Hey again, /ck/. Tonight, I'm making pizza. Well, more accurately, I'm making pizza dough. Tomorrow I'll make the pizza with the dough I have here. This recipe actually calls for dough which gets put in the refrigerator for about a day. You don't have to; if you're in a rush, you can just make the dough and bake it immediately. But I find it's a lot better if you refrigerate the dough ahead of time and bake it the next day. But, again, that's up to you.

So, I'm going to show you how to make the dough right now, then we'll move on to making the pizza, which is really, really easy. The dough is really the time-consuming part, and that's about...well, less than ten minutes, as you'll see.

I'm doing this on a scale, or a bowl set on a scale. The advantage of the scale is that I can get very, very, very precise measurements. When I put things on here, it'll say right on here exactly how many ounces or whatever I've got. So, I'll just show you how that works.

I'll just take the ingredients and start pouring them in, and I'll look down here to see exactly how many ounces I put in here or grams, whatever; this recipe uses ounces. First thing I'm going to put in—and I'll give you all of the regular measurements in case you don't have a scale. This is not an essential, but it's a very, very useful thing to have. So we start with one and three-quarter cups of flour, or thirteen ounces. Gonna pour that on. Four ounces, six...eight...nine...ten, eleven...twelve...twelve point three...twelve point six...twelve point eight...thirteen.

And this is the greatest thing; I haven't had to use a measuring cup or anything. That's just, that's it. It's in the bowl.

Now I'm going to add some semolina flour. You don't need to use semolina. It is a pastry flour, or pasta flour, rather. It's used often in pasta making. It's an Italian thing. If you don't want to use this, just use regular old flour, but this adds a nice tang to things. So I'm going to reset my scale and pour in three ounces or one and a quarter cups of semolina, if you want to. Basically, if you don't have semolina flour, you want three cups of flour [total]. I'm going to add in three ounces of this. That's about...two point eight, two point nine...three. There we go.

All right, so we have basically three cups of flour in here. I actually don't like to put...the recipe calls for 1 and 3/4 cups of flour and 1 and 1/4 cups of semolina. I don't like that; I find that the semolina kind of takes over the dough, so I prefer a little less, more like 2 and 1/4 cups of regular flour, plus 3/4 cups semolina. Anyway, let's move on.

You don't need any dough relaxer, but dough relaxer is very useful. It basically makes the dough a lot easier to spread out and spread around. So we're going to put in two tablespoons of dough relaxer. And you can get this at King Arthur Flour, or wherever you happen to be. If you don't have any, just don't put it in. That's just fine. There's a tablespoon. A little over a tablespoon. And this is...a little under a tablespoon. Totally optional.

Then we're going to add what would be half a teaspoon of yeast. I'm sorry, half a packet of yeast. But since I don't have packets, I'm just going to use instant yeast, and I'm going to use a teaspoon. Every packet contains about two teaspoons of the stuff. So you just put in...whoops, that's a half. Well, I'll put in another...there's a whole teaspoon of yeast.

And then, one and a half teaspoons of salt. Right here. One. Two. Three. Some olive oil. We want two tablespoons of this. This will add some nice flavor. One. And...two tablespoons. Almost done.

Now, we add one and a quarter to one and a half cups of water. Which I have right here. This is one and a quarter cups; I'll add more if I need to. And now is the fun part: we mix this up. I prefer to mix this up using just a spoon. You can use any kind of spoon you want; this is just a regular old spoon. Just mix this up. And you just stir.

So again, this is three cups of flour, a teaspoon of yeast, some dough relaxer if you have any, one and a half teaspoons of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil, and one and a quarter cups of water. And this is starting to come together, quite nicely. Now once this starts to come together, you can't really use the spoon very much, so I just go with my hands. And you just mix. And I'm glad I didn't put any more water into this, because this is already nice and wet. And what you're looking for here, is a complete dough. Something that holds together in a ball. And what I'm doing here, I'm just squeezing it, to sort of push it together. Pushing it together as best I can, until it forms into a nice, complete dough that feels solid. That's looking good. Don't want to over-knead the dough, but that looks about perfect. Right there. Still a little bit creaky and crumbly, but that's fine. Now, I'm going to put this back in the pan. This needs to rise for forty-five minutes. So I'm just going to put a tea towel over this, or a regular towel, and I will come back in forty-five minutes. So I will be right back.

