My Adventures with Yeast: Pizza Dough
Welcome back to My Adventures in cooking with yeast. Last month I kicked off this year-long series with my very first yeast project- crescent rolls. They turned out wonderful, and I have made them THREE more times since then.
This month we made easy pizza dough.
We have pizza and movie night roughly every other week. Sometimes we buy pizzas from Papa Murphy or Hyvee that we can just pop into the oven, but other times we like to make our own. Some of the kids’ first experience with cooking has been spreading out red sauce with the back of a big metal spoon, making patterns of pepperoni, and sprinkling (well, maybe more like dumping huge clumps) of cheese on a circle of refrigerated dough, or sometimes pre-made crusts. We absolutely love pizza and movie night. Pizza is practically the most perfect food to eat while watching a movie. Everything else is just too messy for 3, 4, and 6 year olds to manage.
I wanted to choose a recipe that was simple and fairly fast. Martha Stewart’s quick basic pizza dough recipe was exactly that. Quick. Easy. Basic. Foolproof. I made ever so slight modifications and it turned out wonderfully!
2 packets of active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (or garlic salt!)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1. In a large glass measuring cup, heat up 1.5 cups of water until it is between 100 and 110 degrees (just stick a kitchen thermometer in it after heating. If it’s too hot, wait for a few minutes or add a tiny bit of cold water). Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it foam (takes about 5 minutes, typically).
Hint: Don’t stir the yeast into the water. Let it just sit on top. The first time I stirred it and the yeast didn’t work. I think it’s because it got really clumpy.
2. Mix olive oil and sugar into the measuring cup. In a separate bowl mix flours and salt. Pour the olive oil, sugar, yeast mixture into the flour. Mix until you get a big clump of dough. You’ll need to use your hands, most likely.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and put it in a warm place. I put it on top of preheating oven. Let sit until it doubles in size (mine took about 30 minutes, but it can take up to an hour, I think).
4. Knead it a few times and roll onto a floured surface. Divide in half, and you have crust for 2 pizzas!
We precooked the dough for about 10 minutes, and then added our toppings. We LOVE lots of toppings and can sometimes have trouble getting the crust fully cooked in the middle because of that. Pre-baking solves our problem!
This past weekend we made one of the pizzas with pepperoni and black olives and the other one with spinach, chicken, feta, and black olive. Delicious!