I didn’t believe it, but it’s true, making pizza dough from scratch is really simple. It is also fun, and doesn’t take a lot of time. Plus, it saves a lot of dough$ too (pardon the pun!), so there’s no more excuses for not giving it a try!
I recently had the opportunity to receive a private lesson from a baking guru friend of mine. I couldn’t believe how fast it took. The longest part of the process is the rising, but you can use that time to chop all of your pizza toppings and make a sauce.
So here goes…
Pizza Dough Recipe
-1 package of dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp.) (Quick-rising is good if you are in a hurry)
-1 cup warm water
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. olive oil
-2 1/2 cups flour (experiment with mixing different flours vs. using entirely all white; I try to source organic flour and if it’s local – i.e. – Speerville Mill, all the better)
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water in the bottom of a warm mixing bowl. Add salt, oil and flour. Mix above, form into a ball, and knead for 5 min. (or use dough setting on bread maker). If the dough is sticky-wet to the touch, add a dusting more of flour. If it is a little dry, add a touch more water.
Let the dough rise in a lightly greased bowl, in a warm room, for about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough. This is the process by which you remove air from the dough.
Spread the dough ball onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Work the dough so it is fairly evenly stretched across your baking sheet. This is the funnest part for me.
Add your sauce and desired toppings and bake for 15-20 min. at 450 degrees.
I am grateful that my baking friend is also willing to take her skills on the road. We are planning a “Cooking from Scratch” workshop series for next Fall. The series will also include bread-making and crust making and possibly unleavened breads, tortillas, etc. So stay tuned for more scratch tips and some great recipes alike! Some of the goals of the workshop series will be helping to save people money, while eating more nutritiously. The series will also address the fact that cooking from scratch is a skill that is rapidly being lost in our fast-paced, fast-food world. It also helps you to avoid all of the additives and preservatives found in processed food. What a great feeling it is to not have to depend on the grocery store for pre-made dough and pizza. It is so liberating! (and did I say it’s lots of fun playing with the dough too?!?).
Many thanks to Del Seto of Side By Each Farm for the dough making lesson! I tried it on my own for the first time last night and it was a success! Me so proud.
A great baking from scratch resource that Del recommends is: The Home Baking Book, by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford. Available online. or from your local li-berry. http://www.goodfoodworld.com/2012/07/home-baking-by-jeffrey-alford-and-naomi-duguid/
Blog written by Su Morin, The Ecology Action Centre’s Community Food Coordinator for Cumberland County, NS.