I rarely vary my pizza dough recipe. I make a whole wheat crust, in the bread machine, and it takes 1 hour 40 minutes- completely unattended. After reading the information about making homemade dough in this Brooklyn pizzeria cookbook, I felt like I was shortchanging myself and I had to try a new dough recipe.
I pretty much knew this already, but rolling out the dough using a rolling pin is criminal as well! I always had trouble really stretching the dough to achieve my desired size without rolling it. This recipe has very specific instructions regarding stretching the dough- which worked PERFECTLY! No more rolling pin for me! 🙂
This dough was more labor intensive and had to be planned in advance as the crust is made at least 24 hours in advance, but it was very tender and tasty! This recipe was adapted from Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock, of Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY.
Yield: Makes 2 rounds of dough, enough for 2 (12-inch) pizzas
- 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) 00 Flour
- 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
- 8 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
- 2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast OR 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) fresh yeast
- 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) good olive oil
- 202 grams (1 cup minus 1 T) lukewarm water
To Make the Dough:
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flours and salt; make a well in the center.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water.
- Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading.
- After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
- Flour your hands and the work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surface as necessary. The dough will be nice and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure- which results in a chewy, pliable crust with great flavor.
To Make the Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to the highest temperature, ideally at least 500 degrees F. (My oven has a “Stone” setting as well.) Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven, if set to “Stone”, otherwise place a pizza stone on the center rack of the oven. Let the oven heat for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
- Lightly flour your hands and the work surface.
- Using your fingertips, push down any bubbles in the dough. Then use your fingertips to push down on the round of dough, from the center out to the perimeter, to encourage it to spread out. Notes: Don’t push the dough out- any pushing or pulling you do to it will cause it to toughen, which is something to keep in mind throughout this process. Be gentle with the dough. If you push it too hard or over stretch it, you can’t just re-form it into a ball and reshape it. It will become stiff and hard to work with and you’ll have to toss it out and use a new ball of dough. So take your time. spend a minute or two gently flattening the dough ball into a disc shape before you move on to the next step. The goal is a round 12-inches in diameter, no less than 1/8-inch thick in the center. The edges should be slightly thicker than the center. (It will be thicker than pizzeria pizza dough because it will cook at a lower temperature for longer.)
- Now the dough is ready to be “Slapped Out” (another term for letting the crust form itself). It lets gravity do the stretching and shaping of the dough. Pick up your disc of dough and hold your hands parallel to the floor. Then squeeze your fingers together and curve them so that your hands are like paddles. Drape the dough over one hand and flip it over to the other hand in a smooth motion. Continue moving the dough slowly back and forth, rotating it 90 degrees every few seconds so that you end up with a circle. It will start to stretch. After 1 to 2 minutes, you should have a round of dough that’s about 12 inches in diameter.
- Transfer it to a floured (I use cornmeal) pizza peel- preferably a metal one- and gently push out any edges that need pushing to make a better looking circle.
- Top the dough immediately after transferring it to the peel so that it doesn’t start to stick, and pop it in the oven the moment it’s topped; it will get soggy otherwise.
- Carefully slide the topped pizza onto the stone and bake it for 5 to 7 minutes (watch closely!), until the crust is bubbling up and beginning to turn golden.
- Turn on the broiler and broil the pizza for 1 to 2 minutes, checking to make sure the cheese doesn’t get too brown, until the crust is golden and starts to char in a few places.