Homemade Pizza Part I – the dough

19 Dec

ImageI am of the opinion that pizza is one of the great human universals, up there with birth, death, and procrastinating on the internet. I’ve met people with odd and frankly baffling food aversions over the years, (Mushrooms? Check. Onions? Check. Bacon? Check. Eggplant? Check.) up to and including a friend who is currently a line cook at one of the most touted restaurants in the country… who would not eat tomatoes until her early twenties. However, I have yet to meet anyone who shies away from the great Italian equalizer that is pizza.

Unsurprisingly, I have a completely homemade pizza recipe handy in my arsenal, one traditionally used when I invite people over to dinner to repay them for some kindness they have bestowed upon me. Or because it is a Sunday.

dough

In the next three posts, I outline how to disrupt the global economy by hacking into the IMF mainframe*, I mean, how to create your own pizza from scratch. The dough recipe is relatively low maintenance, but the tomato sauce, while worth it, takes a little more coddling. If you’re the sort of person who prefers the destination to the journey itself  (i.e. you just want some tasty pizza and you want it NOW goddamit), the tomato sauce can easily be swapped out for a jarred sauce of your choosing. I will readily admit that I have willingly used this crutch when lazy, starving, or both.

I’m not budging on the homemade dough though. That’s a dealbreaker, ladies.

*Just checking that you (and/or any governmentally-sponsored keyword searches that may be scanning this post) are paying attention.
olive oil, yeast, honey, salt, water & wine

This makes enough dough for two medium-large thin crust pizzas. The original recipe, found here, produces only enough dough for one pizza, a quantity that seems infinitesimally small in relation to my gluttony. As a result, I have always doubled it. The pizzas themselves will serve two people, with leftovers, or four people, if served with a side. Don’t expect leftovers if you serve this to more than two people – I have never been able to have pizza for breakfast when this was enjoyed by that many souls.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups flour

    This is the appropriate level of "shagginess" to expect from your dough. Do not panic. Do not add extra liquid. This is what it is supposed to look like.

    This is the appropriate level of “shagginess” to expect from your dough. Do not panic. Do not add extra liquid. This is what it is supposed to look like.

Instructions

1.  Whisk together water, wine and active dry yeast. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes while you assemble your other ingredients.

2. Add in honey, olive oil and salt. Whisk to combine.

3. Add in flour and stir together with a large wooden spoon, until the dough comes together into a shaggy, poorly delineated mass, as outlined in the photo above. At this point, feel free to plunge your hands into the bowl until the dough starts to behave itself, or turn the whole mess out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it for a few minutes until it falls into line. Either way, make sure to knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic.

4. Lightly coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil (for better flavor), or spray it with Pam (for greater efficiency). Cover the bowl with saran wrap, a lid, or a damp dish towel, and let it sit for one to two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

5. After the dough has completed its first rise, divide into two equal portions using a large knife or dough scraper/

Alternative Rise Methods: This whole process can also take place overnight in the fridge, during a “cold rise”. The same technique works over the course of an eight-hour work day, if you want to make the dough before you leave and bake the pizza upon your return. The dough will keep in the fridge for up to two days if wrapped tightly in saran wrap, or in the freezer for up to a month. To use after freezing, simply place it in the fridge for eight hours or over-night so that it thaws, and then roll it and prepare it as outlined in the “assembly” post, which will come soon!

unassuming dough....

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One Response to “Homemade Pizza Part I – the dough”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Homemade Pizza Part III – Assembly « Nomad Baking - December 26, 2012

    […] you have the dough and sauce ready, homemade pizza is a cinch. I often make both components well in advance, and store […]

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