Home Baking Pizza – Save Money and Spend Time With Your Children by Making a Pizza Night!
Daddy makes pizza every Friday night. The kids expect it. The wife does not like pizza … but its a thing … you know, Friday night is pizza night.
So I have moved through a variety of dough recipes. They are all pretty good. It seems that the key is – at least for our thin crust loving family – to roll it out thin and cook it on a really hot pizza stone. It's lots of fun to have people over for pizza night. The children are entertained and you have help making pizza. There are activities, drinking, frivolity, and flour all over everyone for laughter. Everybody likes to make something new. Most people do not make pizza at home; so it is fun for them. The best bit is that the dough, which will make three to four pizzas costs about $ 1.25. If you make your own sauce, the pies cost way less than frozen, have no preservatives, and are fresh, fresh, fresh. They for sure cost less than going out and taste better than either.
I spent a lot of time looking for a pizza stone. You can spend an inordinate amount of money on one. I find the square pizza stone most useful. It can handle different sizes of pie and is very useful for bread too.
Pizza Stone – Rectangular – 14 x 16
– Deluxe Pizza dough recipe: [I changed to recipe several times after trying them out]. I use the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attached. Kitchen Aid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers
* 2 tbs of yeast
* 2tbs kosher salt
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
* 2 cups warm water (put your finger in it … it should feel warm but not hot – you do not want to kill the yeast)
* 1/4 cup honey (You can use sugar too. I think the honey tastes better)
* 4 to 5 cups flour (all purpose is fine)
Put the yeast, salt, olive oil, water, honey and 2 or 3 cups of flour in the bowl in turn on the mixer (or stir vigorously) until well mixed. It will look more like a batter than a dough at this point.
Then add the flour one half cup at a time waiting for it to incorporate into the dough. Keep adding flour until the dough forms a ball around the hook and cleans the side of the mixing bowl.
The ball of dough will look ragged sometimes after adding a little flour, just wait and the moisture will mix into the flour and make a nice dough ball.
Look for the dough to stick at the bottom of the bowl under the dough hook. If it does this, sprinkle a little bit of flour down the side of the bowl until it no longer sticks.
The dough will form a clean ball and not be very sticky when it is right. If it still sticks to you hands a lot, add flour.
After you get the dough ball cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl, knead for about eight minutes. Turn out into a lightly greased bowl (I just spray the bowl with spray oil) and cover loosely (I use a dish towel).
Let it rise until it doubles in size. The length of time for the rising will vary depending upon the air temperature and the temperature of the water that you used to mix the dough. (higher temperatures mean less rising time)
About thirty minutes before you are ready to bake, put the pizza stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (450 degrees if using convection). After the oven is hot, wait 20 minutes for the stone to heat up. After about an hour to an hour and a half of rising, I punch down the dough.
Flour your working surface.
Toss a little flour on top of the dough ball. Pull off a piece of dough about the size of a navel orange, shape into a ball (just fold over the four points of a compass into a ball and set down on the junction of the folds). Let it rest for about 5 minutes. I currently use a rolling pin to make my pizza.
I have gotten much better at getting a good shape. Do not sweat the shape, it'll taste good man. I flour the top of the dough ball a little and start to roll it out. I roll back and forth. When the dough sticks a little to the rolling pin or it gets oval shaped, I turn the dough over and rotate it 90 degrees. I then roll some more.
I turn the dough several times working to a roughly round shape. [or whatever shape I am going for]. I roll it out until until it is about a quarter of an inch thick. I am going to start practicing with my hands in an attempt to get a thin middle and a thicker crust around the edge.
I'll let you know. Then place the dough on a pizza peel, poke a few holes in the dough with a fork, and place in the oven for two to three minutes. Remove with pizza peel, light coat the dough with olive oil, top it with sauce and toppings, return to the oven for five to six minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust golden brown. Remove, let rest for five minutes so you do not burn the roof of your mouth and the cheese does not run away, slice and eat. The amount of prebaking will vary depending on the thickness of your crust.
If you like the crust really thin, prebaking may not be necessary. If you like your crust thicker, you will need to prebake longer or the middle will be doughy.
* Olive oil: my experience is that the more olive oil I add the less the dough rises, this is not good or bad, it just is. I do not like big ole air bubbles in my crust, so I use a little more olive oil. Remember, just do not sweat it. Have fun. Eat well. Do not forget to read all the words.