June 7, 2012

Best Pizza Dough

I need to share this recipe for the BEST pizza dough you will ever eat or make. I say that with a lot of confidence because I made it this week, and I swear I'm still drooling thinking about it.  It took one bite to taste the fact that this dough elevated my pizza to a whole new level, and made my pie surpass the pizzas I've eaten at some of the best pizzerias. 

I knew dough was important to pizza, but always focused more on toppings to bring the real delicious factor. That thinking has changed. This dough makes the toppings taste even better because it equals what's on top in flavor and freshness. 

You won't eat fresher, lighter, fluffier dough. I know it's easiest to purchase store bought pizza dough, but please, just try this recipe this weekend when you have a couple of hours. The only regret you'll  have will be the inevitable overeating!

Best Pizza Dough: makes enough for 2 large pies
1 package instant (quick rise) yeast
1 cup water, warmed to about 110 degrees
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups white flour
optional: 1 tablespoon dried basil

Pour 1/4 cup water into the work bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (or food processor). Add yeast and stir, allowing to combine completely. Add the honey, olive oil, and salt. Stir well. (add basil if using). Pour in the rest of the water, then add the flour and turn on the mixer. Mix until the dough comes clean from the sides of the work bowl, adding extra flour if necessary. Dough should be just-moist but not sticky at all. Knead with the mixer and dough hook for 10 minutes, or turn the dough out onto a clean counter if using a processor or your hands, and knead by hand until smooth, 10 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto the counter if using the mixer, and knead by hand for another minute. 

Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in the bowl and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with damp towel. Let rise 2 hours. Dough should double in bulk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two balls by rounding out the dough and pinching it at the bottom. Cover and let rest again for about 10 minutes. 

Oil a pizza pan with olive oil and stretch or roll the dough to size. Top with your favorite toppings, brush the crusts with olive oil, and bake until lightly golden.

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