Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Recipe: Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough

For about the last 10 years or so I've been making pizza with a dough recipe from a web site that no longer exists. I don't even remember the exact name of the defunct site, so I can't even give it credit. But I remember the recipe and I can share it!

Most people who try this pizza don't even talk--they just make animal sounds. The dough is only half of it though, and I will give the recipe for my own sauce in another article.



Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white or brown sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup milk, heated to 115 degrees
1/2 cup water, heated to 115 degrees
dash of olive oil (my addition)

Mix everything together in a bowl but don't over-mix it. Cover the mixing bowl with a paper towel or cloth and let it rise several hours. Once it rises, roll it fairly thin on a floured cutting board. At this point the original directions just said bake it in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 20 minutes, but doing that never worked for me.

If the dough is sluggish to rise, you can proof it by putting it sun or heating it at 200 for 10 minutes and letting it sit in the oven and come up to room temperature, which should do the trick if your yeast cooperate.

Mama Celeste used the window sill to proof the dough, but whatever works...
What I do is press it into a greased pan or cookie sheet, and then put the pan int with just the dough for 20 minutes. Then I take it out of the oven, add the sauce, cheese and toppings, then I bake it another 10 minutes. Even then sometimes I need to give it another 5. It really depends on the oven.

Note: I know people who let it sit in the pan for a second rising, which will make the crust a little fluffier and less dense.

Above you can see the crust is mostly done when I put the sauce and cheese on
The finished product above. It's as rich as two large pizzas from the local delivery joint, not to mention 100 times better

Garlic & Herb Twisty Bread


Make the dough as above, getting to the point where you roll it flat. Then take a rolling pizza cutter and cut thin strips in the rolled-flat dough. Then take the strips, either folding them in half and twisting them into strips, or taking two strips and twisting them together.

Lay the strips into a greased cookie sheet and let them rise a second time. Once you've done second rising, brush the bread strips with olive oil and then sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top. There's other things you could sprinkle on like fresh garlic as well.

Then bake just like the pizza dough in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 20-30 minutes depending on the oven, until the top is golden brown. You may need to turn the pan halfway through, again depending on how evenly your oven heats.

"We want some pizza!"

Notes:


  • Vary the cooking time depending on how thick you make the crust. It may take a few tries to get the hang of it. If it's thin enough, you won't have to pre-cook the crust.
  • I usually use a half batch of this dough to make a pizza.
  • I use olive oil with my fingers to grease the pan, but you can just as easily use a different kind of oil, spray or even margarine.
  • If you make the pizza from leftover sauce, then make sure to reheat the sauce first. Cold sauce will cause the pizza to be under-cooked. The sauce doesn't have to be piping hot, just as long as it's not cold.
  • As the pizza is close to being done, it starts to pull away from the pan.


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