Pizza–Pizza and Calzones

9 Feb

It’s been a while since I made my own pizza so I figured it was time to make a go of it again.  I have been reading many posts about using 00 style flour and how it really only works best when you can get your heat source over 700 degrees.  I don’t have the ability to do that just yet, so I decided to combine 50% Italian Style Flour from KAF and 50% KAF Bread Flour and see what happens.

I adapted a recipe from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Baking Everyday and after a couple of days with the dough balls resting comfortably in my refrigerator I decided to bake a couple of pizzas for lunch this past weekend.

I recently read another blog by  Steve B. at http://www.breadcetera.com where he suggested to put your pizza stone on the highest shelf of your oven and set your oven to broil.  The purpose of this is to get as much heat as possible to be retained by the stone.  I have to say it worked perfectly so give it a try!

I decided to add some pepperoni and some parmesan cheese to add some extra flavor and I do have to say I was very happy with the end results.  My wife did complain that one of the pies was a little soggy which was due to my putting too much sauce on the pie, but I ate it all anyway!

Heres the recipe:

Ingredients

12 ounces Italian Style (00) Flour

12 ounces Bread Flour

2 teaspoons salt (sea salt or table salt)

1 teaspoon instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

17 ounces water (90 degrees)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1 minute.  The dough should be rough and a little sticky.  Let it rest for 5 minutes so the flour gets fully hydrated.

Knead the dough on medium low-speed (or by hand) for 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is smoother.  Next put some olive oil on your work surface and your hands and transfer the dough to your work area.  Do a stretch and fold and form the dough into a ball.  Divide the dough into 5 pieces weighing about 8 ounces each and form into balls.  Spray the inside of a mini plastic storage bag with oil and seal each dough ball in the bags.  Put them in your refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.  You can freeze them also for several months if desired.

About 90 minutes before you are ready to bake your pizzas take how many dough balls you plan on using out of the fridge and put them on your lightly oiled work surface.  Stretch the dough balls and reshape them into a tight ball.  Cover the dough balls with either plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray or a clean lint free kitchen towel sprayed with some water and let them rest until you are ready to bake.

One hour before you are ready to bake pre-heat your oven to the highest temperature and put your pizza stone on the highest shelf possible in your oven.

Prepare your favorite sauce and get your cheese and toppings ready.  I used a simple fresh tomato sauce consisting of 1 can of diced tomatoes with red peppers, salt, freshly ground pepper, oregano, basil, 1/2 of a lemon and a dash of red wine vinegar.  I also used fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan and pepperoni.

Put some bench flour in a bowl and dip each dough ball in the flour as well as your hands.  Flatten the ball of dough on the work surface with your hands first and if desired either use a rolling-pin or pick the dough ball up and using both hands start stretching it out using your thumbs and the back of your knuckles.   Your thumbs should actually be doing all the stretching and not your knuckles.  you want dough to be fairly thin, but not too thin or it will end up ripping.

Turn your oven on broil 10 minutes before you are ready to bake your pizza and get the stone as hot as possible.  Assemble your pie and brush some olive oil on the crust if desired.  You can either sprinkle corn meal or flour on your bakers peel and place the pizza on your peel before putting the topping on it. Alternatively you can put your pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper and slide the peel underneath when ready to put in the oven.  The worse thing that can happen is for your dough to get stuck on your peel and make a mess in your oven, not to mention ruin all your good efforts.

Make sure you turn the oven off broil before you put the pie inside and turn it back to your highest setting.  Let the pizza cook until the crust is blistering and the bottom is nice and brown.

I strongly advise not to put too much sauce on this style of dough or you will end up with a soggy mess.  Less is actually more in most cases of making a good pizza.

This dough is also excellent for making calzones which I did a few days later.  I added some grilled chicken, mozzarella, ricotta cheese mixed with basil, oregano and garlic salt and parmesan cheese inside and baked at 400 degrees for around 25 minutes.  Just make sure you use a little water to seal the dough and cut some air slits on the top so the dough doesn’t built up too much pressure.

I hope you give this recipe a try yourselves.  It is actually fun to make and relatively easy.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting

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