~Mel's Easy Thai-Spiced Bread-Machine Pizza Dough~
Every great pizza starts with a great crust, and, when it came to creating a Thai-style pizza dough, my decision to infuse Thai flavors into the crust, for an extra layer of flavor, transformed my Thai-style pizza into a great pizza. Fact: Bread and cheese are not part of the traditional Thai diet. That said, us Americans who love Thai food have been very successful at inventing all sorts of Thai-style wraps and sandwiches -- all of them are American or Thai-American creations.
When travelers return to the USA from Thailand, it's almost impossible to wean themselves of the bold, addictive, flavors of Thailand. That said, as an all-American girl, I did miss bread and cheese by the end of our ten-day visit (even though they do sell a limited selection of bread and cheese in their bigger grocery stores to satisfy the cravings of us Westerners). Generally speaking, on all my travels, I come home craving bread and cheese -- specifically, in the form of pizza. Traditionally, a slice or four of 'za is the first thing I eat on my return home from anywhere.
Thai-Asian flavor meets Italian-American pizza dough.
"Fusion cuisine" or "fusion food". Popularized in the 1970's, these words describe the preparation of a meal that combines two different culinary styles and/or traditions to create a new dish. Today's recipe puts traditional Thai-Asian flavors into Italian-American pizza dough. The idea to create a Thai-style pizza, complete with Thai-style toppings was not a leap for me, and, I didn't find it the least bit hard to impart plenty of Thai-flavor into my American-style pizza dough.
A quick glance through the following ingredients list will reveal the common-sense substitutions and additions I made to my traditional pizza dough: sesame oil (in place of olive oil), and, the use of garlic powder, ground ginger, dried Thai basil leaves and Sriracha seasoning, in place of the typical oregano and red pepper flakes that go on or into Italian- Italian-American pizza dough.
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 generous teaspoon each: garlic powder, ground ginger, dried Thai basil leaves, Sriracha seasoning
1 packet granulated yeast
~Step 1. To prepare the dough, place all ingredients in pan of bread machine in the order listed, except for the yeast. Using your index finger, make a small indentation ("a well") on top of the dry ingredients, but not so deep that it reaches the wet layer. Place the yeast in the indentation. Insert the pan into the bread machine, plug the machine in, press the "Select" button, choose the "Pizza Dough" cycle, then press "Start". In about 55 minutes, you will have dough. While dough is mixing, oil 2, 12" round pizza pans with about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons vegetable oil on each pan.
~Step 2. Using lightly oiled fingertips, remove dough from pan. Dough will be slightly sticky, yet very manageable. Divide dough in half (there will be about 2 pounds, 2 ounces) -- the best way to do this is with a kitchen scale. In between palms of hands, form each half of dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc, then place one disc on each pan and allow to rest, about 15-30 minutes, to give the gluten time to relax. Pat and press dough evenly across bottoms and evenly up sides of oiled pans.
~ Step 3. Top pizzas as directed in specific recipe. Bake pizzas as directed in specific recipe, or, as follows (according to me): One-at-a-time place pizza on a pizza stone that has been heated on center rack of 375º oven. Bake for 8-9 minutes. With the aid of a spatula, slide pizza from pizza pan to pizza stone and continue to bake 6-7 more minutes, for a total of 14-16 minutes. Transfer pizza from pizza stone to a wire rack to cool about five minutes prior to slicing and serving ASAP.
Special Equipment List: 2-cup measuring container; bread machine; kitchen scale; paper towels; 2, 12"-round pizza pans; pizza stone; pizza peel; wire cooling rack
Cook's Note: I love making pizza dough in the bread machine. It's like have an extra pair of hands. While it kneads and proofs the dough, I have almost an hour to prep my toppings. Click here to get my ~ A-1 All-Purpose Bread Machine Pizza Dough ~ recipe, along with a bit of traditional New-York-style pizza history too.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)