Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Munchies: Pizza Dough

There is something about writing a recipe for something I make regularly that is a challenge.  What comes naturally in the kitchen requires thought on paper.  This is the recipe for pizza dough that I make every Saturday evening.  This dough can also be left to rise and used for bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc.  I've done all those things with it and more but most often it's used for pizza.  For me, making it is much easier than writing it down.

3/4 c dry milk
approx 2 c warm water
1 T yeast
2 1/2 T sugar
2 T oil
6 c flour

Put 3/4 c dry milk into a large measuring cup.  Add warm water until level is 2 cups.  I use warm tap water the key is to get the water warm enough to grow the yeast but not so warm as to kill the yeast.  For me, my tap water left to run awhile is perfect temperature.  If the water is warm to the touch but not hot enough to burn it should be about right.  Add 1 T yeast and 2 1/2 T sugar to milk and stir. 

I use yeast in a jar, hence the measurement.  If you are using packages of yeast, just one package will do.  If you are going to use your dough for something besides pizza dough, i.e. if you intend to let your dough rise, this is where you let the yeast mixture rest.  Within 5 minutes or so the yeast mixture should start to increase or bubble a bit.  This is called proofing your yeast.  For pizza that step doesn't matter so much but for rolls or other baked items it matters a great deal.

Measure four cups of flour into a large bowl.  I received a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas.  My large bowl is now the mixer bowl.  Before it was just a big metal bowl and I did all my mixing by hand.  Either method makes great dough. 

Add 2 T oil to the yeast mixture.  Stir.  Any kind of lightly flavored oil works fine.  I most often use olive oil but have used vegetable and canola oil. 

Pour yeast mixture into large bowl of flour.  Mix well until soft dough forms.  Add flour to dough mixture until dough is no longer sticky.  This will equal about 6 cups of flour.  The texture of this dough seems to vary with the weather.  Sometimes it's still, sometimes very pliable.  Either way it makes delicious pizza.

I use the Pampered Chef large round stones to bake my pizza.  This recipe makes 3 large pizzas if I make thin crust.  Two large pizzas and a 9" round personal pizza if I make thicker crusts.  Top with your favorite toppings and bake in a preheated oven.  I bake it at 350 in my convection oven.  If you have a regular oven boost the temperature to 375.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is the desired doneness.

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