On proofing yeast: I tried to proof active yeast in warm water on the stove after heating it up but have since discarded that and now simply add the yeast to my flour-sugar-warm water mix.
On salt, sugar, and yeast: Supposedly salt slows down yeast activation and sugar helps it activate. In Vegan for Everybody by America’s Test Kitchen, they have you mix the flour-water-yeast first, wait 10 min, then add salt and oil. I did this and it worked fine, but had to add white flour as I kneaded the slimy dough by hand (instead of a food processor as they suggest) for those 10 minutes.
Flour: Using a mix of whole wheat and white flours can result in a drier dough, so adding a few extra TBS of water helps. I have not tried bread flour yet.Serves 2: Since I only like to make one pizza dough crust at a time, I follow Smitten Kitchen’s recipe making a 10-12″ pizza dough round by hand, changing it up by adding sugar and waiting to add in the salt. This makes a thick crunchy crust for me.
On where to place dough in a cold house: I have placed dough next to our fireplace for 4-5 hours and that worked just fine. Now I place in the oven but make sure dough is in an oven-safe dish in case it gets turned on. I learned this lesson:-(.
In a dutch oven or large oven-safe pot mix together 3/4 C white flour + 3/4 C whole wheat flour, a big pinch of sugar, 3/4 tsp active dry yeast (I store in a tightly sealed mason jar in the freezer) + 1/2 C + 3 TBS warm water (not scorching)
Mix with hands then let dough rest 10 minutes before adding 1 TBS olive oil + 1 tsp salt.
Knead dough right in the pot 10 minutes adding sprinkles of white flour until smooth. I knead by hand and it really does take 10 minutes.:-)
Clean out dutch oven, oil, add dough ball, cover with lid, then place in an off-oven with the oven light on.
Set oven to 500F. Par-bake on a baking sheet 5 minutes, remove and top with homemade sauce + Daiya cheese + optional fresh spinach, then pop back in 12 more minutes (or when brown in bottom). Easy Homemade Sauce: Blend 14oz diced 🍅’s, 6oz 🍅 paste, 1 clove garlic + 2 pinches dried oregano