How to make a pizza dough
I know you had a chance to eat it. I’m even confident you had a chance at least once to arrange the toppings on one for yourself. But how about making an entire pizza right from the scratch? Yes, that includes the pizza dough - the very soul of every pizza!
Now, how can I motivate you to consider this instruction of making a pizza dough as something you may actually put to use sometimes? I know this doesn’t really fit nicely into a standard picture of American way of life, especially because of the time it takes. But if you want to make a difference and impress that special someone, you better go an extra mile. Trust me, it will give you some bragging rights instantly!
Let me tell you, it will make a man more man, and a woman more woman, and a man more woman where the woman is missing. Now, did I confuse you a little? Good. Now I can start talking about pizza dough, it will seem much less complicated than that.
To make a dough, get yourself ready a 3 ½ cups of basic bread flour, 1 cup of warm water, 1 packet of active dry yeast, a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. For baking, you will need a regular oven heated on 475° F, you will not be using your microwave for this. You’ll need a pizza stone to place pizza onto, and a pizza peel which is a very handy wooden shovel-like tool that helps you place pizza onto a heated stone in your oven and take it away when it’s done.
Start off by adding dry yeast to a warm water. Now, tap water is fine, but make sure it’s not hot because yeast is a living organism and hot water may kill it and you wouldn’t get the effect of the yeast developing and doing it’s magic. Dip your finger into the water and if it feels comfortable, then it’s fine. We’re talking about 110° F max. To this mix you should also add a teaspoon of sugar so that yeast has something “to chew on” and develop. Gently stir the mix, cover it with a kitchen cloth, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Nothing killed you so far, right? Oh, by the way, I should probably tell you that you don’t make pizza from scratch when you get hungry! No, no, no … Like you don’t go to the gym three days before you hit the beach. Remember, you’re doing something special here, and if it doesn’t take time and patience and a pinch of love (which I forgot to mention in a recipe) then it’s not really special, is it?
OK, after letting it be for 10 minutes, the yeast mixture has matured and is now ready to be added to the flour. Sip it very slowly as you mix it gently. You can stir with your fingers assuming you washed your hands, of course. Now you can add salt and Olio Olivo Extra Virgine. Little by little, the mix will be turning from sticky to a nice fresh dough. If it seems too dry, add a bit more water. If you feel it’s too watery, add more flour. When all the mass from the mixing bowl is now one compact mass, take it out and place it onto a clean tabletop surface – it’s time to kneed! Oh yeah, don’t be shy now, even the big boys do it. You can close your window if you feel your pride is in danger, but you’ll get the last laugh anyway.
To prevent the dough from sticking, sprinkle some flour over the surface and start kneeding with a lower palm of your stronger hand. Press it, fold over, then press again and do that for about 7-8 minutes. You know you’re done when the dough becomes compact and gummy to some extent. If you press your finger on it, you should see it coming back a little. Shape it now into a ball by tucking it under in order to leave a perfect round sphere shape looking from above. Sprinkle some olive oil on it and rub around uniquely. This will prevent the outer layer from drying up and breaking while rising. Place it now into a bowl at least twice the size of the dough because that’s how much it will grow as the yeast is giving it a rise. After covering it with a lid or a plastic...