Pizza Dough (and the pizza to go with it)

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

It’s been a rough week (and it’s only Thursday). So what do I do when I’m feeling down? I bake. Come on people, at this point you should know this about me. But with not a ton of time yesterday and not a ton of energy, I didn’t feel up to making some fancy bread, and Jonah and I are trying to cut down on sweets, so no cookies. What’s a baking girl to do?

Pizza dough. Not quite bread, but bread like, and can actually be put to use for dinner. So I ran with it. After finding many recipes online, I started up. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I only had bread flour (Jonah bought me a giant bag, so for the time being I’m using it in the place of any all-purpose flour in recipes, which may or may not be altering things). We’ve bought pizza dough at our local grocery store (New Seasons) and it tends to be kind of halfway between thin crust and a puffier crust. The crust I made was definitely a little more on the doughy/puffy side.

Pizza Dough

Makes 1 full pan pizza dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (may want to add another 1 or 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

I used an electric mixer to combine the ingredients, but did the kneading by hand. Don’t ask me why, I just felt like it. So, in the bowl of the mixer, combine flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water and olive oil and stir until the dough comes together. Lightly flour a surface (kitchen counters work well) and dump the dough out onto it. Knead the dough for a couple minutes into a nice tidy ball. At this point my dough felt super lumpy, more-so than any other dough I’ve made this far, so I started to worry that this whole thing was going to be a failure. But I kept going because otherwise it would’ve been a waste of time and ingredients. What the hell.

Lightly oil the bowl from the mixer (or any bowl, really, just thought I’d save you a dish), put your ball of dough in and turn it so the whole thing is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

After rising, dump the dough back onto the floured surface, punch the air out of it (a great way to take out some aggression, kind of like punching a pillow or pounding chicken), fold it back into a ball, and put it back under the plastic wrap for about 20 minutes. When I hit this point, we still had a couple hours till dinner, so I stuck the dough back in the bowl, covered it, and threw it in the fridge.

When you’re ready to make your pizza, preheat your oven to 475 degrees (or higher), sprinkle a baking sheet (or pizza stone, if you’re one of those people) with cornmeal, and roll/stretch out your dough on the sheet. This was a little tricky for us, as our dough did not want to be stretched. But I let Jonah beat it up a little and eventually it stayed. We covered our pizza with tomato sauce, italian mix cheese, caramelized onions (you know, that obsession I’ve been having lately), and fresh mozzarella. We baked our pizza for about 15 minutes, though it probably could’ve used a couple more. We were getting hungry. Just look for a little puffing up and some golden brown edges. After removing it from the oven, we sprinkled a little fresh basil on top, sliced it up, and ate it. Delicious.

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