Bachelor Lesson : Homemade Pizza, From the Doe Up

I've always loved pizza, who doesn't really? You got bread, sauce, cheese, and meat. It's basically a sandwich in triangular form. Sadly though, my diet has fallen under the 'open up the box, and throw it in the oven' routine. Hey, tis the way of the bachelor. But after visiting my mom over the holidays and eating a weeks worth of mostly homemade foods my body & mind were like "shit dude, this stuff's pretty good", and subsequently "shit dude, we could do this.. erm, me thinks so".

Pizza wasn't one of the things me mum cooked up, but I'm not gonna be cooking a turkey dinner with all the fixen's anytime soon. So I decided to go with something simple (at least I thought it would be when I started).

I wanted to do the whole thing from scratch, dough and all. The first recipe I tried was one that my mom used to make when I was a kid. It turned out like under-cooked crap (thanks to the dough). Dry, crackery, under-cooked in the middle, bleh! So I started the famous Google Pizza Dough Recipe search of 2010.

After reading through many forums, watching many videos, and 3 more botched but improved attempts I finally came across a recipe that delivered the yum. It was Wolfgang Pucks California Pizza Dough recipe that finally did it for me.

There were a few adjustments that I made to the recipe, and here's a step-by-step of what I did.

  • If it's cold in your kitchen (like it is in mine during winter) pre-heat your oven to 450 while you're making the dough.
  • In a bowl, add 1 packet of Fleischmann's RapidRise Highly Active Yeast.

yeast

  • 1 Teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 Cup warm water aprx. 105°
  • Stir together and let dissolve for 10 minutes. If yeast has been activated it should be kinda goopy.
  • Add 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 3/4 Cup warm water aprx. 105°
  • 1 Cup flour ( I used bread flour instead of all-purpose )
  • Stir together
  • Add 1 Cup flour
  • Stir together
  • Add 1/2 Cup flour
  • Stir together. It'll become pretty solid (not hard, the dough will just stick to itself). Once it gets to that state put a 1/2 Cup of flour onto your counter-top or a baking mat and flatten out the flour so it's not a mound. Then remove the dough from your bowl and place it on the flour and start kneading the dough (watch the video for a good technique on this). While you're doing this it should start to pick up the flour and whatever stickiness that's left in the dough should dissipate.
  • Fold the edges of dough in and under itself in a circular motion until you have a ball shaped piece of dough.
  • Oil up a bowl (I used Pam olive oil spray), and coat the dough using the oil on the sides of the bowl, then place the dough in the bowl with the folded edges being the bottom.
  • If you were pre-heating your oven, turn it off now. Place the bowl on the stove-top and cover it with a lightly dampened towel. Let it stand for about 40 minutes.
  • After the 40 minutes, put some flour on your counter-top or baking mat and place the dough on it. Pat it down with your hand to deflate it a bit and then cut it into how many pizzas you wish to make. I only cut it in half since I wanted to make a large pizza. Also, I used the blade of a cheese slicer to cut my dough since I don't own a dough cutter. It's large enough to get good cuts and dull enough not to damage my baking mat.

cheese slicer

  • Fold the edges of those dough pieces in on themselves to make balls again. Place on pan or flat surface, cover and let stand for about 20 minutes for their second rise.

And that should just about do it as far as the dough is concerned. For the extra dough, coat with some oil so it doesn't dry out, place it in a zip-loc bag and store it in your frig (or freezer if you're not gonna use it within a couple days).

As far as shaping the dough I recommend watching this video.

That's it as far as the dough part of making a pizza. Now you just put a little oil on the dough where your ingredients will go (to seal the dough from soaking up any of the sauce), and add what ever toppings you want. Then pre-heat your oven to 450° and cook for about 8-10 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven. If all goes well you should end up with a delicious homemade pizza with fluffy crust.

pizza crust close-up

Tags:
Food, Life, Pizza, Recipe

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My name's Trevor Lemon, and this is my blog. I'll try to update it with whatever I'm working on, random thoughts, links to shit I think is cool; whatever I deem worthy I suppose.

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