Monday, September 27, 2010

Basic Pizza Dough

This dough uses olive oil and two packets of rapid rise yeast to create a basic pizza dough.

6 cups (approximately) white flour
1/4 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups warm water
2 packages rapid rise yeast

This dough can be made in any kind of electric mixer that is heavy duty enough for dough making. Use a dough hook in the mixer. It can also be done by hand with a wooden spoon, but expect a real workout doing it that way.

Put warm water in a large bowl. Add yeast and mix thoroughly. Add sugar and olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Add 2 cups of the flour and corn meal. Mix until a smooth batter forms. Add flour one cup at a time, mix thoroughly before adding the next cup, until 3 cups have been added. Add half of the remaining cup of flour, mix and turn out onto a floured board to knead. Knead dough, adding flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and not real sticky. The amount of flour you'll use depends on the humidity and temperature, so the flour amount is not exact. Roll dough into a ball. Oil the inside of a a large bowl. Put dough in the bowl, then turn over. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise.

Because of the two packets of rapid rise yeast used, the dough should double in size in about 30 minutes. Punch the dough down, and let rise again. Punch down dough, and it is ready to use. This versatile dough can be used for pizza, Italian bread, stromboli, calzone, or focaccia.
Substitute 1-2 cups of whole wheat flour for the white flour to get a slightly heavier and tasty dough.

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