Sunday, July 26, 2009

~Honey Deep Dish Pizza Dough~

This is a recipe that I use when I'm in the mood for homemade deep dish pizza. It has a traditional flavor and a robust hearty crust perfect for loading up with your all of favorite toppings, sauce and cheese or it can also be kept simple and finished with pesto or sliced roma tomatoes, herbs and parmesean...or whatever you come up with! This recipe makes the equivalent of two 11x15x1" pizzas.


3 cups warm water
1 package dry yeast
8 cups all purpose white flour (approximately)
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbs salt
5 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup honey

2+ tbs vegetable oil


2 very large plastic or glass bowls (I use 8 quart plastic bowls for this)
1 stiff handled plastic or wooden spoon
1 kitchen towel or cloth large enough to cover the top of your bowls
1 basting brush


Place the water, it should be warm but not hot, into the plastic or glass bowl and stir in the yeast with the wooden or plastic spoon until dissolved. Sprinkle sugar evenly on top and let stand for 10 minutes.

Begin adding flour a cup at a time until a very wet and sticky dough forms (not a liquid but also not stiff) this usually takse about 4 cups. Cover the top of the bowl with a kitchen towel and let this stand for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 3 hours. At the end of the 1-3 hours what you have is a "sponge", it should actually look like a sponge with small bubbles and holes evenly spread through the surface. I always try to go as close to 3 hours as I can so that the sponge can fully develop.

When the sponge is ready stir in the salt, honey and olive oil. Begin stirring in remaining flour 1 cup at a time until you can no longer stir. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in more flour until you have a dough that is still very soft and pliable but not sticky.

Put 1 tbs or so of the vegetable oil in the second bowl and place dough on oil, turn to coat and cover with the kitchen towel. Place this in a warm spot for 3 hours or until at the dough has at least doubled in size.

Remove towel and gently punch down dough, replace cover and allow to rise again for 1- 1 1/2 hours. When "punching down" you should just push your fist once into the center and then a few times around the sides of the dough so that you end up with a crust that is crackly and crunchy and an interior that has lots of irregularly shaped holes, over punching will lead to a dense heavy crust.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and punch down gently again. Divie dough into sections for desired size pizza (I use two 11x15" cookies sheets )place onto pans oiled with the vegetable oil and slowly pull dough into desired shape. This my take a few minutes as the dough will be very springy. I generally work both pizas a the same time pulling each a little bit by turns so that one is "resting" as I work the other until both fill the pans.

Brush dough with remaining vegetable oil and top as desired. Bake in 400F degree oven until toppings are cooked and crust is a beautiful golden brown, usually around 35-40 minutes. Remebmber that alltitude, temperature and humidity level will affect cooking time for all doughs or baked goods so watch closely after 25 minutes or so.

Remove from oven when done and allow to cool slightly, cut and enjoy!

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