One of the comments I hear most is that people are scared to make any type of dough using yeast. The the whole rising and kneading process is a daunting world that they would rather not enter.
I’d like to change this. I promise, it’s not as scary as it seems!
It is true, I am a little more familiar with the feel of homemade dough than many people. Growing up, I made homemade pizza with my Italian grandmother nearly every year for my birthday and had to steer clear of the kitchen when my Serbian grandmother was thinning out her homemade noodles. I learned that punching dough and getting flour everywhere can be fun and therapeutic, rather than daunting and stressful.
But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started to make it completely on my own. And trust me, the first few batches I was sure I had produced a rock that came out of the oven, rather than warm, fluffy bread. However after a few attempts through trial and error, I slowly became more familiar with the process and no longer feared the anticipation of uncovering the dough to see if it actually rose.
In fact, I now look forward to doing this and want to show you that it’s not as scary as it seems! It’s actually rather simple, can save you tons of money over time and most importantly, let you feast on what I think is one of the best things to eat: homemade bread!
There are TONS of recipes and ways to make bread/pizza dough. You can use a bread machine, have your stand mixer do the kneading or start the process an entire day before. Depending on what you hope to achieve, there is a recipe to suit it.
While I love experimenting with new recipes, there is one that I continually come back to. It is from the book Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. The reason why it’s become my go-to recipe? The hands-on time really can be kept to only 5 minutes, the recipe is extremely healthy, no stand mixer is necessary and it’s always a hit.
While some weekends I like to spend a little extra time and make a more labor-intensive bread, this one works well with a busy schedule so that you can spend your entire Saturday afternoon outdoors but still come home to homemade dough!
So here is my step-by-step process for homemade pizza dough. I don’t claim to be an expert and know I have a lot more to learn, but figure it’s worth sharing what I’ve learned so far.
Whole Wheat Flax Pizza Dough (with tutorial)
Recipe Adapted from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day
Keywords: bake pizza/flatbread entree vegetarian
Ingredients (2 pizza crusts)
- 1/4 cup flaxseed
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tbs. active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1/2 tbs. salt
- 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk together flaxseed, flour, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a large bowl.
Add liquid ingredients. I know when the water is “warm” by checking the temperature of running tap water with my inner wrist. When it feels warm (but not too hot!) that’s when I use it. No fancy thermometer needed!
Mix without kneading (I used a wooden spoon). You may need to use wet hands to mix everything together.
Shape dough into a ball.
Cover with a cloth and allow dough to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours (I sometimes mix the dough in the morning, leave for several hours, and then come back to finish).
Uncover dough; it will have risen and may still be sticky with air pockets throughout the dough.
Separate dough in half (if dough is sticky, lightly flour top to make it easier to work with). I use one half for a meal and then place the other in a tupperware container and place in the refrigerator to use later in the week.
Place dough on lightly floured surface or baking mat (I received this baking mat as a wedding gift; when I opened the gift I didn’t even know what it was. Now I use this ALL THE TIME!).
Shape bread into desired shape. Allow the dough to rest, loosely covered, for 40 minutes (or 90 if using refrigerated dough).
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat oven to 450 degrees with baking stone placed in middle rack.
Top pizza with desired toppings (here we used red sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, artichoke and onion). Place pizza on hot pizza stone that is dusted with cornmeal. Cook for about 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
~Have you ever made bread and/or pizza dough from scratch?