Three Pizzas, One Amazing Dough Recipe
On this fantastically rainy day, it seems like time to start posting on my poor, neglected blog again. This is one I wrote months ago and never remembered to post!
I love pizza. I’m a total sucker for the kind with really thick, cheesy crust and just a bit too much sugar in the dough and sauce, aka the kind they deliver to your door, aka Papa John’s. But making my own pizza dough has a lot of appeal, too. I get to play with flour, I get to make as much pizza as I want, and I get to brag about how I made my own pizza. Also, the calories only count half as much if you make it from scratch, right?
We’ve been experimenting with pizza dough recipes for a while now, trying to find the one that’s the easiest and the tastiest. I’ve tried recipes that cold rise overnight, recipes that only rise for an hour, recipes that really just didn’t have any flavor… And then I found this one. Ironically, it was probably in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer recipe book the whole time, but it took my foodie blog obsession to bring it to my attention.
I have the hardest time getting the water temperature right. It’s a good thing I have a thermometer, because apparently I have no ability to manually distinguish between 100 degrees and 130 degrees, and I’m equally prone to getting it way too hot and way too cold. The only thing I’m consistent about is that I’m never spot on. You do actually have to pay attention to that, by the way – if the water’s too hot it will kill the yeast and you won’t get any rise at all, and if it’s too cold it won’t make the yeast happy and you still won’t get any rise.
Also, adding interesting things to the dough is really fun, and you should always add more than you think, because it’s never going to be as strong as you think it will be.
Have I mentioned that I love my mixer?
Go little dough balls, go!
Look how thin we got that one! That’s day one, dough one, right out of the bowl and the second rise. I actually find that the dough is more cooperative on day two, though, after the overnight fridge rise.
We’ve been experimenting with using slices of mozzarella instead of grating it. It actually works really well – if that’s what you want. Then we grate cheddar over the top, or sprinkle Parmesan, or both – because as I’m 100% sure I’ve said before, you can never have too much cheese.
Pizza One, prebake. Someone in my house doesn’t like tomatoes…
Pizza Two, post-bake. Nobody in my house doesn’t like pizza. We had company that night so we made two the first night, and demolished 3/4 of them with 1/4 left for lunch the next day (another reason to make too much pizza).
Pizza Three, technically “breadsticks” a la Pizza Bella, where you can have this as an appetizer for your pizza. For serious. But omg so tasty… We did, however, make this one on the second day, when it was the appetizer for something healthy, like salad. I promise. Okay, I can’t actually remember, but probably.
You should definitely try this at home.
Pizza & Calzone Dough
Adapted from Chick In The Kitchen, Adapted Crusty Pizza Dough, in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer manual
This recipe includes 2 hours of rising time.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. olive oil (+ a little extra)
- 3 c. bread flour, divided (+ a little extra)
- Add yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer, and then pour warm water over it.
- Add salt, oil, and 2 cups of the flour.
- Using your dough hook, mix on Speed 2 for about a minute.
- While continuing to mix, add in the remaining cup of flour, a bit at a time, until the flour is incorporated and the dough starts to pull off the side of the bowl. (I frequently have to add just a bit more oil at this point.)
- Knead on the same speed for 2 more minutes. Your dough should feel smooth, and not sticky at all.
- Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil, and place dough in the bowl, then flip it over so it has a thin layer of oil on top.
- Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel.
- Let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until it doubles in size. If you press a finger into the dough, the indentation should stay there.
- Punch the dough down, and let it rise, covered for another hour. Punch it down a final time.
- Dough can be rolled with a pin or stretched to make pizza or calzones.
- Bake at 400° F for about 20 minutes, or until done. (If you have a pizza stone, preheat the oven and stone to 500° F and only cook for about 11 minutes – it makes the crust nice and crispy!)
Note: This recipe makes enough dough for one really thick or really big pizza, or two smallish pizzas. I’ve found that doubling the recipe and making three pizzas works best for us, especially since the dough keeps really well in the fridge for a few days (just stick it in an airtight ziplock).