Crust is a Must

Pizza dough, looks harmless but contains powerful
raising agents, that could easily destroy any kitchen.

Think about food over Thanksgiving? I did. I read up on pizza dough, 6-8 different variations. It came down to 2: The Frugal Gourmet and the Best Recipe Cook Book's. Best Recipe took the prize for explaining all the possible problems I might encounter.

Here tis' the master dough recipe for 4 medium pizzas:

1/2 cup 105 degree water
1 envelop of yeast (I actually order a European bulk kind, extra springy yeast)
1 1/4 cup room temp. water
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups bread flour (really better then the cheap kind, and I use King Arthur)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

To summarize, you put the yeast in the 105 water, and wait until it blooms, then add the rest of the water and oil. Pulse flour and salt in a food processor, and add in most of the liquids to form a ball of dough. Continue to pulse 30 seconds. Scrape onto a floury flat place, knead a couple of turns into a ball. Place in an oiled, warm bowl and let rise 2 hours, until doubled. Then you punch it, and make pizza. Or freeze it for you party a few weeks a away. My yeast was so springy, that my dough erupted out of the freezer quart bags. That yeast was going somewhere. Glad I caught it, punched it some more, and re-sealed the bags.

I found the food processor technique extremely convenient. The batch was almost too big for the motor of my cuisinart. It dimmed the lights and made horrible sounds. I came together fast, and the dough was very smooth. I had some trouble with the liquid. Its easy to add too much and create super sticky and gloppy dough. Gloppiness can be remedied with a little messy and floury kneading.

I made 5 batches of dough in 1 hour, before rising time. Very easy, but I don't
own so many mixing bowls, and had to use my pots and pans for rising.

I am making a total of 7 batches for 40ish medium to small pizzas. I fear that each batch will vary a touch, as my measuring isn't scientific. I made some experimental pizzas to know if the dough was right. Its soft inside and crispy out, with nice flavor. I am pleased. Time to practice throwing dough around.


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