30-Minute Dough

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Homemade pizza crust! What a treat for my and husband and me. I’ve never made dough from scratch before and this couldn’t be easier. I found this recipe over the weekend and have already made it twice. To make it even easier, I cut out the step where I beat the ingredients together. I just use my hands. So easy and good! Both times I’ve used this dough recipe with the Classic Margharita Pizza recipe on this website. What a great combination! Try to get a pizza stone if you don’t have one because it bakes perfectly. Both times my husband keeps on forgetting I made it from scratch and didn’t pick it up at a gourmet restaurant. Bravo!

We love this recipe. It’s extremely easy to double and works just as well, so we usually make a double batch and put one pizza in the freezer to eat sometime later. We find this recipe to be equal to any typical rise-then-punch-then-rise crust we’ve made, and far superior to any frozen or refrigerated store-bought pizza crust. I usually add mixed herbs to the dough – I sometimes just do a teaspoon of ground-up “pizza spice” but if I don’t have pizza spice on hand I’ll just toss in a mixture of approx 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/4 tsp onion powder. (The best and easiest way to add herbs is to mix them into the olive oil before you add it to the batter – that will ensure even distribution throughout the entire dough.)

Then I mix a bit of garlic powder (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) into the olive oil that I brush onto the edge of the crust, which gives it a touch of garlicky flavor and helps the edge turn nice and golden in the oven. Added later: I’ve also used this recipe to make breadsticks; I still add the herbs and garlic oil, and do everything according to the recipe. After letting the dough rise for 5-10 min, pinch off golfball-sized pieces and roll them between your hands until they’re 4-5″ long. Cook on a lightly greased cookie sheet, 1″ apart, at 450 for 14-18 minutes. It makes 12-16 4″-5″ breadsticks.

This is as easy as can be. These days, I make it every two weeks, and not for pizza — which I’ve used it for, as well as calzones — but for focaccia bread. I’ve decided to stop buying a baguette, which is deadly to a single girl, and now make a double batch of this. I *do* knead it for 5-10 minutes. I raise it an hour or two, then I cut it into 8 balls. Each portion I stick in a Ziploc sandwich bag, then freeze.

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I pop it in the fridge the night before I want one, let it come to room temp for an hour after work, shape into a flatbread on a floured board, let it rise until a finger indent remains, preheat my pizza stone to 450, put olive oil, sea salt, rosemary on my flatbread, and bake until it’s golden-brown and bubbly. WONDERFUL. For a pizza Bianco — a little fresh basil, fresh Mozza, sea salt (add charcuterie if you like) — and bake until happy.

For calzone, it’s fabulous. Freezing this dough gives it time to rise and get happy. It’s easy to make, will freeze for 4-6 weeks, and I highly recommend it as a way to give yourself a LITTLE incredible flatbread with a barbecued meal, salad, whatever. Just my take. 🙂

This recipe makes homemade pizza a simple dinner any night of the week. I usually double it to make two big pizzas. The only thing I change is the cooking method. I heat the oven to 450, put the dough on a big cookie sheet, pop it into the oven on the lowest rack, turn it up to 500, and let it bake for 5 minutes.

Then I pull it out, turn the heat down to 450 again, spread on the sauce, cheese and toppings, and put it back into the oven until the cheese is melted.

This always gives a perfectly brown crust that is crispy on the edges and bottom. Even with my cheap oven and no pizza stone, baking this way gives great results!

30-Minute Dough

Yield: approx. 1 pound

Ingredients

2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of warm water or milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small bowl or glass, combine 1/2 cup warm water with yeast and sugar. Stir together and let rest 5-10 minutes, or until frothy.

Note: if the mixture is not bubbly, discard and start again.

Combine 2 cups flour with the yeast mixture, remaining water, olive oil, and salt, and mix together until a shaggy dough forms.

Gradually continue adding flour until dough is smooth, then let rest 10 minutes.

Use dough immediately, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for later use.

From: allrecipes.com