Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Peter Reinhart is a well-established baking god. When he tells you how to make pizza dough, that's how you make pizza dough. Don't argue; he's right.
This pizza dough is easy-peasy to make. If you have a mixer it takes about 15 minutes. If you don't, maybe another 5. Then you stick it in the freezer, and you have delicious, thin, crispy, New York street pizza any day of the week, presuming you can remember to take it out to thaw the night before.
I make this dough about once every two months. My boy will not have any other recipe - he firmly believes in the rightness of Peter Reinhart (that's why I love him).
You can find the directions and recipe here, or you can read what I have to say down below - your choice. Same-same.
4 1/2 c flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1/4 c olive oil
1 3/4 c chilled water
1. Stir up your flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl you're using. I'm using my KitchenAid mixer bowl.
2. Add your oil and your water and mix.
3. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and pliable, or mix on low for 5-7 minutes in your mixer. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.
4. Cut the dough into 6 portions. They will look small but never fear. Mine divided up into just over 7 oz each on a kitchen scale this time.
5. Shape each piece into a ball and put into an oiled ziplock baggie.
6. OK now you have a choice. You can either slip all those baggies into a big freezer bag and keep them there until you want to use them, or you can put them in the fridge overnight and use them the next day. YOU MUST REST THAT DOUGH OVERNIGHT NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS! If you keep the dough in the fridge, it'll keep that way for up to three days. In the freezer, about three months. If you put it in the freezer, take it out the night before you want to use it and put it in the fridge overnight.
7. Regardless of what you did up in step 6, your dough should now be in the fridge on the day you want to use it. Two hours before dinner/lunch/pizzatime, take out that dough and put it on the counter.
8. Roll out or press the dough into disks about 1/2" thick and 5" across. Cover them up with saran or a dish towel and leave them for two hours.
9. After an hour and a quarter, come back and preheat your oven with your baking stone (you have a baking stone, right?) to as hot as it will safely go. I go with 500F because I like it like that.
10. Pick up your dough and smile with glee as you find that it is sooo stretchy and nice to shape. Stretch it into a thin round, about 9-12" across, and lay it on a sheet of parchment paper NOT WAX PAPER because that would be gross. Also, I'm assuming you know that I mean you to do all these things with each of the dough portions. One dough portion will feed two not-very-hungry people. I'd advise one per person. They're that good, bb.
11. Be fairly sparing on your toppings. This is thin-crust, people. I go with tomato sauce, light cheese, and spinach, usually.
12. Put your little darlings into the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes. You shold watch them - they're tricksy and burn quickly. Rest them for a few minutes, then eat!