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HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BASIC PIZZA DOUGH


It’s easy to make, either over a lazy afternoon at home or to stash in your fridge for later, and it’s super easy to roll out. Top it with sauce and cheese, bake until bubbly, and awesome homemade pizza is yours.

Makes          : 1 pound pizza dough (enough for two 10-inch pizzas)
Servings      : 6

INGREDIENTS

·         3/4 cup lukewarm water (not hot)
·         1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
·         2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
·         1 1/2 teaspoons salt

EQUIPMENT

·     Stand mixer with dough hook attachment, or medium bowl and muscle power
·         Stiff spatula
·         Plastic wrap or other covering for the bowl




INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Dissolve the yeast in the water. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2.  Stir in the flour and salt to form a shaggy dough. Add the flour and salt. Stir with a stiff spatula until you’ve formed a floury, shaggy dough.
3.   Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Using the dough hook on the stand mixer, or kneading by hand against the counter, knead the dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth, slightly tacky ball that springs back when you poke it, 5 to 8 minutes. If the dough sticks to the bowl or your hands like bubblegum, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it’s easier to work with; avoid adding too much flour if possible.
4.   Option 1 — Use the dough right away. If you're in a hurry, skip the rise and make the pizza right now. It will make a thin-crusted pizza with a cracker-like flavor.
5.   Option 2 — Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you're planning to make pizza today, then give the dough a rise. Clean out the mixing bowl, coat it with a little oil, and transfer the dough back inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6.   Option 3 — Store the dough in the fridge. If you're planning to make pizza in the next few days, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and refrigerate. If you have time, let it rise for about a half an hour before you refrigerate it to get things going, but it will also be fine if you need to store it right away.
7.   Prepare the oven for baking. If your dough is refrigerated, take it out and let it warm on the counter while the oven heats or preferably 2 hours to come completely to room temperature. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Place a baking stone or upside-down, heavy baking sheet on the rack. Heat the oven as hot as it will go, or at least 500°F.
8.  Prepare the pizzas. Divide the dough in half, and pat or roll one of the pieces into a 10-inch round. Transfer the round of dough to a floured baking peel, the back of a sheet pan, or a piece of parchment paper. Top with about 1/4 cup of sauce, some cheese and any other toppings.
9.   Bake the pizza for 5 to 10 minutes. Slide the pizza into the oven on top of the baking stone or baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is melted, the crust golden, and you see a some charred bits on the top and edges, 5 to 10 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the heat of your oven and how thick or thin you rolled your pizza.
10. Cool (briefly!) and eat. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let the pizza cool just enough so it won't burn your mouth when you take a bite before cutting. Meanwhile, top the remaining round of dough and bake it.

NOTES

Freezing pizza dough: The pizza dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before you plan to bake it. Get the full instructions here: How To Freeze Pizza Dough.

Recipe from thekitchn.com





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