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(Image: Sunita Martini / Seattle Refined)
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Cooking In: Make pizza dough at home, courtesy Spark Pizza

During these crazy times, making a home-cooked meal can be cathartic. But if you're like me, you can find yourself in a rut, making the same things over and over again. That's why I enlisted the help of my chef friends from all over the Seattle area, getting each one to send me an easy-to-follow recipe folks can make at home using pantry staples or ingredients that are usually readily available at your local grocery store. It's a weekly series, we're calling Cooking In.

Pizza is a family-friendly crowdpleaser, but to make great pizza, you need great dough. Luckily, chef Kyle Cole and my friends at Spark Pizza in Redmond were kind enough to send over their recipe. If you'd prefer to skip making the dough yourself, Spark offers its dough for purchase, so you can make pizza at-home at your leisure. If you're not in the mood for cooking, Spark also offers takeout and delivery within a five mile radius of the restaurant.

Author's Note: As you can see in the above video, I messed this recipe up numerous times. I didn't coat my hands with flour before handling the dough and stretched the dough before it was warm enough. Heck, I didn't even realize it until after the fact, but I misread the recipe and baked my pizza for 12 minutes instead of 10. Everyone out there can, and will, do better than I did! Happy cooking!

Classic Margherita Pizza

Courtesy: Chef Kyle Cole

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • 5 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

For Topping Pizza:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Olive Oil (for drizzling)

Mixing the Dough:

  1. In a mixer add water, yeast, olive oil and a 1/3 of the flour mix for 5 minutes.
  2. Then add rest of flour and salt and mix for 15 mins.
  3. When done mixing, divide dough into 4 equal portions.
  4. Ball the dough to the best of your ability.
  5. Place dough on to a sheet tray and wrap with plastic.
  6. Rest for 48hrs in the refrigerator.

Making the Crust:

*Chef Kyle's Tip: Make sure the dough is nice and warm. If you have cold dough it will shrink in the pan. When the dough is warm it allows it to stretch to the sides of the pan.

  1. Pull dough from the refrigerator and place on the counter for a 2 hours or until soft (but not over proofed).
  2. Use a little flour and dust around each dough ball and with flat metal spatula scoop a dough ball off the sheet tray. Place onto floured surface.
  3. In a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan drizzle a little olive oil.
  4. Now place the dough ball from the floured surface and press it into the pan evenly.

Building the Pizza:

  1. With a large spoon add two spoon fulls of tomato sauce to the center of the stretched pie.
  2. Then add basil (tear basil in half) add to top of tomato sauce.
  3. Add diced or shredded mozzarella and distribute evenly. Drizzle a little olive oil.

Baking Pizza:

  1. In a pre-heated oven set to 500 degrees (convection setting preferably) bake pizza for 10 mins.
  2. If convection is not available, bake at the same temperature for 10 minutes, then set oven to broil on high and cook for 2 mins or until desired color is achieved)
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