Friday, February 17, 2012

Pizza Dough

I bought some quick rise yeast and wanted to test how quick it really was so I decided to make some pizza dough. This recipe yields enough dough for one thin 12" pizza or one thicker crust 9" pizza
I bloomed the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water. Like I always say, the water should not be any warmer than 110 degrees or you will murder your yeast! After just 1 minute (vs. the usual 5 minutes), it was already starting to get a little bubbly and foamy so the yeast was already showing me its power.

I combined the flour, salt, and an additional teaspoon of sugar.


At this point, if you're so inclined, you could also add in 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and an additional 1/4 cup of sugar. Maybe you're making a dessert pizza and you want your crust to be chocolatey.

I prefer special dark - it's much richer and has a more vibrant flavor.
Next, per my usual dough making technique, I made a well in the center of the flour, poured in the yeast and oil, and started stirring in the center, slowly combining more and more flour until the fork became useless.
I kneaded the dough by hand for at least 10 minutes. Pizza dough should be nice and chewy so you really want to work that gluten. I knew to stop when it was stretchy, elastic, and no longer stuck to my fingers. If it's a moist day, you may need an extra 1/4 cup of flour.
I added a little oil to a bowl and coated the dough ball, then snipped a little 'X' into the top, covered with saran wrap, and set aside to proof for 1 hour.
Tada! One hour later, the dough was practically overflowing out of the bowl. The quick rise yeast was seriously effective. I punched down the dough, gave it a quick knead (for 5 minutes). At this point, you can wrap up the dough in wax paper, put in a zip-top bag and seal, and put in the refrigerator for later use. If you know you won't need it for a while, you can store this in the freezer as well. **If you do use quick rise yeast, you'll have to be careful about not letting the dough over rise. If you leave it alone for too long, it'll take on a really funky sour flavor.
Tomorrow I'll do a post on how I used this dough!

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