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Simple Pizza Dough

Homemade Pizza is so easy to make at home, and this simple dough is forgiving, elastic and has a rise time of only 1 to 2 hours. The two secrets are setting your oven as hot as it will go (or using a pizza oven), and getting your dough base as thin as possible.


Made from scratch pizza takes some effort and patience, but I promise you, it’s worth it every time. My husband grew up in Chicago, so pizza expectations are pretty high. After what feels like dozens of pizza doughs, this yeasted option leads to a perfectly crisp and chewy crust.


HOW TO MAKE PIZZA DOUGH


Ingredients:

  • Bread Flour

  • Water

  • Instant Yeast

  • Salt

  • Olive Oil


Directions:

In a medium sized bowl. Add flour, yeast and salt. Add the oil and room temperature water. Stir into a shaggy dough. The flour wont all be incorporated, but thats okay. Dump it on the counter and start kneading into a cohesive dough. It will be sticky, so have some flour ready to incorporate. I usually knead in another 1/4 -1/2 cup of bread flour when kneading.



Knead for 5-10 minutes by hand. Can you use a dough hook and electric mixer? Yes you can. But I find kneading by hand doesn't take long and you can better feel the consistency of the dough. It will be smooth and elastic. Use the base of your palm to push through the dough and slide away from you. If the dough is sticking, add some more flour.


Place into a greased bowl and cover. Let rise for one to two hours or until doubled in size.


Dump dough out on the counter and divide into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on size of pizza you want. Shape each piece into a ball and dust with flour. Set aside and cover.


Now you can shape your pizzas or let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes. I find that letting it rest again makes it easier to work with. If the dough keep shrinking, simply let it rest another 5 minutes.


In the meantime, preheat your oven as hot as it will go with a cast iron pan / pizza stone inside, or fire up the pizza oven.


Dust you work surface with flour and cornmeal. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out as thin as possible. 3 pieces should give you 10-12 inch pizzas.


OVEN DIRECTIONS:

I place a 12" cast iron skillet in my oven while it preheats to 500 degrees. Once it gets to temperature, keep the cast iron in the oven for another 15 minutes.


Slide the dough onto a pizza peel (or I use a small square cookie sheet that slides easily, USA Pan brand is the best). Dusting the peel with cornmeal will give you the best sliding results.


Once you can easily slide the dough around the peel, build your pizza with desired sauce, toppings and cheese.


Remove cast iron from the oven, and using the peel, slide pizza into cast iron. Place back in the oven. Keep a look out, it doesn't take long!


PIZZA OVEN:

We have found the best results when the pizza oven stone is at 650 - 675 degrees.


Homemade Pizza is worth the work! It takes effort and patience. Once you get the knack of it, you'll rarely be ordering take out.



OTHER EASY BREAD RECIPES





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