How to make yummy pizza dough from scratch…It’s EASY!

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

 Ingredients:

-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)

 Directions:

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.

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4 thoughts on “How to make yummy pizza dough from scratch…It’s EASY!

  1. I’ve been baking my own pizza for decades and even worked as a pizza cook for four years.

    Perhaps the person who shared the recipe on this blog removed the sugar from this particular recipe, but the yeast needs to be fed a sweetener to help it rise. I use a teaspoon of honey, but a teaspoon of sugar will do. I also use 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat.

    I add the honey to the cup of warm water, stirring until it is dissolved, then I add the 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, stirring until it is mixed well. Then I put a plate over the bowl and let it sponge for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, I mix the salt in with the two flours.

    I was told long ago that salt shouldn’t come in direct contact with the yeast. I think it might hamper the rise. So that’s why I mix it with the flour. I add the oil to the yeast mixture then add the flour mixture. I stir it until I can stir no longer, then it gets dumped on the counter and kneaded for five minutes.

    I form a ball and place the dough back in the same bowl (with a little oil on the bottom) and let it rise for 20 to 30 minutes. I take it out, form a round flat shape and use a rolling pin to roll it to size to fit a 16-inch pan. This type of dough doesn’t have the elasticity of pizza parlour dough (that ‘ripens’ for several hours), so it’s not as easy to toss and shape. Rolling creates a crust that is the same thickness throughout.

    Then I top with spaghetti sauce (we use Hunts Four Cheeses) (when I don’t have any made from scratch) and other fixings. Spaghetti sauce is much cheaper than pizza sauce, and I find the spaghetti sauce has more varieties to choose from, so you’re more likely to find one you like.

    • Thanks for your comments Diane, and for the great recipe!

      Here is what I have found out about sugar…

      Sugar is added to yeast diluted in water to “proof” the yeast, meaning you want proof that the yeast is still active and alive. The sugar that is used in proofing gives the yeast something to start eating right away (thus producing bubbles). However, there are MANY fine recipes for bread that do not require sugar for proofing or to make the dough rise. (Often sugar is added to bread recipes for the taste).

      Happy scratch cooking!
      Su

  2. Pingback: Making Cheese Pizza Zacatecas | Pizza Cooking

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