My current dough recipe for pizza turns out inconsistent results. As my dad would say, "poor quality control." It's
probably the user, not the recipe. Thanks to Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, I have a new pizza dough recipe that I will stick to not only because it is delicious but because it has consistent results! The recipe below is adapted from Ina's "White Pizzas with Arugula" recipe. I have kept the dough recipe exactly the same but altered toppings based on what I had at home. I also changed up the cooking method. She baked hers in the oven at 500°F for 10-15 minutes, I grilled mine on medium-low (the grill read about 550°F).
Yield: 6 personal pizzas
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees. This part is very important! If the water is too warm, you'll end up killing your yeast!)
- 2 package of dry yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- good olive oil
- flavored olive oil as desired (I used red pepper olive oil and garlic olive oil)
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I only needed 3 1/2)
- sea salt
- 2 cups grated cheese (I used the chunks I had left in the fridge which today happened to be Pecorino Romano and Asiago)
- 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved (and foamy), add 3 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed for 10 minutes. While mixing, add up to one more cup of flour to avoid the dough from sticking to the bowl. The dough is ready when it is clumped into one smooth lump. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be a wonderful smooth and elastic pillow. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl (like the mixing bowl from earlier) and turn it to cover lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. I left mine for about an hour while I helped my husband plant vegetables in the garden, grated my cheese, and sauteed my mushrooms in red pepper olive oil.
After the dough has risen, divide it into six equal portions (I divided out two portions and wrapped the rest in wax paper, covered with a kitchen towel and stored it in the fridge. Per Ina, OK to use the dough immediately or refrigerate up to four hours). Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes covered with a damp towel (I forgot that part and it didn't dry out). Press and stretch each ball into an 8ish-inch circle (or 10ish-inch squarish circle like I did - I ended up using a rolling pin to get more even thickness). Brush pizzas with garlic olive oil, and sprinkle each one with salt.
Grill pizza for two minutes on low-medium heat. Dough should start to bubble and bottom should have grill marks and be lightly browned. Remove from heat, and with grilled side up, sprinkle pizzas evenly with grated cheese. Divide up sauteed mushrooms and artichokes between pizzas as well. Place back on grill for another 2 minutes, until cheese is melted and bottom is lightly browned. Crusts should be crisp (but not charred!).