Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pizza dough

Who does not like pizza?  Right? It seems that pizza is one of those dishes really cherish by everyone.  They are fun and easy to make and allow you to be creative. You can make them as a main dish or as an appetizer (served as a flat bread).
I have been making pizza for years and now it is almost a must on Sundays at my house! 
At first, I used to buy the dough and made the rest at home.  As usual, I figured I could make the dough myself. Some of the advantages on doing so are that it tastes much better and saves me a few bucks. A win-win situation.
The recipe I use is simple and has never let me down.  The batch is enough to make 3 pizza doughs of about 12" round each. Here is the recipe:

Pizza Dough
3 3/4 cups of unbleached bread or all purpose flour (can substitute one cup for whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water (120F)
2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sugar

Mix the yeast and the water together and wait 2-3 min until the yeast starts bubbling.
Add 1/4 cup of flour, olive oil, sugar and salt and mix it all together.
Add the rest of the flour and knead the dough for a few minutes (I use the bread hook on my mixer, but this can be done by hands too).
Let the dough rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until doubled. 
Punch the dough and divide it in three equal balls. 
At this point either freeze the dough in individual bags or let it rise a second time until doubled (another 1-2 hours). 
When I need to use a frozen dough, I simply take it out of the freezer in the morning, let it thaw and rise all day and it is ready on time for dinner.
The dough is ready to be used.  Roll it on a slightly floured surface to about 12" round.
Place on a greased pizza pan.
Add your favorite toppings and bake it in a preheated oven at 400F for about 20 min.
Et voila!

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