Pizza Dough from Scratch Plus Fresh Tomato Sauce is the way to go!
Are you ready to make your very own, from scratch pizza? That’s just what we’re gonna do in today’s post. Let the foodie adventures in pizza making begin!
Let’s start with the pizza dough. For this post, I decided to embark on the ever elusive perfect pizza dough. I’ve made my own and tried several recipes over the years but for this adventure, I was after that amazing fluff, flavor, texture and body that you get from a pizza pie that comes right to your door within a half an hour of dialing a phone number. I wanted restaurant quality!
Thinking back to my early teens when worked for a pizza joint, I was recalling what I knew about pizza. I learned a lot but I never learned how they made the dough. Why? Because it was shipped in. It came in these big boxes that had pre-weighed balls of dough wrapped in individual plastic baggies. In other words, not made fresh in the facility. But it was soooo good! So why did it taste so yummy if it was old? It was aged. Ah! That’s the key!
Now if you’re just in a mood for a pizza and don’t wanna go through all the trouble of the “this and that’s” of proper pizza dough what-nots, then by all means, don’t worry. The recipe I have included down below is fine, however you decide to make it. I’ve even mixed the dough up and slapped it on the pan to bake without letting it rise, proof or any of that. You’ll just have a flatter crust and sometimes that’s all you need. Just dissolve the yeast in the water (105 degrees F.) and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
In my pizza week adventure, I did a few different dough experiments. (Yes we had pizza every night, five nights in a row!) Don’t worry, no one here complained. 🙂
The first few batches of the recipe I’ve included down below were mixed up in my recently acquired bread maker and the next few batches were done with a traditional stand mixer. It didn’t really make much of a difference other than the fact that using the bread maker makes it easier on clean up, temperature guess work and timing.
With the bread maker, it’s got a setting on it for mixing and raising your dough without actually cooking it. You just put the ingredients in, close the lid and let it do the work for you. The thing I like about it so much is that you don’t have to worry about drafts in your kitchen or temperature control. Once you close the lid, you’ve got the perfect little, climate controlled box for your dough. Nifty, huh?
An hour and twenty minutes later, your dough is done and ready to shape into pizza pies or (as in experiment #2, age in the fridge)
After the dough finished rising and proofing, I immediately heated up the oven and shaped my pies. For this one, I made four individual servings in an attempt to make pizza crusts that you can store in the freezer for that, “I’m starving and want pizza now!” feeling. You know, so you can take it out, cover with toppings and pop in the oven for your “quick, pizza craving” convenience.
The outcome? Not bad at all. Especially if you’ve got a 15 year old HUNGRY boy that will just “die” if he doesn’t eat RIGHT NOW and could give less than a screech owl’s hoot about how fluffy the crust turned out.
You can just store the pre-made, already baked crusts in a large zip top baggie in the freezer.
On the second batch, I used the bread maker again to mix, rise and proof the dough.
- This recipe makes two 12 inch pizza doughs or four individual 6 inch doughs.
Instead of immediately shaping the dough and baking it, I wrapped it in plastic and placed it in the refrigerator to let it ferment and age.
– Note: Use large zip top baggies or place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic. Otherwise, like me, you’ll have dough all over your refrigerator shelf. Not fun to clean up.
I let these dough balls sit in the fridge for three days. Now, you can freeze the dough once you’ve aged it, if you like. You’ll just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw out for a few hours before shaping it into place. I didn’t try that this time but I plan on it next time I make a few batches of pizza dough.
The difference between #1 dough and #2 dough?
Dough #2 was much easier to handle when shaping and the flavor and the texture was much better. It had a richer bread crust and was lighter, fluffier and had a chewier texture. Now we’re talking! That’s exactly what I was after!
You can refrigerate/ferment your dough up to five days. I’ve read that any longer than that will give you an off taste.
If you don’t have a bread maker, you’ll need a mixer that’s strong enough to handle the heaviness of the dough. And if you don’t have a mixer, you can just use good ol’ fashioned elbow grease like I did back in my early days of cooking.
