Pizza Dough

by Rachel on September 14, 2010

Any topping will do

This is my father’s pizza dough recipe, however it should come with a blinking red WARNING sign. No home-made pizza, no matter how good, no matter how well made, will turn into pizza as fabulous as those made in higher-end pizza restaurants because the home cook in general does not have a pizza oven with a brick base that reaches near volcanic temperatures. If you want to improve your outcomes try some of the techniques outlined below (preheat the oven HOT, use a pizza stone, etc…).  If you use these techniques you will end up with very, very good home pizza.  If, however, what you really want is high-end restaurant quality pizza, you’ll need to drop a few grand on a pizza oven.

Pizza Dough (six balls of dough)

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 5-7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water in small bowl.  Pour dissolved yeast into the bowl of a mixmaster fitted with a dough hook.  Add salt, oil and flour, one cup at a time until the dough is smooth and not sticky (10-15 minutes).  Pull the dough out of the bowl.

Shape dough into a ball.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl that is large enough to allow the dough to double in size.  Turn the dough once so that both sides are lightly oiled.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down with your fist and divide it into approximately six balls.  Wrap each ball in Saran Wrap and refrigerate over night.

The next day take the pizza balls out of the fridge one to two hours before you want to bake them.  They need to be at room temperature before use.  The individual pizza balls freeze well.  The refrigerated balls will be good for 2-4 days.

Pizzas should be baked in an extremely hot oven (550-600 degrees).  Set your oven as hot as it gets – and it is best if the oven is preheated for a full hour before baking. If you own a pizza stone place it in the oven during the preheating period.

Pizzas can be prepped on a pizza peel or a pizza screen.  If you use a screen leave the pizza on the screen in the oven on the pizza stone for 3-4 minutes, then shift the pizza off of the screen straight onto the stone for the remaining baking time. Pizzas should bake for 8-15 minutes depending on how hot your oven has gotten.  If you don’t have a screen bake the pizza on the pizza stone for the entire cooking time.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Todd September 21, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Your general statement about the essential quality of a pizza oven is unassailable, however you can do more than simply crank the home oven up high to improve your pizza. The key is for the home pizza maker is to change the characteristics of the bread dough; without the high temperature of the commercial oven, you benefit from lessening the amount of hard flour–substitute one-third cake flour. Not only will the addition of soft flour cook better in the cooler oven, but it’s a lot easier to handle and toss than all all-purpose flour recipes!

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