21 November 2009
Most curiously, I hear so many people are afraid of yeast dough. They don't dare even try it out - I mean, what is so bad if you really should end up ruining 2 cups of flour and a packet of yeast that are worth 50 cents together? In my opinion, building a dough with the creaming method, eg for cupcakes, starting with butter, then eggs, requires much more attention to timing, sequence and accuracy than a simple yeast dough. And with the dry yeast you can by nowadays there's no fussing about with slurries, sugary water and what not.
It's so easy even a kid can do it - throw all the ingredients together and start mixing, then leave it alone for an hour. Maybe that's why this is one of the first things my mom taught me in baking.
By the way, my mom would use 500 g / 4 cups flour, resulting in a thicker pizza, more American style than Italian.
makes 1 baking sheet
300 g / 2 1/2 cups flour
1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
4-5- tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
125 ml / 1/2 cup water, should be as warm as your body temperature
Mix all those ingredients together (either by hand or with a mixer with dough hook) until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to the bowl anymore. If it doesn't come together, add some more tablespoons of water.
Knead it for 5 minutes more, then cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in volume. This should take about 30-60 minutes.
If you have more time on hand, cover the bowl and put the dough for 24 hours in your refrigerator.You will have a much smoother and tastier dough this way.
Knead it quickly with your hands, form a ball, then press the dough ball into a disk. Put baking paper on you cookie sheet, lay the disk on it and start pressing it flat with your knuckles. This works best with oiled fingers. Get it as thin as you can and like. Now liberally brush the dough with olive oil and punch in some holes with a fork every couple of inches.
And then you can start spreading your favorite sauce and putting on all the toppings you like - in this case it was tomato sauce, Italian Salami, Parmesan cheese, olives - I like my pizza on the simple side. Bake for 15-30 minutes at 220°C/430°F, depending on you how thick the dough was rolled out and how crunchy you like your pizza.
As finishing touch, sprinkle with some olive oil and fresh herbs. Cut into pieces and enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and a movie.