Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Family Pizza Dough

Do you not just love this danish dough whisk. One of my favorite kitchen tools of all time. Find it here at www.amazon.com. My mom was an amazing cook & baker. She had just a handful of cookbooks, mostly she would use them as a guide for her baking. Me on the other hand, has a never ending collection. I loved it when she went grocery shopping and she wanted to make a pumpkin pie. No big deal, just picked up a can of pumpkin pie filling and made sure that she had all ingredients on the back of the can. Great pie, perfect every time she made it. The same was true of her lasagna, she just followed the recipe on the back of the box. Always the same. The same held true with her lemonade, brownies, and on it goes. I wonder how many meals I could make or desserts that would not require me to open one of my books??    

One book  to never get tired of opening, is the Bible. just spending a few minutes a day in God's word can make a complete difference on how you start your day, change the day or end your day. It has all the ingredients for the recipe of your life. 1 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Such pretty handwriting!
This is our family pizza dough. My mom & aunt having been making this since I can remember. Mom never ventured from this recipe. In fact the only other dough she would use was one from a local grocery that closed many years ago. I have tried many pizza dough recipes and I always come back to my mom's. I just tweaked it a little to make it more of my own. Taking bits & pieces from other recipes that I liked. I replaced the oil with olive oil, and the water for some room temperature beer. Yeah, I'm in love with beer in my pizza crust and so is my family. It gives the crust such flavor, malty, earthy and our house smells like those pizza shops with the brick ovens. Just wonderful. I secretly have a case in our pantry just for pizza crust and of course taco soup would not be the same without it. I have made this dough just before leaving for work and have left it to rise for several hours. I punch it down when I get home and prep all the other ingredients and it never fails.
All ready to be topped!
Pizza hot out of the oven!
Once it's punched down, divide in half and place on prepared sheets. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so, and take your time to spread into the pans. It feels good and pliable. The crust is not super super thin nor is it thick like bread. It's in between with just enough crust around the edges to hold on to and the base is just thick enough to hold all your toppings. This recipe makes two crust and does very well on regular cookie sheets. No stress if you do not own a stone. If you do, feel free to prep your pizza and then transfer to heated stone.I love my cheese topping a little on the crispy side. Making pizza crust is easy, not time consuming and is so much better tasting than what you can buy in the store. It took me all of ten minutes from the start of mixing to putting the bowl in the oven to rise. So do yourself a favor, buy some good Amber beer leave it a room temperature, and the next time you want some pizza take the time to make your own dough. You just might get doughed over!

Our Family Pizza Dough-


6 cups flour
2 cups warn water or (room temperature Amber Beer)
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dry active yeast 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons oil or olive oil


Mix flour, salt & sugar together in large bowl.

In a small bowl add the yeast to the 1/2 warm water & let set for a few minutes until it starts to get all bubbly.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the oil, 2 cups of warm water or beer, and the yeast mixture. Stir till all combined adding additional water by Tablespoons as needed to incorporate all the dough. I know that on days when there is allot of moisture in the air my dough requires little extra water. On days when the air is dry it might need a little more. Dump on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. I stop kneading and poke my finger in the dough, if you leave a little imprint it is ready for the rising. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for an hour or more.
Like I said, I have made this dough first thing in the morning, left on counter and then made our pizza for dinner. 

Mom always used a little butter on the bottom on her pizza pans to prep them. Punch down the dough, cut in half and place each half on prepared sheets. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Gently spread dough on your pan. Top with desired toppings and bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

If using your stones, heat first then transfer to them and bake, check after 15 minutes.

We spread our dough with sauce, then top with cheese and then our goodies.