Pasta della pizza
Naples - Campania
Preparation: 1/2 hour prep, 4 hours for dough to rise
MAKES: Six 10- to 11-inch pizzas (well wrapped, risen dough freezes well for a couple of weeks, will hold 2-3 days in refrigerator)

Less yeast and long rise, plus 00 Italian flour if you can get it... great tasting pizza!!

INGREDIENTS (3 pizzas in parenthesis):

  • 6 (3) cups Italian 00 (best results) or all-purpose flour
  • 2 (1) cups water at room temperature
  • 1/2 (1/4) tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 (1/2) TBSP salt
  • 1 1/2 (3/4) tsp olive oil, plus 1/2 cup for coating dough during rise (explained below)
OO Bread machine or stand mixer, or mixing bowl if you are used to work by hand. Pizza peel, or a way to move pizza from work surface to oven, pizza stone or tiles.

  1. PUT yeast, oil and water in bowl and mix until yeast is dissolved.
  2. ADD flour and knead for 8 minutes - dough should be firm and 'sticky' but not like glue, comes cleanly away from work surface it you pick it up - add 1 TBSP water at a time if too dry. (It is better to add water than flour as it disturbs the balance of flour/yeast less).
  3. COVER with damp dish towel and let dough rise for 20 minutes.
  4. ADD salt and mix until thoroughly absorbed, another 7 minutes - if you do this by hand you can feel the salt grains gradually combining with the dough.
  5. TURN dough out on lightly floured surface, divide into 6 balls, dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap or damp dish towel or coat with olive oil to prevent surface drying and let rise at least 4 hours at warm room temperature (warmer is better. If it is below 70 degrees F., I put dough in closed oven with pilot light or light bulb on). Dough balls have risen when visibly expanded, and barely spring back when poked. Another alternative for rising is to put your dough balls in a microwave with a pyrex cup of boiling water - the point is to have a warm environment without much temperature variation during the rising time.
  6. WITH rack on lowest position and pizza stone or tiles in place, pre-heat oven to 550 degrees for 45 minutes.

  7. PRESS balls into rounds. Grasp by edge with both hands, lift and rotate dough round so that it stretches into size and thickness pizza you want. Look for the gluten:

  8. IF dough is too resistent (springs back to original shape when stretched), let pizza rest for about 15 minutes until it is more relaxed.
  9. PLACE on peel (you can use upside down baking tray), add topping and transfer to oven.
  10. COOK for 4 minutes, take a look. Be ready to rotate pizza 180 degrees with tongs if the top is browned on one side and not the other... pizza should cook in 4 - 6 minutes (If your pizza hasn't got dark brown patches on the edges (photo) after 6 minutes, your oven isn't hot enough). Remove from oven, allow to cool.

COOK IN A PAN! Preheat broiler or toaster oven, coat one side lightly with olive or vegetable oil, using a large non-stick frying pan, cook on medium-high heat until you get bubbles on upside surface. Remove from pan, add your toppings, place under broiler, rotating 180 deg. after 2 minutes, until finished (3 -5 mins depending on topping and broiler).





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