I think one of the most soothing and relaxing things for me to do is to work with yeast dough. A few years ago I was hesitant about making anything with yeast. It was intimidating. And it seemed like a lot of work. All that kneading and waiting for stuff to rise. But I decided to conquer that fear because of my love for all things yeast-y. I’m kinda impatient. I think dough is helping me learn patience. And it’s a bit of a stress reliever too. Who knew the power of dough? Now y’all know I have no problem using a store-bought pizza dough. I use it often in fact. But sometimes, when I have the time, I like to make it up from scratch. It turns an ordinary pizza night into something just a little more special. There is something so basic about handling a ball of dough and the smell of yeast. Not sure what it is but it makes me happy. So if you’re intimidated by yeast or the thought of kneading dough makes you tired just thinking about it, follow me. I’ll walk you through this and pizza dough is a great place to start for beginners.
cornmeal, for sprinkling on pizza pan
They sell it in individual packets and in jars.
- 3/4 cup very warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp fast acting yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups bread flour
- 2/3 cups semolina flour
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- cornmeal, for sprinkling on pizza pan
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine your warm water with yeast and sugar.
- Let it rest for about 5 minutes (this gives the yeast time to “bloom”)
- In a medium bowl, combine your bread flour, semolina flour and salt together.
- Add in olive oil and your yeast mixture once it's ready.
- Give it all a good stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until combined and form it into a ball.
- Put dough ball onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
- It should start to come together and get smooth and elastic.
- In a glass bowl, pour in a tad bit of olive oil and spread it around.
- Then put your dough ball in your greased bowl.
- At this point, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for up to a day (it will rise a bit in the fridge) or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Cover the bowl with a dampened, clean kitchen towel and stick your bowl in a warm spot to rise for about an hour (or until doubled in size).
- I like to warm my oven up to 175F degrees, then turn it off.
- Then I'll stick my bowl in there. It's a nice, warm, draft free place for the dough to rise.
- Just make sure if you use that technique that you are using oven-safe bowls.
- After your dough has risen, it's time to make your pizza.
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
- Spray your pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with corn meal.
- Your dough ball will deflate as you start handling the dough.
- Now just start spreading your dough out into the shape of your pizza pan.
- I like to roll my edges up so I have thicker edge on the crust.
- Slather on all the toppings you like, then pop into the oven for about 15-17 minutes.