How many of you have ever made your own bread? I know a lot of you out there don’t do it. I was one of you up until about 6 years ago. I was just plain scared of it. It always seemed so daunting. I didn’t think I had the time, patience, or ability to actually make it come out the way it was supposed to. Guess what! I was wrong, and so are you if that’s the way you feel about making your own dough from scratch. I just might change your world today. Our Mama’s Best Pizza Dough recipe is the most versatile recipe I think I have ever come across. It is the quickest and best dough because it rises as it bakes, and there’s only 5, count ’em, 5 ingredients! I make this dough for all things bread. Believe me, it won’t stop with just pizza.
How To Make Mama’s Best Pizza Dough
3 c. “warm water” (see tip below)
2 Tbs. yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 – 7 c. flour
MEASURE THE “WARM WATER” INTO YOUR MIXER. TIP: THE YEAST NEEDS “WARM WATER” TO ACTIVATE. IF THE WATER IS TOO HOT, IT WILL KILL THE YEAST, AND IF IT IS TOO COOL, IT WON’T ALLOW THE YEAST TO GROW. SO LET’S DEFINE “WARM WATER”. MY MOM DIDN’T BREAK OUT A THERMOMETER EVERY TIME SHE MADE BREAD, NOR DID SHE TEACH ME THE OPTIMAL TEMPERATURE NEEDED TO ACTIVATE YEAST (IT HAPPENS TO BE BETWEEN 105 AND 110 F IF YOU WANTED TO KNOW). SHE TOLD ME IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE TERMS. ALL YOU DO IS RUN YOUR FINGER UNDER THE TAP. ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE SO THAT YOU ALMOST WANT TO TAKE YOUR FINGER OUT BECAUSE IT’S TOO HOT. ACTIVE DRY YEAST DOES NEED A BIT OF HEAT TO DISSOLVE AND GROW, BUT IF YOU CAN’T LEAVE YOUR FINGER UNDER THE WATER, IT’S TOO HOT FOR YOUR YEAST TOO. SO AS CONFUSING AS IT IS, WHEN A BREAD RECIPE CALLS FOR “WARM WATER” FOR YEAST, IT SHOULD REALLY SAY “ALMOST HOT WATER”. SOUNDS ARCHAIC, I KNOW, BUT IT’S ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME.
ADD THE YEAST TO THE WATER AND LET IT DISSOLVE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES. It should form a froth on the surface.
NEXT, ADD THE SUGAR, SALT AND ABOUT 2 – 3 CUPS OF THE FLOUR AND WHISK TOGETHER. If you’re using a mixer, put it to no more than about speed 2. At this point your mixture will be smooth and resemble somewhat of a batter more than a dough.
STIR IN THE REMAINING FLOUR. Change your whisk out for a large wooden spoon or the kneading attachment on your mixer. Start up your mixer or start up your muscles and mix. Continue to add flour to the dough “cleans” itself away from the side of the bowl. This is usually somewhere between 6 – 7 cups.
KNEAD THE DOUGH UNTIL SMOOTH AND ELASTIC. (ABOUT 6 MINUTES). You want a soft dough, but not sticky. If it sticks to your hand and stays there, add a bit more flour in small increments. If it sticks to your hand, but comes off clean, you’re good to go.
LET THE DOUGH REST FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES. This allows the dough to relax and become malleable again to roll out for your pizza. Once you have rolled out your pizza, no need to wait for it to rise. Top it, and bake it. 400 for 16 -20 minutes depending on the thickness of your dough.