Sunday, January 8, 2012


Making pizza is one of my favorite pastimes, and for a long, long time, I've been trying to perfect my dough. I haven't gotten it exactly perfect yet, but I really like the version I've been making and fine tuning. Here's my latest recipe:

2 cups warm water
2.25 tsp dry yeast
4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups Semolina flour
1 1/3 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
Olive Oil

I like to use the dough hook on my mixer, but you can make it by hand also...
Whisk the yeast into the warm water.

Add 1 cup of the semolina, mix, then add 1 cup of the regular flour.

Mix in the salt (note: adding the salt directly to the water/yeast combo kills off some of the yeast, so it is best to wait to add the salt so there is less yeast-salt contact.

Alternate with small scoops of semolina, then white flour until the dough is still sticky, but holds together, and can be handled with oiled hands. The amounts of the flours are just rough guidelines, go by the texture of the dough...

Run the mixer for a minute or two on medium high to knead the dough. (if it is still a little sticky, don't worry - during proofing, the flour will absorb a little more water, making the dough easier to handle)

Form the dough into a ball, lightly coat with Olive Oil, and put in an oiled bowl, covered loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour. *note - for best results, boil a mug of water in your microwave for a couple minutes, then quickly put the dough in the warm microwave to rise. The moist, warm environment is perfect for rising dough.

At this point, you can either refrigerate the dough for later, or divide it into 4-6 balls (depending on size and thickness of the pizza you want). Preheat your oven to 450F and let the dough rise another 45 minutes. (if you refrigerated the dough, give it 2 hours or so to rise since it will be cold)

Oil a perforated pizza pan and stretch the dough onto it. Rub the top with olive oil, and sprinkle a little salt and minced garlic over it. Bake for 5-10 minutes until it starts to brown.

Remove the crust from the oven, add toppings, and return to the oven. This time, slide the pizza off the pan directly onto a pizza stone or rack in the bottom portion of the oven. Cook briefly, just enough to melt the cheese and crisp the bottom.

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