Adventures Recipes

Friday, January 27, 2006

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough
adapted from Wolfgang Puck

1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Topping of your choice

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.

2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, your mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor. Dissolve the yeast as above. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball.)

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.)

4. Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

5. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

6. To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough. Lightly brush the inner circle of the dough with oil and arrange the topping of your choice over the inner circle.

7. Using a lightly floured baker's peel or a rimless flat baking tray, slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remember that the oven is very hot and be careful as you place the pizza into and out of the oven. Transfer the pizza to a firm surface and cut into slices with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife. Serve immediately.

8. To Prepare Ahead: Through step 4. When ready to serve, remove the balls of dough from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then continue with the recipe. Through step 7, bake 5 or 6 minutes, until the cheese melts and the pizza dough is lightly golden brown. (At this point, the pizza can be cooled, wrapped well, and frozen for up to 1 month.) When needed, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and bake in a preheated oven until the crust has browned and the topping is heated through.

9. This recipe yields four 8-inch pizzas (about 24 ounces of dough). Serving size = 1/2 pizza

10. Comments: You can make four pizzas, as described here, or you can divide the dough in half and make two large 12-inch pizzas. The baking time will be the same.

12. Chopped fresh basil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes can be added to the dough with the flour if desired, for additional flavor. Be creative with your pizzas!


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