Basic Pizza Dough

Title: Basic Pizza Dough
Categories: Bread
Yield: 8 Servings

1 tb Sugar
1 c Warm water (110-115 deg F)
1 Envelope (0.25-oz) active
-dry yeast
3 1/4 c Flour
1 ts Salt
1/4 c Olive oil; preferably

From: (Chris Gunnerson)

Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 20:59:36 GMT
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar (which “feeds” the yeast) in warm tap
water. (Water that is too hot will kill the yeast, while water that is too
cold will not activate it.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir
gently until it dissolves, about 1 minute. When yeast is mixed with the
water at the proper temp., a smooth, beige-colored mixture restults. (If
the yeast clumps together and the water stays clear, discard the mixture
and start over). Let stand in a warm spot until a thin layer of foam covers
the surface, about 5 minutes, indicating that the yeast is effective.
(Discard mixture and start over with a fresh package of yeast if bubbles
have not formed within 5 mins).

To mix and knead the dough by hand, combine 3 cups of the flour with the
salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and
pour in the yeast mixture and the oil. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously
stir the flour into the well, beginning in the center and working toward
the sides of the bowl, until the flour is incorporated and the soft dough
just begins to hold together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with
flour and knead the dough gently in the following manner: press down on the
dough with the heels of your hands and push it away from you, then
partially fold it back over itself. Shift it a quarter turn and repeat the
procedure. While kneading, very gradually add just enough of the remaining
1/4 cup flour until the dough is no longer sticky or tacky; this should
take about 5 minutes. As you work, use a metal dough scraper to pry up any
bits of dough that stick to the work surface. Continue kneading until the
dough is smooth, elastic, and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Knead the
dough only until it feels smooth and springy; too much kneading
overdevelops the gluten in the flour and results in a tough crust.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning to
coat completely on all sides with oil. (This oiling of the dough prevents
a hard surface from forming that would inhibit rising.) Cover the bowl
tightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss, and set to rise in a
draft-free warm place (75 to 85 degrees F – a hotter environment may kill
the yeast) until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

With your fist, punch down the dough as soon as it has doubled in bulk to
prevent overrising. Shape it into a ball, pressing out all the air

If you cannot bake pizza within 2 hours after rising, punch the dough down
again, turn it in an oiled bowl to coat once more, cover the bowl tightly
with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. (The dough can be punched down a total
of 4 times and kept refrigerated up to 36 hours before the yeast is
exhausted and the dough unusable.) Let chilled dough come to room temp.
before proceeding.


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