THE BEST PIZZA DOUGH
THE BEST EVER!
This dough is easiest to make in a food processor. You can, however, make it by hand, but there's just a lot of work that way. Feel free to add ingredients to the dough to make it more interesting, like garlic powder, oregano, or maybe carmelized onions. Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups flour 1 cup warm water (between 95° and 115° F.) 2 T dry active yeast (2 tablespoons, I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less) 2 T honey 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. salt FOOD PROCESSOR MIXING Some food processors come with a dough blade. If you have it use it. If you don't, just use the standard cutting blade. Pour in warm water. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the honey and salt. Mix on low for about 20 seconds. Add the yeast and mix on low for another 5 seconds. Add 1 cup of flour, mix on low for 10 seconds. Add the olive oil and mix until blended (about 15 or 20 seconds more). Add the rest of the flour (and any other additions) and mix on high for about a minute or two. The dough should turn into a ball and roll around the processor. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts. Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. This builds the gluten which helps the dough to rise and become fluffy when cooked. Place the dough in a plastic grocery bag or a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise. After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Show it who's the boss and punch it down. That's right, give it a good smack so it deflates. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be rolled out. You can punch the dough down one more time if you want and wait another hour or two before rolling out. The choice is yours. Next procedure is to roll out the dough. This dough can also be made in advance and refrigerated for a day or so, or even frozen. Be sure to let the dough come to room temperature before using. Rolling Out Pizza Dough: One mistake most people make when working with dough is not using enough muscle. Dough fights back. You push it, it pushes back. Don't be afraid of the dough. It won't bite you and you can't really damage it, either. When working with dough, use plenty of flour, but don't let it get too dry. It should be fun to work with, not too sticky and not too crumbly. Form it into a flat ball about six to eight inches wide. Using both hands, one on top of the other, press from the center outwards on it to start stretching it out, turning the dough a bit on each push. You can also pick up the dough and squeeze the edges of it while turning it like a steering wheel. This allows the weight of the dough to stretch it. Once the dough is about 1/2" thick all the way around, use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about 1/4" thick. I usually run the pin over once or twice, flip the dough over and give it a quarter turn and roll it again to make it even. Take a fork and put puncture holes all over the dough. This keeps it from bubbling up while cooking and it also helps to hold the sauce on as well. Transfer dough to a pizza peal sprinkled with corn meal or place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Top with sauce, cheese and/or toppings and bake in a 400° F. oven until the crust is light brown. Bake on either baking stones or on a cookie sheet or a pizza pan.
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