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"How can I make a great pizza dough?"

Dear Anne and Sue,

When I make pizza dough, it seems to be dry. Am I mixing it too long or not adding enough water? If not these reasons, any suggestions?

Shannon Hartlin


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Hi Shannon,

It's wise to keep in mind that not every recipe is a good one. Some are designed with far more care than others. It could be that your pizza recipe is simply calling for too much flour. Or perhaps you're working in too much flour as you knead the dough.
Usually recipes that call for yeast suggest a range in the amount of flour, for example, 2.5 to 3 cups, 6 to 7 cups, etc., because the moisture content in flour varies depending on how long the flour has been packaged and the humidity of your kitchen. Humidity makes a surprising difference to how much flour you will need to create the perfect crust (or any yeast bread for that matter). You might even find that you need more flour on a rainy day than on a day when it's dry and sunny. Getting to know the "feel" of the dough is as important as being flexible in slightly varying the amounts of the ingredients.

If your recipe gives a range for the amount of flour, begin by adding the smaller amount. If it doesn't, begin by adding less than the recipe suggests. Then, as you knead the dough, add just enough flour so the dough isn't sticky. Mixing dough too long will develop the gluten in the flour to make a stronger crust, but it shouldn't have much effect on dryness.

You could also try adding 2 tablespoons (25 mL) of olive oil per 3 cups of flour. The addition of oil makes a softer pizza crust and adds to the tenderness of the dough.

Good luck with creating that perfect crust!

Anne & Sue


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