Introduction: Basic Pizza
One of the first things I learned to cook.
Step 1: Dough Ingredients
-2 cups of wheat flour. (Unbleached is best) -1 1/2 teaspoons of rapid-rise yeast -1 teaspoon of sugar (a growth accelerant for the yeast) -1/4 teaspoon of salt (iodized or kosher; makes no difference) -2 tablespoons of olive oil (extra-virgin is optional, but not necessary) -1 cup, 1 tablespoon of warm water
Step 2: Equipment
Pizza stone Oven Bread mixer with hook and paddle Plastic shrink wrap Food processor or blender
Step 3: Dry Ingredients
Mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bread mixer with the paddle
Step 4: Wet Ingredients
Using a spoon, make a well in the dry ingredients. Add oil and water, and mix with the paddle.
Step 5: Inspection After Mixing
Remove dough from the paddle. It should not stick to your hands. If it does, add another tablespoon of flour, although some sticking is tolerable. Just make sure you can free your hand with minimal effortStretch the dough and hold it on front of a light. The dough should be flexible enough to form a translucent membrane. If its too stiff, add about a teaspoon of water
Step 6: Kneading
Congratulations! If you're reading this, your dough passed inspection. Remove the paddle from the bread mixer. Replace it with the hook. The dough will spin for 1/2 hour. Ideally, the dough should cling to the hook without forming a puddle in the bowl. If a puddle forms, add two teaspoons of flour.
Step 7: Rising
Remove the dough from the bread mixer, coat a bowl with oil, knead the dough by hand so that it is smooth. Put it into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This should be airtight. Let dough rise to double its original volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
Step 8: Sauce Ingredients
-1 cup of crushed tomatoes -1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and oregano. -1 tablespoon of oil
Step 9: Sauce
Simple enough; just throw all the tomato sauce ingredients into the food processor until it has a uniform texture. Omit if using store-bought sauce, but add spices to store-bought sauce anyway if you want.
Step 10: Cooking
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with pizza stone on the top rack. Spread oil on the stone, stretch dough out on the stone, and bake for five minutes. Add sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you want and bake for five minutes, rotate 180 degrees, and bake for another five minutes or until cheese is melted.
Step 11: Enjoy!
Serves four-eight depending on how hungry everyone is.