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pizza dough

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who doesn’t like pizza? I love a good pizza and I think I make a pretty good one. I thought I would make the point of this post about pizza dough and then write a little something about how I topped it. There will be future posts on other pizzas I make.

I like to make pizza at home and that includes my own crust. I use the dough hook on my KitchenAid stand mixer and it so easy. It takes about 5-10 minutes to make, 1 hour to rise and then 10-12 minutes to bake. The dough/crust is more than just a base for toppings to me, I like to season it to enhance the flavor and I try to make it a little more healthy.

I use the basic pizza dough recipe that came with my stand mixer and add to it. I use unbleached flour (I don’t buy bleached/white flour) and sometimes substitute half of it with oat flour. Unbleached flour doesn’t have all the nutritional benefits of whole wheat, but more importanly it isn’t refined and stripped of everything like basic white flour. Oat flour is a good addition because it doesn’t alter the flavor and it adds whole grain nutrients. If I remember, I’ll also toss in a small palmful of flax meal. (Ground flax seeds) I typically flavor my dough with garlic powder, oregano, dried basil and red pepper flakes.

Adding all these additions makes for a tasty crust. I’ve never tried adding cheese to the dough, but I’m sure that would be good too. If you don’t have a stand mixer or bread maker you can knead the dough by hand. Also, Trader Joes makes really good crust. Give homemade pizza a chance, it’s really delish.

Pizza Dough
adapted from KitchenAid recipe

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
pinch of sugar or drop of honey (optional my addition)
1/2 tsp salt (I use more)
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cup flour (I used 1 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/2 cup oat flour)
garlic powder, oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl, add sugar or honey. This helps “feed” the yeast. Add the olive oil and 2 1/2 cups flour, salt and seasonsings. Add the salt after the flour; salt can kill the yeast. Attach the dough hook and turn to Speed 2 and mix for 1 minute. I don’t measure the salt or seasonings. I started off with a little bit and now add quite a bit. It is all too taste.

Continue on Speed 2 and add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead 2 minutes longer. I only add another 1/4 cup flour. I like a thin crust, but if you like it thicker add more flour.

Place dough in a greased bowl. (I use Pam) Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Now the fun part, punch the dough down. Spray pizza sheet with cooking spray and either stretch or roll dough to size. Cover with toppings and bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Next up…what I topped this crust with.

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