Tom's famous pizza recipe!

I've changed my recipe since I got my 525W KitchenAid mixer. That thing really cranks through the kneeding process! :-)

Ingredients (makes two pizzas)
3½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tblsp olive oil
1 pkg yeast
1 egg optional; sometimes I skip it, sometimes I just use the egg white by itself,
sometimes I just chuck the whole thing in there (but not the shell, of course!)

Note: The original recipe called for 1tsp sugar but I never put that in anymore.

I find that handing the yeast right makes all the difference in the world. Forget what you hear anyplace else and just do it this way:

Put ¼ tsp sugar in a small bowl. Then add the package of yeast and mix it up. Then let the water run as hot as you can get it out of the faucet. Measure ¼ cup of this hot water and pour it in the sugar/yeast mixture. Stir it up very briefly. It will stick to the spoon in big globs so be careful. The globs are ok, just make sure everything is under water. Let this sit for a few minutes and it should get all foamy.

Meanwhile, put about half the flour, all the salt, the olive oil, and ¾ cup water (the other ¼ cup is already in the yeast) in the mixer bowl with the dough hook. Set it on speed 2 for a few minutes. Then gradually add the rest of the flour about ¼ cup at a time until it "looks right".

The amount of flour seems to vary from time to time for no apparent reason. When it looks like dough (it will cling to and climb all the way up the dough hook), scrape it off and roll it into a ball. Coat it with a thin layer of additional olive oil, throw a wet towel over the bowl, and let it rise for as long as you can wait (at least 45min-1hr; the longer the better). Don't peek, don't take the towel off, and don't bump it while it's rising. If the dough is too elastic when you stretch it out, you didn't let it rise long enough. It should start out like this, and then turn into this.

Preheat the oven to the hottest temperature it will get. I use 550°. If you have a pizza stone (highly recommended), put it in there cold and let it preheat with the oven.

For sauce, I never use premade pizza sauce anymore (yuck). Instead, I buy diced tomatoes (they come in several varieties with spices already added). I cook these down in a sauce pan while the dough is rising, and usually throw in some extra oregano & garlic. Smash any big chunks with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

I put the pizza together on one of those board things. It's called a peel for those of you who care. Put a nice layer of cornmeal down on the peel first. This keeps the dough from sticking to the wood. Don't use a rolling pin. Instead, just pick up the ball of dough (remember to cut it in half first--this recipe makes two pizzas!) and press it between your hands.

This next part is somewhat hard to describe without video. Hold one hand out with your palm facing up and the somewhat flattened dough on top of it. Then cross your other hand over, palm down, and press your palms together such that your hands form an "X" shape. Now for the tricky part. Lift the top hand slightly and flip your hands over 180°. As you're flipping the dough over, spread out the fingers & and thumb of the bottom hand (the hand that's about to become the top hand), slightly stretching out the dough. Keep flipping your hands back & forth like this to stretch the dough out into a nice circle shape. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle (mine never is), just something that will work. The daring among you can try tossing it into the air with a good spin. Just make sure you don't make it bigger than the pizza stone.

You can adjust the final shape of the dough after you put it down on the peel. As you add the toppings, make sure you give the thing a good shake back & forth every once in a while to make sure the dough isn't sticking to the wood (otherwise you'll have a hell of a time getting it off into the oven).

Bake it for about 6 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and just barely starts to turn brown.

I guess that's about it.'s been a while since I've made this. I think I know what I'll be having for dinner tonight!

Copyright © 2004 Thomas Dwyer III