Pizza-Pizza: Double-Dough Recipe
A Cooking with Kids Original Recipe
By using this recipe, you can make ready-to-roll pizza dough in just over an hour. You need an active yeast, a warm place for rising, and some sturdy young hands to knead the dough (a food processor or stand mixer can speed the kneading up, too). This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas. Freeze extra dough to make easy pizzas on another day. You can also use this dough to make foccaccia, calzone and breadsticks. See the tips at the bottom of this page.
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Rise time: 45 to 60 minutes
- Yield: Two 15 to 16-inch pizzas
Ingredients and steps:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 2 teaspoons quick-rising yeast (1 envelope or 1/4 ounce)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
- Measure the warm water; test with an instant-read thermometer to make sure the temperature is between 110 degrees and 115 degrees. Stir in the honey or sugar and the yeast. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.
To mix the dough with a food processor:
2a Using the plastic dough blade, add 3 cups of flour and the salt to the bowl. Pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. With the machine running, pour the yeast mixture and olive oil through the feed tube until ingredients form a ball. Feel the dough. If it's sticky, process in more flour a tablespoon at a time. If it's dry and mealy, process with single tablespoons of warm water until smooth. Lightly flour a board or kneading surface and knead the dough for 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Refer to Figure 17-1.
To mix the dough by hand:
2b Pour 1-1/2 cups flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in the salt and olive oil. Gradually add the remaining flour, stopping when the mixture is smooth, but not too dry. If you add all of the flour and the dough is still sticky, mix in more flour by single tablespoons. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 minutes, as shown in Figure 17-1. Stop when the dough has a slight sheen and springs back when you poke it. (Keep in mind that too much kneading produces a tough crust and too little kneading makes the dough too dense.)
Figure 17-1: Knead dough by hand by pushing
down, folding, and rotating 1/4 turn
- Rising the dough: Rub a spoonful of olive oil inside a large bowl. Roll the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about one hour. Poke the dough with two fingers—if an indentation remains, it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down with your fist and roll it into a ball, ready for shaping. You can refrigerate the dough up to 36 hours before using it by punching it down and rolling it into a ball each time it doubles in size. You may also wrap it well and freeze it. (Tip: If you're baking the pizza immediately after it rises, read the baking instructions in Step 5—you want to start heating your oven 30 minutes before the pizza is done rising.)
- Shaping the dough: Divide the dough into two balls. Shape each ball by gently stretching or pulling with your hands or by flattening with a rolling pin, or a combination of both. Build the edges slightly thicker than the center. Place the shaped dough on a lightly greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Top with your favorite fixings.
- Baking the dough: Pizzas need high heat to make good, crispy crusts. Start heating your oven at least 30 minutes before baking the pizza. Bake according to the specific pizza recipe you're using, or for 10 to 15 minutes at 500 degrees.
To speed up the dough's rising, set the covered dough bowl in a sink with enough hot tap water to come half-way up the outside of the bowl. Drape a towel over the sink (without it falling in the water) to hold in the steam. The dough will rise quickly and be ready to shape in as little as 45 minutes, but the flavor will be slightly less developed.
When measuring flour, lightly add it spoonful-by-spoonful into a dry measuring cup, then level it off with a knife or ruler—don't pack it down or you'll have too much.
As long as you have all the ingredients and equipment out, make two separate batches of this dough at the same time. You can make one right after the other, or make a double batch using the same amount of yeast. If tripling the recipe, double the yeast. Allow an extra ten minutes of preparation time to double this recipe.
To save time, make extra pizza dough and freeze it. After the dough rises, roll it into a ball and lightly oil the outside. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, wrap again with aluminum foil, and seal air-tight in a freezer bag. To thaw, remove the wrappings and thaw overnight in a covered, greased bowl in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and shape as desired. You don't have to let it rise again, but if you're not making the pizza immediately, it's okay to let it rise before shaping.
Pazzo for Pizza Dough
In Italy, to go crazy for something is to be pazzo. To go pazzo with pizza dough, you can:
- Make focaccia (foh-CAH-chee-ah), an Italian flatbread, by pressing pizza dough that has already risen one time onto a baking sheet rubbed with olive oil, covering the dough, and letting it rise again until doubled, about one hour. With clean fingertips, dimple the surface all over and sprinkle coarse salt, herbs, and olive oil on top. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares.
- Roll dough into thick or thin breadsticks, brush with olive oil, and bake at 450 degrees until crispy.
- Stuff a big sock—a calzone. Calzone (kal-ZOH-nay) means "big sock" in Italian and looks like a large turnover. To make four calzones from one batch of pizza dough, shape the dough into four circles, top half of each circle with your favorite pizza toppings, fold the other half over, and seal the edges. Cut a 1-inch slit in the top for steam to escape. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Partially bake pizza crusts then freeze them, ready to top and cook. Prebake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until the dough begins to stiffen and turn color. Seal well and freeze. Top the crusts and bake while still frozen. (This is a great time-saver for a kids' pizza party!)
- Vary the crust by replacing 1/3 all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or cornmeal. Add flavor to pizza dough by mixing in herbs, garlic, onions, and spices.
Recipes: Breakfasts, Brown-Bags, & Breads
Recipe © 1999, 2007 by Kate Heyhoe