Pane per la Pizza e Focaccia - Pizza Dough
We love pizza but we rarely buy pizza at a restaurant. We like our pizza with a very thick and fluffy crust. Occasionally a thin crust Italian pizza is also great. The dough for both types pizza crust is the same, the only change is the way the dough is allowed to rise. For an Italian thin crust pizza (do not think that this is similar to any pizza prepared here in the US) after kneading the dough, it is placed in the fridge to rise for at least 24 hours while the thick and puffy crust has a double rise process and never hits the fridge.
One of the keys to a good pizza is biga. You can make the crust without biga but you will have to use more yeast and this can leave a slight aftertaste. Pizza dough is used not only for pizza but also for focaccia so this is an important recipe to keep.
This recipe will make one large fluffy thick crust or two large Italian thin crust or four personal pizza crusts.
100 gr. Biga
1 package (7 gr.) active dry yeast (if you do not have biga then use 2 packages)
3 ¼ cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
Mix the sugar and the warm water and dissolve the yeast. Allow to stand for ten minutes until creamy.
Measure the flour in a bowl and mix in the salt. Place the biga in a mixing bowl and add in the water yeast mixture. Pour in the flour and then the oil. Mix until the dough separates from the side of the bowl.
Knead for 15 minutes, roll into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel, to block the light.
For thin crust Italian pizza: place in the fridge for 24 hours.
For thick crust pizza or focaccia: allow to rise for 2 hours until the dough is about 2 ½ times the original size.
For thick crust pizza or focaccia – Flatten the dough with your hands, roll into a log, flatten and roll again into a log from the long side. Make a ball and let sit for 10 minutes.
On a floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands attempting to maintain a circle. With a rolling pin, roll into an eclipse, turn the dough 90 degrees and roll back into a circle. Put the rolling pin away and with your finger spread the dough to the desired size. Press from the center outwards. Place in your pizza pan and spread to fill the pan. Cover with plastic and let sit for 1 hour. It is now ready for toppings.
For a thin crust: Cut in half. Flatten each piece with your hands and roll back into two balls. Let the dough balls sit for 20 minutes (this will relax the dough). Flatten with your hands. Pick up the dough ball and make a fist with the free hand. Place the fist in the middle of the dough and fist your other hand. Position the second fist next to the first and move the hands slightly apart, rotate the dough and continue working from the center toward the edges until the dough has reached the desired size. Place on the flat surface and with your hand even the dough should any peaks or valleys exist.
The dough is now ready for the toppings.
Tags: Pizza Dough Focaccia Bread Food and Wine Travel Italy