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I have made this dough in the food processor, in the stand mixer, and by hand. (I have a nifty attachment for the processor: a large funnel that lets me add the flour while the machine is on.) All three methods are easy to do since, unlike bread dough, pizza dough rises only once. I’ve also experimented with the length of rising time. If using rapid-rise yeast, a 30-minute rise will suffice, but a 45-minute rise will make a softer crust. For active dry yeast, anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours will yield the sort of crust that looks like it came from a pizza parlor.
1) With the food processor: Combine the yeast, water, and sugar in a bowl. Put 3½ cups of the flour and the salt into a food processor fitted: with a plastic blade. Pour in the yeast mixture and oil, pulsing as you add it. Once the dough, begins to stick together, let the machine run for 45 seconds. If the dough is very sticky, pulse in a little more flour until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the machine.
2) With the stand mixer or by hand: Combine the yeast, water, and sugar in a bowl. Once the yeast begins to foam, mix in the oil, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Gradually add the rest of the flour until a ball of dough forms. Stir in the flour until it is too stiff to use a spoon, then knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and springy.
3) Place the dough in an oiled bowl, or on a piece of waxed paper, cover with a damp towel, and allow to rise for as long as desired, but at least 30 minutes.
4) Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 or 4 balls (for either 2 large, 16-inch pizzas or 4 small, l0-inch pizzas). Let rest 5 to 10 minutes, then roll or stretch each ball into a pizza pie shape. Proceed with a pizza recipe. Dough can be frozen, tightly wrapped, for about 2 months. Defrost it in the refrigerator (this can take 12 hours or more), then bring it to room temperature, allow to rise 30 minutes or longer, and, proceed with the pizza recipe. (If freezing dough, use the active dry yeast, not the rapid-rise.)
Nutritional information is provided by the author.
Per Serving: Calories 183; Protein 6g;, Fat 19 (Saturated 0g); Carbohydrates 37g; Fiber 19; Sodium 242mg
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