Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pizza Crust

Pizza dough is super easy to make and an excellent place to start if you are making your own bread. Even if it doesn't come out perfectly it is still going to be wonderfully tasty. Plus you can eat the evidence. Then of course you need to make more pizza for's like a win win no matter what.

Pizza Dough

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm skim milk
1 tbls oil
1 tbls raw honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milled flax
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tbls vital wheat gluten (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water from the tap. Mix in warm skim milk. (I heat mine in the microwave.) Stir in oil, honey, and salt. Mix in flax, wheat germ, and gluten. Mix in flour gradually. When the dough gets too stiff to continue stirring pour it out onto your work surface and knead in the remaining flour. Continue kneading for 8 minutes or so. Dough should be nice and elastic. You will have enough dough for 2 larger pizzas or 8 personal size ones.

Divide the dough into either 2 or 8 portions. I work the individual piece of dough in my hand to make sure it's the texture I'm looking for. Adding flour as needed...form it into roughly a round shape and as you turn the dough in your hand fold a third of it under with your other hand. Keep rotating the dough, turning the edges under. When you're happy with the dough (think sturdy and elastic here) drop it onto a greased cookie sheet and spread it out into the shape of your pizza....round...square...whatever you want. The dough will resist you a bit so you'll have to work to stretch it out. When you have your crusts all formed up let your pizza rise for at least 15 minutes in a warm spot. If you want a thicker crust let it rise for an hour.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. (You want to pre bake your crusts to avoid a soggy pizza when you add the sauce and toppings.)

And now a couple pics of the process...

I do a combination of fold and knead when working my dough. I will fold half the dough over and then fold it over again before kneading it for a bit. Then I repeat. It works for me, but experiment to find out what works best for you. ;)

Don't be afraid to spread the dough out fairly thin.....the rise time you give it will poof it back up to a nice thickness with no worries. The dough should be nice and elastic so you shouldn't have any problems with tearing.

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