Basic pizza dough – impasto per pizza
Pizza is one of my favorite meals and during the winter time I make it at least once a week and we call it “pizza party” because everyone in the family is allowed to choose their favorite toppings for their respective part of the pizza. My young son for example always chooses pizza margherita or pizza with hot dogs, my husband likes pizza alla marinara on a thin crust and I love pizza with bell peppers when in season.
I’ve always made pizza dough from scratch and I’ve never used a food processor to mix the dough the only exception being my grilled pizza recipe. You can use a food processor if you want to but you’ll miss all the fun. I love to put my hands in the flour, I always have. Kneading the dough is for me a moment of relaxation and reflection. I know that not everyone has the same feelings about it and I often hear complaints like, “It’s too messy” and “I don’t have time to waste”. In reality only takes 10 minutes of your time and I can assure you it is well worth it.
I’ll never grow tired of saying that quality ingredients are important for the best results, so in this case a good quality flour is essential as the olive oil. I buy my flour at the local organic mill and you can tell the difference. I purchase olive oil from an organic oil mill near by. I like to use simple tomato sauce with nothing else other than oil, salt and a sprinkle of dry oregano that I bring back each year from Calabria. Canned plum or crushed tomatoes are also fine. You don’t need an overwhelming sauce for your pizza as you don’t want any one ingredient covering the taste of another.
This is a recipe for 2 thin 13” round pizza crusts, 2 rectangular 15 ” X 11″ or 1 thick round or rectangular pizza crust.
4 1/3 cups/ g. 500 all purpose flour or bread flour
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar or honey
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 pack. g. 7 dry active yeast
1. In a big bowl combine all the dry ingredients, the oil and then add the water slowly mixing well with a fork. Don’t use all the water if it’s not necessary.
2. Knead the dough with your hands for about 10 minutes and then shape into a ball, put it in the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel.
3. Let it stand in a dry place for 3 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
4. Work the dough a little bit more and if it’s too sticky add a little bit of flour.