Don’t be intimidated to make pizza dough , a lot of us are thinking , oh i can’t do it , bread dough scares me !! I used to think this way too 🙂 Really , it’s not as bad as you think , and it actually is really fun making bread dough , in this case pizza dough . Pizza dough is a lot more easier than dough with eggs , and milk , and butter , which could be messy . This pizza dough is really easy to make . If you have standing mixer , that’s even better , but this tutorial is for manual only , which means you’re going to use only your hand , knead the dough with your hand . Standing mixer comes in handy though , i have kitchenaid standing mixer and it’s been a really good help making bread dough , therefore i never really kneaded it myself . Until recently we relocated and while waiting for selling our house , i bought myself a hand mixer , since i left my kitchen stuff at home still . The hand mixer comes with a bread hook but of course they’re not even half as strong as standing mixer 🙂 So , i am left without any choices but to make bread dough manually . This is when i found out , making it without a machine is not really hard , it is easy and the result is really good !
In a large bowl , place 3 1/2 cups of bread flour , 1 tsp. sugar , 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast and pinch of salt . Mix them together , with spoon or hand , whatever , just mix them up .
2.Mix the ingredients with your hands or spoon . Mix well .
3. Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water ( about 100 F ) , and 2 tbsp. of olive oil .
4. Pour the olive oil and water mix into the flour mix .
5. If you have regular hand mixer , use that to mix the dough . If not , you can use wooden spoon to mix the dough .
6. When you use your mixer or spoon , you can only go so far with the dough , because it started to get heavy , and you might burn the motor of your mixer ( unless you have standing kitchen , but then again we won’t learn about this , right ? ) . So , stop with the mixer or spoon , and start to use your fingers .
7. When you mix the dough with your hand in that bowl , you probably have to add more flour , add little at a time , don’t dump a large amount into the dough just because it’s so sticky , remember add little at a time , until the dough is not too sticky , but not too dry either . If you add too much , the dough will become too dry and your bread won’t be good . Keep adding as you need it while you mix / knead the dough with your hand .
8. It is time to remove it and place it on counter top when the dough cleans the side of the bowl . It should not be sticky and not dry either .
9. I like to knead my dough on counter top instead of the bowl , it gives me more space to work with . Use your strength from your arms while you knead the dough , turn the dough and knead , over and over . If you find this too sticky to your finger , then add little flour . Keep kneading non stop for 6-8 minutes .Work those muscles !!
10. After kneading it for 8 minutes , your dough should be elastic . It’s not too dry , but not too sticky either , you should be able to pull the dough gently and won’t tear , and yet , it doesn’t stick to your finger . It’s elastic .
11. Now , add 1 tbsp. of olive oil in your large bowl , then wipe it all over with paper towel . And place your dough in the bowl , make sure you turn it around so it won’t stuck to the bowl later on . Let it sit in a warm place for an hour to rise .
12. Now , after an hour , this is how your dough looks like . Amazing , isn’t it ? 😀
13. Once it’s done rising , let’s take the dough out from the bowl , DO NOT PUNCH IT DOWN ! Just take it out , like you’re pouring something out from a bowl , it should slide out easily because of the olive oil around the bowl .
14. Divide the bread dough into 2 big balls , and wrap it with plastic wrap if you don’t plan to use it right away . Store in the fridge , it should last about 4 days .
Okay , if you plan on to make pizza crust , you can roll it out , and bake it for 15 minutes at 425 F , then you can add your topping , or if you don’t want to use it right away , you can freeze this crust , for future use . Of course you have to wrap it really good to prevent freezer burn . When you’re ready to bake it just thaw it out before adding your topping .
You can also use pizza dough for Calzone and Stromboli , just roll them up into rectangle shape on a parchment paper , then you can add your fillings for calzone and wrap it . For stromboli , add your fillings and roll it like jelly roll cake . Check out my other entry for calzone and stromboli for the recipe .