Making pizza is easy. It’s the pizza dough that’s tricky especially if you want to make it from scratch. To make a pizza dough from scratch requires planning. You have to set aside 2 1/2 to 3 hours to make the dough. I liked this pizza dough recipe because the instructions are methodical and clear. This recipe is originally for pizza on the grill but I decided to do it in the oven instead. The crust came out chewy and tender. Definitely I would make this again.
Pizza Dough (adapted from The Kitchn and Bobby Flay)
1 2/3 cups warm water (about 100˚F)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast dissolves and begins to “bloom.” The surface of the water will be covered with a brownish foam. Mix in 2 cups of flour for 1 minute. Let stand, covered 1 hour, to form a sponge.
Using the dough hook on setting 1, stir the oil into the sponge, then add the 2 teaspoons salt. Add the remaining 3 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead the dough on low speed with the dough hook. Remove from bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 7 minutes. When kneaded, the dough should form a smooth ball, feel smooth to the touch, and spring slowly back when poked.
Put the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Poke the dough until it deflates. Remove from the bowl and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Use a pastry scraper or knife to cut the dough into 4 or 8 lumps. At this point the dough can be frozen for later use.
Grease a baking pan lightly with olive oil or baking spray. Place the dough lumps in the pan and turn them over so they are coated with oil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let rest 30 minutes. If using frozen dough, let it defrost in the refrigerator then let it come to room temperature about 30 minutes to 1 hour before using.
Heat oven to 200˚C/400˚F.
Working with one piece at a time, roll out dough or pull and stretch a dough ball in your hands on a lightly floured surface. It can be round or long, sort of flatbread shaped. If it springs back, let it rest a few minutes then try stretching it again. Place dough on oiled pan.
Brush top of the pizza dough with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. For toppings, I used fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes seeded and sliced, and parma ham. Bake 10-15 minutes or until the edges are golden. Slice and serve immediately.