Real homemade pizza
For ages, whenever I thought of homemade pizza, my list of ingredients to pick up from the supermarket included marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a tube of pizza dough courtesy of Pillsbury or whatever brand happened to be on sale. “Wait, what?” you ask? You’re buying premade dough?? Why? Because whenever I thought of homemade pizza dough, I immediately conjured up thoughts of hours of proofing the dough, kneading it and coddling it until it reached its peak and then stretching it with enough finesse to make a pizza round. Let’s face it, on a typical weekday night, I’m not exactly the paragon of patience and when it comes to anything requiring finesse, forget it. Ms. All Thumbs at your service.
If I had only known sooner that good pizza dough may actually be had with my not so special skill levels and fitting within my time schedule! We would have been enjoying true homemade pizza so much sooner and be the so much better for it. Deb of smittenkitchen is one smart cookie and figured out an amazingly simple, easy path for homemade pizza dough that not only works, it’s actually tasty. Amazing? YES!
I’ve used this recipe about 2 dozen times now since I decided to first give it a try last summer and it’s been a surefire winner everytime. What I like best about this is that you can start it in the morning, throw it in the fridge and let it cold rise while you’re at work (which I think makes for a better, more complex flavor anyway AND fits my schedule. Did I mention this was a win/win?), and then come home and make your pizza with your from scratch dough.
But that’s not actually the best part…no, I am saving the best for last. The best part about all of this is that when you have your own pizza dough, you realize that you hold within your kitchen the power to make a limitless number of delicious, amazing, and creative pizzas. Like us, tonight…in a belated St. Patrick’s Day tribute, I made a corned beef pizza with sauerkraut, country dijon mustard, and swiss cheese. Yeah, that’s right, you heard me. And…it was darn amazing just as I anticipated it would be. O homemade pizza dough…O the possibilities you give unto me…
Simple Pizza Dough
Adapted from SmittenKitchen
Yields 1 thinner crust pizza. Feel free to double if you like a very thick crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast. Add in olive oil and whisk until oil is evenly distributed and mixture looks like bumpy cornmeal. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add water. Stir together until a shaggy ball forms. You can dump this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until mixture forms a homogeneous ball. I personally just knead it in the large bowl that I initially made the mixture in. If the dough looks a little dry, you can add some water, 1 teaspoon, at a time to it and knead it in. You’ll want the dough to feel just slightly tacky. Knead for about 5-10 minutes until the dough consistency changes and goes from being rough and shaggy to smooth. Form a ball with it.
Lightly spritz your large bowl with some olive oil and place in dough, rolling it around until all sides are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in bulk.
Gently press all the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Form the dough into another ball, preferably by pulling the edges down and gathering them all underneath so that the top is smooth. Cover again with plastic wrap and allow to rest for another 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle a baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal and roll out pizza to desired shape and thickness. Build pizza with whatever toppings and seasonings you prefer and bake for 10 minutes until pizza edges are slightly browned.
For this pizza here, I covered the pizza first with country coarse ground dijon mustard, then topped with corned beef, then sauerkraut made with caraway seeds, and finished it off with swiss cheese.