Food

This is How You Make Perfect Pizza Dough

stephen-yasko-tomatosauceSo you’d be surprised just how personal I take a Bad Pizza Dough recipe.  I used to own a pizza restaurant (we’ll tell that story later–No, it wasn’t called the Yasko Pizza Shoppe!) and that’s where I learned how make a dough that’s elastic, easy to work with and tastes great.

Even worse, I get all worked up whenever i see a Food Network post on Facebook for pizza dough I just think they way they do it isn’t exactly helpful for the inexperienced.

So here’s Stephen Yasko’s Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe:

Yields two Steve Yasko’s Perfect Pizza Dough Balls.

3 cups bread flour, though all purpose will do

1 package yeast (if you can get the one for Pizza Dough great..but not required)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil.

 

And here is Stephen Yasko’s Magic Ingredient:

1 cup ICE COLD WATER (put some water in a measuring cup with some ice.  Stir till half the ice is melted. Remove the ice and measure out a cup. 

Most recipes want you to use warm water.  Not me.  Pizza dough in pizza shoppes is made in advance using this method because the dough they use on Saturday has to be made on Friday or even Thursday.  Since yeast grows faster in warm water, if you make it the day you use it then any you don’t use will be ‘blown’ the day after.  Blown down is loose, sticky and hard to handle. It rips.  Use this method and the dough you get will be perfect.

So… You need to make the dough the day before you’re going to use it–That’s the Steve Yasko Rule.

To make the dough you should use a mixer with a dough hook.  You can knead by hand, but it’s going to take you an hour of kneading to get done what the mixer will do in 20 minutes.

Put the water in the mixing bowl

Add the yeast

wait 3 minutes till dissolved.  You can stir any that doesn’t dissolve quick enough for you.

Add the salt, sugar and oil.  Give a stir

Add the Flour. 

Start the mixer slow till the flour mixes in enough not to make a mess when you turn up the speed.

Turn up the speed to about 3/4 power and let it go for about 20 minutes.  The dough should crawl up the hook and be silky looking. You might have to let it go longer depending on how your mixer works. Steve uses a Kitchen Aide.  The bowl should be clean too, with no flour sticking to the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto a kitchen counter with a little flour and knead by hand a few times.  then divide in half.  Form into two balls and twist the bottoms using your thumb to seal.

Place the balls around the end of an 11 x 13 pyrex baking dish. NO OIL IN THE DISH. push down to form a disk.  Cover TIGHTLY with plastic wrap so the dish is sealed.  Try to do this with one piece of wrap to form a tight seal.  This keeps the dough moist so a dry crust doesn’t form while resting and rising.  Place in the fridge.  Yep, in the fridge.

Let rest/rise for at least five hours.  Now if you double the recipe to make four balls, don’t double the yeast, just let the dough balls sit in the fridge for 10 hours.  The yeast will work, it will just take longer and the longer the better.

Take out of the fridge about 30-45 mins before using. 

Let me know at how it works for you.

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Stephen Yasko

Stephen Yasko is a Public Radio and Media Executive and Nonprofit Executive Director. Yasko is the Founding General Manager of WTMD 89.7 FM in Baltimore where he took a neglected asset to a top 10 NPR Music radio station. He moved WTMD from a basement hovel to a state of the art Broadcast facility located in the center of Towson, MD.