Monday, January 16, 2012


via flickr bellzatk

Here's a recipe for a different kind of pie... pizza for one. This is my go-to recipe for a small batch pizza dough when I'm in the mood for a slice or two. I keep mine simple - tomato sauce and cheese. In New York, we call that a regular slice.

Small Batch Pizza Dough
1/2 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1/2 cup warm water (110ºF / 45º C)
1 cup *bread flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
*substitute all-purpose flour
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, olive oil, salt, sugar and yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Continue stirring the mixture until it forms into a stiff ball-shaped dough. Let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Dump the contents onto a floured surface and knead the dough, using the instructions below.
Kneading & Forming a Pizza Dough:
  1. To knead the dough, use the heal of your hand to push the furthest edge away from you. Then, fold it back on top of the rest of the dough.
  2. Turn the dough 90 degrees, and do this again. Repeat the process for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic. Whenever the dough becomes too sticky, just dust both your hands and counter with more flour.
  3. Kneading helps to develop the dough's gluten, so if you don't knead enough the dough won't rise properly, creating a dense crust. But kneading too much causes the gluten to become tough, which will make the crust tough too. To check you've kneaded enough, press two fingers into the dough. If the indentation stays after you take your fingers away, then you're done kneading.
  4. Now that the dough is done being kneaded, it needs to rise. Place the dough ball back into the mixing bowl and cover it with plastic. Let dough rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Use the indentation test to see if the dough has finished rising. If the indentations remain, the dough is ready to roll out. Use the below instructions for rolling and shaping the dough.
Rolling & Shaping the Dough into a Pizza Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and form the dough into a smooth mound. Use a few gentle punches to deflate the dough, then pinch and press it out into a circle. Stretch gently to avoid tearing. Continue stretching and patting the dough until it's about 9-inches in diameter. Be sure to pick the disc up occasionally so it doesn't stick to the surface. If you want a more uniform disc, you can use a rolling pin to form it.
  3. Throw cornmeal onto a pizza pan, then place the dough disc onto the pan. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings; bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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