It is Saturday night and I am having a few friends over and then it hit me. Why not make personalized pizzas. I will make each person one or more of the required dough. I will set out a plethora of toppings and watch the creative juices flow. One the artist has assembled his or her masterpiece I will set on my blazing hot pizza stone (Target $16.95) and place in a very hot oven until crispy. Below I giving you the secret weapon. My Authentic Vera Pizza Napoletana Dough Recipe.
4 cups Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
1 ½ cups, plus 2 TBL water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast
500gr Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
325gr water (65% hydration)
3gr active dry yeast
I highly recommend cooking by weight. It is fast, and easy to get the exact hydration (water to flour ratio) and dough ball size you want. Personally, I do not use recipes or a mixing cup when I cook dinner for the family, but pizza and bread dough is different. Being exact counts, and nothing works better than a digital scale.
Mix the dough in a stand mixer, by hand or in a bread machine. If you are using a stand mixer, mix it slowly for two minutes, faster for 5 minutes, and slow again for 2 minutes.
Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until double. Punch it down and push out the air bubbles. Form the dough into a large ball, then cut it into three 275gr equal pieces.
To make your pizza balls, shape each piece of dough into a ball. Gently roll your dough into a ball, then stretch the top of the ball down and around the rest of the ball, until the outer layer wraps around the other side. Pinch the two ends together to make a smooth ball with a tight outer “skin.” Set your ball seam-side down where it can rest. Dust your pizza balls with flour, and store them under a damp towel, in a proofing tray, or under plastic wrap. This will prevent the outside of the ball from drying out and creating a crust, and becoming to difficult to work with. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.
Your pizza balls will need to rest for about an hour to become soft and elastic so that they can be easily stretched into a thin crust pizza.
If you won’t need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until you are ready to start.
By cutting back each phase of dough preparation by the right amount, you can make great pizza or focaccia dough in as little as an hour.
If you won’t have an hour to let your dough rest, read our Dough in a Hurry strategy below.
In the perfect world, pizza dough takes about 2 1/2 hours. In our experience, the real world often doesn’t work that way. Many times, we simply decide to make pizza late in the day (or after work) and don’t have the time for the full 2 1/2 hour rise.
Luckily, pizza dough can be rushed — without too much damage. In fact, you can synchronize your dough with firing your oven. Try to give both 90 minutes. If you really want pizza tonight, and it’s late, you can do both in an hour.
Here is how you should rise your dough, based on how much time you have:
- 2 hours: 90 minute in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 30 minute rest
- 90 minutes: 60 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 30 minute rest
- 75 minutes: 60 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 15 minute rest
- 60 minutes: 45 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 15 minutes rest
Check your dough the first few times you make it, to be be sure that it is not too sticky or too dry. Add a TBS of flour or water to correct the dough if you are off, and remember what you had to do. After a few experiments, you can stop checking, and get on with other things.
I think you will find that your own dough, even under imperfect conditions, is much better than anything you can buy — particularly if you are using great flour and great olive oil. It also doesn’t have any of the preservatives or trans-fats that you can find in pre-made dough.