I have just made one of my best pizzas ever. Since you have asked me some advice about it, here is a link. Homemade pizza is not very easy to prepare; our house ovens are not the same as those in pizza restaurants. Authentic Neapolitan pizza restaurants requires wood-fired ovens.
There is another method that works for baking a pizza at home. It is more rustic, and the rising process is shorter than the traditional one. I think it makes a really hearty pizza.
How can you knead the pizza dough?
First, combine the flour with the yeast and place it in a big mixing bowl or on the table in the shape of a volcano. Mix it with a wooden spoon or with your hands directly. Add the water. When the mixture is well combined, add salt and oil.
Why is my dough sticky?
If it is too sticky, there is too much water, so add some flour but only a little a time. Too much will make the dough tough. You may also use a kneader on your Kitchenaid. First, start it at a low speed and gradually increase the speed.
What is the rising process like?
Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for at least 1 hour and a quarter at room temperature. I usually put it into the oven with the door closed and switched off.
Lightly sprinkle flour on a pastry board or granite countertop and knead the dough to make it more elastic. Roll it out in the shape of a rectangle. Fold it in two; flatten and rotate it; and fold it in two again. Repeat this operation three or four times. The dough will get drier and full of air pockets. I usually do this process only once, but 3 times would guarantee the best result; the dough should sit and rest for about 15-20 minutes after every folding process.
Can pizza dough rise too long?
The rising process takes a long time and a lot of patience: it depends on the strength of the flour are using. Some rising processes are very short; others are longer. The rising of my dough takes about one day, so start making it on Saturday afternoon if you want to eat pizza on Sunday evening. The dough will be crusty, light, and easy to digest. However, if it rises too much, it may tear and go flat when you roll it out onto the baking stone. Consequently, it won’t rise properly while baking.
Roll it into a ball and set it aside for 8 hours in an oiled bowl large enough so the dough can double with enough room to expand comfortably. Cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it, best on the lower shelf.
Should I cook pizza dough first?
Take the dough out of the fridge and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Flour a pastry board and carefully roll out the dough. Use a rolling pin if you have one. Or use your hands to pat out the dough. Push it with your fingertips while gently stretching it to the edges of the baking sheet. If it is too sticky, oil your hands and add a little flour.
Top it with your favorite ingredients (like the Margherita here) and bake at temperature, 450°F (230°C) for about 20 minutes.
The dough for a 10’’ (26cm) round pizza
- 3 ¼ cups of bread flour (450g)
- ¼ cup of durum wheat semolina (50g)
- 2 tbsp of active dry yeast (17g)
- 1 ¼ cups of lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp of salt
For the topping:
- 28 oz of tomato sauce
- 1 lb of mozzarella
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Oregano and fresh basil leaves to taste
- Sift and combine the flour; place them onto a pastry board in the shape of a volcano. Add the water with the melted yeast, the oil; start kneading vigorously. Be ready to knead the dough for about 10 minutes for the best results. The alternative is to add everything to your KitchenAid bowl and mix it with a dough kneader;
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. It should triple its volume;
- Oil your hands and roll the dough out onto the baking sheet;
- Spread the tomato sauce, oregano, and salt over the dough;
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and bake the pizza for 5 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven (position 1). Then bake it on the middle rack for 15 minutes;
- Carefully check its doneness before taking it out;
- Take it out of the oven and add the mozzarella cheese and basil.
- Enjoy your delicious homemade pizza.
Would you like a fluffier pizza?
Would you like a thicker and fluffier pizza? Follow this method. Do not add any oil to the dough but increase the quantity of water (to about 320ml). Knead it well and roll the dough out on an oiled baking sheet. Let it rise on the baking sheet under a damp tea towel. Then add your ingredients.