Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ever Try Pizza Dough Making?

By Art Damico

Ever hear the phrase "easy as pie". They may have been talking about pizza dough making because it actually is very simple.

Flour, water, oil, salt and yeast are usually the only ingredients in most pizza doughs. Five basic and inexpensive components.

Pizza dough making can be accomplished in just minutes at home. The longest period of time involved with pizza dough making will be the wait for the yeast to do its work and make the dough rise, or proof, as its called in baking.

There are numerous recipes available on the Internet for pizza dough making. Just select a simple one to start and the process should go like this:

First assemble all your ingredients in the right amounts before you start. This saves time and makes the process more efficient.

Add and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the water, making sure it's not too far above or below a temperature of 105 degrees. That's the optimum temperature for the yeast to do it's thing.

Stir the ingredients until everything comes together in a ragged ball, then add the oil. Stir until all the oil is absorbed.

It's now time to knead. Place the dough ball on a flour-dusted surface. Keep a little flour at hand to add now and then when the ball gets too sticky. Begin by pushing the dough down and away from you. Fold the dough back on to itself, then turn it 90 degrees and do it all over again. Repeat this process for about 5 minutes.

When the dough begins to take on a smooth appearance and becomes very elastic, you're done kneading. Form it into a round ball.

Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough ball into it. Roll it around to coat with the oil. Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and put it in a warm location (not hot) for about two hours or until it doubles in mass.

After the proofing is complete, place the dough on a flour-dusted surface. Begin rolling it to shape with a rolling pin. Thin crust needs to be rolled to about a 1/8 inch thickness. But you can make any thickness you like. Remember it will thicken in the oven.

Once finished, gently pick it up and place it into your baking pan. Shape and trim the dough as necessary.

Guess what? You just succeeded one your first attempt at pizza dough making!

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