I’ve ordered (and eaten) my fair share of delivery pizzas. As I mentioned in my last post, it usually happens because I’m in a hurry or mentally wiped out. Tonight I had to feed a bunch of people without much prior planning, so I mixed a huge batch of dough, and we had pizzas that put those other joints to shame.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so until the top of the water looks foamy and smells yeasty. If you don’t get foam or really smell anything, your yeast is dead dude.
Add the salt to the yeast mixture and then add the flour 1/2 cup at a time while mixing until a dough forms. Keep adding flour until the dough is mostly dry and doesn’t really stick when you touch it. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and then cover bowl with a clean dry kitchen towel. Turn oven on to 450 degrees.
Let the dough sit for about 15 minutes. I usually get my toppings ready during this part. You know slice mushrooms, cook Italian sausage…the combinations are limitless.
A word about toppings while I’m on the subject. Don’t cheap out on toppings. Get good quality whole milk mozzarella (fresh if at all possible), get some portobello mushrooms, some fresh vegetables. You know what I mean. This ain’t the place to save 40 cents by buying the cheap brand of pepperoni.
Back to your dough. It should be noticeably larger in size by now. Get a little flour on your hands and start forming the dough into a ball. The gas bubbles formed by the yeast will break and the dough will deflate while you work it, but don’t worry. Knead the dough ball with the back of your hand for a couple of minutes, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking. At this point flatten the ball into a disc and start stretching it out. If your the adventurous sort, you can throw it up in the air to stretch it. A rolling pin works too – guess which one my wife prefers.
Once your dough is the size, shape and thickness that you like, put it on a piel if you have a baking stone or a just a baking sheet. Sauce it and top it as you like and bake for 8-10 minutes, the bottom and edges should have some nice light brown color. 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.