Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pizza Dough One Year Later

Here's bizarre little coincidence, it was on this date last year that I first posted our pizza dough recipe. Check out the archives to see how the recipe has evolved.

I make this dough in the bread bucket but you could easily use, a bread maker on a dough only setting or a mixer with a dough hook. The recipe makes two pounds of dough or enough for two thick or three thin crusts, depending on the size of your pizza pan. Since we're feeding 6 people, and they're getting hungrier every day, we use two large 11" x 17" cookie sheets.

2 Tbs olive oil
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups whole wheat bread flour

Combine the olive oil, water, sugar, yeast and salt. Let sit until the yeast starts bubbling away. The most important lesson I've learned about using yeast is, let the yeast get active before adding the flour. Usually 15 minutes is plenty of time for the yeast to get bubbly.

Add three of the cups of whole wheat bread flour all at once. Gradually add the remaining flour as you are mixing, paying attention to the consistency of your dough. It should be elastic but not sticky. You may find you need a little more or a little less flour. Whatever you discover, make a note of it on your recipe so you know for next time.

Here's an important tip. Don't let your 13 yr old add the flour when she's trying to sneak a peek at the episode of Cyberchase that her brothers are watching. Depsite the educational aspects of the show, she will lose count.

I let the dough rise for about half an hour before rolling out but, like the recipe Shaunta mentioned in yesterday's comments, it works fine without any rising time.

If you're freezing the extra dough, get it in the freezer ASAP and check on it after an hour. You may find it has blown the cover off your container and needs to be punched down again.

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