The latest scoop

Paula Roy’s tried-and-true recipe for pizza dough

If you’ve never baked your own bread, making your own pizza dough might sound intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy. If you make a double batch of dough you can pop the extra portion in the freezer for when you need it. If you’re planning on pizza for dinner, just make sure you remember to take your frozen dough out of the freezer and leave it on the counter to defrost in the morning!

This recipe makes enough for two 12” thin crust pizzas.

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water (110F)
1 teaspoon yeast granules (regular or instant)
Pinch white sugar
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil plus more to lightly grease bowl

Method:

Dissolve yeast in warm water (use a stand mixer if you have it). Add a pinch of sugar. Let sit 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour, salt, remaining sugar and olive oil. Mix thoroughly, adding another 1/2 cup of flour as the mixture comes together.

Keep mixing, adding more flour one tablespoon at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl without sticking. Knead in stand mixer for 3 minutes or turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand for 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour as needed if it is sticking to counter.

Put dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl; cover with a clean towel.

It’s best to go for a longer, slower rise at a cooler temperature to allow the dough time to develop better flavour. I usually put the bowl in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours before punching down, turning edges towards the middle to reform a ball shape and flipping dough over in bowl. At this point the dough can sit, covered, at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before pizza assembly starts. You can also mix the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge

If you don’t have time for low-and-slow dough, let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour. After it has doubled in volume, punch down, turn edges towards the middle to reform a ball shape and flip dough over in bowl. Repeat for one more hour if you have time; otherwise proceed to assembling the pizza.

When ready to assemble, remove punched dough from bowl. Cut into two equal portions and place each one on a sheet of parchment paper. With your hands or a rolling pin, spread each portion of dough into a rough circle, approximately 12 inches in diameter.

Spread with sauce, sprinkle with cheese and add toppings then bake in 450F preheated oven. (If you’re using a pizza stone, preheat it for at least 30 minutes at 450F. Place rolled dough on the stone and then quickly add toppings.) Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.

Top toppings

Today’s consumers tend to consider themselves adventurous eaters, but when it comes to pizza, the classics still come out on top. According to Pizza Magazine, the 10 most popular toppings are:

  1. Pepperoni
  2. Mozzarella
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Cheese blend
  5. Green peppers
  6. Onions
  7. Bacon/back bacon
  8. Ham
  9. Pineapple
  10. Italian sausage

Despite their affinity for old favourites, some consumers are expanding their gastronomic horizons. The following toppings have a small but growing presence atop the country’s pies:

  1. Anchovies
  2. Zucchini
  3. Provolone
  4. Feta
  5. Non-Italian sausage
  6. Roasted garlic
  7. Spinach
  8. Sun-dried tomato

Pineapple on pizza?

Some Kitchissippi readers have strong feelings about pineapple as a pizza topping! According to a recent poll on the Kitchissippi Times Facebook page, 78% of readers who participated in the poll say pineapple on pizza “is allowed” while 22% of readers say: “it is an abomination.” 

Follow KT on Facebook at facebook.com/kitchissippitimes for local stories, photos, and occasional contests and polls.

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