Time to make the Pizza

Yummy looking pizza

Making pizza is a process.  In previous posts, I have covered preparing the yeast, and making the dough.  In this post we complete the process.

This is the easy part, just roll out your dough, put it in the pans, add the sauce and the toppings and cook it.

I generally set my oven between 450 and 500, but if you are going to do a deep dish you will need a lower temperature.  The top shelf is going to be hotter on the top and cooler on the bottom, the bottom shelf is going to be hotter on the bottom and cooler on the top.  Ideally you would only cook one pie at a time in a standard oven, but who has time for that.  You just need to learn to work with your oven.

 

Making Pizza Dough

Yummy looking pizza

There are many ways and types of pizza dough.  This is the one that my mom taught me, and that I have adapted to use whole wheat flour.  Pizza dough isn’t hard, it just needs time and attention to the temperatures.

In my post on starting your yeast culture, I go into the details about how to get your yeast right so that your dough has the best opportunity to turn out right.  That is the first step.  The second step is the dough, I cover that in the video below.

Ingredients are simple:

Yeast Mixture:

  • Yeast – about 1/2 TBS
  • Sugar – Just a pinch to get the yeast growing
  • Water – 2 cups at between 105 and 115 degrees
  • Olive Oil – about 1/3 cup more or less

Preheat your oven for 1 minute to make it warm, then turn off the heat.  You do not want the oven hot, but you want it warm so the dough can rise.

After you have the yeast growing, then you put it in a Mixer Bowl and add:

  • 2 Cups whole Wheat Flour and mix with the dough hook until mixed well
  • About 4 cups of unbleached all purpose or bread flour – the actual amount will depend upon the way the dough mixes.

Warm a large bowl with hot water, then dry and coat with olive oil or spray.

Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth (not wet, just damp), and place it in the warm oven.  Let it sit for an hour or hour and a half until the dough has risen to twice the original size.

Take dough out and divide.  This can be used for two large pizzas with a thicker dough, two deep crust pizzas, or three thin crust pizzas.

Roll the dough out so that it will fit your pans.  Then, if you want thin crust, add toppings.  If you want thicker crust pan pizza, put it in the oven and let it rise again.  You will need to watch it to see when it has risen to the level you want.

Preheat oven to 450

Add Pizza Sauce and toppings.

Put pizza(s) in oven for 20 minutes (start checking after 15 min. just in case).  Watch the cheese, and the color of the crust to tell when it is done.  The crust will start turning brown when it is getting done.  You can put a fork under the crust to get an idea of how crispy it is.  Everyone has different preferences, so the amount of time you spend is a trial and error approach.

Starting a Yeast Culture for your Dough

Growing Yeast
Growing Yeast
Yeast actively growing

The key to getting good yeast dough is getting the yeast growing.  It isn’t hard, it just requires attention to temperatures to get it right.  In this video Doc T shows you how to get that yeast started so that you have the ever crucial foundation for any of your yeast doughs.

Ingredients:

  • Active Dry Yeast – about 1/2 TBSP.
  • Water at between 105 and 115 F. – Depends upon dough recipe, in demo we use 2 cups
  • Sugar – a good pinch
  • Olive Oil – Optional, depends upon recipe that yeast will be used in.

Irish Soda Bread

Sliced loaf of Irish Soda Bread

Around St. Patrick’s Day every year, my wife Tina, being the fine Irish Lady that she is, gets a hankering for some good old fashioned Irish Soda Bread.  I have made this a number of times over the year with good results, but this year I put some additional research into it.

My desire was for a soda bread with dried fruit (raisins) and caraway seeds.  I trolled the Internet and found a lot of recipes, and they varied a lot.  I combined the best of what I thought were good ideas and made the soda bread you see in the video below.  Tips and ingredients are included below the video.

Continue reading “Irish Soda Bread”