Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

I've been keeping this recipe all to myself for quite a few months now and I decided it was time to be nice and share. Sharing is caring and after all, Christmas is coming and Santa is watching. I wasn't really hiding the recipe though. It was more like 50% of me wanted to surprise everyone with this perfectly crafted and hand tossed dough without giving away the secret just yet! The other 50% of me wanted to make 100% sure that this new dough recipe was not a one hit wonder.

Back in June, Mark and I found the very best pizza in Central Illinois and immediately after consuming it, I went on an obsessive search to find something that would yield mouthwatering results. I found this recipe on a random google search and I wish this guy would start blogging again because this recipe makes him worthy of BFF status. This dough is perfectly airy, delightfully chewy and still strong enough to withstand a topping party.

How adorable is my kitchen assistant? We spent last weekend in Atlanta with our good friends and sweet little Gabi was attached to my hip. She loves to cook and was so excited to help me every step of the way. (while singing "Five Little Pumpkins" of course!) Love her so, so much!

Neapolitan Pizza Dough
recipe from Italialicious

makes two 15" pizzas

5 cups unbleached, all purpose flour, plus more if needed and for dusting
2.5 tsp. dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
1.5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Add the sugar and set mixture in a warm place for 1 minute. After 1 minute, check to see that the yeast is active, and that there are bubbles on top of the mixture. Let this mixture sit until it almost doubles in size, around 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of flour to an electric mixer, along with the yeast mixture and second cup of warm water. Using a dough hook, begin to combine. Add the salt and mix in. Slowly add the rest of the flour in 1/4 cup increments. The dough will become stretchy and tender. You may need more than 5 cups, you may need less. Pay close attention to the consistency. When the dough has climbed up the hook, it is done.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times. In a large glass bowl, pour about 1/4 tsp. olive oil. Form dough into a ball and transfer to the glass bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

A lot of how your dough comes out depends on the temperature in your kitchen, the yeast and the temperature of your water. My pizza dough never comes out exactly the same every time. Be patient and don't give up! Give this a shot. I promise when you get it, your pizza nights will forever be changed!

Cooking Instructions-

I highly recommend using a pizza stone not only with this recipe, but always. I use this one from Williams-Sonoma. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Once the stone is heated, remove and immediately place rolled out dough atop the stone. The pizza will begin the cooking process before you place it in the oven. Top as desired and cook for 8 minutes.

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