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Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Food, Pizza |

Pizza, the How-to

I figured it was time I share the exact how-to of at-home pizza making. I make my pizzas as authentically Italian as possible. I can’t fit a wood-fire oven in my townhouse else I could really pull it off! Let’s go!

The Tools

A few items on hand will make this a lot easier for you!

  • KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook. If you don’t have one of these just be prepared to spend a good deal of time kneading your dough
  • Pizza peel  (wood or metal. Mine is metal) – this tool really makes moving pizzas in and out of the oven easy
  • round stone – you cook the pizza directly on pre-heated round stones. I have two so I can do 2 pizzas at once.
  • parchment paper – I make pizzas so often I now buy this in bulk.
  • roller – for flattening out the dough
  • saran wrap
  • food processor

 

The Dough Recipe (from “The Silver Spoon”)

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The ingredients (for 2 pizzas)

  • 2.5 cups of flour (preferably Type “00” – I buy mine on Amazon in bulk)
  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast (this is a deviation from “The Silver Spoon” as that calls for 1 oz of fresh yeast — also known as cake yeast. It’s hard to find.)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup luke warm water

Instructions

  1. combine yeast, salt, and water in your mixer bowl. Don’t worry about getting all of the yeast incorporated, just mostly combined.
  2. add flour to bowl. Combine ingredients either using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or knead with your hands until you have a smooth elastic ball of dough.
  3. Remove dough from mixer bowl so that you can spray it with olive oil. Place ball of dough back in bowl and with a knife mark an ‘x’ on the top. Spray ball of dough with olive oil and cover with saran wrap.
  4. Let rise in warm place for 2-3 hours. To create a warm place you can turn your oven on to 200 degrees for a few minutes then turn it off.
  5. Peak at the dough every now and then to make sure the saran wrap is still covering it. Exposed dough will develop a sort of crust. Don’t want that!
  6. Place in fridge until ready for use. You can freeze the dough if you want.

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The Sauce*

The ingredients (good for up to 4 pizzas)

  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes (designated DOP) — required if you want to get as close to a true Neapolitan pizza as possible. I last bought the Napoli brand off of Amazon as DOP San Marzanos are impossible to find in a grocery store.
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  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

The Instructions

  1. Drain tomatoes in a colander. Reserve 1/2 cup of the tomato juice.
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  2. Combine drained tomatoes, tomato juice and oil in a food processor. Pulse until they form a lightly chunky sauce.
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  3. Add salt to taste.
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* recipe courtesy of Tutta Bella.

 

Toppings (for a Margherita Neapolitan pizza)

  • Fresh Mozzarella (the stuff you find in the deli section of the store, not the blocks or pre-shredded stuff on the back wall). Take it a step further and find some Buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala). Pricey.
  • Sauce (directions above)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Minced garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
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To Cook the Pizza

  1. With round stones in the oven Pre-heat to 500 for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough in to 2 equal parts.
  3. Layout a large sheet of parchment paper and dust with flour.
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    Set dough ball on floured parchment paper and lightly dust top of dough ball.
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    Roll it flat using a rolling pin. As thin as you can get it or want it. Each pizza roughly serves 2 people (proper serving size). There are 3 of us, I always make 2 pizzas.
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    Drizzle oil over dough.
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  4. Use the pizza peel to move dough with parchment paper under it into the oven and directly on to a round stone. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven using pizza peel.
  5. You may need to flatten out the dough a bit as bubbles may have formed. Mine some times come out looking like a giant calzone, all puffed up.
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  6. Brush olive oil (yes, more) all over crust and then brush minced garlic (to taste) all over.
  7. Top with just a couple spoon fulls of sauce. Too much sauce will make the dough soggy.
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  8. Add basil leaves. Using the larger leaves you may have between 5-10 leaves. Use your best judgement.
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  9. Top with fresh mozzarella. Do not completely cover the crust. You want just a few globs of cheese on there to let the sauce and basil leaves show through. They will melt and spread any way.
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  10. Using pizza peel again put pizza with toppings in oven on to round stone and cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove and enjoy!
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You can of course do any kind of toppings you want. We usually do a Hawaiian pizza for Ella and our grown up pizza has spicy soppresata salami on it.

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