Homemade pizza is a staple in my mom’s house and as far as I’m concerned she makes the best! Mike and I try to emulate her and so far we’ve done a pretty good job. The key to learning to make pizza is trial and error. You have to learn by doing so that you can develop a feel for the dough. I have seen some pretty detailed and complex dough recipes browsing online. You won’t get that from me. I should probably be telling you about the proteins and gluten and how the kneading process affects them, but my recipes are in my hands more so than my mind (or my cookbook for that matter). I understand the feel far more than the science. We’ll have to call on Mike if you want science and detail. Just ask. He’d love to tell you a scientific story. He’s like my dad that way. I hope you will give pizza dough a try. You can top these pizzas with whatever toppings you prefer. For a focaccia-like bread top with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. If you’re using cheese, add it toward the last 5 minutes of the cooking process so it doesn’t burn.
- 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Additional flour to add as (if) needed
- 1 packet dry yeast (about 2-1/4 tsp. )
- 1/2 cup warm water to dissolve yeast
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
Instructions – Bake at 450 for 15 – 20 minutes (ovens will vary) *I use a 15×11 baking sheet
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add the water, salt, and sugar and mix to melt salt and sugar.
- Add the olive oil and most of the flour, about 4 cups.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix ingredients either by hand or in a mixer using a dough hook attachment. Add the remaining flour until your dough has a smooth, stretchy consistency. Too much flour will make it hard, and not enough will render it too sticky and difficult to knead. Always keep flour accessible to add as needed.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work space. Using the heel of your hand, press and roll the dough forward then with your other hand, fold the dough onto itself and return to the starting position and then repeat. You should only knead the dough for about 3 minutes or so until it is a smooth, firm but stretchy consistency. Over kneading the dough will make it too hard.
- Coat a large bowl with olive oil place the dough in the bowl and also coat the top of it with more olive oil. Cover the bowl first with plastic wrap and then with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.
- Grease the edges of a cookie sheet (I use Crisco) liberally. My cookie sheets are old so I also lightly grease the whole surface. Take half of the dough and form it into a pizza directly on the cookie sheet. Press with your fingers tips until the dough reaches the edges of the cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and then cover both with dish towels and let rise for about another hour.
- Next, top with tomato or desired toppings and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the bottom is golden. You must check the pizza bottom as ovens will vary.