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Simple Pizza Dough

July 15, 2013

Friday night has always been pizza night at the Wright house. After a long week at work, it was the night we'd pick up a pizza and a movie on the way home and spend a relaxed evening together as a family.

And as I've started teaching myself to cook everything from scratch, pizza has been one of my most rewarding successes. I'd had no idea how easy it was to make pizza dough, and no idea how much pleasure I would get out of turning Wright Pizza Night into a years-long cooking quest for the perfect pie. 

There are eons of pizza crust recipes out there, this is just the one that works best for me. It also has the nice side benefit of improving in flavour with an overnight rest in the fridge, so you can throw this recipe together on Thursday night, and have fresh pizza ready to go on Friday (or whenever your pizza day might be).

Simple Pizza Dough

This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas. Left-over dough can be frozen or lasts 3 days in the fridge.

Ingredients

4 cups flour

2 cups warm water (hot tap water works like a charm)

1 tablespoon dry active yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons white sugar

In a medium size bowl (with lid), mix the warm water, yeast and sugar and let rest for 15 minutes.

Add the flour, olive oil and salt and stir with a large spoon until the dough comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and dump the dough out onto a floured cutting board or counter top.

Now comes the part where you burn some calories for your upcoming pizza feast - the kneading. It takes 8 to 10 minutes of kneading to make the dough smooth and elastic, so put on some good music, set the timer, roll up your sleeves and get to it. Press/push forward into the dough ball with the base of one hand, then fold the dough over with the other hand, press, fold, press, fold... adding extra flour to the counter if it gets too sticky. You're looking for a smooth, elastic dough that holds its shape when formed into a ball.

Drizzle a little olive oil into the bowl, and turn the dough over a few times to coat it in oil. Put the lid on your bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

 

After the dough has risen, dust the top with a little flour, then enjoy the very pleasurable punching down of the dough to deflate it. (This is the point at which you can stick the whole bowl, with lid on, into the fridge for overnight dough. Just make sure your lid is also oiled and secured firmly on the bowl)

Divide into two portions, and place on a floured baking sheet under a damp paper towel to rest and re-rise for 10 minutes while you preheat your oven and prep your pizza toppings.

Gently roll out the dough using a rolling pin or hand stretch into a free-form thin crust.

Top and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or more, depending on toppings.


 

 

 

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So stoked to make this - your pizza dough is so awesome!! Just have to pick up some yeast - any recommendations??



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