Thursday, April 7, 2011

JO's Pizza Dough

7 cups strong white bread flour (high gluten) or Tipo "00" flour (available in Italian markets), and mix in a little semolina flour, OR 5 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
1 level T fine sea salt
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
1 T raw sugar
4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Preparing the dough:
Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. Use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.

Roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Roll the dough out into rough circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. Stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and put them into the refrigerator.

Makes 6 to 8 pizzas


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