November 25, 2007

The perfect pizza dough

Everybody loves pizza and a homemade gourmet pizza is SO easy to make. There are several recipes you can try, each one with slightly different results. The Neapolitan tradition for making pizza calls for fewer ingredients than the recipe I chose for this post, but it requires a little more mastering of some "dough skills". So, we'll try the classic one later. Now let's go to the ingredients.

Ingredients (2 15" pizzas)
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 pkg active dry yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Warm the water in the microwave for about 40 seconds (you don't want it hot, just warm enough). Dissolve the sugar in the water and then add and dissolve the yeast. Wait 5 minutes and check if it's active (it should double its volume). While you're waiting put the flour in a bowl and make la fontana (the fountain: a kind of hole in the flour, where you'll mix the other ingredients). Then add the active yeast, the olive oil and the egg and begin to stir with a fork, gradually incorporating the flour. When everything is mixed together you'll notice that it's quite dry, so now add some warm milk and the salt. It's also time to begin to work the dough with your hands. Actually this is the part I love to do because it's so much fun. Think you're giving the dough a massage, use your fingers and press hard with your palms. After 5 to 7 minutes and when it's smooth and elastic your dough is ready to wait. Yes, because you have to let the yeast do its work. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest at least 45 minutes. When the dough has doubled its volume, make two dough balls. If you want only one pizza, you can leave one ball in the fridge up to 3 days (or you can even freeze it for months). Sprinkle a bit of flour over the ball you'll cook and press it down, making it look more like a pizza and less like a ball. I do that directly on the pizza pan with my fingers, from the inside out, sprinkling flour and rotating the pan with my other hand. You'll notice the dough is elastic and it tends to resist being extended after a while. Turn the dough and let it rest for a minute and then continue until you cover the pan with the dough. Preheat the oven as hot as possible and cook with your favorite topping. At 450°F it should take about 25 minutes to be nice and golden and then you'll know it's ready.

Posted by Daziano at 7:29 AM |  
Labels: ,


Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin