Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Pizza Dough Recipe

Technically this is not a new recipe; I've been using it for nearly 6 months now. Last November, when I got the fabulous book, Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day, from my fabulous sister-in-law Erin, I decided to try out the author's pizza dough recipe.  The recipe yields an excellent loaf of bread and a tasty pizza crust but it is very difficult to handle.  It is sticky and loose and usually makes a sloppy looking pizza. I don't like sloppy.

I like tossing my pizza, making it perfectly round and having it thick enough that I can pick it up to eat instead of using a fork.  So, I need a dough that is just a little bit stiffer than the recipe from Artisan Bread, something that gives me a bit more substantial crust, that is easy to toss and tastes fantastic.  I altered the recipe to suit my needs and now have my new favorite pizza dough recipe.  Hope you like it!

7.5 cups bread flour
1 T yeast
1.5 T kosher salt
3 cups very warm water

Add all ingredients to Mixer Bowl and use the kneading attachment to mix ingredients until they all come together and no more dry ingredients are on the side or bottom of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter, at room temperature for 2 hours or more until the dough fully rises.  Put in the refrigerator and let rest at least 2 hours but preferably a few days.  The few days in the refrig gives the dough a sourdough type taste that I just love!.

About 1.5 hours before you want to serve pizza lightly flour the top of the dough and pull out a grapefruit size dough ball.  Stretch and wrap the dough into a ball (like you would a huge dinner roll) creating a gluten cloak over the top of the dough.  seal the wrapped edges on the bottom and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and push down slightly to form the dough ball into a disc.  Let rest 45 minutes.

Turn your oven to 425 degrees and place your pizza stone inside on the top rack to preheat.  Place a pan of water on the bottom oven rack (this will provide humidity for the dough to rise better).

After resting the dough for 45 minutes generously dust your pizza peel (or an edgeless cookie sheet) with cornmeal.  Shape and toss your dough to about 13".  Place crust on cornmeal. Dress top of crust with sauce, cheese and toppings as desired.

Using a large spatula and a quick jerking motion slide prepared, uncooked pizza off the peel (cookie sheet) and on to the hot pizza stone in the oven.  Quickly shut the door and cook for 9-12 minutes until the crust  and cheese are browned to desired coloring.

Remove pizza from stone and slide back onto peel or onto a wooden cutting board to cool.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes for cheese and toppings to congeal.  Cut, serve, and enjoy!

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