Pizza Dough: Buy It vs. Make It
I knew I could make pizza dough myself, because I saw it in little bags in the refrigerator section at Trader Joe’s. But did I want to?
I mean, I don’t know how many times we’ve had pizza solely because I happened to see the little pre-made crusts at the store and thought “Oh, I gotta have that.” And then how many other times I’ve craved pizza and gone without because there was no way I was driving to the store for a pizza crust. That can’t be right.
On the other hand, Vittorio. I love Vittorio so much. Would pizza taste the same if I didn’t get to recite this commercial while sprinkling soy cheese and chicken-apple sausage on some overly processed non-bread?
Good point. So yes, I decided it was time to make my own pizza dough, figuring it had to be easier than pasta (which was easy) and tastier than store-bought (sorry, Vittorio). Along the way, I sought advice from bakers amongst my cohort who gave me these tips:
• You can make the dough the night before, wrap it in plastic or seal it in Ziploc bags, and let it rise in the fridge (or, really, on the counter). In fact, the extra-slow rise will give it better texture and flavor.
• One rise is plenty for pizza dough.
• No-rise is also plenty for pizza dough.
• Pizza dough is very forgiving, and you almost can’t get it wrong.
Armed with this knowledge, I set out to make my own pizza dough and, ergo, my own pizza. I was done before I knew I had started. People, this is insanely easy. And you can make it your own by sprinkling parm on the crust. Which is what I did. Because: fancy.
There are many kinds of pizza dough available at the supermarket: fresh, fresh-ish and already-baked. I didn’t realize this, but my local Safeway has refrigerated dough for 11 cents an ounce, $1.70 for four servings (same as the recipe). Fresh-ish would be the Pillsbury stuff in the canister — you know, the canister that you whack against the edge of the kitchen counter to make it pop open? — which is a hefty 30 cents an ounce, and you’re supposed to make 14 ounces serve 6, not 4. And already-baked (a.k.a. Boboli) is about 30 cents an ounce for a 12 inch shell that is supposed to serve 6 (miniature people with very small appetites).
Then there’s my version, which cost 3 cups of flour for a four-person serving (75 cents for King Arthur white wheat flour, 45 cents for house-brand all-purpose flour), plus yeast, olive oil and water (negligible). Is cheaper, ah-yes-ah, as Vittorio would say.
Way easier than I thought, and frankly MUCH easier than going to the store, finding the dough and arguing with the self-checkout robot about whether I have placed things in the bag correctly.
You can adjust the flavor a bit — more salt? A little sugar? Even the most basic version is totally amazing.
What’s the verdict? Check out all Amy’s Buy It vs. Make It comparisons!