My Fave Pizza Dough

It has been a while since I last made a home made pizza, but we wanted to try a lower acid type ‘Za without the traditional sauce, and we had a quiet Sunday going on, so, “why not?”

By the way, I know that I said we were looking at “lower acid toppings” and you might could’ve noticed the cherry tomatoes on this basil and Mozz (with Medianoche Mayonnaise); but I included them because I had read an article with famous chefs that they are actually a lower acid option.

So there.

•1 tsp yeast
•1/2 tsp honey
•2/3 cup warm water (110°)
•2 cups flour + additional as needed*
•1 tsp salt
•Olive oil for the bowl
•Corn meal for the board and pizza stone

Important note on that additional flour: usually, when I make this dough, I end up adding up to an additional 1/2 cup of flour while in the mixer to make it all come together, but this particular day, it was quite damp and muggy out, so, when I started mixing, I had added two tablespoons of flour before noticing that the dough was not coming together, and so I ended up adding tablespoons of water until the dough hook gathered the dough into a ball and cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl.

Stuff happens, but as Julia Child used to say, “You are the boss of that dough!”

Whisk the yeast into the water and honey and set aside for ten minutes or so, until the yeast is a bit frothy on top.

Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer – I use the whisk attachment for this, then swap out the dough hook for the rest of the process.

Add the foamy yeast mixture to the bowl and 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.

You can punch it down and use it right now, but I like to punch it down, cover it, and give it another 90 minute rise.

About 30 minutes before you plan to assemble and make your pizza, heat your oven to 450º (I used my “Convection Roast” setting, and slide your pizza stone in to absorb that heat.

With your stone heating up, scatter some corn meal on a board and add your dough, pushing it out into disk. I like to scatter some more corn meal on the top and then use a rolling pin to get to the size and shape I want. I have also found that wrapping the rolled out dough around the pin makes it really easy to transfer to the pizza stone.

Note: our pizza stone is cast iron, so I am uncertain if this next bit will work with an actual pizza “stone,” but, just before I transfer the dough to the stone, I remove it from the oven and scatter a bit more cornmeal over that. It might smoke a bit, but all is cool.

Transfer your dough to the hot stone and, using your finger tips, spread the dough to the edges and dimple it a little. That corn meal base on the dough and the stone makes this a lot easier.

That is it!

Your dough is read to top as you like and bake for about 15 minutes.

Note: before I top mine, I often brush the base crust with a bit of olive oil, which seems to keep the crust crispier while baking.

For this pizza, I used Medianoche Mayonnaise in place of the olive oil.

Those details, tomorrow.



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