Makes 2 Medium Pizzas, Each Serving 2-3 People
Author Notes: My friend and business partner Mitch Mandell has always been exceptionally proud of his pizza dough, and judging from the volume of email and comments we regularly receive about his recipe, a whole lot of people on the world wide web agree that his is the best pizza dough. I've been eating Mitch's pizza for years and while I will agree it is darn good, it isn't my personal idea of perfect pizza. While Mitch's dough makes a sweet, yeasty, thick crust, my idea of a perfect pizza is somewhere a cross between New York and Italian. In other words a crust with a chewy texture and just enough crispness to keep it from being floppy. And so, a friendly challenge began with Mitch telling me to let him know when I had come up with the perfect pizza crust. I worked on it for over a year, making small tweaks and changes, until I came up with this recipe. Even Mitch admitted that I had beat his, and that this, is now his favorite pizza crust. We predict once you try it, you won't be visiting your neighborhood pizzeria very often. Best of all, using your food processor, you can make this dough in less than five minutes!
A note on the ingredients:
In testing hundreds of pizzas, I have come to find that making the perfect crust comes down to details. For this recipe I use bread flour -- a hard wheat high gluten flour that makes this dough very elastic and gives it its chewy texture, along with semolina flour -- a whole grain hard wheat flour (the principle flour used in pasta making), that also helps to give this crust an authentic pizzeria taste and texture. Can you get away with using regular all-purpose flour instead? Yes, and while the finished product will still will be good, it won't be that elusive "perfect" pizza crust. If you're a true pizza lover, getting these two ingredients will be well worth your while. Both are available in well stocked supermarkets. King Arthur and Gold Medal are both frequently stocked brands of bread flour and Bob's Red Mill is the most frequently stocked brand of semolina I have found.
Using your food processor, you can make a perfect pizza dough in under 5 minutes with hardly any mess to your kitchen. Of course, you could also mix the dough in a heavy duty stand mixer, in a bread machine, or by hand (although the latter would be serious workout).
1 1/2 cups very warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
16 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) bread flour
3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
Place very warm water, yeast and sugar in food processor and pulse once or twice to mix.
While most recipes will tell you to use lukewarm water when making yeast dough, I find that by the time you take hot water, put it into a measuring cup and then into a food processor, it has cooled significantly.
I always use water that is almost too hot to the touch, and have always had great luck with this dough.
Let sit while you measure out the dry ingredients.
After 2-3 minutes you will see small bubbles forming in the liquid in the food processor, which indicates that your yeast is working.
Dump in the dry ingredients and turn on the food processor.
The machine will do all the work, including the kneading.
After about a minute the dough should form into a ball going around in your food processor.
Open the machine and take a look.
If you think the dough is too wet, you can add a bit a flour, but know that too wet is better than too dry, and the dough will loose some of its stickiness as it rises.
Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl.
Take the dough out of the food processor (putting a little olive oil on your hands will keep it from sticking) and form it into a ball.
Place in the bowl and turn to lightly coat with the olive oil.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm, draft free place for about an hour or until doubled in size, before rolling out and baking.
For a crust with a perfect pizzeria taste and texture, I recommend baking on a pizza stone in a very hot oven (500 - 550°F for about 10 -12 minutes).
Make several pizza doughs ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (the dough develops an even better flavor this way). let rise once, punch down, and store on a zipper tops gallon bag in fridge until ready to use.
Let dough come to room temperature before proceeding.
You also let the dough rise and freeze it for future use.
Thaw for a couple of days in the fridge or for about 4-6 hours on the counter.
Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
This looks like an easy way to make pizza dough. I would like to try this instead of the bread machine next time I make pizza. (JG)