Pizza Dough

From: (Fritz Knabe)

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1993 07:12:53 GMT

Here's my well-used pizza dough recipe (I've made four pizzas this week

flour (approx. 3 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 packet fast-rising yeast
1 C. water at 120-130F (use a thermometer; your hot water tap should
	probably be able to give you water this hot)
2 tsp. olive oil

Blend the yeast with two cups of flour and the salt. Add the water and
the oil and mix to form a dough. Add more flour as necessary until you
can knead the dough. Knead for about 6 minutes (I use my KitchenAid).

Put the dough in a bowl and allow to rise for about 45 minutes. In the
meantime, preheat the oven to 400F and prepare your toppings.

Split the dough into two pieces and roll into two medium size pizzas. In
the U.S., you can use bread flour to make the pizzas. If so, the dough
should be strong enough to handle spinning in the air. For that to work,
though, *do not knead the dough (or punch down) after it has risen!* If
you want to spin, it'll probably go easier if you just resort to using
all the dough for one large pizza.

If you're rolling the dough, ideally you can roll it out on parchment
paper, which can go directly into the oven with the pizza. Why not do it
on a cookie sheet? Well, the secret of a good pizza crust (particularly
a thin one) is that the pizza should bake directly on a hot surface. I
have lined my oven with quarry tiles, and I bake my pizzas directly on
that. A pizza stone can be had at a cooking store, or you might try
baking directly on the floor of your oven. If you try to bake on a
cookie sheet that you slide into the oven with the pizza on it, I think
you'll find yourself frustrated in the quest of good crusty pizza.

So, after rolling out and preparing your pizza on top of parchment
paper, slide the paper (with the pizza on it) onto a large cutting board
held level with the counter. Then open the oven and gently shake the
cutting board so that the pizza and the paper slide right off. Don't be
scared, it works!

If you don't have parchment paper... Well, in the U.S., parchment paper
can be hard to find in some areas (why, I don't know -- it's the most
useful baking tool I have). So, in this case, roll out (or spin) your
pizza dough and then place it on a cutting board **liberally** dusted
with cornmeal. Put the toppings on the pizza and then do the same
sliding trick before (although it's good to check, just beforehand, that
the pizza doesn't seem stuck anywhere to the board). I've made a lot of
pizzas this way, too, and though it's not quite so easy to get the pizza
from the board to the oven as with parchment paper, it certainly works
(again, don't be scared!).

Finally, bake the pizza from anywhere between 12-18 minutes. The dough
will be hard, so you won't have any trouble pulling the pizza out of the
oven with a pot holder onto a cutting board.

And if you have a pizza peel instead of a cutting board, use that!

Fritz Knabe


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