Monday, January 11, 2010

Pizza Dough/Pizza Crust

The first time I ate homemade pizza was in Lake Tahoe about 12 years ago. We were staying at a beautiful condo in North Lake with some friends. Eric, our chef friend, put together the most fabulous pizza I had ever eaten. Red onions, mushrooms, yellow peppers and garlic. So fresh. Truly the best I've had. Well, at least until tonight.

I've made pizzas using Boboli pre-made crusts and Pillsbury's dough-in-a-can but I wanted to give homemade pizza dough a shot. I wanted to recreate that Tahoe treasure from way back when and it was an opportunity to try out my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer as well. Plus, Meghan, at You're Gonna Bake it After All made it sound like a really easy process.

My mesmerizing mixer and the extras that it came with.
Thanks, Mom, for my Christmas present!

Making pizza dough was a great way to test out the spiral dough hook accessory. My boys (ages 8 and 6) named it "Captain Hook."

The dough is pressed into the pan.
(Next time, I will roll it out and then put in the pan.)

So back to the pizza crust...


1/2 cup warm water (~110F)
1 envelope (~2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (AKA Rapid Rise)
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for greasing bowl
corn meal, for dusting pan


Make the dough:

1. Fill a 2-cup liquid measuring cup with warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to sit until yeast dissolves and swells - ~5 minutes. Meanwhile, add flour and salt to stand mixer bowl and stir with paddle accessory to combine.

2. Add room temperature water and oil to the yeast/water mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add liquid ingredients and continue mixing at low speed until cohesive mass forms. Stop mixer and replace paddle with dough hook. Knead about 5 mins. or until dough is smooth and elastic.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a few turns, shaping the dough into a smooth, round ball.

4. Place the dough ball into a deep, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm area (away from draft) until doubled in size approx. 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Bake the dough:

*Note: The original recipes calls for a pizza stone that is preheated to 500F for 30 minutes and the pizza is then cooked at this temperature for 8-12 minutes. I have a Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan and I absolutely LOVE it! I used that in lieu of the pizza stone since I don't own one of those. The crust was tasty and baked nicely in my bar pan. 

If you don't have a pizza stone, follow the temp/time listed below:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a sheet pan with olive oil, dust with corn meal.

2. Press the dough to deflate it. Divide dough into desired portions and place them back in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth to allow dough to rest for at least 10 but no more than 30 minutes.

3. Press dough out into desired shape. Brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Pre-bake crust for ~5-7 minutes.

4. Remove crust and top pizza as desired. Bake pizza for 5 minutes, then raise oven temperature to 500F for 3-5 minutes, or until crust is golden.

**This recipe made a lot of dough. Next time, I will make 2 thin-crust pizzas or save half the pizza dough for another day.

Source: You're Gonna Bake it After All and Brown Eyed Baker

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