Cookbook:Pizza Dough

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Pizza Dough
CategoryDough recipes
YieldEnough for 1 pizza
Difficulty

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

A simple pizza recipe; works well for thin crusts.

Ingredients

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Procedure

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  1. Mix water, yeast, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. If the batter is thin and runny like pancake batter, knead in a little more flour to get a sticky dough. If you can touch the batter with your finger and not stick to it, that's too dry, so knead in a little water.
  2. Set the mixing bowl so it is sitting in warm water, or place on top of a warm oven. Let rise for 20–30 minutes. Don't worry if it only rises 10% or 20%—it'll still work.
  3. Grease a baking sheet with some oil, then sprinkle cornmeal on the oil. Use you fingers to press the dough out until it is about ¼ inch thick all over, with the edges ½ inch thick. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough so it doesn't stick to your hands.
  4. Top dough with pizza toppings as desired—see pizza article.
  5. Bake at 425°F for about 15–20 minutes. Rotate every 5 minutes and move to upper or lower shelves as necessary. After 10 minutes slide a large knife under the crust. If it is dark brown, move it to a higher shelf so it doesn't burn while the top finishes cooking. If it is white or light tan, move to lower shelf so you get a crispy crust before the cheese starts turning brown on top.

Notes, tips, and variations

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  • On your first try, try just one or two pizzas. Then you can adjust it next time as necessary.
  • The dough rises to become about 50% larger, so use a big bowl.
  • Note that the flour used must be at least 60–70% all-purpose white flour. The dough will be heavy and won't rise as much if the proportion of other flours is too large.
  • Try adding sesame seeds, oregano, or basil to the dough.

Troubleshooting

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  • If the crust isn't done in the middle, you may have the dough too thick.
  • If the crust burned on the bottom, you either had it too close to the bottom of the oven or didn't move it to a higher shelf in time. Some stoves are hotter than the thermostat, so try a lower temperature next time.
  • Water from fresh tomatoes, pineapples, and onions, can seep into the crust, so take it easy on those.
  • If the pizza is too greasy, reduce the amount of oil in the pan. It should be a thin film, but it doesn't need to pool on the surface. Some toppings (pepperoni, sausage, even cheese) will release grease into the pizzas; try smaller pieces.
  • If the vegetables are overdone (e.g., dried up mushrooms, bitter peppers, soggy onion), try topping the pizza halfway through the baking time so they still have a little texture left. Some vegetables, especially broccoli, work better when protected by a coating of oil.
  • If the cheese is brown and dried out on top, the pizza was cooked too close to top element in oven; never use top shelf.
  • If the crust is not very light, use less whole wheat flour or cornmeal in the batter.