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Friday, February 27, 2009

HTEAC Does Dinner: Alton Brown's Pizza Dough

I wish I could start this entry by showing you my yummy dance. However, I haven't had my shower today, and I don't think I'd be too cute in front of a camera! The yummy dance is an involuntary reaction I have whenever I taste something rrreeeaaalllyyy yummy! And last night my yummy dance was brought on by Alton Brown's pizza dough! I am new to pizza dough, and until recently I've put my faith in the America's Test Kitchen recipe I made here. That all changed when I saw the episode of Good Eats about pizza dough. I was interested to see what kind of difference it makes when you let your dough rise for 24 hours instead of 1 1/2 hours. Folks, the answer is ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! Alton Brown's dough produced a very flavorful, chewy crust. It was everything I love about pizza crust. I doubled the recipe and made 2 12-inch pizzas. Even though he suggests not using rapid rise yeast, I did anyway because I didn't have regular instant yeast on hand. He warns that rapid rise yeast will basically produce a monstrous piece of dough that will attack Ken and Barbie in their kitchen. I saw no such thing and had great results with the rapid rise yeast! I also read the reviews on the Food Network website, and I cut back on the amount of salt and sugar.

I didn't get really great pictures, because I was expecting company and was kinda in a rush to get the pizzas in the oven. But here are a few pics and a video from the dough making process.

First, the dough has to knead in a mixer for 15 minutes. My mixer was bouncing all over the counter! And of course, I'm a tard, and I recorded it sideways. OOPS!
This is the window pane test. After 15 mins of kneading in the mixer, you should be able to stretch a piece if dough to a thin membrane without it tearing. Sorry about the lighting! Ready to go in the fridge for an 18-24 hour rise! After rising in the fridge for 24 hours, the dough should be about 1.5x it's original size. The dough needs to rest for 30 mins before being stretched out.

For the sauce, I kinda made up my own recipe.
Basic Pizza Sauce
Makes enough for 2 12-inch pizzas, plus some for dipping!

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatos, drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes, optional

Simmer all ingredients over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Pour sauce into a food processor and pulse until it reaches the texture you desire. I like a slightly chunky sauce!

This is a double batch of Alton Brown's recipe with some minor adaptions.
Pizza Dough
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas

4 tablespoons sugar (I reduced it to 3)
2 tablespoons kosher salt (I reduced it to 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (approx. 110 degrees F)
4 cups bread flour (approx. 22 ounces)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (rapid rise worked for me!)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, for the bowl (This was too much; just use enough to coat the dough ball)
Olive oil, for the pizza crust
Flour, for dusting the pizza peel (I baked mine on parchment, so I didn't need any extra flour)

Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, half of flour, yeast, and remaining flour into the mixer's work bowl.

Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed (I mixed on speed 4, not quite medium). Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker's windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Split the pizza dough into 2 equal parts using a knife or a dough scraper. Flatten into a disk onto the countertop and then fold the dough into a ball.

Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface. Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover one ball with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes. Repeat the steps with the other piece of dough. If not baking the remaining pizza immediately, spray the inside of a ziptop bag with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.

Place the pizza stone or tile onto the bottom of a cold oven and turn the oven to its highest temperature, about 500 degrees F (I put my pizza stone in the lower half of my oven, not the lowest rack). If the oven has coils on the oven floor, place the tile onto the lowest rack of the oven.

(I don't have a peel, so for this next step I stretched my dough to a 12-inch round on the counter, no extra flour needed. Then I put it on a piece of parchment to dress it. I put the parchment directly on the pizza stone.) Sprinkle the flour onto the peel and place the dough onto the peel. Using your hands, form a lip around the edges of the pizza. Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare. Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure that it will slide onto the pizza stone or tile (or bake it on parchment like I did). Dress and bake the pizza immediately for a crisp crust or rest the dough for 30 minutes if you want a chewy texture. (I baked mine immediately and still got a chewy crust.)

Brush the rim of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza sauce thinly onto the pizza and top with whatever you like. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.


Anonymous said...

I will try this one next weekend; this week I am making the pizza that I saw on Martha Stewart yesterday with Jim Lahey. I made his no knead bread for at least the last year and a half, and love it. So I wanted to try his pizza too. I know from the no knead bread that letting your dough rise for 18 to 24 hours enhances it beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

The best pizza book is Peter Reinhart's "American Pie". He has several different recipes...the key to flavor is the overnight rise. I've even used left over dough for making cinnamon breakfast rolls.

Dani said...

i usually stick to the packets of pizza flour for my crust, but maybe i should up my game next time and make my own... :)

A Slice of Concentrated Love said...

And I must say it was very yummy and worthy of the yummy dance.

Varsha Vipins said...

its ma first time here..lovely space u have..:)
That step by step pics are so useful..Thanks for this..I am longing to make a pizza now..:)

Treehouse Chef said...

I have been wanting to make my own pizza for awhile now. I trust your opinion so I will give Alton's recipe a try. I wonder if you can make the pizza dough and let it rise then freeze for a later time. BTW- I love your orange kitchen Aid. I am jealous!!

4handfulls said...

I look forward to trying this recipe. I have tried several pizza doughs and so far I have none that is my "go to" recipe!

Steph said...

I don't think I could let my mixer bounce around like that... it totally freaks me out! That's why I don't make bread or dough anymore. I'm really missing out on some yummy food, but I can't risk the KA..haha

Moy said...

Maybe I'm am little lost here but what happened to your coffee cupcake you were working on? I have been so looking forward to it. I also love that orange Kitchen Aid.

Elyse said...

MMM! I have never made pizza dough, but I sure love pizza. And I know two things about making pizza dough: I trusty you and I trust Alton Brown. So, if the two of you are on the same page, then I'm there with you. This dough sounds great. Can't wait for a chance to make it!

Ingrid said...

I've not made pizza dough before but my honey has when we first got out food processor. He made bread and everything.

I really need to get over my fear of yeast & stop being so lazy!

Maria said...

Homemade pizza is the best!! Nice job!!

veggievixen said...

i love making pizza dough!!

ARLENE said...

I'm going to try this dough. The dough we made for a Daring Bakers' challenge wasn't the best I've eaten, though it was easy. This sounds yummy.

Sara said...

Yum, this looks very tasty! :)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Moy, scroll down... I made TWO coffee cupcakes for IronCupcake this month! :D

veggievixen said...

i've found agave at whole foods, but i'm sure they also have it at local food co-ops.

CookiePie said...

YUM - homemade pizza dough is the best - I bet this was delicious!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Homemade pizza rules, you can't beat making your own and yours looks delish! I'm doing a little dance here too ;0)

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

I made this dough exactly how it said, but it didn't rise in the fridge. I have now done the rest of the directions (rolling and letting it rest for 30 minutes, etc)and have now set it in the fridge again, not knowing what else to do! Should I let it sit out for a few hours, or is the yeast already dead?
Thank you!

Sarah Schneider said...

I make Alton's pizza dough almost every week! I always wanted to double it but was afraid. Well I followed your instructions and so glad I did! In addition to the 2 personal pan sizes I also was able to make 11 breadsticks and our own version of Papa John's cinnapie!

Anonymous said...

I make this all the time but I am wondering if it would do well in my bread machine on the dough cycle. Has anyone tried this in a bread machine yet? Thank you!