Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Pizzeria at Home~Pizza Dough & Sauce

At our home we enjoy making our own pizza, and with the bounty of fresh vegetables available during the summer, cooking pizzas on the grill is a wonderful way to prepare a meal or entertain family & friends! It all starts with the dough & sauce….these recipes have never failed me!

Annie’s Italian Pizza Dough
Makes 2
9-inch thicker crust pizza
11-inch thin crust pizzas

1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt

~Bowl Method~
In a large mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in olive oil and cold water. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour and salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Divide into two portions, and shape each one into a ball. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough ‘rest’ for 15 minutes. Once your dough has rested, roll out one portion of dough to the desired size crust you want (see pictures and instructions below~ on how to roll out pizza dough).

~KitchenAid or Mixer Method~
(my preferred method)
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
(plus about 1/2 cup flour, to add while dough is mixing, until dough releases from the sides of the bowl)
3/4 teaspoon salt

In the mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook: add yeast and lukewarm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in olive oil, and cold water. On slow-medium speed, add 1/2 cup of flour and salt, mixing until smooth. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixer and forms a ball.

Remove dough from the mixer, and place in a well-oiled (olive oil) medium size bowl. Turn dough over in the bowl to coat the surface, so it doesn’t dry out during the rising stage. Let stand in a warm place, until dough doubles in volume. Once doubled, punch down the center with your fist or use a fork to ‘deflate’ the dough.

Divide the dough into two portions.  On a well floured surface, take one portion and with your fingers, gently push down the dough to form a flat, round disk. Flour the counter-top or surface, rolling pin, dough and your hands.  Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough from the center to the outer edges, and turn the dough often in quarter turns. Flour the dough, counter-top, and rolling pin as needed, so they don’t stick to the surface. Don’t worry if your circle of dough isn’t perfect. A friend of mine, Bill Benedict, who is a chef- reminded me that in Italy, pizza’s aren’t perfectly shaped….

Once you’ve reached the size you want, add corn meal to the surface of a peel (the cornmeal acts like little ‘wheels’) and it will allow your pizza, toppings and all, to slide right off onto a hot pan in your oven or on a griddle your grill. Transfer your dough from the counter-top to the peel.

Now you’re ready for sauce!

Annie’s Pizza Sauce

Annie’s Pizza Sauce
6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

For sweeter sauce: add 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
For spicier sauce: add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together, and let the sauce sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

With a ladle, spread the sauce liberally over the pizza dough to within 1/2 inches of the edge. Now your ready for toppings!

~~See the next post in this series~~
Pizzeria at Home~Pizza Toppings

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