Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pizza Dough

Pizza is one of my favourite foods. It took me a while before I started making it myself, because I had a slight fear of yeast. It always seemed too finicky and temperamental and I never expected what I was making to turn out. This recipe however has cured me of my fear of yeast. I got this recipe from my mom and I've had perfect pizza dough every time!

What you'll need
1 Package of yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp)
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp Salt
3 3/4 cups All-purpose flour

How to
1. Put 1 cup of warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water, the oil and the salt.

2. Add 3 1/2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth (about 10 minutes) adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

4. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat with oil.

5. Cover with a dry towel and let rise at room temperature for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. A trick from my grandma...if it's winter and quite cold in the house, heat up the oven for a few minutes. Open the oven door and wait until the oven is warm and NOT HOT..."You don't want to kill the yeast" she says. Then place the covered bowl of dough in the oven and close the door (note: the oven is not on at this point...it's just a bit warm). Let rise for one hour.

6. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press down on the dough to expel the air. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

7. Stretch the dough onto a parchment lined pizza pan. Top with your favourite sauce and toppings.

8. Bake at 500°F until the crust is golden, about 10 minutes.

Makes three 12 inch pizza's. For two larger pizza's divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.

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