Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
Ever seen chefs on TV cooking shows or in movies tossing pizza dough up in the air and turning out perfect pies? It might seem like it is impossible to duplicate their efforts. After all, you do not have access to specialty pizza ovens, the ingredients they can use, or the tools. At least, not without a lot of work.
However, you should not think it is impossible to make good pizza dough at home using the tools, utensils and ingredients you have available. It just takes a little work and the right technique, plus a good pizza dough recipe. The result is one that is perfectly delicious, made at home, without anything expensive. Try it yourself. You will be surprised by how easy this basic pizza dough recipe makes eating homemade pizza.
A Great Basic Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
3 ½ cups bread flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water, stirring to dissolve. Set aside for about five minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. Sift flour into a large bowl or large clean work surface, in the shape of a mound. Form a hole in the center of the mound.
Combine yeast mixture, oil, and salt. Pour into the center of the flour mound and mix ingredients together using a spatula, until stirring becomes impossible. Form dough using your hands.
Flour your work surface and place the dough on the floured surface. Knead briefly, pushing and folding the dough, until it takes up more flour and no longer sticks to your hands. Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough into it. Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic bag and set it aside for one and a half to two hours, or until dough doubles in size. Room temperature affects the rise of the dough, with a room around seventy to seventy-five degrees F being best for dough rising.
After dough has doubled, punch it down and place it on a lightly floured surface. Cut into three equal pieces and shape into rounds. Dough may be refrigerated or frozen in this state, and will keep for about three months in the freezer. If frozen, the dough must be allowed to thaw completely and rest before being used.
Stretch each round onto a twelve inch pizza pan, creating a thin crust. Metal pans must be oiled before use. Prick dough before baking to prevent bubbling or cracking. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and top pizza as desired, but do not add cheese. Bake ten to fifteen minutes, then add cheese and bake an additional ten minutes.
(Makes 3 twelve inch pizza crusts)