Perfect Pizza Dough
This versatile pizza dough can be prepared, raised and baked immediately, or it can be refrigerated for the day, overnight or even the next day until you’re ready to use it.
1 cup warm water (110ºF. to 115ºF.)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling
1. Combine water and yeast in large bowl of stand mixer (dough can also be made by hand). Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy. Add oil and salt.
2. Beat in 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed with paddle attachment, if available, adding additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to form soft dough. Increase speed to medium-low; beat 5 minutes to knead, until dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Place dough in medium greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and towel; let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Alternately, place in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours; dough should double in size. Bring to room temperature before using.) (Dough can be stored in refrigerator up to 24 hours.)
4. Lightly sprinkle pizza peel or baking sheet with cornmeal to keep dough from sticking. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 pieces (do not punch dough down). Gently form each piece into a ball; cover with towel. Working with 1 ball at a time, gently press and stretch dough to 8-inch round, keeping outside edge slighter thicker. Place on pizza peel.
Makes four (8-in.; 6-slice) pizzas
Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
Using canned roasted tomatoes makes this sauce a cinch to make, with no cooking required.
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in blender or food processor. Pulse until sauce is almost smooth. (Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated or 3 months ahead and frozen.)
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Spicy Sausage-Red Pepper Pizza
Add a little zest to your pizza line-up with this full-flavored meat-lover’s option. The spicy sausage is paired with fontina cheese, which melts easily and adds a buttery, slightly nutty flavor to the topping.
1/2 cup Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
1 recipe Pizza Dough
1/4 cup purchased olive tapenade
1 1/2 cups shredded fontina or provolone cheese (6 oz.)
6 oz. spicy smoked sausage links, sliced (1/4 in.)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Crushed red pepper for sprinkling, if desired
1. Spread 2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce on 1 pizza dough round, spreading to within 1 inch of edge. Using 1 tablespoon of the tapenade, drop 1/2 teaspoon amounts over pizza sauce.
2. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the cheese. Top with one-fourth of the sausage, bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the cheese. Using pizza peel, slide into wood-fired pizza oven.*
3. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until dough is browned and crisp, and cheese is bubbly, rotating pizza as needed to bake evenly. Remove from oven; sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Cut into 6 wedges. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. (8-inch; 6-slice) pizzas
Per slice: 130 calories, 6.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 5.5 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 15 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, .5 g fiber
Tip: *To bake pizza in home oven: Arrange oven rack in bottom position. Place pizza stone on bottom oven rack. Heat oven to 500ºF. for 1 hour. Using pizza peel, slide pizza directly onto pizza stone. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until dough is browned and crisp, and cheese is bubbly.