Our Kitchen Aid mixer is broken right now, so we decided to go the easy route and buy some Trader Joe's pizza dough. I've used it in the past, before I really started to get into making pizza, so thought I would give it a whirl and see how I could apply my current pizza making knowledge to get the most out of this dough.
If you don't have a TJ's near you, you can always buy some dough from a nearby reputable pizzeria. If you go this route, ask them how much you need for the size and thickness you are looking for. You can also freeze and extra and use at a later time.
Here's what I did:
After letting the dough come to room temp for about 20 mins, I lightly floured the dough and shaped it into a 10 inch round. Then, I placed it into a lightly oiled glass pan and covered it for about an hour. I use the same method for homemade dough, and it allows the dough to "relax", making it much more easy to shape by hand.
After firing up the pizza kettle and getting the stone temp to 625 degrees, I worked the dough into a 15 inch round. The wrapper on the dough says it makes enough for a 12 inch pie, but with the method I used, I could have easily worked this into an 18 inch pizza because it was so pliable. (I didn't because I can only fit a 16 inch pie on my stone)
Stretching the dough by hand using your fists is the way to go with any dough - don't roll it out! There's some good videos on YouTube on how to do this. Here's a good one:
YouTube - Homemade Pizza Recipe : Prepare Dough For Homemade Pizza
Two other critical keys to good pizza are a wooden peel and semolina flour, which allows the pizza to slide off the wooden peel easily and quickly. Some use cornmeal, but having used both, semolina flour is far better, as it is much finer and doesn't change the texture profile of the pizza.
For this pizza, I topped with homemade sauce, whole milk mozzarella, fresh mushrooms and salami. I added some fresh basil after it cooked.
The pizza cooked in 4.5 minutes in the FrankenWeber Pizza Kettle and this is how it came out:
The outside of the dough was perfectly crunchy, yet the inside was soft and chewy. This dough was excellent, and as good as many of my homemade doughs.
If you've ever thought of making pizza, but were intimidated (as I once was) give it a shot using the above method and you might be quite surprised at how well it comes out. You can get equally good results cooking in a 550 degree oven and a good quality pizza stone.
Here's my pizza sauce recipe:
Moose’s Pizza Sauce Recipe:
1 Large Can Whole Plum Tomatoes ( San Marzanos are best, but TJ’s Plum Tomatoes are also good.)
½ white onion, quartered
6 large garlic cloves
1 TBSP crushed oregano leaves
1tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 oz red wine (optional)
Open tomato can, add tomatoes and all ingredients to blender, then blend until all ingredients are fully liquefied, about 2 minutes. Place sauce in saucepan, starting with medium heat, then simmer for 10-30 minutes, stirring frequently. The longer you cook the sauce, the thicker it will be, so adjust the cook time to your thickness preference. Let sauce cool before topping on pizza.
Makes enough sauce for two 14 inch pizzas.
Thanks for looking!