I found out a little late, but yes, today — Feb. 9 — is National Pizza Day. Of course, it seems like every day of the year is National Something or Another, but pizza has always been one of my favorite things to make. It’s a great party entree, perfect for a small dinner when you size it down … and you know. It’s PIZZA!
So to celebrate, here’s a recipe for pizza dough that I’ve used for several years. It’s trusted, true, and makes enough to either prep 2 pizzas for a party or 4 pizzas for two!
Perfect Pizza Dough
- 1 lb bread flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey or sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 8 oz water, room temperature
- Optional: fresh cracked pepper, herbs
- Selection of delicious sauces and toppings
Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and combine the flour, oil, honey (or sugar), salt, and yeast in the bowl.
Pour in the water and mix on low speed until combined, 1-2 minutes.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough becomes a pretty tight ball. It should be a little tacky, but should not stick to the bowl.
Spray a large mixing bowl (at least twice the size of the dough) with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the dough in the bowl and roll it around, coating all sides.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and ferment. You have 2 options here:
• Room temperature: Place the covered bowl in a slightly warm area and let the dough rise for 2-4 hours.
• Refrigerator: If you don’t have time to let the dough ferment at room temperature, or would like a slightly-sweet dough, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before working with it. Bring up to room temperature before working with the dough.
Once you’re ready to divide the dough, lightly flour your work surface. Place the dough on it and divide it into 4 (for pizzas that will serve 2 people 2 slices) or 2 (for a pizza that will fit a traditional pizza pan).
Wrap the dough pieces up in plastic wrap and freeze what you’re not using.
For the piece of dough you are using, shape it and place it on a lightly floured pizza pan (or use a pizza stone, if that’s your thing).
To bake, heat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Prebake the crust with nothing on it for 5 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven, add your toppings, and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes (or until your cheese is either melty or golden, depending on your cheese).