A week or so ago, Randy had a couple of friends over for a night of manly bonding over manly video games and a car documentary. Clearly, a night full of bromance isn’t complete without pizza and rather than allowing them to order in, I offered to make it instead, selfishly wanting an excuse to delve into the world of homemade pizza dough anyhow. I wasn’t met with any complaints.
Rather than making the dough entirely by hand, as in, soaking the yeast myself, worrying about properly letting it rise, and all of those other fun bread making stresses, I opted to use the bread machine I borrowed from my mother a year ago and, well, have still not returned. Oops.
I made a test batch of dough on Monday, prior to the Manly Night of Manliness on Friday, only because the yeast we had on hand was a year old and showing an expiry date of earlier this summer. The bread flour I had on hand, also, was from the year before when I first borrowed the bread machine. So far, I wasn’t doing so well.
Regardless, I crossed my fingers, dropped in the ingredients and set the machine. An hour and a half later, I had perfectly risen, poofy, wonderful looking dough. Turns out, I was doing better than I thought – old yeast and flour be damned!
Once in the oven, however, our good looking, thin crust, became crisper than expected. I realised, afterwards, that I had actually used too much flour, having read the recipe incorrectly. Turns out, too much flour makes for a cracker-like crust. It was all still very nom nom nom, but just a bit… too much.
Since the recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas, I froze the second half, expecting to use it on Friday.
Then, I changed my mind. Big surprise.
Since Randy was having the fellas over, I invited a friend over myself, tempting her with homemade pizza in return for help making a large amount of homemade Reese peanut butter egg knock offs and peanut butter pretzel balls (posts to come on those, for sure!).
Having to feed five people, I opted to make a fresh batch of dough for two pizzas that night. The only problem was that I had run out of bread flour and had to use all purpose, as that’s all I had sitting around. Okay. That’s a flat out lie. I also had cake and pastry flour sitting around, but I wasn’t really looking to make pizza cake, despite that sounding really, really neat and possibly delicious.
The dough didn’t rise as much with the all purpose flour, but it stretched out much better than the bread flour dough. Seriously. The stretch factor had increased tenfold with the all purpose flour. I could hardly get the bread flour dough to stretch at all, having to mostly roll it out rather than letting it stretch into form naturally.
The all purpose dough also baked better, and didn’t turn into a cracker. Then again, I also used the proper amount of flour this time. I can’t really blame the bread flour for that since it was most likely my fault. Sorry, bread flour.
In the end? I prefer the all purpose flour dough, despite its inability to rise quite as much.
All purpose – 1. Bread flour – 0.
Easy Peasy Bread Machine Pizza Dough
(pulled from the Black & Decker bread machine recipe booklet and altered slightly)
1½ cups of water
1 tbsp honey or sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp salt
* garlic & onion powder to taste, if you’re like me and have an inability to just leave things plain and as they are
4¼ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp active dry or bread machine yeast
Ingredients are measured into the bread pan in the order listed. Drop the pan into the machine, select the Dough setting and wait!
Once complete, remove the dough from the pan onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a large mixing bowl, allowing the dough to rest for 10 minutes before splitting, stretching and making your pizza.
I baked the dough for about 3-5 minutes before moving ahead with toppings, after seeing one recipe online recommend this. I’m not sure if it made a huge difference in the long run, but it didn’t hurt either.
Now, homemade pizza dough isn’t complete without homemade pizza sauce. Well, it’s either that, or, I just couldn’t be bothered to run out to the grocery store to buy the pre-made stuff when I had a flat of tomato paste sitting around.
I’m not big on perfect measurements and prepare a lot of my foods to taste. After all, my taste buds are king, and I’m not leaving the flavour of my food to chance measurements. Keeping that in mind…
Easy Peasy Pizza Sauce
1 can (175ml) tomato paste
one clove of garlic (one clove has the potential to make the sauce very garlicy – you may want to use less if you’re not a big garlic fan like us!)
Add all spices to taste. I did not measure a single ingredient for this recipe and it turned out great, albeit, a little different each time, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
Once all of the core components are in the bowl, add a little bit of water at a time, mixing everything together until you reach your desired consistency. The first time I made it, I opted for a bit of a runnier sauce, but then chose to make a thicker sauce the next time around. It’s all about your own preference on this one.
When prepared to your liking, cover and store in the fridge for at least an hour before using. The longer you can let the sauce sit prior to use, the more the flavours infuse, making for an even tastier sauce which is what you want anyhow.1 Comment