Making your own pizza dough is really fun. It's inexpensive, healthy and this recipe by Mark Bittman is extremely easy. I found it to be extra fun because the smells of raised dough brings back many memories.... I have to admit something... my very first job in high school was working at Chucky Cheese's. Don't laugh. Of course the girl who used to work at Chucky Cheese, grows up to write a blog called Cheese Please :) At Chucky Cheese I not only was a birthday party planner, I also made the pizzas in the kitchen! I absolutely loved it. Anyways, having fresh dough in the house made me think back to those days and laugh.
Putting aside my cheesy past, this recipe is for you if you ever felt that making your own pizza dough would be hard. That's what I always thought, but when Niki from Salt & Pepper choose it for this week's recipe for The Food Matters Project, I put my trepidations aside.
The dough is 2/3 whole wheat flour and 1/3 all purpose flour. Other than that you just need salt, olive oil and a tiny bit of active yeast. Side note: Active yeast is sold in a little packet found in the baking aisle of any grocery store. I tell you this b/c I had no idea where you buy it, this was my first time! I combined all of these ingredients in the morning, and later that evening I made a pizza. Easy breezy! Mix, leave alone, roll out, top with ingredients. That's it!
I decided to top my pizza with fresh mozzarella and my favorite simple ingredients. (Make sure you buy halfway decent quality mozzarella, the cheap stuff isn't the same). I probably could of added more veggies, but since it was my first time, I was worried about overloading the pizza and not have the dough cook through. I also added some fresh basil from a plant that I recently bought. Simple, yet delicious.
makes 1 large or 2 small pizzas
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour, or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing
marinara sauce (I used a jarred garlic-olive oil marinara)
toppings (I used green peppers, onions, and mushrooms all sliced very thin)
fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Combine the flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water (I used warm water and also added in 1 tbsp olive oil). The dough should be relatively sticky and wet, like biscuit batter. If not, add a little more water.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and put it in a warm spot. Let the dough sit for at least 6 or up to 12 hours. (The longer it ferments, the more complex the flavor.)
When you’re ready, heat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone put it in the oven at the same time so it can preheat as well. If not, generously oil a baking sheet or large ovenproof skillet. Dust your hands with a little white flour and fold the dough over in the bowl a few times. It will be sticky, but resist the urge to use too much flour; dust your hands again only when absolutely necessary and use a light, gentle touch. If you’re making small pizzas, divide the dough in half or quarters. Gently press the dough into the skillet or onto the baking sheet; it’s not important that the pizzas be perfectly round. This dough tastes best when rolled out as thin as possible!! But be careful not to tear the dough. Note that pizza dough freezes really well; after dividing it, just wrap it tightly and use it within a couple of months.
Brush or drizzle the top of the pizza or pizzas with 2 tablespoons oil, cover, and let sit while you get your toppings together, but no more than 60 minutes or so.
Top with your favorite toppings and cook for 8-12 minutes. Have fun and enjoy!
P.S, Kate (of Cookie + Kate, one of my favorite blogs, and one of the founders of The Food Matters Project) has been nominated for Best Cooking Blog in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards of 2012! You should check her out and give her a vote if you have a moment!