Making Pizza Dough
The Key to a good pizza is in the dough. Dough recipes are interchangeable as each recipe is better suited to a variety of sauces and toppings. They are all made in the same basic way.
Yeast doughs are made very easily, using active dry yeast sold in supermarkets. You can use fast-acting yeast found in specialty shops, which does not require proofing, when dissolved you can mix directly with flour. This reduces rising time. Regular flour(all-purpose) is the only kind you need. If you want a different variety of dough you can use a whole-wheat flour, cornmeal or mashed potato to provide a different flavor and texture.
Pizza dough takes time to make. Make dough in advance by tightly enclosing balls of dough in plastic wrap and freezing them. You can then defrost them at room temperature for several hours, or all day in the refrigerator. Some people use good quality frozen dough, you can also purchase dough at bakeries or supermarkets.
A good start is to dissolve the yeast in a mixing bowl, stir the dry yeast with lukewarm water until dissolved. Leave at room temperature until yeast foams slightly and looks creamy. It takes about 10 minutes.
A processor can be used in making dough. Using the metal blades add the flour and any other dry ingredient to the work bowl. As the machine in running add the yeast mixture through the tube and process until a ball of dough is made.
You can make dough by hand by mixing the flour and dry ingredients in a mound on a surface or large bowl. You mix the yeast mixture and stir in a circular motion until the dough forms. If by hand you need to knead the dough by putting it on a floured surface and with the heal of your hand pushing on the dough back and forth until it is smooth and elastic. By hand this takes about 10 minutes. A processor takes only 1-2 minutes to knead.
Next is to let the dough rise. Put a light coat of oil on it in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. In about 1-2 hours left a room temperature it should rise to double the size.
Now is the time to shape the dough. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured surface and press down on it and form, shape and add toppings and filling as desired before baking.
There are many recipes for dough such as basic pizza dough, herb pizza dough, whole-wheat pizza dough, potato pizza dough, milk pizza dough, and cornmeal pizza dough.
There is nothing like a crispy brown crust with hot tasty toppings. The heat in an oven is very important. Baking stones or tiles provide the heat of a professional oven. Baking stones and tiles need to be preheated. When the crust is golden brown and the topping is hot and cooked you can remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board or metal serving pan and enjoy.
The right cooking accessories are needed to make a delicious pizza. Some of the popular tools are baking stones, pizza serving dishes, liquid measuring cups, oil can, basting brush, pizza server, paring knife, baking sheets, pizza baking pans, crisping pan, four-sided shredder/slicer, dowel-type rolling pan, dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking tiles, pizza screen, bakers peel, flat grater, dough scrapper, oven thermometer, mixing bowls, pizza herbs, straight-sided spatula.
Now that you know the basics enjoy making a great pizza.