Hearty Pizza Dough

Pizza dough is inherently vegan because it does not require eggs, butter, nor honey like some breads and baked goods do. Here is my take on it - a very simple, easy to make recipe that incorporates a touch of wheat bran to give it substance and flavor

If you've never made your own pizza dough before, don't fear it - it's easier than you think, and in my opinion, it's way tastier than store-bought dough. Add in the satisfaction of the accomplishment itself, and you are in for a quite a treat.

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To get it done, you'll need:

  • 2-2.5 cups of organic, unbleached all purpose flour (exact measurement varies)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4oz active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water, warmed to 120 degrees (warm, but not hot)

Experienced bakers will probably want to skip steps that may not be technically needed anymore (like "proofing" the yeast), but if you've never done this before, just follow the instructions to the letter. Once you get comfortable doing this, feel free to change it up however you want. Also, this is best done by hand, so leave that fancy mixer off for this recipe if you have one!

First, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar into a large mixing bowl, and stir. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. After 10 minutes, you should see a layer of "foam" floating on top of the water - this means the yeast is good, and you can proceed. If this doesn't happen, throw out the mixture and try again. With today's store-bought active dry yeast, it's sure to happen as expected, so don't worry too much about it!

After the 10 minutes are up and the yeast forms a layer of foam, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, and whisk it all together. Next, add about 1/2 cup of flour to the mix, and whisk it until well combined. Next, add the wheat bran, and continue to add flour (about another cup more) and whisking until everything is well combined. Note that the dough will get very difficult to whisk at this stage, and you may want to switch to a spatula and "turn".

Dump the dough onto a floured surface - use a spatula or you will end up with very messy fingers! Turn the dough with the spatula over the surface until it absorbs most of the flour. Rub your hands with a splash of olive oil, and knead the remaining flour into the dough until it doesn't accept flour anymore (typically this will be the remaining 0.5-1 cup in the original recipe.) You will want to roll the dough into a ball with your palms, and gently push your finger into it. If you have the correct texture, the indentation made with your finger will bounce back part of the way. If it doesn't bounce back at all, keep kneading!

Once you are done kneading, roll the dough into a ball with your palms, and empty into a large mixing bowl that you have already drizzled 1 tbsp of olive oil into. Turn the ball in each direction until it is completely coated with oil, then cover, and let sit a room temperature for about 1 hour.

After the hour is up, the ball of dough should be approximately twice it's original size. Take it out of the mixing bowl, and punch it down until you hear all the gasses from the yeast release from it. This only takes a few minutes and doesn't require too much muscle, so don't try to act like Mike Tyson or anything while you do it!

That's about it this yields enough dough for one large pizza. The dough will be spongy and not too thin, so don't expect it to be "New York style". Still, I think you will enjoy it - make sure to bake it right after you punch it down. Stay tuned for a complete pizza recipe, incorporating this dough.

Enjoy!

 

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 06/20/2019


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