Earlier this year I, along with a couple of pals, led a group of kids in a Bread Club. Over several weeks we taught the kids how to make things like king cake, rye bread, sourdough, english muffins, pita, and pizza dough. I am not going to lie, I had as much fun and probably learned as much as the kids did. That's what happens when surround yourself with rock stars.
And this pizza dough recipe that TQ showed up with, also a rock star. Even though it was easily identifiable as a rock star recipe, it was a little bit before I made it at home for make your own pizza night and it was such a slam dunk with the entire family they asked, very politely, that I rip up my regular recipe and kindly never make it again.
This recipe makes a basic square pan pizza, although if you wanted to make it round I am certainly not going to narc on you, so feel free to play around with it. Based on the name you can correctly assume that this is a thicker pizza crust, so thin crust pizza loving friends, move along. Nothing for you to see here. This recipe originates at Serious Eats, which I had never heard of before Bread Club with my rock star pals. You can check out the original instructions at this link. What follows is my experience and hacks for making it.
Basic Square Pan Pizza Dough
- 17.5 ounces (500 grams, about 3 1/2 cups) all-purpose or bread flour
- .35 ounces (10 grams, about 2 teaspoons) kosher salt
- .18 ounces (5 grams, about 1 teaspoon) instant or RapidRise yeast
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 12.25 ounces (347 grams, about 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) water, room temperature
*Right out of the gate I already veer off the path. I use traditional yeast, so my room temperature water is hot water and I bloom my yeast before I throw it all in my kitchenaid.
Once I have bloomed my yeast I put the flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and the water/yeast mixture into my mixer at low until all the ingredients come together and no dry flour can be seen. At that time I bump the speed up to medium high and let the dough hook do it's thing for six minutes. The dough should still be stuck to the bottom, but pull away from the sides. It will also be on the sticky side.
Now typically, I have made this dough earlier in the day that I want to use it, so I let it hang out in an oiled bowl until I am ready for it, but if you plan on using it in the next two hours you can move it from the bowl to a rimmed 13 by 18 inch sheet pan that has been rubbed with the remaining olive oil. I actually go very light on the olive oil in the pan. I put some in and then give it a wipe to make sure there is a nice thin coating over the whole pan. This is based on my personal experience with my pans and oven. You may want to follow the directions exactly the first time and then mess with it. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it hang out there for 2 hours. 30 minutes before you plan on baking this turn your oven on to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
As this point you can remove the plastic wrap from your sheet pan and very gently, you don't want to ruin all those great air bubbles, press and stretch the dough out until it completely fills the pan by pressing out from the middle and stretching the corners out past the pan, that should allow them to settle back into the pan. Top your pizza as you wish and bake at 550 for 15 to 20 minutes. 17 minutes is the sweet spot for us, but obviously start with 15 and add more if you need to.
I always double up the recipe and make two pizzas because my kids are picky AF when it comes to their pizza. They like simple, a teeny scraping of sauce, mozza and pepperoni. Mike and I prefer a normal amount of sauce, a bit of pepperoni and lots of veggies. This one had mushrooms, tomato and onion.
And two pizzas allows for leftovers which are inventoried by the parties involved for lunches. Lord help you if you make a move on someone's pizza. They take their leftovers serious here friends.
Really, who can blame them? Look at how that dough cooks up!
So that's it, this pizza and a few games of cribbage or sequence is a pretty great little weekend night for the fam jam. I recommend reading over the original recipe as well as what I have here and then give it a whirl some night. It is pretty spectacular.