Making the perfect pizza dough is definitely an art form. When done right, it is crispy, crunchy, and delicious. A perfect pizza will make a lasting impression. Let me describe it to you.
It begins with the crust - golden brown with a crisp outer layer but light and airy inside. If you don’t have that, it’s not worth going any farther. It's hard to believe that four simple ingredients — water, salt, flour, and yeast - can turn into something so delectable. And with a touch of butter brushed around the edges, you have the perfect butter crust pizza.
4 Simple Ingredients
The quest for what makes the perfect pizza crust can become a bit of an obsession. So, although the four ingredients are fairly simple, they are important. Some say the water makes a difference, some say that is a myth. Some add carbonated water, claiming it adds crispness to the finished product. But a flat water will let the dough be what it is intended to be.
2 Simple Techniques
Much more important than water or brand of flour is a different ingredient: patience. When mixing the dough, begin with water and half the flour. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it all comes together. The dough then needs to rise for about 30 minutes before you start to work with it.
It's tempting to pull out the rolling pin, but working the dough by hand will give you a far superior result. It takes practice, but you'll be much happier in the end. When you use a rolling pin, you are pushing down on the dough. When you work the dough by hand, the result is a crust that is light and airy. This forms the foundation of the perfect butter crust pizza.
A Little Freestyle Doesn't Hurt
Once you know the basics, you don’t have to be a slave to a recipe. Making dough really is a trial and error process. By experimenting with the amounts of flour and water, you can develop a dough that suits your preference. Just remember that you want the end result to be soft enough to touch but not too sticky. The weather can be a factor; even experienced dough makers will feel the effects of rain or humidity.
Put on the Heat
To turn in a successful pizza crust, dough needs heat, and lots of it. A professional pizzeria may use an oven temperature as high as 850 F, but if you are making dough at home, you'll probably use a temperature closer to 500 or 600 - about 250 degrees shy of what is optimal. A pizza stone will retain heat, and should be preheated before use. The dough will begin to cook the minute it hits the hot stone.
So, if you are in the mood for butter crust pizza, you can take an afternoon and make your dough, add your toppings, and hope that your oven does the job. Or, you can hop online and order a butter crust pizza from a Hungry Howie's near you.