8th Day of HTCE: Pizza Dough

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Pizza Dough

Makes: Enough for 1 large or 2 or more small pies

Time: 1 hour or more

You won’t believe how simple it is to make pizza dough at home. And because the dough freezes very well (at least for a couple of weeks), it’s even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people and tuck the rest away for another day.

To make pizza dough by hand or with a standing mixer, follow the directions, but use a bowl and a heavy wooden spoon or the mixer’s bowl and the paddle attachment instead of the food processor. When the dough becomes too heavy to stir, use your hands or exchange the mixer’s paddle for the dough hook and proceed with the recipe.

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.

2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)

4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. With a nutty flavor and a little fiber: Use 11/2 cups each whole wheat and white flour (all-purpose or bread flour). You’ll probably need to add closer to 11/2cups water or maybe even a little more.

Crunchier Pizza Dough. This dough may be a little more difficult to handle, but it has superior flavor and a pleasant crunch: Substitute 1/2 cup cornmeal for 1 /2cup of the flour.

 

Posted in Behind The Scenes, Italian

4 Comments

  1. Maria Honeywell said...

    You read my mind. I just bought a pizza stone. Thanks.

  2. suvirsaran said...

    Mark’s pizza dough recipe and that from Zoe Francois of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day has transformed our lives as we live in a very rural country setting.Guests visiting from the city, even those who have eaten pizza in Naples, exclaim that our pizza is some of the best they have ever eaten.Thanks and praise goes to Mark Bittman for simplifying the steps and making it seem so easy. Which it truly is. HTCE is an exceptional book by a savvy and smart cook. Buy the book, or better yet, buy the iPad app and you will be blessing Bittman and yourself for the purchase.

  3. KitchenPaddles said...

    Mark,Great article today in NYT, although I had a head start (cooking for last 56 years), I totally agree about about getting more of us in the kitchen. I will try your Lentils and Beans this week.I also encouraged my three daughters to start cooking at age 7. There first favorite was making pizzas which in a round about way lead to my new invention the peel apart Kitchen (Pizza) Paddles. I would love to share a set with you and if you are ever inspired to do an article I have a great story to share with good images etc.Happy cooking in 2011.Sincerely,Tom Hugheswww.kitchenpaddles.com

  4. Erika said...

    We make this pizza dough *every Friday night*! It is unbelievably easy to make, totally cost effective and most importantly, delicious! We also make a super simple homemade sauce that I make in big batches and freeze. I recently purchased a Cuisinart DFP-14 Custom 14-Cup Food Processor to accomodate, among other things, doubling of this recipe – which works by the way. And, like Mark said, the recipe freezes well and can easily be pulled out and used the same day. At this point, my 4 kids (ages 10-2) can basically make the dough themselves (with supervision) and they understand that they are eating real, whole food and not the processed junk of the big chain pizza places. Thank you Mark for changing the way we eat pizza!

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