Lesson One: Pizza
We chose Pizza for our first baking class because we receive so many requests asking how to make it. Too often if you bring home a frozen pizza or order it from a pizza parlor, it doesn’t taste as good as you imagined it would. When you learn how easy it is to make your own, you’ll never order it again as your own version will be so superior.
We’ll focus on the technique of kneading in this first class.
The equipment you will need:
- liquid measuring cup
- dry measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- table knife to level off the dry ingredients in the measuring cup and spoons
- sturdy spoon
- medium size mixing bowl
- thermometer that will register 120° to 130°F
Basic Pizza Dough
(makes two 12-inch pizzas)
- 2+1/2 cups flour
- 1 package (2+1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
- 1+1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup water (120°-130°F)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast and salt; mix well. Add warm water (120°-130°F) and oil. With spoon, mix until almost smooth. The dough will be the consistency of a pancake batter. Gradually stir in remaining flour to make a firm dough. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Pizza dough requires less kneading time than other bread dough.
Let rest 15 minutes.
*Please refer to the photos below for tips on kneading your dough. (Click on the image to view larger)
Meanwhile, prepare toppings for Pizza
Toppings for Pizza
(Use a prepared pizza sauce or make your own with this recipe.)
- Oregano, 1/4 teaspoon
- Basil, 1/4 teaspoon
- Black Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic Powder, 1/8 teaspoon
- Onion Powder, 1/8 teaspoon
- Parmesan cheese, grated, 2 teaspoons
- Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
- Tomato Puree, 1 can (10-3/4 ounces)
Mix all ingredients together. Makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas.
Baker’s Note: One teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion can be substituted for the oregano, basil, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
SUGGESTED PIZZA TOPPINGS
- Sliced ripe olives
- Sliced green olives
- Chopped green peppers
- Sliced mushrooms
- Chopped onions
- Cheese (all kind)
- Italian sausage
- Pepperoni slices
- Ground turkey, chicken or beef
- Vegetables of any kind, chopped or sliced thin
Divide dough into 2 parts. The crust can be shaped right in the pan. Place one section of dough in the center of a greased 12 or 14 -inch pizza pan or 9 x 12 -inch baking pan. With well-floured or greased fingers, working from the center out, push the dough toward the outside edge of the pan. If the dough doesn’t stretch easily, let it rest a couple of minutes and then press it out some more. You may have to repeat this a couple of times. If any holes or tears appear, repair by pinching dough together. Complete with your favorite toppings. Bake at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes until edge is crisp and light golden brown and cheeses are melted. Serve immediately.
BAKING TIP: You can par-bake the crust to 10 minutes at 400°F to save for toppings and further baking later. Be sure to generously prick the crust with a fork so that it doesn’t bubble too much while baking.
Using the same technique presented in this lesson, you can make the other Pizza recipes found in our recipe section of the web site.