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How to Make a Great Pizza From Scratch
I lied. This makes a great all purpose dough. I make dinner rolls and focaccia bread with it as well.
If your experienced with bakers percents it's 100% flour 65% water 3% salt 0.3% yeast
For the flour I used King Arthur brand All-Purpose flour. You can use any brand you want and you can use bread flour if you want to. Bread flour will probably make it more chewy
WARNING! This dough will be VERY sticky at first the more you knead it the less sticky it will be. I also use a gram scale to measure out all ingredients its more accurate. Now on to the guide.
Pre-measure all your ingredients. It's best to use a gram scale to get more accurate measurements. Check the supply list for ingredient measurements.
Pour all the water into the mixing bowl or stand mixer. I like to use cold water because it slows yeast development and we don't want the yeast to start developing just yet.
Add salt to water and stir to dissolve the salt.
Pour in about 75% of the flour and all the yeast into the mixing bowl. DO NOT ADD ALL THE FLOUR AT THIS TIME! I usually start out with the paddle and later switch to the dough hook.
I use fleischmann's bread machine yeast. It's basically the same as instant dry yeast and can be added to the flour without proofing first unlike active dry yeast.
The mixture should look like a very thick batter. Not like a dough.
Cover and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. This is called autolyse and is basically just the flour getting hydrated. So go walk your dog, have a beer, or watch a sitcom.
It's usually about this time I switch from the paddle to the dough hook. You can use the dough hook the entire time if you want though. Or if you're using a wooden spoon go ahead and keep using it.
Mix on the slowest setting for 5 minutes. Or if using a wooden spoon mix slowly for 5 minutes. Ok from now on all wooden spoon directions are the same as mixer directions.
After 5 minutes of mixing, slowly add the rest of the flour. It should take you about 3 minutes to incorporate the rest of the flour.
After all the flour is fully incorporated into the dough lightly flour a working surface and dump the dough out onto the surface. The dough will be VERY sticky and difficult to work with at first.
There are many ways to knead dough. This is just one. You can YouTube other methods like the stretch and fold method which is actually a lot easier than what I showed you. Not sure why I did this way.
Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. This step isn't really necessary but does help to develop the gluten in the dough (the stuff that makes the dough stretchy). Try not to tear the dough at all
Once the dough is smooth and elastic put it in a large Tupperware container. See how smooth the dough is. And not sticky anymore! It should be slightly tacky but not stick to your hands anymore.
Let the dough sit at room temperature for about two hours.
Oops I didn't use a big enough container. Oh well. After 2 hours your dough should have risen by about half or so. Looks like this rose a bit more though.
Dump your dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 4 equal portions by weight. For this dough each portion was about 282 grams.
4 dough lumps that are roughly 282 grams each. Now we get to ball the dough.
Balling isn't really that hard to do. Just lay it flat and pull the sides into the middle.
I should have taken a video of this but my photographer was busy painting while I was doing this so I took some pictures. They're not great but hopefully you get the idea.
Just take the corners and fold over. Sorry abut the horrible picture quality.
Pick up the ball and tuck the part you folded into the dough.
Once your done you have 4 nice smooth dough balls.
Put the dough into 4 separate containers and put them in the fridge over night. They will last several days in the fridge. Probably 4-5 days max.
Now for the fun part!!! Also the hard part. It's time to stretch the dough. Take the dough out of the fridge and let warm to room temperature. About 45 min to 1 hr. keep covered with a clean dry towel
At this point put your pizza stone in the oven and pre heat the oven as hot as it will go. I just go ahead and put my stone on the floor of the oven. You want it hot. Very very very hot.
If your stone doesn't have handles just pre heat it by the broiler. If you have a bottom drawer style broiler sorry. It's very difficult to work with. Just pre heat the stone in the broiler.
If your using a cookie sheet don't put the cookie sheet in just yet. No need to pre heat a cookie sheet. The pizza won't be as good as with a stone but its pizza so it'll still be good
Gently press the dough from the center out stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. This part is rather tricky. Then gently pick it up and stretch it around the edge. Be very careful and try not to tear
Once I have this part down a little better I'll put a video here. This part is tricky. Did I mention to do this very gently? I did? Good! So be careful.
Slide the pizza skin onto a lightly floured peel before topping and give it a little shake so that you know it's not sticking. Cornmeal or semolina flour work well on the peel too.
If you don't have a pizza peel a strong piece of cardboard works well too. Like the top of that pizza box from your last domino's pizza that you ordered that left you unsatisfied.
Top with your favorite toppings. For this pizza we used fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, red onions and a small amount of shredded mozz on top.
Nows when things get interesting. If you have a broiler in the main compartment of the oven turn it on add move the stone to the top. Careful that stone is HOT.
Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the stone. Or if your using a cookie sheet slide it onto that and put it on the top rack right below the broiler.
Cook the pizza for 3-4 minutes. Possibly longer if your broiler is weak. Just cook it until the top is golden brown and maybe a few slightly charred spots.
This pizza cooked in about 4 minutes and was one of the best I've ever made.
Perfectly slightly charred underneath.
Nice light and fluffy interior with a slightly crispy exterior.
Now eat. I didn't get any pictures of us eating this pizza. We were too busy eating pizza.
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New Orleans, LA