Dough-licious Pizza

Our friend, Delicious, at getemgirls.com gives us the deal on the dough, pizza dough that is.

Our friend, Delicious, at getemgirls.com gives us the deal on the dough.

I'm no stranger to homemade pizza, I actually make a really good one with prosciutto, pancetta, lots of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and fresh basil; but I've never made the dough. I was lucky enough to have a pizzeria not too far from me that would sell me balls of dough for a few dollars-so I never felt the need to venture off into pizza dough making. Unfortunately, the pizzeria lost their lease. So, there I was, stuck with a pizza craving out of this world and no dough. What is a Get ‘Em Girl to do? Well, I kicked off my stilettos and pulled out my KitchenAid mixer and went to work.

I started by dissolving a packet of yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) into 1 1/3 cups of warm water. I'm kind of scared of making yeast dough, for fear that I'll kill the yeast because the water is too hot-warm is relative, you know? But, for recipe's sake, let's say warm is between 105° to 110°F.

While the yeast dissolved- it took about 5 minutes or so-I prepared the rest of my ingredients for the pizza dough: 3 1/2 cups flour, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Once the yeast was dissolved, I added these ingredients to the bowl and, using my dough hook, began mixing the ingredients together on low speed.

Now if you don't have a stand mixer, you can use your hands for this as well-just mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

At this point, I decided to use my hands to knead the dough. Nothing against using the dough hook-but I like to feel the dough just to know how far I've gone. It took about 8 minutes to get the dough where it needed to be, elastic and smooth.

At this point, it's time to let the dough rest. I placed the dough in a bowl that I added olive oil to, and I covered it with a clean kitchen towel to let it rest (and rise) for an hour. In the mean time I made the sauce for my pizza.

If you don't have a good pizza sauce recipe that you'd like to use, you can use your favorite marinara sauce. For mine I added two small cans (8-ounces each) of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh oregano, 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice to a small saucepan and let it simmer while the yeast rose; about 45 minutes or so.

Once the dough rose, I cut it in half -the dough makes enough for two 12 inch crusts-and rolled/stretched one half on a lightly floured work surface into a 12 inch round. I had a hard time with this part; no fault of the dough. I just watched too many pizza competitions on the Food Network and got a little carried away. I wrapped the remaining half of dough up in plastic wrap and placed it in a resealable freezer bag to freeze for later use.

So here is the pizza right before baking. Right before topping with the sauce and cheese, I drizzled additional olive oil over it and, using my fingertips, pressed dents into the dough. Oh, I also lightly salted the crust-but that's just my preference. Note: I'm using a large pizza pan-I'm not sure of the maker, but I got it from Target and it has small holes in the bottom that are supposed to make for crispier dough.

I put the pizza in the oven for 10 minutes before topping with the pepperonis and cooking for an additional 2 minutes or until the crust was golden and the cheese fully melted. The dough turned out delicious and chewy, a little thinner than I usually like, but good nonetheless-I enjoyed it with a salad and glass of white wine.

Live. Life. Deliciously.

 

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