Ample Bites has had several request for the a repost of my favorite pizza dough. You will find it below along with a recipe for a new pizza recipe for Chicken Eggplant and Red Pepper Pizza.
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck, “Pizza, Pasta & More!”, 2000)
Makes crusts for 4 pizzas of about 10 – 12″ diameter
1 package of active dry or fresh yeast
1 tsp honey
1 ½ cup warm water, 105 to 115F
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.
in a food processor, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and process until the mixture forms a ball. (The pizza dough can also be made in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook.)
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Place the dough in to a medium-sized oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking them under the bottom of the ball. Repeat about 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, un-floured surface roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for about 1 hour before rolling out and dressing with pizza topping ingredients of choice.
While dough is rising and/or resting you can prepare your toppings.
The best pizza cooking methods include preheating the oven to at least 500F and preheating pizza stones for at least 15 minutes before placing the pizzas on them for cooking. Preheating produces crisp but chewy pizza crusts in 12 to 18 minutes.
Chicken, Eggplant and Red Pepper Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2012)
1 pizza dough, divided into equal crusts
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 red peppers, seeded, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
1 eggplant, sliced, roasted and cut into strips
2 chicken breasts, pan-fried and sliced into ¼”-inch thick pieces
Fresh basil leaves, torn
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces Fontina, Mozzarella or smoked Mozzarella cheese
Prepare pasta dough and divide the dough into four equal crusts. Preheat oven to 425F. Preheat pizza stone for about 20 minutes.
Cover each crust with the vegetables, chicken breast pieces and cheese leaving a ½” rim. Season the pizza with salt and pepper to taste before baking. Brush the rim of each pizza with olive oil.
Bake each pizza for about 12 – 15 minutes at 500F or until the cheese is melted and crust is golden. Before serving, drizzle with oil and cut into wedges.