Pizza from scratch

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

Tonight I made my very first pizza from scratch. That's right.. I said from scratch.  I had never dared to make my own pizza dough but found it was actually pretty simple and completely delicious. To add to the pizza making experience, I broke out my brand new baking stone that my older brother bought me for Christmas and loved the outcome of the crispy crust.  To make the dough, I bought yeast that is specically formulated for pizza. This made the process a little shorter as there was no waiting time for the dough to rise.

To get started, if you are using a baking stone, place the stone on the bottom rack of the cold oven and pre-heat to 500 degrees. While the stone and oven and heating up, make the dough. To do this, all you need is:

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/4 cup very warm tap water
3 tablespoons oil

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add water and oil. Mix together until well blended using a pastry whisk.

Add gradually, 1/2 cup flour until soft dough ball is formed; will be slightly sticky.  Add additional flour if needed to form the dough ball.

Knead on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes.  With floured hands, press dough out or roll dough to a 12-inch circle and transfer to a floured flat surface which can easily transfer the pizza to the baking stone in the oven.

Top your pizza dough with oregano then spread a thin layer of your favorite marinera sauce.  Add your selection of toppings (I used large pepporoni, kalamata olives, chopped green onions, slices cremini mushrooms, and a hint of black garlic). Top the pie off with enough cheese to cover all the toppings (I use mozzarella). Add a sprinkling of oregano to the top if desired.

Carefully transfer the pizza to the pre-heated oven onto the baking stone. This part was a little tricky but if you tip your pan or wooden transfer to about 20 degrees and sharply jerk, the pie should slide off and transfer to the baking stone. Again, make sure you flour the interim surface so this transfer process is easy.

Lower the oven temperature to 475 degrees and bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until you feel the pizza is done. Enjoy!


Ed Schenk January 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

Cornmeal on the bottom of your crust is great for sliding your dough onto your stone. It acts like little ball bearings and adds flavor and crunch to your crust. I use a large cutting board for a peel.

Heather January 12, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

My husband simply adores when I make a homemade calzone for him! I use a simple pizza dough recipe and just fill it with ricotta and mozzarella cheese (you can add pretty much anything but he just likes cheese) and put an egg wash on top of it and sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on top...delish!

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