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BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

I finally made pizza dough! After spending months buying the pre-made stuff from Trader Joe’s I bit the bullet and made my own. Well, technically it wasn’t my own. I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but I made it! It was pretty fun, too. Watching the dough rise was really exciting, and now I’m inspired to make bread.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

Start out with 1-1/3 cup warm water and one package of yeast.Empty the packet of yeast into the bowl of your mixer.

Pour in the water. I gave it a little stir, but I’m not sure whether you’re supposed to do that or not. Does anyone know whether the yeast will dissolve without a little stir to get it going? Anyone?
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

To the yeast mixture add 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar.

Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for about a minute. Or you can do it by hand if that’s your thing. It will look something like this.

Switch out the paddle for the dough hook, and beat on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. My previously unused dough hook had a little sticker on it telling me not to use on a speed higher than two, I believe, so I kept it at one or two until it looked like this.

While the dough hook is doing its job, rub a little oil in a large bowl.

Remove the dough from the hook, and form it into a ball.

Roll it around a little to coat it with oil.

Cover it with plastic or a cloth, and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. I don’t really have a warm place in my apartment, so I ended up turning the oven on to the warm setting and setting the bowl on the stove. Sorry, environment. Next time I’ll bake something in the oven so I’m not just wasting a bunch of gas. I promise. And please forgive me for my filthy stove. I’m working on it.

Just for fun, here’s what it looked like before rising.

And here’s what it looked like after 1.5 hours. Wowsa! This is what has convinced me to give the bread a shot. It’s just so cool to watch it grow.

And then there’s this step! You get to punch the dough! I wish I would have discovered this when I was a little girl getting picked on by my two older brothers. Instead of crying and telling them to “shut up” I could have taken out my aggression on some dough.

After the big punch, divide the dough in half.

Loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Then it’s ready to go!

I was pretty excited about my first batch of homemade pizza dough, but I have to say that I wasn’t blown away by the results. I’m not sure if it’s the recipe if I beat it too long, or what it was. I prefer a chewier crust, and this was just a little too crispy for me. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

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