I love to be warm and cozy. As in: fuzzy socks and flannel robe warm and cozy. I know, I know…not exactly sexy.
This morning, however, I woke up to the sun pouring into the windows in all kinds of record-breaking ways.
Walking downstairs to an already warm kitchen meant two things: ditch the flannel and make some Homemade Pizza Dough.
You see, like me, pizza dough hates being cold. It needs a nice and toasty environment to rise properly to it’s highest, mightiest and fullest potential.
I’ve tried to make wintertime pizza in my drafty cold kitchen before. It didn’t rise…it shivered. I knew the feeling.
However in the summer, my tiny matchbox-sized kitchen becomes relentless in its heat. With no central air and Misc. Kitchen always in full-swing, the atmosphere is not unlike a little toaster oven. Not very comfortable for us – but absolutely perfect for pizza dough.
I scratch this dough together first thing in the morning while my tea water is heating up. It’s that simple to make. It rises for a few hours, providing plenty of hands-free time. Before lunch, the dough is ready to be shaped, topped and baked – producing a crunchy, cheesy, fresh pizza in 12 minutes. What could be better than that?
I use half of the dough right away and freeze the other half for calzones or breadsticks (the dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen for 3 months).
There are a million different philosophies and recipes for pizza dough – and believe me, I have tried them all. This one is fantastically simple and stress-free and produces a chewy, crunchy, flavorful crust that is the perfect base for every topping you could imagine.
I like to keep my pizzas simple – homemade sauce made with lots of basil, freshly shredded mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. But there are endless possibilities with this versatile dough.
Daniel likes his pizza plain, my mom loves hers with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. Chris, well, he just wants me to get rid of the fuzzy socks.
Alright, so my flannel robe is far from appealing. But this Homemade Pizza Dough is perfectly irresistible.
Stay warm, rise well and enjoy!
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Stir dry ingredients, including yeast in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil and stir until everything comes together. There will still be some straggly dry bits. Dump everything onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for about a minute or two. If the dough is still too sticky, sprinkle lightly with flour and continue to knead lightly.
- Spray the inside of a bowl with cooking spray (or lightly drizzle with oil) and place the dough inside. Turn the dough to coat with the oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, about 1 or 2 hours. (Note: my kitchen is pretty drafty, so in the winter time I have to create a “warm” place for the dough to rise. I turn my oven to the lowest setting – 170 degrees. When the oven hits 100 degrees, I turn it off and let it sit for a minute or two. I then put the dough in the warmed oven to rise.)
- Sprinkle a pizza pan or a piece of parchment paper with coarse cornmeal and preheat the oven to the the highest setting. Stretch or roll out the pizza dough and top with your favorite toppings.
- Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until your desired degree of doneness.
- Let cool on the countertop for a few minutes before slicing.