Store bought pizza dough--whether you buy pre-made packaged pizza dough or so called 'fresh' pizza dough in the refrigerator case is loaded with preservatives and other wacky ingredients like 'dough conditioners' and other stuff you can't recognize. Read the ingredients on one of those packages and ask yourself if you really want to put things of which you don't know the origins inside your body or inside the bodies of your beautiful children. Plus it tastes SOooo good!
Why not buy fresh pizza dough from the pizzeria down the street?
... You can control the quality and variety of the ingredients used, such as organic, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil and so on.
... It costs less making it at home.
... Making something from scratch is rewarding.
... It impresses your family and friends. When they take that first bite and look up at you with awe in their eyes and say "Wow, mom.." around a mouthful of wholesome pizza... you'll never buy pizza dough again. ;)
About the recipe.
This recipe is not my own creation, but one I use from the March 2010 issue of EveryDay Food Magazine and I just can't keep it to myself. It's incredibly easy to make--mix up the dough ingredients, let it rise for one hour, knead it a few times and then make your pizza! The dough can also be used for focaccia, sticky buns, sweet soft pretzels and individual cinnamon-apple tarts. For the original basic pizza dough recipe and other recipes using the dough, click on Everyday Food Basic Pizza Dough.
The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I always substitute some of the regular flour with stone ground whole wheat flavor for added nutrients and flavor. You can use all white flour if you like.
Best Homemade Pizza Dough
Makes 2 lbs. of dough, enough to make 8 or more individual pizzas.
|pesto pizza with mushrooms|
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 F) into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a stick dough forms. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a thin kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until the dough as doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
My tip: I use my oven as the warm, draft-free place. I turn on my oven to warm (200 F) for just a few minutes during step 1 so that my oven will be warm enough for rising the dough. Just make sure you turn off the oven after a few minutes. You don't want it too hot. Then I put the dough in the oven for the rising period.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.
Cook's Note: To freeze, you can wrap the dough in plastic and freeze in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. If you plan to use it in a recipe that calls for half a batch, divide it before freezing.
I did this and it worked well, but the dough is really best used immediately after preparing.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .To make pizzas:
We like to make individual pizzas at our house. This way everyone gets to make theirs just the way they like.
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Use a sharp kitchen knife to score and cut the dough into eight equal portions.
3. If you have a pizza stone, by all means use it to make these pizzas and go to step 3. If you do not have a pizza stone, lightly brush a cookie sheet or pizza pan with olive oil and set aside.
4. To shape the pizzas, take a portion of dough into your hands and gently shape into a pancake. Then hold the edge of the dough between your fingers of both hands. Turn the dough around and around in your fingers, gently stretching the edges. The center of the dough will naturally get thinner as you turn the dough. When you get to the point where the dough is stretched thin enough to your liking, place it on the oiled cookie sheet. Using the tips of your fingers, press the dough some more around the edges to thin it some more, if you like.
5. Top your pizza with desired sauce, cheese, vegetables and meats.
Tip: Be careful not use too much tomato sauce on your pizza. A little bit goes a long way and too much makes your pizza way too soggy!
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of crust are lightly browned.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Some of our favorite pizzas:
Topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. Add diced peppers, red onions, thinly sliced mushrooms, if desired.
Topped with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Add thinly sliced mushrooms, if desired.
Topped with dollops of ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella, and steamed or roasted broccoli florets.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Top with barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella or Monterrey jack cheese, diced red onion, thinly sliced zucchini and cilantro.
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