Chefs and bakers use food processors for sauces as well as dough. This modern appliance will improve your dough and allow you to quickly blend the ingredients. Many food processors come with several blades. You can make most dough with the regular blade; however, for bread dough you will need a kneading attachment. For larger quantities of dough, you will need a food processor with a large capacity and strong motor. A number of industrial-quality food processors are available at department stores.
Attach the metal blade and bowl to your food processor. Add 4 cups unbleached bread flour, 2 tsp fine sea salt and 1 tsp instant yeast to the food processor.
Measure 1 ¼ cups water at a temperature of 54.4 degrees C. Hold back a few tablespoons of the water at the beginning of mixing. Add the remaining water if the dough appears crumbly or if it does not form a ball in the bowl. With the food processor running, pour all but 2 tbsp water through the processor’s feed tube. Process for 20 seconds. Add the remaining water if the dough looks crumbly and dry. Mix the dough for another 25 seconds.
Remove the dough from the food processor, and place it in a greased bowl. Allow to rise for one-and-a-half to two hours. Press down and form into loaves of bread.
Combine one package active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 1 ½ tsp salt and 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a clean bowl. Stir the ingredients well to proof and activate the yeast. Wait five minutes.
Add the wet ingredients to 3 cups flour in the food processor. Pulse the food processor until a ball forms. The dough should not be sticky; if the dough looks too sticky, add more flour.
Remove the dough from the food processor, and place on a work surface. Knead for two minutes by hand. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a moist towel. Allow to rise for one hour. Divide into two balls. Spread one ball on a pizza pan. Let rest 15 minutes and reshape.
Add 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt to the processor. Cut 4 tbsp unsalted butter and 5 tbsp shortening into small cubes. The butter should be frozen or very cold. Add butter and shortening to the processor.
Pulse the food processor button three times with three counts to lightly mix ingredients. With the processor running, pour 3 tbsp ice water into the machine, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough becomes crumbly. Do not allow the dough to become a big clump, as that is a sign the dough is too wet and will become tough.
Remove the dough and form a ball with your hands. Roll the dough with a rolling pin to place into a pie or tart pan.
Use cold butter for pastry dough. Cold ingredients make flaky pie and tart crusts. Temp water before adding to food processor. Proof yeast before adding to food processor. Use the regular blade for pastry dough.
Be careful when handling the food processor blade.