Pizza: it’s been a while.
After alllll that turkey and fixins, it occurred to me that I really wanted to eat pizza. Had some fresh mozzarella sitting around that needed to be used, and a bunch of tomato sauce I had frozen from the heirloom tomato sauce project. I used a classic neapolitan dough recipe which I got from one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson is behind it, and she uses Peter Reinhart’s recipe. It is fantastic.
4 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt. With a metal spoon, fold in the water and oil. Work the dough for 5 to 7 minutes in the bowl until the dough is smooth and well mixed. The dough will be a bit sticky, so don’t be alarmed by the texture.
2. Sprinkle flour on the counter, and turn out the dough. Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet and lightly oil it. Divide the dough into six parts, and form smaller balls from that. Place them onto the baking sheet, and brush them generously with oil. Cover the whole sheet with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Place the sheet into the refrigerator and let rest for up to 3 days.
3. When you plan to make the pizzas, remove the dough you need 2 hours in advance. Right out of the refrigerator, make sure to shape the dough into flattened rounds about 1/2” by 5”. Let rest at room temperature.
4. Heat up your oven as hot as it will go. If you are going to heat up a pizza stone, do that 45 minutes in advance. Or, sprinkle an oiled baking sheet with semolina flour, and then stretch the dough balls into the shapes you want (shoot for 9” by 12”). Add your toppings, but try not to load it down with too many. Put the pizzas in the oven. They should take about 8 minutes to bake.
By the way, Lauree is really cool – she’s on the couch in the photo below. We are going to grow shiitake mushrooms together!