I wanted to revise the previous pizza dough recipe to include the following options in case you do not have a food processor. Maybe using a standing mixer or just doing it by hand will be your preferred method. Either way, don't let it stop you from making this for dinner - TONIGHT!
Pizza Dough - the fast way!
(2 baking-sheet sized pizzas, each serving 3-4)
from The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1 packet Rapid Rise yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups bread (or all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and then TURN OFF.
1. Food Processor Method:
Pulse water, yeast and sugar in a food processor, 2 times is sufficient. Add oil, flour and salt. Pulse until dough forms a fairly smooth ball, or basically comes together. It will be a bit tacky, but shouldn't be so sticky that it pulls apart, getting stuck on your fingers. Add more flour (or water, if too thick) by the Tbsp and pulse until desired consistency is achieved.
2. Stand Mixer Method:
Measure the water into a small bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and mix to combine. Next, add the oil to the yeast mixture. In the bowl of a standing mixer, place the flour and salt. Using the paddle hook, turn on low speed for a short time, just to combine. Add the liquid ingredients slowly to incorporate. Once a mass of dough forms, remove the paddle hook and replace with the dough hook. Knead with the dough hook on medium speed just briefly until a smooth ball forms.
3. Bowl Method – no appliances!
Measure the water into a small bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and mix to combine. Next, add the oil to the yeast mixture. Combine the salt and about ¾ of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and mix until combined with a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in the rest of the flour until a mass of dough forms. Place dough out on a floured cutting board and knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Don’t knead in too much extra flour, just enough to keep it from sticking.
Place dough in a well-oiled bowl (I mean really well-oiled!), cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Make sure the oven is turned off.
Remove and divide dough in half. Usually the dough is pretty soft and pliable; easy to spread out. (If it's too sticky, dip your fingers in olive oil and pat the dough out that way. Don't add too much extra flour to a sticky dough as this makes it tough, in my experience).
1. In a 450 degree oven, Bake crust, topped only with sauce, for 10 minutes
2. Remove crust and add toppings, including cheese on top
3. Bake another 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted
This method results in a crisp crust and cheese that is just melted, but not overly browned. If you pile all the toppings on the dough at the beginning, the crust never cooks through and is soggy in the middle.