The best ever pizza dough

Well, it’s that time of year again where I have to come up with meat-free meals. Yep, it’s lent and time for cheese pizza Fridays! My husband is incredibly picky and there are few things he’ll eat with out meat (pasta), he doesn’t like fish, and he’d starve as a vegetarian. So, cheese pizza it is!
I have a great pizza dough recipe I’m going to share. It’s kinda my specialty. It’s very simple, but you do need an electric mixer! I made a cheese version, but feel free to get creative!
Ok, here we go!
Start by putting a package of rapid rise yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 1/2 cups hot (100-110 degrees) in your mixer bowl.

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Let this sit for about 10 minutes, and it should look like this:

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Now add 4 1/2 cups of ap flour, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 3 tbsp oil. Mix together with your dough hook. Now, once mixed, Adjust your consistency. If its sticking to all the sides and not forming into a ball, sprinkle in a bit more flour. If it forms a ball, but doesn’t stick to the bottom, add a bit more water. You want it to form a ball around the dough hook, and only stick to the bottom of the bowl. Like this:

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Now, continue to kneed at low speed for 10 minutes. Then, coat your mixing bowl with oil, cover your bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise. At least 2 hours. It will go from this:

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To this:

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Now it’s time to make your pizza! Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, and put your oven rack as low as you can. Grease the pan with butter or margarine. Spread out your dough thin (this recipe will make 2 pizzas). No rolling or stretching, just use your fingers to spread it out in your pan.

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Now let’s talk sauce! The key is San marzano tomatoes! Just mix a can with some olive oil and garlic salt. Use your hands to gently break up the tomatoes. Or, buy a jar of Mario batali pasta sauce. Tomato and basil is perfect. That’s what I had on hand:)

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Then add your toppings. Place pizza on lowest oven rack and bake for 6-10 minutes, until your cheese starts to brown (more toppings = longer cook time). The pizza cooks fast, watch it closely!!

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Your crust should be golden brown, like this.

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But, if not, I have a great trick! Turn your stove on low, place the pan directly on the stove, turning it often, until your crust is crispy and browned. Then enjoy! I cut my pizza in a grid, like they do at Chicago fire pizza in Folsom.

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Any unused dough can be stored frozen. Just let it rise at room temp for 4 hours before use.

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February 25, 2012. Tags: . Food and Drink.

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