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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Master Pizza/Focaccia/Calzone Dough Recipe

I grew up making homemade Pizza and Calzone with my Neapolitan Father most Saturdays and it is one my passions in in the kitchen! I remember sneaking (or thinking I was sneaking) a piece of the raw dough into my mouth and savoring all the yeasty doughiness while I dimpled, pressed, and rolled out the light and fluffy dough with my Father's hands behind me showing me how it was done. I would look up at his big green eyes for approval at my "dough skills"as he explained in his thick Italian accent, " Remember Annuccia, you want to coerce the dough not force it, capito?" I love the smell, feel, and pure pleasure of baking my own pizza, calzone, foccaccia, and stromboli at home and desire to pass this art on to others, so here is my recipe from my Buona Cucina to yours!

~My Dad (right) and cousin Gianetto in my Zia's Cucina, Naples, Italy~
This is for 2 large pizzas, 8 Calzone, 1 large Focaccia, or 1 large Stromboli.
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 cup slightly warm water with 1/2 cup room temp white wine added (Or use 1 1/2 cups slightly warm water with a splash of white wine vinegar)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 - 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose-King Arthur Flour (Use this measuring method and always start with only  4 cups and then add a little more if it does not form a ball but be patient as just when you think it wont come together it does!
2 teaspoons salt
Food Processor Method: Place all of the dry into the machine with the dough hook attached and mix on low for a few seconds.
While it is still running add the water and oil at one time (I mix them together) through the shoot.
After a ball forms allow it to mix for 1 minute longer working out all of the bumps and forming an elastic ball. Remove the dough and place in an oiled bowl covered with an oiled sheet of plastic wrap. 
Kitchen Aid Method: Mix yeast & warm water until foamy on medium high speed (proofing)and than turn it to 2 on the speed button. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, oil, & salt and mix together until it forms a ball adding more flour by the 1/2 cups as needed, as soon as you have a ball that is not too dry or too sticky (slightly sticky is better than too dry)knead for 7 minutes in the Kitchen Aid. Cover with an oiled sheet of plastic wrap. 
Hand Method:
Mix the flour and salt and make a well. Add the yeast and liquid into the well. Stir the liquid and yeast together gradually adding in the flour from the edges to the middle. It will be messy at first. Eventually you will have a very sticky ball of dough, it will still be messy at this point. Using your hands and a bench scraper or spatula start scraping the dough up and slapping it back down on to the counter, do this continually for 15-20 minutes. Until it's smooth and elastic.

Now allow the dough to rest until double. It may rest for a few hours but cannot be punched down and doubled again as it will then be fluffier like bread. Usually 1 hour is enough. After which you can punch it down and cover with wrap then place in the fridge over night, the flavor will be enhanced by this extra fermentation.
Proceed with the recipe you desire to use the dough in or try one of mine:


Derenda said...

So - I used this recipe this week and made calzones. OH MY - WONDERFUL! My family licked up every morsel. We loved the texture and flavor of the dough. Perfection!

I am using it again today to make pizza.

I love your blog! Felicity and I enjoy reading it together and looking at the pictures of your family. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! Do you know if the dough would still come out if I mixed it in a breadmaker on the dough setting? Thank you!