One of the reasons people love our KettlePizza kits is because of the way the crust cooks up crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. But let’s step back for a minute and look at the crust before it’s cooked in our wood-fired pizza oven. Before it’s crust, it’s … dough.
The dough is a critical element when making pizza. This week Suzanne Lenzer, author of the soon-to-be-released book “Truly, Madly Pizza,” (Rodale) wrote in The New York Times about a recipe for homemade pizza dough that uses a food processor and your freezer to make the process so easy that, as Suzanne says, “pizza can become a habit.”
Whether you follow Suzanne’s recipe or another of our favorite dough recipes from the folks at Serious Eats, there are a few other considerations when making your own dough:
Flour – some folks aren’t picky about this and will use All-Purpose flour or whatever is on hand. Others swear that 00 or Semolina flours are the only ones to use. Others like to mix it up with a whole wheat flour once in a while.
Keep it pure – Pizza dough purists will say that ingredients should be kept to flour, water, salt and yeast. However, we’ve seen recipes that call for olive oil and/or sugar or honey, and some folks replace water with beer in their recipe.
Need to knead? – Most recipes call for kneading the dough while it’s rising (Lenzer’s recipe calls for “dimpling” the dough “like focaccia”) but most bakers know that over-handling the dough is a no-no, too. Nervous about kneading? Try this “no knead” recipe from Jim Lahey.
Mix-ins – We like this mouth-watering reader comment to the NYT article, “Want to jazz up your pizza dough? To Ms. Lenzer’s wonderful recipe, add to the dry ingredients in the processor bowl 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, (or the same quantity of “Italian herbs” from Costco or McCormick) and a little more than 1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes, no more. This works well with a typical Roman-style pie, topped with thin slices of parboiled potato, fresh rosemary sprigs pushed into the dough and topped with little chunklets of fontina or mozzarella, some parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.”
We’d love to hear what you think. What are your tips for making great-tasting homemade pizza dough?