Pizza Dough For Company
We were supposed to have spaghetti, but then I invited my dad and his girlfriend for dinner, and she is vegetarian. So we decided to have pizza rather than try to make an interesting sauce without meat (we have these issues in our house, now that one of us is a meatatarian…). Which meant I had to make pizza dough. Which is fun, but last time I think my yeast was old because I really don’t think it rose at all. This time… My yeast was definitely still good.
These are after 20 hours in the refrigerator. Look how tall and happy this looks!
I decided a lettuce knife was the right tool for this. I was wrong, but it looks neat and it didn’t hurt my counter. Regardless of how I cut it, I am nearly incapable of making the dough meld back into two balls after I cut it.
I am completely incapable of making a circular pizza. Someday I would like someone to give me lessons. Right now, Ruth says it makes my pizza look truly home-made. Thanks, I think?
Calin says we put too many toppings on, but I think it came out just right. And yes, the uncooked pizza above is a different pizza than the cooked pizza below. Neither of them is round, though. I wonder if the shape is related to my inability to make the ball re-ball…
No matter what shape it is, it tastes delicious. After quite a bit of research trying to find my favorite pizza dough recipe, I’ve learned that the flavor is a direct result of letting the dough slow-rise in the fridge, instead of fast-rise on a warm countertop. Sugar also helps… But I’ve tried about five different dough recipes, and this one definitely has the best flavor.
Another key point is to get the oven as hot as you can, and to let the pizza stone get all the way up to temperature. That means that when the oven beeps to tell you it’s there, you should give it another 20-30 minutes before you put the pizza in. That way the bottom of the crust will cook quickly and not get soggy.
Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Olive oil, for the pizza crust
- Flour, for dusting the pizza peel
- Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 1 cup of flour, yeast, and remaining cup of flour into the mixer’s work bowl.
- Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball.
- Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed.
- Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker’s windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. (This never works for me. I always have to knead for longer, and no matter how much longer I go, I never get a windowpane.)
- Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop.
- Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl.
- Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
~ 18 to 24 hours later ~
- Place the pizza stone or tile onto the bottom of a cold oven and turn the oven to its highest temperature, about 500 degrees F. If the oven has coils on the oven floor, place the tile onto the lowest rack of the oven.
- Split the pizza dough into 2 equal parts using a knife or a dough scraper.
- Flatten into a disk onto the countertop and then fold the dough into a ball.
- Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface.
- Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover one ball with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the steps with the other piece of dough. If not baking the remaining pizza immediately, spray the inside of a ziptop bag with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.
- Sprinkle the flour onto the peel and place the dough onto the peel.
- Using your hands, form a lip around the edges of the pizza.
- Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare.
- Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure that it will slide onto the pizza stone or tile.
- Dress and bake the pizza immediately for a crisp crust or rest the dough for 30 minutes if you want a chewy texture.
- Brush the rim of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza sauce evenly onto the pizza. Sprinkle the herbs onto the pizza and top with the cheese.
- Slide the pizza onto the tile and bake for 7 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.
- Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.