Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pizza from Scratch

If there is one recipe that I get asked about the most, it is my pizza recipe. I tried making pizza from scratch on a whim a couple years ago and now we do it several times a month. The key was finding a recipe that the kids like and I think we have. I did a bunch of looking online for good versions, and the best place I found was They have all sorts of resources for making awesome pizza. The dough recipe here is more or less a doubled version of this recipe New York Style. There are slight modifications that I find work well but overall that was my source. The sauce is pretty made up by me. Toppings are up to you! I usually make a 1/2 cheese 1/2 pepperoni for the first pizza and then something like pepperoni/green pepper for the second.

This recipe makes 2 - 16" pizzas.

Equipment Needed:

Oven with rack in lowest spot
Pizza Stone
Stand Mixer with paddle and dough hook (not required, but will make your life a lot easier)
Pizza Peel (not required, I don't even have one yet, it's on my list)
Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Sauce pan
Assorted measuring devices, stirring implements, etc

The Dough:

2 2/3 cups warm water
7 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 With a mixer: 

 NOTE: This amount is about the max dough my mixer can handle motor-wise (KitchenAid Artisan 5qt), you might want to half it and make 2 dough balls, rather than one big one that you have to separate. It'll take a little longer, but you don't want to burn out your motor.

 Mix in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment for about 30 seconds to get it mixed up.

 Use the dough hook attachment at low to medium speed for 15 minutes. If after a few minutes the dough is still gooey sticking to the bottom of the bowl, add up to 1 more cup of flour and continue mixing.

If your mixer is struggling, you might be best to roll it out and finish the kneading by hand

 Without a mixer:
 Add ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix well until a large doughball is formed.
Put on a floured surface and knead for 15-20 minutes adding flour slowly as needed.

 Continue both here:
 Remove the dough ball and place in an oiled bowl.
Cover with a towel and let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
 You can also cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge overnight.

The Sauce: 

20oz tomato sauce
6oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Combine in a saucepan over medium  heat until bubbling.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Bringing it all Together:

 Place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 475°. Put the rack in the lowest position.

 You can experiment with temperatures ( I find for softer crusts, lowering the temp down to 425° and cooking a little longer can do the trick.)

Divide the dough and on a floured surface, work it into a 16" circle. Work from the center out, you decide if you want a bulging crust edge or if you want it flat out to the edge. If you want to try to toss it like a pizzaman, be my guest. If you want a thinner crust, you can use a floured rolling pin to get it nice and smooth. If you roll it out, make sure you use plenty of flour underneath or you might end up with a mess. 

Without a Pizza Peel:
Since I do not own a pizza peel, once the stone is ready,  I pick the dough up and flop the dough onto the stone, quickly working it to fit (be careful the stone is HOT) Spread on sauce and toppings. Place stone back into oven. Be as quick as possible so that the crust doesn't cook too much on the stone while you top the pizza.

With a Pizza Peel:
 Place the dough on a pizza peel dusted with flour or cornmeal. It should be able to slide around a bit on the peel. Add sauce, cheese and toppings. Slide the pizza off the peel on to the preheated pizza stone in oven. I have NEVER done this, so you are kinda on your own here. In theory it should be perfect. But I bet it takes a bit of practice.

Cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on your level of wanted crispyness and cheese doneness. Some people like their cheese a little browned others do not. Just keep an eye on it! at 475° it will cook fast. One recipe I read called for cooking at 500°, but it was too fast for me.

Once done, remove pizza from stone to a cookie sheet or other surface. Let stand for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

The Conclusion of the Matter
You will probably want to tweak my thoughts and add your own twist in the dough, sauce or toppings. It is really an open canvas on which to make some pretty tasty stuff. Try adding garlic powder or Italian seasoning to the dough, or  some sugar or honey to the sauce. Go a little crazy with toppings. There are no rules. So be awesome and make your own 100% from scratch pizza masterpiece!

No comments:

Post a Comment