Easy Homemade Pizza Dough (Anything Dough)

Hello, friends! Today we’re making an easy pizza dough. It’s almost an everything dough. Right now I’m reading Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish, so maybe if you’re a bread nut like him, this isn’t an everything dough. But for novice bakers like you and me, it does the job! It’s pizza dough, dinner roll dough, cinnamon roll dough, focaccia, basic white bread…see? It’s everything.

I swiped this recipe from Sur La Table. The kitchen was making pizza one night last summer and it was divine. Pizza crust, summer vegetables, and an olive-oil drizzle. Yum.

Let’s bake! First, you’ll need to prepare the yeast. Make sure the water’s not too hot, or you’ll kill ’em off! Then you’ll be sad, and I’ll be sad for your un-fluffy bread.

DSC_0011

Some directions will say to sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it sit. I like to give mine a quick, gentle stir in the sugary water to make sure all the yeast is activated.

DSC_0012

After you let it sit for around five minutes, it’ll become nice and poofy. It’s a major transformation from the water-y mixture you started with! It will also smell like…bread. If your yeast doesn’t look like this after the five-ish minutes, it’s probably too old and you’ll want to buy a fresh jar.

DSC_0018

I like to pour the mixture into a small well in the flour. You could do this without a standing mixer; it’ll just take you a little bit longer.

DSC_0022

This dough is particularly wet. DO NOT add more flour! Only add so that you can roll out your dough at the end of the process.

DSC_0026DSC_0028

After mixing, transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl so that it can rise. For easier handling, either oil or wet your hands with water (but not too much). After an hour an a half, your dough should have doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of your room, though, it could take less or more time.

DSC_0032

At this point, I sprinkled my dough with a little flour to help me ease it out of the bowl, but I would have used oil or water again. You can store it in the fridge overnight, or continue on and bake whatever you’re dreaming up. Mine’s in the fridge, waiting to be turned into pizza with yellow squash, zucchini, and spinach!

DSC_0037

Happy baking! Here’s the recipe:

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough (from Sur La Table)

2 ounces (1/4 cup) warm water (110˚F-115˚F; I microwaved mine for a little under a minute)

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (I used Fleischmann’s active dry yeast)

16 1/4 ounces (3 1/4 c) flour

1 1/2 tsp sal (kosher or sea salt, not iodized table salt, please)

8 ounces (1 cup) water

1 1/2 ounces (3 tbsp) olive oil

  1. Dissolve yeast into 2 ounces warm water mixed with a pinch of sugar. Let sit for around five minutes until yeast are activated.
  2. Place flour and yeast mixture into a bowl, and either mix using a dough hook for approximately five minutes until tacky and cleanly pulling away from the sides of the bowl, or kneading by hand for around 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl and place in a warm spot. Let rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and store in the fridge overnight, or continue on and bake at 350˚F. Don’t forget to roll the dough out onto a floured surface. It makes four personal pizzas.

French Onion Soup

#domesticwithdad is back with the first project of the summer: how to make French onion soup!

(Also, can I put a couple grammatical questions on the table? To Oxford, or not to Oxford? Do you capitalize after a colon or leave the proceeding letter lowercase? These little inconsistencies with AP Style and other styles…I need everything to be on the same page!)

College friends, I will be frank: T/this soup is time intensive! Caramelizing the onions takes around 30 minutes, and then the soup must simmer for 45. BUT, I am a super-fan of multi-tasking (another debatable concept), so sometimes, I babysit my simmering vegetables while doing my homework next to the stove. Do what you gotta do.

DSC_0004

Anyways, first things first: C/croutons! I think 75 percent of the reason I eat this soup is to eat the croutons covered in melted Gruyère. YUM. You could make the croutons while you’re waiting for the soup to simmer; whatever floats your boat. I wanted my bread to be super-stale because it was going to be sitting in soup later!

DSC_0010

Croutons are easy and unfussy. Buy a baguette or sourdough (or make your own), slice to desired thickness, butter, and salt & pepper it. You could alternatively do an olive oil drizzle in place of the butter … whatever makes your socks go up and down. We went the butter route.

As for the onions, cut to the desired size. We went with larger chunks, just because we didn’t think small pieces would hold up very well. For comparison, this is what the raw onions look like:

DSC_0013

And after they had been reducing for a bit:

DSC_0016

And the final, caramelized product:

DSC_0019

Mom used to make a batch of these every week and pull them out of the fridge as needed. That’s also an option, if you fancy it.

The recipe we’re using calls for four cups of beef stock and four cups of chicken stock. We went rogue (because we don’t usually play by the exact rules) and did eight cups of chicken stock, because that’s what we had and we’re cheap. Everything turned out delicious.

DSC_0022

If you don’t have ramekins, you technically don’t have to throw the soup in the oven, but it does seal the deal. I guess microwaving your soup + cheese would also work. Please do not microwave the crouton.

-French Onion Soup (courtesy of Dad’s favorite place…FoodNetwork!)-

Soup

4 yellow onions

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1 overflowing cup white wine

4 cups beef broth

4 cups chicken broth

4-5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Croutons

French bread/baguette

olive oil or butter

Gruyère cheese, thickly sliced

-Directions-

  1. Chop onions to desired size. Slice bread for croutons. (As much or as little as you’d like.)
  2. Melt stick of butter in large pot. Add onions, stir to coat. Cook until soft and translucent. Add wine and cook until caramelized (a deep golden brown). Add broths, Worcestershire sauce, garlic. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Either butter both sides of the bread before placing on baking sheet, OR lay bread on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Top with salt and pepper. Bake at 350˚F until deep golden brown.
  4. Ladle soup into ramekins and top with crouton and Gruyère. Broil until cheese is bubbling and brown. OR, grate the cheese over soup, microwave to melt, and top with crouton.
  5. EAT.

 

Happy cooking, friends!