If you missed last weekend's City Weekly PIZZA PARTY
, no worries. With this recipe you're going to make your own pizzeria-worthy pizza.
Now, you can put any toppings on the pizza you'd like. This is strictly about the pizza dough.
I've fiddled around over the years with, literally, dozens of pizza dough recipes and I've finally settled on this one as being the most satisfying (to me, anyway) and simplest for the home kitchen.
Don't freak out about making pizza dough. It's really easy. Trust me.
An important note: Pizza dough - just like any baked product - depends greatly on oven temperature, humidity, type of water being used, etc. For that reason, this recipe is approximate.
I have to tweak and adjust it almost every time I use it, depending on environmental conditions, the toppings I put on the pizza, and so on.
Still, this is a very good basic pizza dough recipe. It will make either 2 thin-crust pizzas or 1 larger, thicker crust pie.
I've seen a lot of dough recipes calling for '00' flour, such as Caputo's from Italy. That's what they use at places like Settebello. But, with the lower temperatures of a home oven I prefer to use a 50/50 mix of good, unbleached, all-purpose flour combined with '00' flour, in equal portions.
It pays when baking to weigh your ingredients, and it's no different with pizza dough. So, invest in a digital kitchen scale for measuring out dry ingredients such as flour for pizza.
150 grams all-purpose, unbleached flour
150 grams '00' four, such as Caputo's from Italy - available in specialty food and gourmet markets or online
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup warm water
Place all of the ingredients except the water into a large mixer such as a KitchenAid with a dough hook. (You could also mix the dough by hand in a large bowl.)
Set the mixer on low and mix the ingredients together, drizzling in the water while the mixer is running. The process will take around 3 to 5 minutes.
You're aiming for dough that is moist, but not too wet and sticky. Keep adding water, a little at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl in one piece. If the dough is too wet, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. If it's too dry, add a little water.
Once the dough has cohered into one piece, allow it to rest in the bowl for 15 minutes.
Now, knead the dough by hand for 3-4 minutes, until it's relatively smooth and pliant.
Form the pizza dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow the dough to rise for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature.
To make the pizza, turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and either cut it in half for 2 pizzas or roll it out and stretch it for one pizza.
I'm always told by pizza makers to stretch the pizza out by hand. However, since I'm not a pro, I find I have better success with stretching by hand at the beginning and then using a wooden roller to finish the job.
Turn the rolled out pizza dough onto a pizza paddle sprinkled with corn meal (or just use a piece of thick, sturdy cardboard). The corn meal will help the pizza slide into the oven without sticking.
Place your favorite toppings on the pizza the cook on a pizza stone at a minimum of 550 degrees F. in your oven or on the grill.
Photos by Ted Scheffler