Pizza is a favorite in The Bell House. We have two favorite take out spots and whenever possible, we make our own. Our tradition on Christmas Eve is to make homemade pizzas and party in our pajamas.
When life isn’t getting away from us, I will make pizza dough. You may have read about this dough in a previous post, Dutch Oven Crusty Bread. It’s the same dough. I have experimented with many different recipes, but by far, this is our favorite.
A batch of dough yields 3 pizzas. With my small family of 4, I will turn one ball of dough into a loaf of Dutch Oven Crusty Bread to freeze for later devouring.
See, here is the loaf I baked off before we made pizza from the remaining dough. I love the way this bread looks. Piece of art!
We have several different pizza flavors in rotation here. The Bell House original, Pulled Pork, Bacon Cheeseburger and traditional plain and pepperoni.
This post will focus on the plain/pepperoni and Pulled Pork.
Let’s start with the DOUGH:
Suggested start time: 9 am
Completion of mixing and folding: around 10:30 am
End of first rise: 3:30 pm
End of the final rise: 4-4:30 pm
Pizza/Bread has been baked: 5:30 pm
1,000 grams of All Purpose Flour (7 3/4 cups)
720 grams of 90-95 degree water (3 1/8 cups)*
1 tablespoon + 1 scant teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of instant dry yeast, I use Fleischmann’s
PREPARATION TIP: Feel free to make the dough the night before. When you are done mixing and folding, just stick the dough in a well greased bowl covered in plastic wrap. Leave the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Check the dough after several hours and punch down the dough, if needed. The dough for this post, was made on a Friday morning and turned into pizza Saturday night. Delicious.
*The temperature of your water is important to activating the yeast. If the water is too hot, you could kill off the yeast. The temperature above will provide the best environment for your yeast to reproduce and produce the gases needed to make your bread amazing.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the water just until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for 20-30 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb the water and makes it easier to mix the dough later down the road.
When the time is up, sprinkle the top of the dough with the salt and yeast. Set a glass of warm water next to your bowl. Use the water to wet your hands and reduce the amount of dough that sticks to your hand.
Watch the video to see how I pinch the dough and then fold the dough to fully incorporate all the salt and yeast. You will do this about 4 times and then let the dough rest for about 3-5 minutes. Come back and repeat the folding of the dough for another 30 seconds.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set the timer for 10 minutes.
When the time is up, fold the dough 3 times and then recover the dough for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then repeat the folding process 3 more times.
Making pizza tonight, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for the next 5 hours in a warm place. When the five hours are up, cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Form each ball of dough into a ball, cover and let it rise for about 45 minutes. If you are making a loaf of bread, follow the steps in the DUTCH OVEN CRUSTY BREAD POST before making your pizza. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
Making pizza in a day or two, place the dough in a well greased bowl covered in plastic wrap. Refrigerate and occasionally take a peek at the dough and punch it down if needed. Then follow the steps for making pizza/bread
1/2 PEPPERONI 1/2 CHEESE: (2 kids, 2 different tastes)
1 ball of dough
1/2 jar of your favorite pizza sauce, we like the stuff from Trader Joe’s
1 cup of fresh mozzerella
1/2 cup of feta cheese
1/4 pound of pepperoni (more if you are doing all pepperoni)
Dust each pizza pan with cornmeal. This will prevent the pizza from sticking.
Stretch the dough to the size of the pizza pan. Brush olive oil along the pizza’s edge. Then dust the edge with the Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle.
Cover the dough with sauce. This is a good time to put the kids to work!
Add the pepperoni.
Cover with cheese.
Make sure your oven is blazing hot. You should preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes before baking. Place the pizza on the bottom rack of your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Every oven is different. Keep an eye on the goods.
Let the pizza rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.
PULLED PORK PIZZA:
1 ball of dough
2 cups of pulled pork*
Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, or your favorite brand
1 cup of shredded Monteray Jack cheese
A couple thinly slices of red onion
2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary
*We had pulled pork left over from a previous dinner that we froze for situations like this one. Two things can happen here, pick up some plain pulled pork from your favorite BBQ joint or pull out the crock pot and slow roast a pork butt. Layer the bottom of the crock pot with sliced onions. Cover the pulled pork with yellow mustard. Generously season the pulled pork with a mixture of paprika, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper. Then turn the crock pot on low for about 8 hours.
For the best cheese flavor and meltiness, shred your own cheese!
Dust your pizza pan with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Stretch out the dough. Brush olive oil along the edge of the dough and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
Spread on a thin layer of BBQ sauce and cover with pulled pork.
Sprinkle on the Jack cheese and sliced red onion.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Wait 5 minutes before cutting into your pizza. Red onion was left off of a portion of the pizza. My son’s request.