Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pizza Night!!!!!!

Everyone  has their own version of homemade pizza dough. I have tried and tasted many different recipes to finally settle on one I was comfortable with.
It is a soft but crispy dough that will bubble a little when cooked. My favorite part about watching this dough cook is the random dough bubbles that will  form!!!! The crust is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Depending on how you stretch and roll it out you can make the crust thin or thick.

Here is the recipe:
2 1/4 cups warm water (not hot or you will kill the yeast)
1.3 tsp dry active yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Begin by placing the warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast, then the sugar. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast forms foam in the water. Foamy = good. Not foamy and you may have killed the yeast.
Then add the flour and salt. Stir to combine. Then add the olive oil as the last step.

 Make sure it gets incorporated into the dough and dump out the dough onto the counter to begin kneading. You may have some dry spots in the dough, but never fear! 

Once you begin kneading the dough, the dough will get warm and pliable. Kneed dough for about 5-6 minutes until it starts to look and feel like a smooth ball of pizza dough. 

Then split the dough into 6-7 equal dough balls about the size of your fist. 

Place the dough balls in Ziploc baggies and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

This is called a cold rise. I like to make the dough a day before I actually plan on making the pizza. It saves a lot of time and you are not rushed to make pizza dough the night of. I prefer the cold rise method, because it makes for a tastier pizza dough.

To make the pizza:

Place top oven rack on the 2nd to top slot, make sure there is enough room for the pizza! :)
Preheat oven to 550 degrees with the pizza stone on the top rack for about 30-40 minutes.

Take the pizza dough out of the fridge 45 minutes to an hour before you actually make the pizza. This will let the pizza dough warm up and be easier to work with.

Carefully take the dough out of the Ziploc bag. Do not touch the edges or roll into a ball. Lay the dough on a floured surface. Flour the top of the dough and begin stretching it on the counter. It should easily rotate while on the counter because of the flour. I stretch it with both hands turning in a circle while lightly putting pressure on it to stretch it into a bigger circle. If you are feeling confident, you can pick up the dough and stretch it by laying it on top of your fists and carefully rotating and stretching it. Sure you can toss it in the air for a little pizazz, but don't drop it!!!!

Once this is done, I place the pizza dough on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Top the pizza however you want.

Cut the parchment paper in a circle just outside of the pizza then carefully slide the pizza with parchment paper onto the pizza stone that has been preheating in the oven.

Cook for about 5-7 minutes depending on how soft or crispy you like the crust. We prefer crispy and will take it out of the oven once the cheese is bubbly and if you see a dough bubble or two form you are doing great!!!!!

Slide the pizza out of the oven with a good heat proof spatula onto a baking sheet or plate. This is why I use the parchment paper. It makes transferring the pizza that much easier!!! Let the pizza cool, slice and enjoy!!!

Yes, this is time consuming, but so worth it!!! For the quality and cost, it does not get much better than this. Also because this recipe yields about 6-7 pizzas feel free to invite some friends or loved ones over for a pizza night. Or simply freeze the leftover dough and place in the fridge the night before you plan on making it again. So easy!!!!


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Sorry. Haven't quite figured on the pin it button yet. Soon enough!!! :) 

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