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Dough for Pizza

I’ve come to think about any dough can be made into pizza. A 10-14 oz. ball of bread dough will roll or press out to about 12 inches’ round, a conventional size that will feed 2-4 people, depending on the sides. “Will it be any good” is the question, and “all pizza is good” is not the answer.

My main problem with any dough till this one was sog. Invariable I’d have to deal with liquid pooling in the middle after baking. The marinara would separate, or the zucchini would leach out its water.

This dough, originally “Light-as-Air Pizza” from King Arthur, is amazing. It must be due to the unexpected baking powder and also the oil. In the oven the dough rises to have an airy crumb simultaneously with a crispy bottom, without being either cracker thin or rising-crust pan-pizza doughy.

The best feature, not mentioned in the original recipe, is that the crust can handle lots of toppings. If there is liquid that comes out, the bottom crust stays crisp.

Another key attribute is that it’s quick, for a yeast dough. Kneading is minimal, too. Just need a couple hours’ notice for a “let’s up and have pizza at home tonight.” My adaptation:

  • 241 grams (2 cups) flours, perhaps roughly half whole wheat and half unbleached white
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 teaspoon good yeast (an envelope/packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0-2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten powder (1 teaspoon for half whole wheat to 2 teaspoons for 100% whole wheat)
  • 188 g (3/4 cup) tepid-to-lukewarm water
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add oil to water in a measuring cup. Add liquids to dry mix. Stir with spoon, bread whisk or by hand thoroughly. Knead briefly in bowl, 2-5 minutes is fine. (Food processor or electric mixer are fine instead.) Form into a tight ball.
  2. Cover bowl, then let dough rise 1/2 hour to 2 hours at room temperature. (Dough can be refrigerated then baked hours later / overnight after resting on counter at room temperature 2-4 hours.) The dough will get puffy but not really double.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees a half hour before baking.
  4. Place a square of parchment paper on a 12-14-inch dry round pizza pan (the lip will help guide the shape). Press out with fingertips and palms to desired diameter. If dough resists, let it rest 5 minutes and resume pressing out.
  5. If using a pizza stone, pull the paper and dough off, invert the pan and pull the paper and dough onto the bottom of the pan. This will make it easy to slide paper and pizza onto the hot pizza stone.
  6. Add toppings. Just over a half cup of marinara or pasta sauce is about right, then up to 1 1/2 cups of toppings and, optionally, a half cup of shredded dairy or vegan cheese.
  7. Bake 14 minutes, check edges for sufficient browning and bake up to 4 more minutes.

Notes

  • We’re not wild about vegan cheese and find we don’t miss cheese at all on homemade pizza. My replacement believe it or not is just over a half cup of raw walnut pieces.
  • Because of the oil in the dough and use of parchment paper, dusting with flour or coating dough ball with more oil is not needed for shaping.
  • Here’s my go-to marinara sauce, otherwise used for pasta.
  • However with pizza, I now prefer thin-sliced tomatoes arranged like pepperoni across the crust, Pizza Sans Sauce.
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