Pizza Dough and Sauce
Yes, an Asian American Momma can make Italian pizza why not? I’ve been making pizza for the last five to six years since I graduated from culinary school. I love making bread so making pizza was a natural progression of things to come. Fresh homemade pizza dough is great and you will love it if you love fresh bread. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to making bread dough, the steps to proofing dough the first time and the second proofing of the dough is mightily important. Even before that happens the mixing of ingredients how to make sure you get that yeast activated before you mix your dough mixture. Always make sure the water is warm about 105 and 110°F. You want live yeast in order for the dough to rise. Live yeast will make bubbles. Another big important step in making dough is you either decide to knead the dough with the kitchen aid or by hand don’t do both. Pick one method and go with it. You never want to over knead dough because it could become tough.
Pizza Dough Ingredients
2 cups of bread flour ( All-purpose flour is fine too)
14/ cup of warm water
1 tsp of dry active yeast
1/2 tsp of granulated white sugar
1 tsp of kosher salt or table salt
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tsp canola or olive oil
Step 1 – Measure 1/4 cup of warm water and add 1/2 tsp of sugar let it dissolve by mixing it with a spoon or fork. Then using a dry measuring spoon measure the 1 tsp of dry active yeast allow it to dissolve in the water by mixing it a second and set it down to allow it to bubble up. Meanwhile, you can measure out the dry ingredients and add the salt in a mixing bowl.
Step 2 – After the yeast has been activated you can add it to the dry ingredients and mix well, then add the 1/2 of the cup of warm water a little bit at a time. You’re looking for a dough to form that is soft and a bit stick but not so sticky that you can’t pick it up. When dough forms together it has cleaning stage where the bowl starts to look cleaner because the dough is gathering the wet and dry ingredients in the mixing process. You can do this with your hands or with the paddle attachment on the stand mixer.
Step 3 – After kneading for no more than 5 minutes on a stand mixer and 10 minutes by hand, add some oil to a bowl and gently round the dough into a ball and set into the bowl with oil. How do you know when the dough is kneaded enough? Simple round it and press your index finger or a thumb into the dough if it bounces back quickly it’s done and ready to be proof. Usually, the stand mixer will knead it to the doneness. If you do it by hand you have to check for the doneness and do the test once or twice before you know it’s been kneaded enough.
Place plastic wrap and then a dry towel over it and set it aside in a proofer or in the warmest part of the room to allow it to proof for about 1 1/2 hours. I allow my dough to grow longer than that but you can do at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours is fine.
Step 3 – Once the dough has doubled in size take it out and punch or burp the bread. You do not knead the dough again. Round it out into a ball and place into the bowl. Let is proof a second time for about another 1 hour the most.
Step 4 – After the dough has been proofed the second time for about 1 hour you can now roll it out and make pizza with it.
Pizza Sauce Recipe
2 Cans of tomato sauce puree
1/2 of a peeled onion
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1 whole peeled garlic clove
Step 1 – Place into a sauce pot, tomato puree, onion, butter bay leaf and garlic, Turn the stove on to a very low simmer. Time it for about 50 minutes let it simmer with no lid on.
Step 2 – After the 50 minutes of simmering you can take out the onion, garlic and bay leaf. The butter has now melted. You can now season it as you like for pizza or pasta sauce. You can add salt, black pepper, and fresh oregano or dry oregano for flavor.
Pizza making – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Step 1 – With one round dough, you can be divided into 2 doughs to make two medium size pizzas. When you roll out the dough use a rolling pin that helps and allow your two hands to stretch out the dough into a round pizza shape. The dough handles easily and well to stretch to desire size.
Step 2 – If you’re baking on a pizza stone you must use cornmeal to load the pizza onto the stove and into the oven. Cornmeal acts as a wheel to get the sticky pizza dough to slide off the pizza peel or the pan you are using to set the pizza on the stone.
Step 3 – Determine if you make a meat pizza or a vegetarian pizza. All meats like sausage or chicken have to be already cooked before you add ingredients to a pizza for baking. Raw meat will not cook at the same time as the vegetables and cheese, therefore, you can burn those ingredients before the meat will ever get cooked properly. Also, nobody wants chicken juices on a pizza.
If you’re using a pizza pan omit the cornmeal part. Do not use the stone because it absorbs a lot of heat. Use the pan and bake it for about 12 minutes for non-meat pizza and 15 minutes for a sausage pizza.