"The tradition of Italian cooking is that of the matriarch. This is the cooking of grandma. She didn't waste time thinking too much about the celery. She got the best celery she could and then she dealt with it."--Mario Batali

Pizza Dough Recipe

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This recipe for Pizza Dough, by , is from Aelred and Rita Wagner Family Cookbook , one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Wil Wagner
Added: Thursday, April 3, 2008

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
1 pound. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached bread flour; more as needed
2 teaspoons granulated sugar or honey
1-1/2 teaspoons table salt (or 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt)
1-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
Semolina flour (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons potato flakes

Directions:
Directions:
Combine the flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add 11 fluid ounces (1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) cool (60º to 65ºF) water. With a large spoon or the paddle attachment of the electric mixer on low speed, mix until the dough comes together in a coarse ball, 2 to 3 minutes by hand or 1 to 2 minutes in the mixer. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Knead the dough: If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, either by hand on a lightly floured work surface or with the mixer’s dough hook on medium-low speed. As you knead, add more flour or water as needed to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a Post-it note, leaving only a slight residue. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl but not to the sides.

Chill the dough (This is key in making good pizza dough): Lightly oil a bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Roll the dough in the bowl to coat it with the oil, cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator but will stop growing once completely chilled. If the plastic bulges, release the carbon dioxide buildup by lifting one edge of the plastic wrap (like burping it) and then reseal. You can use the dough for pizzas, calzones, or stromboli.

Make Ahead Tips
It’s best to mix the dough at least a day before you plan to bake. The dough keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or for 3 months in the freezer. To freeze the dough: After kneading the dough, divide it into 4 pieces for pizzas or calzones or 2 pieces for stromboli. Freeze each ball in its own zip-top freezer bag. They’ll ferment somewhat in the freezer, and this counts as the rise. Before using, thaw completely in their bags overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Then treat the dough exactly as you would regular overnighted dough, continuing with the directions for making pizzas, calzones, or stromboli.

Warming up dough: Take it out of refrigerator and put it on a baking sheet with parchment paper that is lightly oiled with olive oil or cooking spray.

Shaping the dough: With floured hands, transfer one ball to the floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and gently press it with your fingertips into a round disk - you are trying to merely spread the dough, not squeeze all the fas from it.
With floured hands, carefully life the disk of dough and rest it on the back of your hands and knuckles.Using the tips of your thumbs, stretch the outer edge as you slowly rotate the dough until it is 10 to 12 inches in diameter. The edge should be the only place where you exert any pressure. If necessary, let the dough hang off one of your hands so that gravity provides some of the stretch. Despite the pressure on the edge, it will remain thicker than the inner section of the dough, which should be nearly paper thin. Don't pull the dough forecefully into a circular shape or it will stretch from the center and possibly rip. If the dough begins to resist and keeps shrinking back into a smaller circle, lay it on the floured work surface and let it rest for about 2 minutes. While it is resting you can begin to stretch and shape another dough ball. Return later to the first dough and finish shaping it.
You can add your favorite toppings. Bake the pizza at your oven's highest setting.

Variations
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Replace 25% to 50% of the flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour. It may be necessary to add more all-purpose flour as you knead. Your goal is to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl but not to sides of the bowl. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a post-it note leaving only a slight residue.

Cornmeal Pizza Dough: Replace 25% to 50% of the flour with an equal amount of cornmeal. Start with the same water as in regular dough and adjust from there, adding more flour until the dough, when poked with a clean finger, peels off like a post-it note, leaving only a slight residue. You may need to add up to 10 tablespoons of flour to get the right consistency: supple and tacky (almost but not quite sticky).The amount of extra flour will depend on the type of cornmeal. Polenta, for instance, absorbs much more slowly than fine grind cornmeal. Because cornmeal often takes a little longer to fully hydrate, you’ll find that the dough will firm up slightly as it cools in the fridge.



Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This dough recipe makes 4 individual pizzas or calzones or 2 stromboli, each serving four.

I got this dough recipe from www.finecooking.com. and the April/May 2008 issue of Fine Cooking, author Peter Reinhart. 05/10/08 - I have tried it for both pizza and stromboli and both were super. I like this website because it gives you so many tips.

 

 

 

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