Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pizza / Calzone Dough

Note: over the years I have tweaked this recipe little-by-little. I think I've finally found the perfect pizza crust (at least for my household). I've amended this recipe to what I now do.

My friend A shared this delicious pizza dough recipe. It's so easy, and only takes 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise. I've used this for thin and thick crust pizza...haven't tried it for calzones yet, but I bet it works great. 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg regular or quick active yeast (2.25 tsp)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup very warm water (120 - 130 F)

Note: while healthier, it does affect the density of your crust. I like to include at least a 1/2 cup, sometimes more. All white flour will be a much lighter crust. To make a more flavorful crust, sprinkle in some garlic powder and oregano.
1. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

2. Add oil and warm water.

3. Mix the ingredients well with a spoon or fork.

4. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 - 8 mins. or until dough is smooth and springy.

6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Continue as directed below for thin or thick crusts.

Note: we usually divide the dough in half and make one thin crust pizza that night and reserve the other half for later in the week. Dough will keep in the frige for 3-4 days.

Thin crusts: Heat oven to 400*. Grease a cookie sheets or pizza stone. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough until it's approximately a 14-16" circle. Place dough on stone. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Add toppings and cheese and bake at 350* until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thick crusts: Grease 2 9" square pans or 9" round pans with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half. Pat each half in bottom of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 30 - 45 mins or until almost doubled in size. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375, partially bake 20 - 22 mins or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake at 345 for 20 mins.

Calzones: make Pizza Crust disregarding thin/thick and let dough rest 30 mins. Heat oven to 375 and grease 2 cookie sheets with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Divide dough into 6 equal parts. On lightly floured surface, roll each part into 7" circle with floured rolling pin. Top half of each dough circle with desired toppings within 1" of edge. Sprinkle with pepper or basil, if desired. Carefully fold dough over filling; pinch edges or press with fork to seal securely. Place calzones on cookie sheets and brush with egg (1 large egg, slightly beaten). Bake 25 mins. until golden brown.

Makes a large pizza when rolled out for a thin crust pizza.  Based on 8 slices per pizza, this crust is 91 calories per slice.

Bon Appetit!
The Food Whore

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