Best! ‘Za! Dough

So, yeh. This is still my very favorite ‘za! dough, no real changes to the method or the ingredients, but…

the implementation?

Well, now, that is a whole different ball o’ fine home made pizza dough.

See, for this ‘za! – I rolled the dough out on parchment paper with corn meal, then transferred it, parchment paper and all, to a baking pan.

I also, in place of my trust cast iron pizza stone, used a standard half-sheet pan – which was called for in the recipes I cobbled together to make the very tasty looking (and it was) ‘za! shown above. Details on that, tomorrow.

•1 tsp yeast
•1/2 tsp honey
•2/3 cup warm water (110°)
•2 cups flour + additional as needed
•1 tsp salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•Olive oil for the bowl
•Corn meal – for rolling out

Add the honey and the yeast to the warm water in a mixing bowl, stir to combine, and let rest for 10 or 15 minutes, until the mixture has developed a nice bit of foam on the top.

Whisk the flour, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until nicely blended.

Add the flour to the foamy yeast mixture in the mixing bowl, and, using the dough hook, mix on low until a soft dough forms.

Increase the speed to medium and knead for ten minutes, adding additional flour by the tablespoon, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and has cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl. I end up adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup (four to eight tablespoons) additional flour.

Once the dough has come together and, as you can see, nicely cleaned the mixing bowl, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the bowl, remove the dough from the hook, shape it into a ball and place it in the bottom of the mixing bowl, turning so that all sides of the dough ball are lightly coated with the olive oil.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for at least 90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.

Note: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here: if you cannot get back to check on the dough in the specified time, no worries. You are the boss of that dough; and you can safely leave it in that warm spot for several hours or even overnight if needs be. Some folk claim that letting the dough double, then punching it down and doubling again makes for a better tasting pizza. It’s all good.

When you are ready to deal with the risen dough, sprinkle the corn meal on a large piece of parchment, punch odwn the dough one more time, then place in the center of the parchment paper.

Flatten the dough out with your hands, then sprinkle to top with some more corn meal and roll out – this particular ‘za! called for a rectangular crust, for that’s the way I went.

Once the dough is rolled out, transfer, parchment paper and all to your baking pan or pizza stone, and proceed as you will.

I like to brush my raw dough with a bit of olive oil and pre-bake it in a hot 425º oven for six minutes or so before topping.

And there you have it, ready in a couple of hours or the next day, it is totally up to you, my fave pizza dough.

This one is gonna be one of my fave combinations, a Reuben Pizza!

Those tasty details, tomorrow…

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