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Pizza Dough 4-Ways

Pizza Dough 4-WaysThis simple recipe for basic pizza dough offers directions for four methods of preparation. No matter the method used to make it, a good homemade pizza crust is well worth the minimal effort.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 3/8 cups lukewarm water (105°C to 115°F | 40°C to 45°C)
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 (0.25-ounce) packet active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

Cooking Directions:

  1. Method for Using Bread Machine: Place ingredients in bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select the Dough Cycle and Press Start. During the cycle's first kneading, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan, if necessary, to help incorporate all the ingredients. Gently deflate dough before using and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before using in a recipe.
  2. Method for Using Food Processor: Place water, oil, yeast and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse to dissolve yeast. Add the flour and process until a soft ball forms. Remove from processor and place in a large bowl that has been coated with oil, turning the dough once in the bowl to coat with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it doubles in volume. Gently deflate dough before using and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before using in a recipe.
  3. Method for Using Dough hook: Place water, oil, yeast and salt in bowl of mixer and stir on low speed to dissolve yeast. Add flour and knead with dough hook to form a smooth and elastic dough, about 8 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and place in a large bowl that has been coated with oil, turning the dough once in the bowl to coat with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it doubles in volume. Gently deflate dough before using and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before using in a recipe.
  4. Method By Hand: Place water, oil, yeast and salt in bowl and stir to dissolve yeast. Stir in flour and knead on a lightly floured work surface to form a smooth and elastic dough, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a large bowl that has been coated with oil, turning the dough once in the bowl to coat with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it doubles in volume. Gently deflate dough before using and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before using in a recipe.
  5. To Assemble and Bake: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). If using a pizza stone, place it in oven to heat.
  6. Pat dough onto an oiled 12 x 15-inch jelly roll pan, 2 (10 to 12-inch) pizza pans, or 1 (14 to 16-inch) pizza pan.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil; top with your desired sauce and toppings.
  8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden. For a crispier bottom crust, carefully slide pizza off pan (not the jelly roll pan) onto the oven's rack or pizza stone, if using, after about the first 12 minutes and finish baking. (While pizza is continuing to bake, sprinkle the empty pizza pan(s) with a little cornmeal--this helps absorb any moisture later that can cause the crust to become soggy). Allow pizza to rest 2 to 3 minutes for easier slicing.

Makes 16 servings, or 2 medium-sized pizzas, or 1 large pizza.

Tip: The dough can be made ahead of time, place it in an oiled plastic bag, seal and refrigerate for up to two days.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/16 of recipe): 137.4 calories; 18% calories from fat; 2.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 118.8mg sodium; 42.2mg potassium; 24.0g carbohydrates; 0.9g fiber; 0.1g sugar; 23.1g net carbs; 3.4g protein.

Recipe and photograph by Hope Pryor; copyright © 1999; property of CooksRecipes.com. See Terms of Use.