Good Food Blog
Mastering refrigerator pizza doughPosted at 12:02PM, 08 May 2012 by Roxanne Fisher - Writer/Sub-editor, bbcgoodfood.com
In her book, Skinny meals In Heels, author Jennifer Joyce presents ideas and recipes for quick, satisfying and healthy meals on the go. Here she shares her tips for mastering convenient refrigerator pizza dough.
Pizza doesn't have to be fattening. It all comes down to the cheese and meat toppings you choose. Just a little cheese tastes good but it doesn't need heaps of it. Same goes for the meat; a small taste is great but you don't need a lot. The dough, vegetables, meats and tomato sauce are all fairly skinny.
No one has time to make dough after work and then let it rise, so this method is perfect for a busy lifestyle. Using refrigerator dough, you can make it, refrigerate it for up to three days and just take out the portion you want three hours before using. It makes an inexpensive, healthy and fun dinner. The possibilities for variations are endless.
There are millions of different pizza dough recipes but they don't vary very much: yeast, water, flour, salt and olive oil. I prefer the Napoli-style pizza - bubbly soft with a crisp crust, not too thin and not too thick.
Different varieties can produce an entirely different result. Strong bread or plain (all-purpose) flour makes a heavier dough and '00' (finely milled Italian flour) results in something softer.
If you like ultra-thin crisp pizza, then mixing olive oil into the dough will impart that brittle texture. Otherwise, use it to keep the dough moist while it rises.
Be sure to use dry active yeast not fast acting (which leaves little time to develop flavour). Only a small amount (¼ teaspoon per 500g) is required for slow-rising dough and it will give the pizza base more flavour and depth and create more air bubbles.
GETTING THE DOUGH RIGHT
A light bubbly crisp dough comes down to this: soft light sticky dough equals an airy bubbly base; a heavy dry dough equals a solid heavy one. You want to aim for a slightly sticky light dough. But try not to get hung up on measuring, just add enough flour to the dough after the initial suggested amount so that you can mix or knead it together. After mixing it into a ball, oil your hands to work with it. Even if it's sticky (and it will be), persevere so you don't have to add too much flour. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook is a good option if you don't want to knead the dough by hand. It also allows you to work with a much stickier dough.
USE THE REFRIGERATOR TO RISE THE DOUGH
The longer dough takes to rise, the more flavour it develops. Make sure the dough is oiled and covered in plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out and impede rising. When you want to use it over three days, take out the portion you need, let it come to room temperature; then make the pizzas.
Any oven can be used but using a pizza stone results in crisper pizza than using a baking tray. Put your pizza stone in a cold oven, then turn the temperature as high as it will go (stones need to go in a cold oven or they may crack).
Text taken from Skinny Meels in Heels by Jennifer Joyce (£14.99), published by Murdoch books.