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10.14.2002

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the perfect slice 
how to make a great homemade pizza: part one
 
by
Yee-Fan Sun
1 2 3
continued from page 1

making the dough
I always make up a big batch of pizza dough even when I only want to make a small two-person-sized pizza Ė pizza dough freezes beautifully, and itís nice to have ready-to-roll-out dough on hand for parties, informal dinners, whatever. The recipe I use is adapted from (and donít laugh now) Martha Stewartís excellent Hors-díoeuvres book.

Most books will tell you that the easiest way to make pizza dough is with a food processor. Since my mini-food-processor is far too small to accommodate an entire batch of pizza dough, Iíll just have to take the experts' words on that. If you, like me, lack a big food processor, never fear: pizza dough can be made nearly as easily with a good, powerful standing mixer (I love my KitchenAid mixer), or even (for a little more effort of course) by hand. The key to a good dough is to refrain from adding too much flour -- to get the proper texture, you'll want to add the minimum amount of flour necessary to form a workable dough.

ingredients
1 cup warm (not hot) water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (2 tsps or ľ oz.)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more if needed
1 tsp. salt
1Ĺ Tbsp. olive oil

yields 3 small round (10-inch) pizzas, or 4 oval  (14-inch x 4 inch) party pizzas

1 First things first: proof the yeast to make sure your yeast isnít dead. Pour the warm water (about 110F) into a small bowl, stir in the sugar, and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast; youíll have a sort of putty-colored murky liquid at this point. Leave it be for five minutes; if when you check on it at later, the mixture has become creamy and foamy, with lots of tiny bubbles at the surface, your yeast is good and you're ready to continue on with the rest of the recipe. If the mixture looks like it hasn't done a thing, the yeast is dead: chuck the contents of the bowl,  try a new packet of yeast, and repeat the proofing step.

2 If youíre using a food processor: dump the flour and salt in the bowl and give it a handful of pulses to combine. Add the yeast mixture as well as the olive oil, pulsing until it all begins to come together into a dough. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough looks smooth. If itís too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Basically, you want the dough quite moist, but not so wet that it sticks between your fingers when pinched. Transfer to a flat surface, and knead for a minute or so, until you have a smooth dough. Shape it into a ball.

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