Fresh homemade pizza dough, fresh homemade tomato sauce, freshly picked basil, organic tomato and mozzarella cheese. Joy on a plate.
I suggest you start early in the day.
The dough ingredients are pretty basic, flour, water, yeast that's it.
Added two teaspoons of yeast to 1/4 cup of warm 110*F water. Let that stand for about 10 minutes.
Then added 3/4 cup flour to the yeast,
and made sure all the flour got mixed into the yeast.
All the flour is incorporated.
Covered the starter and let rest for about an hour.
I transferred the starter to a larger bowl, (that's what I get for not carefully reading ahead in the recipe) and added water to the starter,
Kneaded into a smooth elastic dough.
Divided the dough into three, and shaped into rounds.
Covered and let rest for about two hours.
I took a peak about an hour and half into this, it was looking good.
Two hours later, three beautiful rounds of yeasty dough. I was going to make only one pizza so I prepped the other two for the freezer.
Spread-ed some olive oil onto a piece of plastic wrap.
Placed one of the dough balls on the plastic wrap and drizzled it with a little more olive oil. Couldn't hurt and I'm not about to fight soft gooey dough off plastic wrap when I'm ready to use it.
Wrapped it up really good.
Did the same thing with the other ball of dough and put into a plastic bag then into the freezer.
My foodsaver finally gave up and quit working after all these years, or they would have been vacuum packed. I'm getting a new one next week YippiEEEEEEEEEEE.
Rolled out the dough into somewhat of a round.
Put it on a cookie sheet and brushed it with some olive oil.
Here's a direct quote from the dough recipe regarding brushing the dough with olive oil.
"The coating of olive oil serves a number of purposes: It coats the dough thereby making it impermeable to the water in the tomato or other toppings. thus the pizza has less tendency to become soggy and to stick to the peel. Additionally, the olive oil heats faster and assists in the cooking of the ingredients."
While the dough was resting I made a quick batch of tomato sauce and put that on the oiled dough.
Then I topped the tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil.
Then drizzled a little more olive oil over the top.
After a short trip into a 500*F oven.
I sacrificed one of my pieces of pizza for this shot. ;-) This is a nice crunchy flavorful crust.
See, it hold up under the toppings, not soft and soggy. I love this recipe.
I got the dough recipe from a man named Jerry, he participates in one of the cooking groups I frequent. He has a lovely web site The Artisan It's an Italian food recipe and baking site.
I'm leaving the recipe for the dough in it's entirety, including the links that won't work here, but I hope that will entice you to visit his site.
I know this recipe looks long and like a lot of work, but there are a lot of helpful hints and suggestions in the instructions so don't let the length of it put you off.
PIZZA - DOUGH & A FEW BASICS
(Adapted from Vincenzo Buonassisi's PIZZA Plus, English Edition, William Collins & Sons Ltd. 1985. Original Italian Edition by Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, S.p.A., Milan, 1982. ISB 0-00-411202-4)
2 Tsp. Yeast - active dry or 4/5 small cake yeast (14 g)
1/4 Cup Water - warm (59 ml)
3/4 Cup Flour - unbleached all-purpose (100g)
7/8 - 1 1/4 Cups Water - (207 - 296 ml) [See Note 1]
2 1/4 Cups Flour - unbleached all-purpose (300g)
1 Tsp. Salt (5g)
Note 1: Using 7/8 cup of water will result in a less wet, or soft dough; a dough which is easier to make and work with when making the pizza. Using 1 1/4 cups of water will result in a very wet dough. Wet doughs are harder to work with, but result in a crust much more like pizza in Italy. If working with a wet dough is unfamiliar, The Artisan has posted a piece on working with wet doughs. This can be accessed via the link provided here. Working with Wet Doughs. To return to the recipe from the referenced link, please click the BACK button on your browser.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water and allow it to stand for approximately 5 -10 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, and mix until the flour is absorbed. Cover the starter with a cotton towel and allow it to remain at room temperature for 1 hour.
Mix the salt (1 tsp.) with the flour (2 1/4 cup). Add the additional 7/8 to 1 1/4 cups of water to the starter. The water should be at room temperature. Add the flour/salt mixture, and continue to mix the ingredients to the consistency of a soft dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into 3 portions. Shape each into a ball. Dust a piece of canvas (untreated, 100% cotton), or a proofing board (1/4 inch thick lumber core plywood works well) with flour. Place the 3 portions of dough on the flour dusted surface. Cover with a cotton or linen towel, and allow them to rise until double their original size. this usually takes approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours. (Depending upon how soon the dough will be used, the risen portions can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap, placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen for up to 2 months. If refrigerated or frozen prior to use, allow the portions to come to room temperature before they are rolled out.)
As the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven and set the temperature to 500 F. Allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes.
Fold the edge of each portion of dough toward the center, kneading it gently, while maintaining a round shape. Place each portion onto a floured work surface. Work with each portion individually. Roll the dough into a circular shape of about 10-12 inches. [See Pizza Info below] Drizzle at least 1 Tsp. of Olive Oil over the pizza, spreading it with your hand or a paper towel. All of the surface except for an inch around the edge should be covered with a thin layer of olive oil. The coating of olive oil serves a number of purposes: It coats the dough thereby making it impermeable to the water in the tomato or other toppings. thus the pizza has less tendency to become soggy and to stick to t he peel. Additionally, the olive oil heats faster and assists in the cooking of the ingredients.
The initial topping, except in "White Pizza", should consist of 3 - 4 tablespoons of crushed fresh or canned tomatoes. This should be spread thinly over the olive oil with the back of a large spoon or your fingers. (In authentic Italian pizza, the tomato base is thin enough to see the dough underneath, especially where the back of the spoon has spread the sauce.) Toppings such as cheese, sausage or prosciutto, mushrooms, or anchovies should rarely be thicker than the dough itself, and should not cover the edge of the pizza base. The taste of a pizza dough should be complemented by the ingredients. Toppings should be added to enhance the flavor of the base, not overwhelm it. Click Here for topping ideas and suggestions.
After the toppings have been added to the base sprinkle a bit more olive oil over the toppings, slide the pizza onto a baker’s peel, and place it on the baking stone in the oven. It should be checked after 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 minutes. It is usually finished baking 5 1/2 minutes after being placed in the oven. [See the "Two Stone", Zinski Technique below for a great cooking method.]
Remove the pizza from the oven, and cut it into individual slices using a pizza cutter. Serve immediately
And that's that.