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Mark Bittman's Basic Pizza Dough

"You can knead this dough with a mixer (use the dough hook) or by hand, but I like the food processor best.  The pizzas can be grilled or baked in an oven - the hotter the better (commercial pizza ovens are usually about 700°F).  This is the simplest, most basic pizza (and bread) dough you can make.  Olive oil makes a smoother, more flavorful dough and a slightly cracklier crust, but you can omit it if you like - just add a little more water to the dough if you do." Mark Bittman

  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 cups (about 14 ounces) all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
 

Method

Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 teaspoons salt in the container of a food processor.  Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons of oil through the feed tube.

Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.  If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds.  (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.)

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball.  Grease a bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough in it.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.  You can cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 to 8 hours.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month.  Defrost in a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

To make this dough by hand: Combine half the flour with the salt and yeast and stir to blend.  Add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons olive oil; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add remaining flour a bit at a time; when the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little four as possible - just enough to keep the dough from being a sticky mess.  Knead until smooth but still quite moist, about 10 minutes.  Proceed as above.

Makes 1 large or 2 or more small pizzas

Adapted with permission from How To Cook Everything 2009 Calendar click for calendar page

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