*Note: If you double this recipe to make two pizzas, do not double the quantity of yeast. Place the flour and salt in a 2-quart mixing bowl and stir well to mix; make a well in the center. Measure the water and pour it into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the water and leave it to soften 3 or 4 minutes. Whisk the yeast and water together then whisk in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Pour the liquid mixture to the well into the flour and stir with a rubber spatula to form a soft, sticky dough. Turn the dough out on a floured work surface. Knead the dough gently, folding it over on itself, and scraping it off the surface with a spatula or plastic scraper if it is very sticky. Avoid adding more flour to the dough -- that will produce a tough pizza. Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and no longer so sticky. Rinse and dry the bowl. Spread 1 tablespoon oil all around the inside of the bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn the ball upside down, so that the top surface of the dough is oiled, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise at room temperature about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. For advance preparation, cover and refrigerate the dough several hours or even overnight. To form the pizza crust, generously flour the work surface. Flour your hand and scrape the dough from the bowl in one piece, without stretching or folding it. Place the dough on the floured work surface so that what was on top in the bowl is now underneath. Scatter a tablespoon or so of flour over the dough and press down on it with the palm of the hand. Be careful to keep the dough an even disk shape. If the dough is freshly made, it may resist slightly. Should that happen, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes, then resume the process. If the dough has been rested for a long time either in the refrigerator or at room temperature, it will respond easily. Form your right hand into a fist and begin to press the dough in a circle, about 1/2-inch in from the edge of the dough, with the middle joints of your fingers (as though knocking on a door). Pull gently with your other hand on the edge of the dough, opposite where the dough is being pressed. Continue around the crust two or three times in this manner to flatten and widen it. For a rectangular crust, press and pull the dough into a rectangular shape -- use a rolling pin of the dough resists. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil onto a round or rectangular pizza pan and spread it with the palm of one hand. Fold the crust in half and transfer it to the oiled pan. Unfold the dough and press it into place in the pan with the palms of both hands, gently stretching from the center outward. If the dough resists, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes, then resume the process. When the dough is properly stretched, it should be about 1/8-inch thick and have a 1/2-inch wide border which is slightly thicker. Set racks at the lowest and highest levels of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Top the pizza with any of the suggestions that follow the recipe. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30 minutes. After about 10 minutes, lift an end of the pizza with a metal spatula to check that the bottom is not burning. If the bottom is coloring too quickly, slide another pan under the first one. If the bottom is light golden, check again after another 10 minutes. When the pizza is done, the top should be sizzling gently, and the bottom a dark brown. If the top has not colored sufficiently when the bottom is done, place pizza on top rack of the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Yield: Makes one round pizza crust, 12 to 14 inches in diameter, or a 9 to 10 by 12 to 15-inch rectangular pizza Storage: Serve immediately. If the pizza has to wait, the crust may become soggy and reheating may make it hard rather than crisp. Hints for Success: Be sure that the oven has preheated sufficiently before putting in the pizza. A pizza with an underdone crust is very unappetizing. VARIATION: GRILLED PIZZA: Grilled pizza is one of the most popular items at Al Forno, Johanne Killeen and George Germons charming restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. In their book Cucina Simpatica, (HarperCollins, 1991) they give detailed instructions for preparing pizza their way. My method is continued in part 2
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (322g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1|
|Calories from Fat: 163 (17%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 18.1g||24 %|
|Saturated Fat 2.5g||13 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 11.5g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 2.3g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 2413.9mg||83 %|
|Potassium 1428.8mg||38 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 164.4g||48 %|
|Dietary Fiber 18.4g||74 %|
|Sugars, other 146g|
|Protein 40.6g||58 %|
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Calories per serving: 964
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