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Pizza Dough from Baking Illustrated

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Last modification by elo13
August 12, 2011, 11:36 am → version: 3
Language: English
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Pizza Dough from Baking Illustrated 5 by 34 users
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tildee tutorial imageIngredients: active dry yeast (instant yeast), dried herbs, flour (all purpose), olive oil. You'll need the dough hook attachment on your mixer.

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tildee tutorial imageMeasure 1/2 cup warm, not hot, water into a bowl that holds at least 2 cups of liquid. Sprinkle 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast over the warm water and let it stand about 5 minutes until dissolved.

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tildee tutorial imageAfter five minutes, the yeast will have dissolved into a paste and will smell yeasty.

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tildee tutorial imageTo the yeast, add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine. In a large mixing bowl, briefly stir the flour, salt, and any herbs. A tablespoon each of dried or fresh rosemary and basil is a nice combination.

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tildee tutorial imageSlowly add the liquid ingredients and mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Mix until dough is smooth and elastic (as pictured), 5-10 minutes.

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tildee tutorial imageDepending on humidity and the brand of flour you use, the dough can become too wet or too dry. If the dough seems too dry, add a Tablespoon of water at a time. If the dough seems too wet, add a Tablespoon of flour at a time. It was humid when this dough was made, so I ended up adding about 6 extra tablespoons of flour. This photo is dough that is too wet- it sticks to the bowl and looks more like cake batter.

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tildee tutorial imageOil the inside of a deep bowl-- a tablespoon or so of oil. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball and place it inside the oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap.

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tildee tutorial imageLet rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours; it will double in size (at least!).

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tildee tutorial imageThis recipe makes enough dough for 4 crusts. After the dough has risen, tip it out onto a floured cutting board and divide it into four pieces. Avoid deflating the dough. Wrap each piece that you plan to freeze in plastic wrap, then put them right in the freezer. When thawed, the dough will be ready to shape and bake. If you’re not cooking the remaining dough immediately, stick it in the fridge wrapped in plastic. This will stop it from rising too much, and the cold dough is easier to work with.

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tildee tutorial imageCut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than your pizza stone. Lay it flat on a cutting board and sprinkle the paper with a few teaspoons of cornmeal to give the crust crunch. Place the pizza stone on the top rack of the oven, then preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least fifteen minutes before cooking.

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tildee tutorial imageTo shape the crust: With floured hands, gently pull the ball of dough from the center in four directions, so that it resembles a disc. Holding on to an edge of the disc, stretch the outside of the disc with both hands as you turn the dough in your hands, so that you’re working your way around the edge of the dough. The dough disc should grow larger and thinner as you do this. Once the dough is evenly flattened, place it on the parchment paper and continue to stretch it. You can experiment with different thicknesses-- the pizzas we make are usually about as thin as a dinner plate. Don’t worry about holes in the dough-- you can pinch them back together.

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tildee tutorial imagePinch the edge of the pizza crust as you would a pie crust. Spread a little olive oil (a teaspoon or so) on the part of the crust that won’t be covered with sauce or toppings. Place the parchment paper and pizza crust on the pizza stone. It takes about ten minutes to cook in our oven. Take out when the cheese is browned and bubbling, and the crust is golden.
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