For this method, you’ll put your ingredients in bowl of your mixer, fitted with a dough hook and mix at low speed until the dough comes together, scraping down the sides in between. Then you’ll turn the speed up to medium and let the mixer go for about five minutes.
Once the dough is finished mixing and has a nice even smoothness, you’ll pour a little bit of olive oil on it and turn it to coat the entire thing.
Cover with plastic and let it rise in a room temperature, draft free place. An unheated oven is ideal.
It’ll rise to about double the original size in an hour. At this point, you can go ahead and shape it out, top it and bake it but like experiment #2 revealed, letting it age in the fridge for a couple of days will give you a better flavor and texture.
Since we’re making pizza from scratch, we need a delicious sauce. You can use what ever brand you like but if you’re like me, you’ll want to make your own. Honestly, no sauce I’ve ever tried from a jar or a can can compare to a freshly made sauce that comes right from your own kitchen.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need: Butter, grated onion, salt, crushed tomatoes, sugar, anchovy paste, oregano and garlic.
Don’t wince at that anchovy paste. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a bazillion times more, it makes the sauce go from good to fan-freaking-tastic! Plus, you’ll never know it’s in there. It just gives it the umph it needs. Trust me.
So you’ll heat a skillet up, melt the butter, add the anchovy paste (it’ll disintegrate on contact), add the onions and saute till soft, add the garlic and cook one minute more.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Wha-La! The perfect sauce for your pizza!
Now all you need is some yummy toppings and your favorite cheese.
Ready to make your own homemade delicious pizza yet? Well what are you waiting for? 🙂
In my opinion, one of the best things about making a pizza dough like this and letting it age in the fridge is the convenience of it all. I don’t know about you but I’m a pretty darn busy person. By the time Friday rolls around, I’m done with cooking. I want something quick, delicious and satisfying for dinner. Pizza is perfect! But to be honest, I hate ordering out. So on a Monday, or a Wednesday, I can make these guys up, whip up the sauce while I’m waiting and have ’em all ready for that “big-easy” unwind dinner.
That’s it for today friends. Make it a fabulous one and as always, keep it delicious!
Till next time ~ much love, Connie
- Basic Pizza Dough:
- 1-3/8 C water
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 C all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for coating the dough when it's finished processing)
- Homemade Pizza Sauce:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
- 1/4 C grated onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- Basic Pizza Dough for the Bread Maker:
- Place all ingredients except the olive oil into bread pan, close lid and choose the settings on the bread maker according to manual instructions for dough.
- Once the dough has finished proofing, separate into two equal portions and shape each one into a ball. For each dough ball, place on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pen to shape into two 12 inch pies. Cover each with toppings and bake in a 400 degree F. oven until the cheese is melted and the outer crust is golden brown.
- * Olive oil is only needed if you will be aging your dough after using the bread maker method.
- Stand mixer instructions:
- Place all ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with dough hook. Turn the speed on to low, scraping the sides down as needed. Once the dough comes together, turn the speed up to medium and mix for 5-6 minutes. The dough should be consistently smooth throughout and not sticking to the sides. If needed, add a little flour. Place the dough in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Turn to coat. Cover with plastic and place in a warm, draft free area. (an unheated oven is ideal) Once the dough has finished proofing, separate into two equal portions and shape each into a ball. For each dough ball, place on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pen to shape into two 12 inch pies. Cover each with toppings and bake in a 400 degree F. oven until the cheese is melted and the outer crust is golden brown.
- Fermenting and aging your dough:
- For both methods, place the dough in a large bowl. (if using bread maker method, drizzle with olive oil, turn to coat.) Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Take the dough out and allow it to warm up for 30 minutes before handling. Separate into two equal portions and proceed with rolling and baking instructions as described above.
- Homemade Pizza Sauce:
- Heat a large, shallow skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the anchovy paste. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over med/low heat for 30 minutes.
Recipes by: Connie Murray @Happybellyfoodie.com