I'm back, it's been forty-five minutes, and here's what it looks like. It's significantly bigger. Not doubled in size, certainly, but maybe...fifty percent bigger, if that. So now comes the big question. This dough will actually improve in flavor if it just sits in the fridge for up to the next thirty-six hours. It can sit in there for longer, but it won't improve in flavor any beyond that point. So, if you want to improve this dough's flavor a little bit right now, you can wrap it up in plastic wrap, put it in the fridge, and take it back out up to thirty-six hours from now. If not, you can bake it right now. I'm going to put this in the fridge; I'll come back in a little bit.

Okay, I've let my dough rest for about a day, and now I'm going to make an actual crust out of it. I've put my oven at five hundred degrees. I've taken the dough out, and I've divided it into two halves; each half will make one crust. And here's what that looks like.

Oh! My oven delivery system is a piece of parchment paper on top of a plastic cutting board. So the crust will go on top of this, and then I'll put this into the oven, and then just slide the parchment paper off, pulling the cutting board out. And then this will just sit there. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the pizza stone in the middle of the oven. If not, that's okay, just put it in there.

So, here's my dough. And here's how I make a crust. It's real easy. I'm just going to let gravity work with me. And just pull like that, and just keep pulling. Now, the center's going to get really thin really quickly, so make sure you're pulling out the sides as much as possible. Get as thin of a crust as possible on the outside. Now, it might tear a little bit. What I'm probably going to do is just push that back in together and then re-form a crust. Just re-do it that way. That will be just fine. Just let gravity pull it down. I'm not even really pulling at all, I'm just...well, I'm tugging a little bit on the sides, but I'm just letting gravity do most of my work for me. That's really the best way of doing this. Because I've folded this over twice, it's a little bit harder to work with, but it'll be great.

I don't like big pizzas, because it's just me here, so this is going to be smaller than your regular...a medium or a large pizza at a pizza joint. About a small pizza. Obviously, you could just use the same recipe and use one dough and make a pretty darned big pie. Up to you. There we go, looking about right. I'm just letting gravity pull this out a little bit as I go, just pulling it around, and that's actually about a good size for my purposes, so I'm just going to let that sag and set down on the parchment, like that.

Now. If you have any little spaces where the dough is really thin, feel free to just pull from nearby over it, and just kind of spread it out. That's perfectly okay; the dough will be great and it has no problem with that. Going to spread this out a little bit more on the parchment, since I can. With that dough improver, that really makes this easier to work with. Without it, this would just bounce right back to its original shape.

Now this goes into the oven at five hundred degrees for four minutes. No more, no less. Pull it out, and it can go into the fridge for up to five days, [or] into the freezer for up to a month, or just use it right now. It's just a matter of putting sauce and cheese onto it, and I'm about to do that right now.

Well, we're back, I've got my oven set to 425 degrees, I've pulled a crust out of the fridge, and I'm going to put everything on it. Here's what I've got. I've got some picante sauce; that's going to be my sauce. Adds some nice kick to it. I added a little bit of cornstarch to it to thicken it up. You don't have to, but that just makes it a little bit thicker. I like to put a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese on there, as well as, of course, some mozzarella.

Yes, I shred my cheese onto my pizza. You don't have to; you can get pre-shredded cheeses, but I find shredding it adds some nice flavor and kick. So here's what that looks like.

Here's my crust. I'm going to put some sauce...I don't go crazy on sauce. You can put as much as you want, obviously, but I find just a little bit of sauce goes a long way. That's actually a lot of sauce for me. That's okay. Just sort of push it into the crevices. Then, I'm going to start with the cheddar. Let you see some of that. Just put the grater over top of it, and grate over. And...I don't put a lot of cheese on there. At least, not a lot of cheddar. Get some of that stuff on. Remember, these are mini-blades, so be careful. And here's my mozarella. Just shred that on. It'll go easier because it's a wet cheese. At least, it'll slide easier, but it won't want to shred into pieces quite as easily; a lot of it will hang off the bottom. But just keep at it. And in a minute, we'll pull the stuff off the bottom. Lot of nice mozzarella on there. I actually don't put a lot of cheese on my pizzas. I love cheese, but I don't need lots of cheese on my pizza. I'll stop there. A lot of cheese there. Sprinkle it around a little bit in places where it may not have fallen down quite as well. And there we go.

This goes into a 425 degree oven, for about eight minutes. I'd check it at eight minutes. It might not be totally browned by that point, but at that point, it's pretty much done, and then you can pull it out whenever it's completely browned to your satisfaction. And that's it. Put that in, bake it for eight minutes, at 425; you've got your pizza.

About this site   Episodes   Essentials   Colophon