Pizza Dough

Notes/Suggestions: I have this Pizza Cookbook that I have been using for more than 10 years now simply called Pizza, by James McNair. The dough recipes are just right. I usually put all the ingredients into my bread machine, but you can also do it the traditional way. If you do use your bread machine, put the oil and water in first with the salt. Put the dry ingredients on top, ending with the yeast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tbs granulated sugar
  • ¼ oz (1 envelope) of active dry yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp of bread machine yeast)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 ¼ cups of unbleached all purpose flour (I combine ½ all purpose and ½ white wheat flours)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. The water should be about 110 degrees, if it is too hot it will kill the yeast, if it is too cool, it will not activate the yeast. It should feel like a comfortable bath to the touch.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir gently until it dissolves, about a minute.
  3. Let it stand for about 5 minutes until a thin layer of foam covers the surface.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour(s) and salt together using a whisk to aerate. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture and the oil into the center.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the liquid making sure to scrape down the sides.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, using some of the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Knead the dough until it is smooth and springy, and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining flour as needed.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. Turn the dough to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm dry place for about an hour to an 1 ½ hours to rise.
  8. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your fist and knead briefly to get out all the air bubbles. You are ready to make pizza, Stromboli, calzones, foccaccia, and even pretzels.