Parfait! Best! Pizza Dough

08abakedbzloYeh. I could buy my za! dough at the market; but why should I?

This dough is wicked simple to toss together and make with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook; and it is wicked flexible, too!

Start making the dough, then realize you have to leave for several hours or even overnight? No problem! You are the boss of this dough, and it will be here, waiting for you when you have the time to get back to it.

02afloursaltpeppersbzloWant to add a little extra hit of flavor and fiber? Mix 1/2 cup or so of rye or whole wheat flour into the base flour, salt, and pepper mixture.

01cyeastfoambzloINGREDIENTS
•1-1/2 cup warm (110º) water
•2 tsp yeast
•1 tsp honey
•2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
•2 tbsp olive oil
•Cornmeal

Stir the water together with the yeast and the honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

03baddflourbzloLet rest for ten to 15 minutes, until the yeast is nice and foamy.

Whisk the 2-1/2 cups of flour together with the rye or wheat flour, the seasoned salt, sea salt, black pepper, and Aleppo pepper.

Note: you could also just use three cups of all-purpose flour.

Add the flour blend to the yeast mixture and mix on low for two minutes.

03cdoughbzloWith the mixer running, add additional all purpose flour by the tablespoonful, until the dough comes together in a ball and cleans the side of the mixer bowl.

Note: the amount of additional flour that you need to add will vary depending on the weather. Some days, one cup or so of additional flour will do the trick; for this particular batch, it took two cups of flour for the dough to come together.

04adoughrisebzloGather the dough together into a ball and drizzle the olive oil over all sides of it.

Turn the dough to transfer some of the olive oil to the sides of the mixing bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and stash in a warm space for an hour.

Remember: you are the boss of this dough! If stuff happens and you cannot get back to it in 60 minutes, all is fine. Heck, you can even leave it overnight and deal with it come the morning.

04brisenbzloOnce the dough has risen to about double its original size, peel back the cover, punch it down, then recover it and let it rise for another hour or so.

This would be a good time to heat your oven to 375º and place your pizza stone in the oven to get nice and hot.

05adoughbzloOnce the dough has again risen, punch it down and divide it into two pieces. This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas, or a pizza and a calzone, or flatbread, or, if you space out like me and neglect to lightly flour your waxed paper before rolling out the dough, one pizza, and one trashed bit of dough pieces.

*sigh*

Remembering to lightly flour it, arrange some waxed paper on a flat surface and flatten out one of the dough halves.

05bstonecornmealbzloSprinkle a bit more flour over the top of the dough, then place another piece of waxed paper on top and roll the dough out into a circle to fit your pizza stone.

Remove your pizza stone from the oven and brush one tablespoon or so of cornmeal over the surface.

Transfer your dough to the stone (technically, mine is cast iron), and pop it into the oven for ten minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven and add your toppings.

I went with medianoche mayonnaise, sliced plum tomatoes, freshly chopped basil leaves, sliced black olives, cherry peppers, and Mozzarella.

I also sprinkled a bit of pizza seasoning over the top, but you could skip that bit, or use any seasoning blend you particularly like over the top.

Return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust golden brown.

Transfer to a cutting board (you never want to cut on your pizza stone) and serve.

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