Yes, I said it. SIMPLE. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I usually struggle with yeast dough, and I find some can be complicated. As much as I love homemade pizzas, I just can’t ever seem to find the time for complex dough recipes unless my son and I plan to eat our pizzas at ten pm. I’ve been working on a simple recipe that wouldn’t take too much time, and I’ve finally hit on the right combination. I hope you give it a shot and let me know what you think!
First, you have to get your yeast activated. The recommended temperature to activate the yeast is 110 F, but I’ve found using just a bit warmer water gives the yeast a chance to get creamier before the water cools. What I do is run the water until it’s slightly warm on the inside of my wrist, rather than neutral. You need one cup of water, and 2 1/4 tsp or one envelope of active dry yeast in a small bowl. Because this is a simple and quick recipe, I use the fast-acting one. Let the yeast mixture sit for roughly ten minutes while you prepare the other ingredients you’ll need for your creation.
Measure two cups of bread flour into a large mixing bowl. You can use regular enriched flour, or a mixture of equal parts whole wheat and white flour. (I prefer the lighter texture of the bread flour.) Make a well in the center, making sure there is still flour at the bottom of the bowl.
As you see, I use a VERY technical form of measurement for the other ingredients, which are 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp of sugar. Add these to the center of the well you made, and do NOT mix. The yeast mixture we’ll add later needs to make full contact with the sugar.
I should add that I made this recipe late in the evening, so the yellowish light you see is because I had to use my range-hood light to help you see what I was up to!
Once the yeast mixture has been activated, and looks fairly creamy, give it a quick stir with a fork, and add it to the center of the well in your flour mixture.
As I mentioned in the photo, be very careful not to over mix your dough. At this stage, all you want to do is make sure all the dry ingredients are mixed with the wet ones. The dough will look a bit rough, not one of those nice smooth dough balls you see in other recipes.
Once your dough is combined, put a bit of oil on your hands, and just lightly coat the top. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or paper towel so the dough won’t dry and let it rise until it’s doubled. It took about half an hour.
For this dough, it’s not necessary to knead until your arms are near falling off. Simply knead it three or four times just until you feel the elasticity, and the surface is a bit more uniform.
I would suggest cooking in a 450 degree oven. Depending on what toppings you use, it only needs to cook for about twelve minutes! I really hope you give this a try, and enjoy it as much as I did!
Watch for the next post where I turned this dough recipe into Panzerotti! They were amazing!