Friday, August 21, 2015

Quick pizza dough

There's something so satisfying when making pizza from scratch. It's cheap, delicious, and pretty quick to the throw together. But the biggest problem for me is planning in advance. I've blogged here with 2 different pizza dough recipes, but both require at least a few hours of resting time (regular dough and a no-knead recipe).

So what do you do when your boyfriend wants pizza, as in pizza right now? You make a quick dough that's ready from start to finish in less than 15 minutes.

Who would believe this took 10 minutes to prepare?
I was shocked how good the dough was. I mean I figure it couldn't be bad, but the texture was spot on! Super crusty on the outside and tender on the inside.

See that parchment paper under my pizza? Read my tips below for why I use it.
Then just top with whatever you want. We always have cheese and sauce on hand in the freezer (read my tips below), so we top our pizza with whatever else we have in the fridge or pantry. Green olives are always a go, and we happened to have peperoni this time too for the boy's half.

Want a few more hot tips for making pizza?
  1. Get your pizza stone blazing hot, as in preheat your oven to 475 or 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour is ideal).
  2. Transferring pizza to your hot stone can be a b*tch, and can lead to a few pizza fails. Though I eventually mastered the technique using a pizza peel, I've started using a simple trick: I now simply prepare my pizza on parchment paper, then just slide the parchment paper + pizza directly on my stone. Yes, you can cook the pizza directly on the parchment in the oven! The edges of the paper will get pretty brown (see the picture above), but it doesn't burn. Then you simply grab the paper and slide your pizza back on your pizza peel (or an upside down baking sheet). Make sure though you're using parchment paper (which can withstand up to 500 degrees in the oven) and not waxed paper, which I think starts to melt above 350.
  3. My final tip for always being ready to make pizza on the fly? Make sure to always have some Trader Joes pizza sauce (the one in the refrigerator section with the black plastic lid is my favorite) in your freezer along with a block of mozzarella. Yes, you heard me. FREEZE YOUR CHEESE! Did you know you could do that?!? I had no idea! But we tried it a while back and we found that freezing the mozzarella whole had no effect on the flavor/texture of the cheese. (Note: I haven't tested this with fresh mozzarella, I'm talking about the Americanized block of mozzarella.) And as a bonus, the cheese is a lot easier to shred from the freezer. (Just let it warm up a little bit in the fridge or at room temperature.) Double win!
  4. If you're new to pizza making, check out this blog post for some more details and great photos.
15-minute pizza dough, from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Yield: Makes 1 pretty large pizza or 2 medium pizzas

Check out the original post for tips on making a larger batch of dough

1 cup warm water
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP oil
1 TBSP instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 to 3 cups all purpose flour (though I haven't tried it, the original post says you can also use a 1:1 ratio of all purpose to whole wheat, just knead it for a few minutes longer)

  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the water, honey, oil, yeast and salt. 
  2. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The exact flour amount will vary so go by the touch and feel of the dough versus the exact cup measurements in the recipe. The dough should be soft and smooth (not leaving a residue on your fingers but not super stiff, either). 
  3. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes if using all purpose flour, or 5-6 minutes if using whole wheat flour. 
  4. Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  5. Shape the dough into pizza(s), spread with sauce and toppings, and bake at 475 or 500 degrees on a preheated pizza stone or on a lightly greased baking sheet for 8-12 minutes.


Stacey said...

omg, the parchment paper idea is GENIUS! We don't have a pizza peel, and always just kinda end up throwing the dough on the hot stone and hoping for the best. Definitely going to give this one a try!

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