Making your own dough seems to be a daunting task for some, a nuisance for others and completely inconceivable to many. While it’s probably one of the easiest food items to make, it remains one of those tasks most people would rather skip and take the convenient way out with refrigerated dough from the local supermarket. There’s nothing wrong with convenience, I do it more times than not, so if buying your dough already made works best for you then by all means do it. For those more experimental, I recommend Martha Stewart’s basic pizza dough recipe, it takes all of ten minutes to prep and one hour to rise.
And now the fun part, make your own pizza. Red pizza, white pizza, meat, veggie, sweet & savory the list goes on and on. We tend to keep our pizza simple and basic over here in the South Florida Food and Wine Kitchen. This weekend we’re making tomato-basil with fresh mozzarella.
Martha Stewart’s Basic Pizza Dough (makes 2 pounds)
2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
Cornmeal for pan dusting (not a part of MS original recipe)
Pour 1 ½ cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.
Once the ball of dough has risen, flatten it with your hands on a lightly floured work surface. Starting at the center of the dough, work it outwards with your fingers to approximately a half-inch thick. Stretch the dough until it cannot be stretched any more, be careful not to tear or make holes in your dough; flatten the dough where it is too thick. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil, so it crusts-up preventing it from getting soggy and wet from the vegetables. Lightly sprinkle cornmeal on the baking pan or pizza stone to prevent sticking.
Next up, design your pizza dough. In our case we used fresh tomatoes, and garlic, fresh mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheese, and plenty of fresh basil.
Bake at 475-degrees until the crust is golden-brown, or until your desired level of doneness about 15-20 minutes. We baked ours for 15 minutes then finished it off quickly under the broiler for about 4 minutes, which gave a nice char to the crust and melty-fabulousness to the cheese.