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Pizza Dough

Yield: 2 pizzas, about 12-14" diameter, or 8 individual-sized pizzas, about 6-7" diameter.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teapsoons SAF instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1-1/4 C + 2 T warm water
[option: chopped herbs, roasted garlic, chopped sundried tomatoes, etc.]

Method

Put all ingredients except water in food processor with steel blade in place. Process for a few seconds, then pour the water slowly into the chute, a quarter cup at a time. Process until the dough comes together into a ball and starts to ride around on the blade.  The dough should be somewhat dry, but not too stiff. Sometimes, due to humidity or whatever, you have to adjust by adding a little more flour or water. This becomes easy with practice.

Turn out on board and divide into two balls, one for each pizza.

Roll each ball in some olive oil and place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hrs.

Put the stone in the oven if it's not there already and preheat to 450º. Then roll or stretch by hand the risen dough into pizza shells. Spread a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal over the peel and place one of the shells on it. [If you are making two, spread some cornmeal on a clean section of counter or cutting board and lay out the second one there.] Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise 1/2 hour.

Add toppings and bake for 10 minutes at 450º. Lower the heat to 400º and bake 8 - 10 more minutes or until starting to brown. 

Equipment

Pizza Stone   A ceramic platter that the pizza sits on in the oven. Get the largest one that fits in your oven and get a second one if possible. Can stay in the oven all the time. Preheat for at least half an hour before the pizza goes in.

Peel   A big wooden paddle, for sliding the pizza in and out of the oven. The size should be slightly smaller than your stone. If you wash it with water it will warp, making it less useful. I just wipe mine with a kitchen towel. If you do want to wash it now and then with water, be sure to wet both sides evenly and then dry it as well as you can with a towel.

Food Processor   Of course there was pizza thousands of years before food processors. But my dough recipe, developed for the food processor, is so easy you'll want to go out and buy that processor. 

Pizza Knife  This wheel-bladed knife is also not essential but it's fun to use. Get a good one that will hold an edge as they are difficult to hone.

Note: in my new low-carb diabetes regimen, I've been making a thinner, slightly crunchier crust than I was before so I've cut the dough quantity in half in this recipe. This reduces the carbs in a slice (1/8 pie) from about 59 grams to about 28.5 grams.  (If you're an old fan of Stephencooks' pizzas and don't need to watch the carbs as I do, feel free to double the above quantities for two pizzas. It's tried and true and very popular.) September, 2009.

Nutritional Estimate 10 slices, crust only. Per slice: 145 Calories; 30 g Total Carbs; 1 g Dietary Fiber; 0 g Sugars; 0 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 291 mg Sodium; 4 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 4 points.

 

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