This straightforward, light and crispy, homemade pizza dough is so easy to make, you'll steer away from take out.
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When a recipe calls for dry yeast, you'll need to double the amount when substituting fresh yeast. For this recipe, you'll need 20 grams of fresh yeast (I would use a scale for measuring fresh yeast). You don't have to use the sugar, but this amount doesn't hurt the recipe. Just break up the fresh yeast a bit and mix all of the ingredients together as the video shows. You'll work it into the dough when mixing and kneading it.
No problem, Vanessa. All purpose flour works just fine...the crust won't be as crispy, but as long as its thin, will work well. You can add a bit of whole wheat flour, or even cornmeal for that crispy texture...or simply bake a little longer.
It is possible to use active dry yeast...just let it dissolve before continuing on with the recipe.
Technically the "instant dry yeast" we used did not have to be dissolved first in the water. It could have been added directly to the flour. However, "active dry yeast" does need to be dissolved first in lukewarm water.
Good Luck! Wish I was having this right now!
I've finished the first part of this recipe; the dough is now half resting in the fridge and the other half sitting in the freezer for another day.
A few things I learned:
1. Houston, where I live, is amazingly humid. (Recently, a friend told me that he knew he was in the South when he stepped off the plane and the humidity punched him hard in the face and stole his wallet.) Plus, it doesn't help that Hurricane Dolly is off the Gulf coast not too far south from here. The dough became VERY wet and sticky during kneading, and I had to add a bit of flour to the work surface, a wooden cutting board, to keep it from grabbing and sticking to the board. I realise you added no flour to knead, and kneaded on a metal work table, so I attribute the difference to the ambient moisture or change in flour characteristics?
2. I watched the recipe about 10 times over the last couple of days before making it. I don't have the computer in the kitchen, so I'm without the video when it comes time to actually work. In the printed recipe, it says to add half the flour, then add the remaining flour and salt, without the "stir to combine" in the middle. Didn't hurt anything, I don't think, but it did confuse me in the paper copy.
3. Any opinion on using a stand mixer for this? I know it's not a long time to be kneading, and the dough is very soft, but it's already late here and I'm curious to know if I can fall back on a stand mixer with a dough hook. I guess I'll have to make a few batches to compare.
1. The environment can affect flour and baking considerably. This is why it is best to weigh your ingredients to obtain consistent results. One day there may be more or less moisture in your flour than the next. If you don't have a scale though, it’s no problem. Just be careful as to how much flour you add to the dough when kneading - just add a bit at a time until you get the right consistency. Many people think that dough shouldn't be sticky at all. I learned in pastry school that a "sticky dough is a happy dough" and it's true. Even though it may feel wet as you initially knead it, it will actually start to come together with time (unless, of course, it is extremely wet).
2. The text recipe has been updated to say "stir" after a portion of both flours are added. Hope this makes it clearer for our users. Thanks for that.
3. You can use a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough, but make sure it is a powerful one and keep your eye on it. The motor can easily burn out on a stand mixer with low wattage, so be careful. Besides, the best way to learn about dough is by touching it. This is the only way were allowed to make dough in pastry school. Everything was done by hand and for good reason. To really learn about dough, you need to understand how it should look and feel. By practicing a few times the good old fashioned way will help you know what to look for when you move on to a stand mixer.
One more thing, when using a stand mixer, make sure to set it at a speed that will match your hand-kneading speed. Even though the machine will do the work for you, it should be done at the same rate. Don’t rush it.
Hope this helps!
Delicious!!! and really easy!!! i made this pizza dough last night and we love it at home :)
Im also really entusiast, happy and satisfy with the cooking school. Im learning a lot of new things and improving others :)
I really appreciate the quality from all your videos, these make it delicious to learn from you!
Admiring your effort!,
I have now made this twice in the last 2 weeks, since reading your comment Juliana. I must say, I do love having the dough around, to have pizza whenever we feel like it. Once the dough is made it takes me less than 20 minutes to have a pizza ready....that's quicker than take-out. Lately I have been into the simple pizzas - tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil...finished with a drizzle of e.v.olive oil.
As for the cooking school, and your praise...well, thanks a lot! Much appreciated. Keep up the hard work! dawn
I heard that the best way to know when the dough is kneaded enough is to use the window something test , you take a small piece of the dough and stretch it is if you were making a small pizza if you were able to make it very thin in a way that you can see your fingers behind it then it's ready.
Is this a good method or would you actually over kneed the dought ?
The window test tells you when plenty of gluten has been developed. However, pizza dough usually has olive oil in it, which inhibits proper gluten development. As long as the dough feels very smooth and has good stretching ability, the window test may be an overkill. The window test is more essential for breads made without any fat in it.
I have had 3 pizza stones in the last year. Something about the high heat and the fact that I forget to soak it all of the time, makes them crack.
I have now switched to a perforated aluminum pizza tray instead. They are only about $15 dollars and it will last forever (well almost).
That being said, I did like my pizza stones, so I guess as long as you soak them and then preheat them in the oven you should be okay. You can find them at most kitchen stores. I have bought them at linen n' things, the bay, and local kitchen stores.
Hope this helps! I will let you know how the perforated tray goes the next time I make pizza.
I would like to know if the amount of water and sugar use for this recipe change at all if you use instant dry yeast instead of active dry yeast.
And when using active dry yeast, is it correct to take the water to dissolve the yeast from the 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water needed for this recipe or do I need to use the complete amount of water mentioned in the recipe, plus the water I need to disolve the yeast?
Just wanting to know if I'm accurate :), thanks!
Active or instant can be used - the water and sugar would be the same for both. If using active just let it dissolve first in the water.
And if I am understanding your question - you do just need to use the amount of water in the recipe to dissolve the yeast (no additional water should be used just for dissolving the yeast). Does that make sense? Hope this helps!
Funny I just made this the other day. We had a delicious pizza yesterday for lunch. I used half regular mozzarella and half smoked and topped it with a bit of spicy salami...yum!
I suppose, after a year and change (oops!), I should point out that the pizza came out spectacularly. (No, it didn't rise for a year. I made it a few days later.) And yes, I do it entirely by hand now, which gives me much more control.
I've given the printout of this recipe to an able cook and friend of mine, whose family now insists on having pizza with this dough at least once or twice per week. Home run!
Keep up the excellent work,
Either one will do, but cornmeal is likely easier to find for most people. If using semolina, just make sure that it is coarse type. The coarse bits act like little ball-bearings on the peel and prevent the dough from sticking.
I'm big on my time-saving efficiencies and would like to make some dough to use, and some to freeze for later. Where in the process should I stop with the dough I'm going to freeze; Do I let it rise, then freeze it, or freeze it without letting it rise? Do I need to let it re-rise after refrigeration?
Good question...you should freeze it before it rises. After you knead the dough, divide it up and then store it in individual freezer bags.
Then when you want pizza, remove it from the freezer the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator. Then about an hour before you make the pizza, take the dough out and let it come to room temperature...making it easier to roll out.
Happy Pizza Making!
I have been making mozzarella cheese lately and use the leftover whey from the cheese making in place of water when I make pizza dough. It has consistently made the best dough I have tasted yet. I believe you can buy whey in some health food stores, but it is easy to make mozerrella. I freeze the whey in measured portions and defrost it when I am ready to make pizza.
Also: I have a question about feezing dough. I read many years ago freezing dough actually improves its texture. Is this true?
Thanks, Michelle G