quick & simple stand mixer pizza dough

I am the proud owner a new Kitchen Aid mixer. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time now. I remembered my Italian grandmother’s mixer fondly from my childhood. It towered over the kitchen in its 1970s olive green glory, like a space age toy.

It dawned on me sometime in the last year that kitchen gadgets are only really gifted to people when they get married. This thought struck me as pretty depressing fact of life, right up there next to that summer vacations cease to exist once you graduate from college. Now, I don’t mean to say I am against anyone receiving kitchen gadgets as part of a wedding, bridal shower, etc. It is just that for me, I want to have a stocked kitchen without having to get married. Personally, I don’t think my interest in cooking and cuisine has really anything to do with marriage, my boyfriend, or the fact that people expect that weddings mark the beginning of one’s interest in cooking. So one of my many new years resolutions this year is to to buy as many kitchen gadgets, tools, and utensils that I can, just for my own pure enjoyment.

My family was one step ahead of me in this resolution. They got me the above amazing Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas and my birthday (which comes up in January). I like to think it will stand the test of time and someday be the first equipment owned in  my pipe dream bakery I wish to open up after the real world has put be through the wringer a few times.

I decided for the very first recipe I used the mixer for to try something easy but that would also harness the power of the mixer to simplify. Pizza dough in the stand mixer saves me from kneading,which means a lot less mess in my closet of a kitchen and on my hands. As it mixed and kneaded my dough, it was a bit weird to be watching it all come together without my own sweat and labor. But then, after marveling at the mixers elusive power, I fell in love.

I love you Kitchen Aid Mixer.

The hands off approach meant I could spend more time concerned about toppings. For this pizza,  it was pesto, marinara sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, green peppers, and sundried tomato sausage. Enjoyed while watching City of God (one of my favorite movies ever), it was a really easy and delicious weeknight meal with leftovers to feed several the next day.
While the no-knead overnight pizza dough I made just a few months back had a more artisan crust and feel given it’s very slow rise, this recipe is so easy that is still worth having in the pizza rotation. It would be a great recipe for feeding a bunch of people.

Quick & Simple Stand Mixer Pizza Dough
Adapted from The Kitchen Aid Instruction Guide
Makes one 14 inch pizza, or two smaller pizzas

1 pack of active dry yeast
1 cup of tepid water (the temperature of your skin)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of flour

1. In the mixing bowl, add the yeast and the water.  Let the yeast dissolve. Then add the salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of flour
2. Attach the dough hook and mix on speed level 2 for 1 minute. Continuing on level 2, add the remaining flour until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead altogether, about 4 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let rise for 1 hour. Once risen, punch down dough.
4. Brush a pizza pan with olive oil and cornmeal.  Press the dough across the pan forming the edges or crust upward.
5. Now, if you have a pizza stone then by all means use it. I don’t so this is what I do to try and make the best pizza at home:  Bake the pizzas without toppings for 5-10 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 450. Take the prebaked pizzas out and top them. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the pizza are browned and firm. You can also improve the quality of the pizza by using a baking sheet that has been preheated, but this is up to you.

  • http://kbache.wordpress.com/ kbache

    truth be told I was looking forward to buying your mixer as a wedding present when you decided to tie the knot but I guess i'll have to buy you a viking range or something else now. haha.enjoy it. its' awesome.