Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Waiting for the Dough to Rise

While waiting for my pizza dough to rise, I thought I'd sit down and read the news.  You know.  On Yahoo.com.  That's real news, right?  With stories like:

"Car Crashed to Save Hedgehog"
"Luxe Gadgets for the 1%"
"Janet Jackson's Thin New Figure"
"Easiest Way to Cheat Taxes"

It HAS to be real news!  What about this one??

"Hot Dog Stuffed-Crust Pizza Offered at Pizza Hut UK".

Seriously?!  The ad says, "Succulent HOT DOG STUFFED CRUST with a FREE Mustard Drizzle".  Oh, it sounds better now!  No.  It doesn't!  Who wants hot dogs in their pizza crusts?  Seriously.  Does anyone?  Is this how they think they'll get kids to quit leaving that ring of crust around their plates?  I think it's a bad idea.

As for my pizza, I'm going with a recipe for Basic Pizza Dough from my Italian Cooking Encyclopedia that I got at a garage sale for a couple dollars.  We have sauce, cheese, Canadian Bacon, mushrooms, pineapple and pepperoni to top our pizzas.  No hot dogs here.  ...I would sure love some potatoes though!!

Basic Pizza Dough

2 1/2 T fresh cake yeast or 1 package dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
pinch of sugar
1 t salt
3-3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer.

1.  Warm a medium mixing bowl by swirling some hot water in it.  Drain.  Place the yeast in the bowl, and pour on the warm water.  Stir in the sugar, mix with a fork and allow to stand until the yeast has dissolved and starts to foam, 5-10 minutes.

2.  Use a wooden spoon to mix in the salt and about one-third of the flour.  Mix in another third of the flour, stirring with the spoon until the dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

3.  Sprinkle some of the remaining flour onto a smooth work surface.  Remove the dough from the bowl and begin to knead it, working in the remaining flour a little at a time.  Knead for 8-10 minutes.  By the end the dough should be elastic and smooth.  Form it into a ball.

4.  Lightly oil a mixing bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl.  Stretch a moistened and wrung-out dish towel across the top of the bowl, and leave it to stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, about 40-50 minutes or more, depending on the type of yeast used.  To test whether the dough has risen enough, poke two fingers into the dough.  If the indentations remain, the dough is ready.

5.  Punch the dough down with your fist to release the air.  Knead for 1-2 minutes.

6.  If you want to make 2 medium pizzas, divide the dough into 2 balls.  If you want to make 4 individual pizzas, (in pans 10 1/2 inches in diameter), divide the dough into 4 balls.  Pat the ball of dough out into a flat circle on a lightly floured surface.  With a rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of about 3/8 - 1/4 inch.  If you are using a pizza pan, roll the dough out about 1/4 inch larger than the size of the pan for the rim of the crust.

7.  Place in the lightly oiled pan, folding the extra dough under to make a thicker rim around the edge.  If you are baking the pizza without a round pan, press some of the dough from the center of the circle towards the edge, to make a thicker rim.  Place it on a lightly oiled flat cookie sheet.  The dough is now ready for filling.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Add your sauce, cheese, whatever toppings, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

Sorry, I didn't take pictures until the end.  Here are my pizzas in the oven starting to cook:

Here they are ready to eat:

These were good, but I'm still searching for that perfect (Northern) Italian recipe that we miss so much.


  1. Those look yummy! I wish I could have had some since Dad was at a meeting and I had to figure out what to eat all by myself! Love you - Mom

  2. When you find the Northern recipe, please share! Already missing it like crazy! :)