If you read any food blogs, you’ll see that almost everyone has their favorite pizza dough recipe. This is mine, and boy do we love it. The mix of semolina flour and bread flour gives it a crispy brown crust with a chewy interior. Pizza is a very easy thing to make from scratch, and it tastes so great. We hardly order pizza anymore. There are so many things you can do with pizza dough. We love to make pizza, calzones, pizza rolls, pepperoni rolls, breadsticks, and garlic knots. The beauty of most pizza dough recipes is that they make enough for two pizza pies or a lot of calzones and even more rolls and breadsticks. You can stick the extra dough in the freezer, and it becomes an easy weeknight meal. All you have to do is pull it out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw and come to room temperature.
It’s best to weigh the flours so you get exact amounts. If you don’t have a scale or don’t want to buy one, the dough should be slightly sticky/borderline tacky (your finger barely sticks to the dough when you touch it), so keep adding more flour or water to get it there.
The sauce recipe is my favorite because it tastes so fresh and you don’t have to precook it. If you’re a little weirded out by the lemon juice, don’t be. I was skeptical because I am not a lover of lemon, but it adds such a great fresh and bright taste to the sauce. It’s incredible. You’ll love this sauce recipe. Pizza Dough
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6 ounces (about 1 cup) semolina flour
16 ounces (about 3 1/4 cups) bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
You can make this dough in a stand mixer or by hand. I usually start it in the hand mixer and finish it by hand.
Combine the yeast, sugar, garlic, and water in a bowl and allow yeast to dissolve. Add flour and mix to combine. Let the dough rest for a few minutes to give the yeast time to work. Add the oil and salt and mix to combine. Mix using the bread hook until it’s soft and elastic OR knead by hand until the dough is soft and elastic. I've found that the oil keeps you from being able to fully knead the dough, so I usually plop the dough on the counter, add a touch of flour, and knead it for a couple of minutes until it's smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let it rise about an hour or until it’s doubled in size. I like to cover my rising bread with shower caps that my friends pick up at hotels. They're easy to slip on and they're reusable.
Split into two pieces and shape or place in freezer bags to use later. Pizza Sauce
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a covered container in the fridge for one week or store what you don't use in the freezer. To Make the Pizza
While the dough is rising, move an oven rack to the top rung, place your pizza stone on it (if you have one), and preheat your oven as high as it will go (usually about 550 degrees). This will give you the best tasting pizza. It comes at a price, though, because your house probably will smell like you just cleaned your oven. At least mine did. So now I bake it at 530 degrees. The pizza toppings don't get as crispy and brown, but it’s a nice compromise. You’ll want to let the oven preheat for at least an hour.
Stretch the dough into a 10-12 inch circle with thicker edges using plenty of flour or cornmeal for dusting. I put my dough onto a floured piece of parchment paper that I can slide on top of my pizza stone. Add sauce, cheese, and any other toppings. Slide the pizza onto the stone or place your baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until browned and bubbling. Make sure to let it cool first so you don't lose a layer of skin from the roof of your mouth!
Source: Pizza dough barely adapted from Cook Street Cooking School. Sauce recipe barely adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day