Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mamma Mia! Perfect Pizza Dough!

I'm fortunate to have very fond childhood food memories, being that I was raised by a woman who made nearly everything from scratch. My mother has been visiting for the past few weeks and when she offered to make her homemade pizza dough, I jumped at the opportunity to learn her technique! If you are in the mood for REAL pizza, this is the best universal pizza dough! 

What you need

  • 1 Cup Warm Water (Bath Temperature)
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar
  • 4 TBSP Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt
  • 1 Pack Active Dry Yeast
  • 6-8 Cups Flour
Mix water, sugar, 2 TBSP of olive oil, and salt in a large bowl. Finger test your mixture to make sure your water is not too hot. *If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Add yeast and allow it to rest until bubbles form. Stir in 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. On a floured work surface, kneed the dough, adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time until it becomes smooth and elastic. 

Place a mug of steaming hot water in the microwave (you could use the oven, but the microwave works best). Place dough in a large plastic bowl and use 1 TBSP of olive oil to coat both the dough and the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the microwave. *Do not turn on the microwave! The steam and the small space create the perfect humid environment for your dough to rise. Allow dough to rise until it doubles in size and a finger touch leaves an impression; about an hour. Give your dough a good punch, and you're ready to roll.

Pre heat your oven to 450F/220C. Brush remaining TBSP of olive oil on your pan. Here, I used a rimmed rectangular pan for a medium dish pizza. Roll your dough out on a floured surface and place in your pan. Use whatever toppings you wish, and bake it in the oven until the crust is golden. Mamma Mia, you have made the perfect pizza!

*Tip- I recommend putting mozzarella on before the sauce, to keep the bottom of the dough from becoming soggy. Grate fresh parmesan over the top after adding the rest of your toppings.