppings and decorate your dough. It will rise a little more while you are prepping your toppings. I usually set it on top of or next to my oven so the heat can help it along a bit. you can brush some olive oil on the dough or spray it with a little cooking spray to keep the dough moist.
Bake your pizza for about 20 minutes. Now PLEASE PLEASE check your pizza after about 10 minutes and again every few minutes. All ovens are a little different. This is how long it takes MY oven to cook the pizzas how we like them. Yours may cook faster or slower. It also depends on how high you pile your toppings. You certainly don't want a doughy crust and you don't want it to be overcooked. So just keep a close eye on it.
Let your pizza set for a few minutes before cutting it. Enjoy! What are your favorite pizza toppings?
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