Earlier this year I made my first attempt at homemade pizza dough. It turned out pretty well. I wasn’t completely settled on the way I made it so I decided to try one more recipe to see if I could find the texture I was looking for.
I turned to the Barefoot Contessa for guidance. Ina Garten has not failed me yet and this recipe is no exception. I topped my pizza with one baked chicken breast (shredded), one bunch of steamed broccoli, 150z Don Pepino pizza sauce (my favorite local brand) and approximately 1/2 cup mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheese.
For the dough: (serves 6)
- 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Good olive oil
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- Kosher salt
Mix the dough.
Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
Knead by hand.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.
Let it rise.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)
Portion the dough.
Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Stretch the dough.
Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)
Top the dough.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
Tips from Ina:
TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.
TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.
TIP To make sure yeast is still “alive,” or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it’s active.
Tips from La Phemme Phoodie:
- If using a pizza stone, which I highly suggest, preheat the oven with the pizza stone in it. Preheat at 500° for 45-60 minutes. Use a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal or flour to place the pizza on the stone immediately before baking.
- If you prefer crisp crust, pour a cup of water in a nonstick cake pan on a rack below the pizza stone. Place the pan under the stone after you put the pizza in the oven.
- If you are not using all the dough let the dough fully rise before freezing. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Place in a freezer bag. To defrost the dough either leave it on the countertop for a couple hours or overnight in the refrigerator.