Emeril Lagasse's Perfect Pizza Dough

Recipe by Lennie
READY IN: 2hrs 10mins
SERVES: 4
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • In the bowl of your heavy-duty mixer (like a Kenwood or KitchenAid), stir together the water, yeast and sugar; let sit until the mixture is foamy, which takes about 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the oil and salt into the yeast mixture and, using the paddle attachment (also known as the K beater), combine until mixture is smooth.
  • Switch to the dough hook.
  • With the machine running at low, add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time; make sure each addition of flour is incorporated before adding the next.
  • Once all the flour has been added, turn up the speed and let the machine knead the dough for about 3 minutes; it should be very smooth and perhaps a bit tacky.
  • Feel free to add an extra minute or two of kneading if you wish; it won't hurt the dough at all.
  • Rub the insides of a large mixing bowl with a little olive oil; remove dough from machine, form into a ball, and place into oiled bowl, turning dough over to make sure all sides are oiled.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise; the dough should nearly double in size, which will take about 60 to 90 minutes.
  • An old habit of mine is to place a towel around the bowl, just to make sure no drafts get to the dough.
  • When dough is ready, lightly punch it down and knead it a bit, still right in the bowl.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and place dough ball on it; let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • This makes one large pizza; if you prefer two smaller pizzas, cut dough in half, then form into two balls and let rest, as above.
  • After dough has rested, form into a 16-inch round (or two 8-inch rounds) and you're ready to make pizza, using your favourite toppings.
  • The biggest trick here, when stretching out the dough, is not to get frustrated; if you find you're stretching the pizza and it's resisting and is too elastic, bouncing right back from each stretch, just walk away for a few minutes; after you let the pizza rest again, you'll find the dough will let you stretch it out.
  • You might even want to try flipping it into the air a bit!
  • Warning: let it come down on your knuckles, not your fingertips, or you'll tear the dough!
  • The best way to bake your prepared pizza is on a baking stone (or you can use a pizza pan, if you don't have a stone) on your lowest oven rack; Emeril suggests 8 to 10 minutes at 475F, but a little lower temperature for a little longer works just fine too.
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