Basic Pizza Dough

A basic go-to pizza dough that is made with a stand mixer. Makes two pizzas.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons yeast
2 c. warm water
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
4-1/2 c flour (bread flour preferred, but all-purpose works also)
2 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

1. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir in the olive oil, then turn the mixer on low and gradually add in the flour and salt. Turn mixer up to medium and knead the dough until it comes together and forms a soft ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour (1/4 c at a time) if needed. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise two hours. Once risen, turn dough out gently onto a floured surface (you do not want to knead the dough here), and divide the dough in half. Press each half into a greased pizza pan, covering the pan and a little up the sides to form the crust. Top with desired toppings and bake in a 450 degree oven for around 15 minutes or until crust is firm and golden and center of pizza is cooked through.

Notes:

* You can use the pizza pans with holes on the bottom. The holes help the bottom of the crust get golden and crisp. (I use a fork by poking holes all over the dough)

* You can use half wheat flour and half white flour with this recipe with great results.

Irish Soda Bread Dutch Oven Recipe

Ingredients:

2-1/2 c. milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1/2 c. rolled oats (Old-Fashioned not Quick Oats)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

Preheat 9-inch dutch oven to 375 degrees for 30 minutes with lid in oven or with 13 coals on top and 7 underneath for outdoor baking.

Pour milk into a small bowl and mix in vinegar, then set aside.

In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients.

Add milk mixture to large bowl and stir until thoroughly moistened into a dough.

Turn dough onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes, making the dough smooth.

Form into a 9-inch round loaf and place in dutch oven.

Score a large “X” across the top, cutting in about 1/4″.

Bake for 1 hour or until bread is brown and hollow sounding.

* For more Dutch Oven Cooking go to http://www.DutchOvenDude.com