Tonight I thought I would attempt an image heavy post showing you how I make my specialty, pizza dough. I wrote about this before, in my post titled Pizza! Tonight I will add more detail.
This is a dough I have been making since my early teens, and it works every time.
My fellow foodies and friends, I will still post! If anything, to let you know we all make mistakes, we’re not perfect, stuff happens. It’s how you recover that matters. So let’s go through this together and see how it ends. Even I don’t know at this point how it ends.
Let’s start on the easy part. The never fail pizza dough recipe.
1 package dry yeast (regular or instant) (I’ve been using instant lately)
1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 ½ cups flour (I used unbleached white) (which must mean it’s off-white?)
If you are using your regular type yeast, dissolve it the warm water. If it’s quickie yeast, you can carry on immediately….
Add the sugar, salt and olive oil. Stir.
Add 2 cups of the flour.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you have enough of all your ingredients before you begin
Mix with a fork. Your dough should be sticky.
On a very clean surface, sprinkle a half-cup of flour. Plop the dough from the bowl in this flour.
Knead. Knead. Knead. Add more flour a bit at a time, so the dough isn’t wet and sticky, but not hard either. It’s gotta look like pizza dough. Try as I might to describe in words, I can only say the dough should be smooth. Elastic. I hope this doesn’t make anyone faint, but it should feel like a nice breast. A human woman’s breast before you start fondling the chicken breasts in your fridge.
When the dough is right, you will just know and will weep with joy. But it takes a bit of practice, and helps to have someone there to say, “You can’t stop kneading now, you’ve just begun” and then “STOP STOP STOP, it’s perfect!”. So call me.
Let’s continue with the recipe. You got your nice ball of dough. Place it in a clean bowl that you drizzled a bit of olive oil in. Spin the ball around so it’s got a nice sheen of olive oil on it. This is simply to prevent sticking to the bowl.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel, or plastic wrap, and tuck it away in a cozy part of your home. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. I’ve let mine sit for as long as two hours or more, and still had success.
Whenever you are ready, take the dough out of the bowl and divide in two for a thinner crusted pizza, or plop the whole thing on a large baking sheet (lightly buttered or olive oiled) and then flatten it out until it resembles a pizza crust. (For the uninitiated, work your way out from the centre of the dough, towards the edges).
Once you’ve reached this point, you are now on the open road to Pizzaville. Take your foot off the break and away you go. Add whatever you like. Pizza sauce or pesto. Homemade, or buy the stuff sold in grocery stores. Top with all your favourite things (jewelry and shoes not recommended), or keep it simple, which is what I do.
Normally, it’s just a simple pizza sauce and mozzarella. Some days I brown some ground beef, onion and mushrooms, and top with mozzarella and feta.
Tonight is the night of experimentation, and the plan was to top it simply with sun-dried tomato pesto, feta, and some provolone. But as luck would have it, my camera battery also died, so while I wait for that to charge, I’ll chop up some fresh tomatoes and mushrooms to add to the mix.
Well, dinner is done, and my mistake of not making sure I had enough flour to begin with, turned into something fabulous. Michael and I both were pleased with the results. We even dared to say “best ever”. I have to say, despite the fear of sounding like a 1940’s housewife, nothing is more satisfying than hearing my husband praise me for a delicious supper. Happiness.
Oh yes, and here’s the pictures. With commentary.