When it is cold outside, I love to bake bread. Lately, I have been making a lot of focaccia, which also makes in incredible pizza dough. This recipe lends itself to all kinds of creations and toppings but by far my favorite is fresh tomato, olive oil, rosemary and Kosher salt.
I use a bread hook in my stand mixer which makes it a lot less messy and time consuming but of course you can hand knead.
Make sure all ingredients are room temperature except the warm water of course.
1 3/4 cup unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
(enough flour for rolling and or kneading)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh or dried herbs of your choice (I put in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil)
(put above ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly)
In a measuring cup put 1 2/3cups warm water (approx 105degrees) and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Mix the liquid into the dry with a wooden spoon. The dough should be sticky so add a bit more water if you can’t get it to mix in all the dry.
Knead with dough hook on lowest setting for 10 minutes or by hand.
Place in an oiled bowl with lots of room to grow. The dough should be elastic and easily formed into a ball. I coat my hands with flour or olive oil to keep dough from sticking. Cover with a damp towel and place in warm spot for an hour or so or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. I use a pizza stone which stays in the oven and heats up.
Split the dough in 1/2 and recover the second ball. Roll out on floured surface until thin. Place the dough on a pizza peel covered in a light dusting of corn meal or a cast iron pan or cookie sheet with corn meal.
Spread olive oil over entire surface with the back of a spoon and add toppings. If you are using sauce or anything wet, it is really important to get it in the oven quickly, especially if it is on a pizza peel or it will stick to it.
Place in oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It should be evenly browned. The thinner the dough the quicker it cooks.