Since I scored my $10 bread machine on VarageSale last year, I have been experimenting with different pizza dough recipes.The biggest criterion with pizza dough is: I have to be able to mix it ahead of time and refrigerate. I am not mixing up pizza dough after I walk in the door with the kids while they chill and what…play quietly? Do macrame? Not happening. Pizza dough must be completely ready, sometimes a day ahead, and rolled out before I pick them up.
I know there are oodles of pins out there for GF crust, cauli-crust, etc, but I wasn’t interested in those. I just wanted regular crust. I started with the recipes in the machine’s recipe booklet and those were OK, but they weren’t spectacular. I tried adding different ingredients in an effort to jazz up the dough – garlic olive oil, garlic salt, oregano/whatever herbs I had around – and different combinations of wheat flour and bread flour. I branched out to a Williams Sonoma recipe that was also OK, but the crust was always very flat. Sometimes a flat crust is desirable, but I want fluff for our regular pizzas. The make ahead requirement seemed to be an issue because even if I brought the crust to room temp before rolling out, it stayed flat.
This week I experimented with a recipe using a mixer, not a bread machine. A Pizza Dough – Stand Mixer Method from A Couple Cooks was at the top of my search page, so I gave it a try.
~ I took their advice and used bread flour (King Arthur’s). Now that I have a 25lb bag of bread flour thanks to Sam’s…so I will always use bread flour in the future.
~ The mixer didn’t knead the dough for 8 minutes, probably half that time because I thought the dough started to look tough and I was worried it was being overworked.
~ To create a warm place for the dough to rise I warmed my oven for a minute or two and turned it off. I do this with my cinnamon rolls too and it has worked well.
~ After the dough finished rising and I punched it down, I placed in the fridge. I brought out of the fridge an hour before so it could warm up a little. I rolled out and placed on my oversized pizza rack and I stuck it in the cold oven until I was ready to cook.
~ I didn’t divide the dough in half either. I kept one giant ball of dough so I could make a giant pizza to feed four, and have some leftover for the 2 year old’s lunch, and mine.
~ I like to use fresh sliced mozzarella from the deli, but I shred mozzarella from a block if it’s on sale.
~ I brush the non-sauced “naked” part of the crust with olive oil and garlic salt.
~ Anything hotter than 425° gives me the heebie geebies, so I baked at that temp probably for 20 minutes and then stuck under the broiler to brown the cheese.
WOA. The boys LOVE this recipe. And parents do too! I have absolutely, without a doubt, found our new pizza dough recipe. It passed my make-ahead test, and I really hope I can freeze it too. I even made my own pizza sauce, but that write-up will have to wait!