Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Make Pizza Dough


I state it in the About Me page...I am a pizza girl. It really is, for me, comfort food to the max. Born and raised on Donatos Pizza in Columbus I have such nostalgic memories tied to the weekly large pepperoni pizza delivery from Donatos. I vividly remember laying out a brown and yellow floral (gotta love the 80's) bath towel over our long coffee table, sitting on the floor in front of the TV and enjoying greasy pepperoni pizza and Pepsi with my mom ~ who was, by the way, the most amazing single mom imaginable.
The first time I ever remember eating homemade pizza was when I spent a summer in Papua New Guinea at the age of 15. The thought had never really occurred to me that a pizza could be made  outside the confines of a pizza shop. Mike says he grew up on homemade pizza. I argue that Chef Boyardee boxed pizza is NOT homemade pizza. He disagrees.

Nonetheless, here at The Smith Homestead, homemade pizza makes a regular appearance. Over the years I have tried many pizza dough recipes. Some with success, others, not-so-much. A few years ago I stumbled across The Figs Table , a cookbook written by Chef Todd English, owner of Figs in Massachusetts. Figs was touted by Zagats as having the best pizza in Boston so I knew I had to give the pizza dough recipe a try. I wasn't disappointed. It is the only recipe I have used since.
Its so easy peasy. Ridiculously so. I use my standing mixer for much of the work but even when I make it by hand I find the "work" very easy and rewarding.



Figs Pizza Dough
(Makes Four 8-10 inch pizzas)
(Serves 1-2 people per pizza)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
2 tsp. fresh yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. olive oil
1 2/3 cup lukewarm water

Place all dry ingredients in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While the mixer is running, gradually add the oil and water. Knead on low speed until the dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 balls. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place two balls on a sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm spot about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
To roll out dough: Dab your fingers in flour and then place 1 ball on a generously floured work surface and press down in the cetner with the tips of your fingers, speading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. The outer border should be a little thicker than the inner circle. Pick the dough up with a spatula, allowing it to fold up almost like an umbrella and transfer it to a baking stone or cookie sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough balls and proceed with any pizza recipes.



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1 lovely notes:

Jenn said...

Hmmmm I bet that brown crusty cheese top tastes awesome. Homemade pizza is also a regular in my house, and now take-out pizza just taste like a block of salt.

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