The Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe by Nathan Woodman
In the off-season, Friday night is regularly “Pizza Night” at Nate’s, when the Woodman brothers and their families gather round the pizza oven installed in his back yard to make their pies and “set the world straight.” On an as-needed basis, they even make their own dough, by invading the prep room after hours to use its industrial-sized mixer. Once made, the dough is molded into 100 portions, which are wrapped and frozen until their turn comes to be kneaded, punched and thrown into the air with a theatrical technique that’s been practiced since the modern “slice” was invented in Naples, or maybe even earlier, when the ancient Greeks topped their “proto-pies” with oil, cheese, and herbs (sharing the same root word, pizza and pita evolved from the same dish). Now a crowning example of world cuisine, Norwegians consume the most pizza per capita, followed by the Germans. It’s pretty popular in this country too, where only the best pizza begins with dough so perfect that it’s “as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom to the touch.”
Pizza Dough Ingredients
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1¾ cup water, at room temperature
5 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3½ teaspoons kosher salt
How to Make Pizza Dough
In an electric stand mixer bowl add all the ingredients. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes or until the dough forms a rough ball shape. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes more or until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, add more flour by the tablespoon, while mixing on low speed until the consistency is right. If the dough is too dry, add water by the tablespoon while mixing on low speed until desired consistency is met.
Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball and place each one into its own zippered freezer bag. Let the bags stay at room temperature for 15 minutes and then place into the refrigerator overnight or freeze any dough that isn’t going to be used the next day. If making pizza the same day, let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Then flatten and reroll into balls and refrigerate for two hours. Let sit at room temperature two hours before you make your pizza. Serves 8.
Recipe Notes: Dough should feel as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom to the touch. If the dough is frozen, take it out of the freezer the night before you are going to use it.
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