PIZZA (homemade pizza dough)
I know I am not the only one, but I am in love with pizza.
Especially on a Sunday night, definitely italians first choice for ending the week with pleasure.
You can enjoy making the dough by hand or you can enjoy watching your Kitchen Aid doing a great job of it.
Too many people think that making pizza is difficult, or at least time consuming. It is not: it takes ten minutes to put the ingredients together, ten minutes to work the dough and five minutes to roll it.
When the dough is sitting and the yeast is doing its job, you can use the time for yourself… Just make sure that the environment is warm but never too hot and that the timing is enough for it to double in size and not longer!
Remember that a secret for a good pizza is also in the sauce, it’s very important to keep the sauce simple: passata -tomato puree- or polpa -tomato pulp (if you like chunks of tomatoes)- oil, salt and oregano. Any other flavour comes from the toppings.
For a better understanding of how to knead and roll out the dough I put an in-depth explanation at the end of the recipe card.
- 270g white flour
- 65g fine ground semolina flour
- 20g brewer's yeast
- 200cc warm water
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Ollive Oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- RED SAUCE
- 350ml plain passata or polpa di pomodoro
- Abundant bunch of oregano
- 4 tblspoon EVO Oil
- 4 teaspoon salt
- 250g Mozzarella for pizza cut into 4mm thick slices
- Mix together the flours and the salt in a very big bowl.
- Melt the yeast in the warm water together with the sugar (or honey) and the oil.
- After 5 minutes pour the liquid in the hole you have created on top of the mountain of flour.
- If you knead the dough with your hands start with a fork. When it is all mixed and the dough hard, flour very well your hands and knead. You can also choose to knead with your mixer. Knead for ten minutes both cases, until the dough is quite smooth and doesn’t stick that much anymore.
- Make a ball out of it and rub it in oil with your hands (you can also pour 2 spoons of oil in your bowl and then put in and turn around the dough). Put the ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth (soak it in water and squeeze it).
- Leave it in a warm place until it doubles in size (45 minutes-1 hour)
- Turn oven on to 250°C.
- Divide dough in two balls.
- Flour the countertop, your rolling pin and your hands. Roll the dough by starting with your fingers (keep you fingers stretched out and relaxed like when giving a massage) trying to give a rectangular shape to it. Start from the edge of the dough and then go to the middle. Roll with rolling pin. Start from the middle of the dough up, then middle of the dough down, then turn the dough 90° and repeat, use also your hands to gently pull the corners. Regularly turn your dough upside down and distribute the flour on the countertop.
- Put an oven sheet on the tray and cover it with some semolino flour. The space created by this layer will allow the bottom of your pizza to cook better.
- When the rectangle is the right size put your right arm under the right side of the rectangle, lift up your arm and put the left arm under the left side of the rectangle. Move it to tray. If it’s a bit bigger round it up on the perimeter, it’s going to prevent the sauce to fall outside and it will make a nice crust.
- If you want to wait (longer then 15-20 minutes) for your guests to arrive before putting it in the oven, spread on the dough a mixture of water and oil. Help yourself with a brush.
- Spread the tomato sauce with the help of a spoon. Put slices of mozzarella on top at a distance of 1cm one from the other. Put your favourite toppings on top (except rocket salad that would go on top at the end)
- Put tray at the bottom of the oven for 7-10 minutes until golden.
- ABOUT KNEADING
- The purpose of kneading is getting air into the dough and you achieve this by folding, again and again. The basic kneading technique is called stretch & folding. You can do this in the air (don’t worry I’m not speaking about the Neapolitan pizzaiolo turning his dough in the air like a basketball player) or on the countertop.
- Bear in mind: flour is your best friend, from beginning to end dust your hands, the dough and countertop with flour every time the dough is too sticky.
- In the air: take the dough and stretch it by pulling it in opposite directions with your two hands, towards you with the left hand, far from you with your right hand.
- On countertop: press the dough using the heels of your hands pushing away from your body , give it a quarter turn, fold the dough in half and press the dough away from you again. Press, turn and fold until the dough is smooth and elastic.
It took us awhile to find a good pizza here in Switzerland, but when we found it we were very thankful to Raffaelo and his wonderful pizzamobil!
Pizza Pulcinella is a pizzeria on wheels with a real wood oven. Raffaelo is proud of his pizza and we are too, since his Neapolitan style pizza is a real treasure.