It’s national pizza day! Am I the only one who had no idea prior to Twitter blowing up that this was even an actual day? What a surprise. It’s really no surprise at all that #NationalPizzaDay has been so successful on social media. I mean, who doesn’t like pizza? There are so many different ways to make them, and they are all delicious!
Tomorrow night we are having dinner with friends and we have decided to turn it into a build-your-own-pizza night! So tonight, I am making the pizza dough. And since it is national pizza day, I think Will and I might have to try two of the pizzas tonight while we watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. You know, quality control. Just have to make sure everything is a-okay.
Pizza Dough Recipe (Makes 8 individual sized pizzas)
What you’ll need:
2 cups of warm water (100-110oF)
2 packages of yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl
2 tablespoons of salt
6 cups of all-purpose, plus more for dusting
In an electric mixer: Combine water, yeast and sugar in the mixing bowl. Gently stir to dissolve the yeast. Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes (once the top of the mixture begins to get foamy from one side of the bowl to the other, I know it’s done. Do not let go any longer than 10 minutes. This will cause the yeast to be overdone.) On the low speed, turn on the mixer and add olive oil and salt. Slowly add in the flour (I usually 2-3 cups of the flour initially, let it incorporate slightly, then pour in the remaining flour half a cup at a time with the mixer turned on low).
Increase to medium speed and mix the dough until it begins to form a ball and wrap itself around the hook, this step should take about 2 minutes. With your thumb and index finger, squeeze the dough. If it’s too crumbly, add more warm water, and if it’s too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be smooth and very elastic. The elasticity tells you that the gluten is activated. If you are not seeing this stretch in the dough, you may need to restart.
Once thoroughly mixed together, form the dough into a ball and place into a large bowl coated with olive oil.
A note about dough: Developing dough can be very tricky. Not only does it take a certain temperature to do correctly, humidity differences in the air can come into play. So, if it is raining, or too cold to be humid, or here in the south if its August, can change how your dough will develop.
Alliey’s Tip: While you are mixing the dough, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Farenheight. When you have the dough ready to go into the oven, place it in and turn the oven off. Leave it in there for one hour. This will ensure you have a great rise regardless of outside conditions.
Once the dough has risen, punch down. I mean, really give that thing a good punch.
Poor it out and form it into sort of a circular shape. Cut it in half, then cut the halves in half. Once you have done that, cut what is now fourths of the original dough in halves (if you were cutting a pizza, make 8 slices).
Turn each piece into their own dough balls.
This can be used immediately or frozen for up to three months.
When ready for use, place one ball of the dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll out to desired thickness. Take a fork and stab the dough a few times to prevent bubbles when cooking. Add toppings, place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the dough is a light golden brown and cheese is melted.