Tuesday, May 1, 2012

'Tis the Season for Pizza - Italian Pizza Dough

Before moving to New Jersey, Chris and I believed the best pizza around came from Papa Johns or Dominos. We are now happy to say we are total and complete pizza snobs! My Chris looked and looked until he found a dough just like we ate in New Jersey.

The recipe calls for the flour to be sifted 3 times. While it seems a bit overload, it is probably the most important step in the recipe. Sifting the flour makes it just that much better.

Italian Pizza Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 3xs
1-1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast

Mix the dough in a stand mixer, by hand or in a bread machine. If you are using a stand mixer, mix it slowly for two minutes, faster for 5 minutes, and slow again for 2 minutes.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until double. Punch it down and push out the air bubbles. Form the dough into a large ball, then cut it into three equal pieces.

To make pizza balls, shape each piece of dough into a ball. Gently roll dough into a ball, then stretch the top of the ball down and around the rest of the ball, until the outer layer wraps around the other side. Pinch the two ends together to make a smooth ball with a tight outer "skin." Set the ball seam-side down where it can rest. Dust pizza balls with flour, and store them under a damp towel. This will prevent the outside of the ball from drying out and creating a crust, and becoming difficult to work with. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.

The pizza balls will need to rest for about an hour to become soft and elastic, so that they can be easily stretched into a thin crust pizza.

If you won't need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until ready to start.

Recipe and picture from www.fornobravo.com

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