- Articles

PERFECT PIZZA DOUGH – And How to Shape a Pizza

Ciao and welcome to Steve’s Kitchen. We are still here in Italy and we’ve been having some fantastic pizzas down here in Sicily. Actually the local pizza place where I’m favoring at the moment make some metre long pizza, I’ll put a video up so you can see what I’m talking about and I’ve been getting these lots of tips from the artisan Pizza makers that I can share with you now here on the channel. Now the basis of all good pizzas is good flour, go with a strong bread flour. Several of the pizza makers here in Sicily are mixing it up with other flours quite often they’ll put twenty percent of semolina or maybe mixed grain flours as well but today we’re going with just strong bread flour. The quantity of flour of course is important we’re using 150 grams that’s just a little over five ounces per pizza. Here I’ve got 300 grams we’re making two pizzas, that’s about ten and a half ounces feel free to mix it in the bowl I’m going to do it on the countertop. Going to pop my flour down there create myself a little well in the center, a teaspoon and a half of dried instant yeast and just half a teaspoon of salt but I’m putting it away from the yeast. I’ve got some warm water 160 mls that’s two-thirds of a cup I’m just going to pour it into the center my little volcano here and I’m using a fork to draw this in together and you start to draw this into a dough. Now of course you can do this in the stand mixer but it’s nice to get your hands in there and get a feel for the texture of the dough and when it just starts to come together a little bit loosely like that I’m going to put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into my dough and then just continue to mix this together. Now we want to start developing this dough so what I want to do is just use the heel of my hand, stretch it out, fold it back, turn it and eventually this is going to incorporate all the flour that’s on the countertop here. At the moment it’s very coarse and quite gritty but what I want you to do is be patient just carry on kneading this through for about 10 minutes. Now you saw how grainy it was when we started after 10 minutes of kneading it’s lovely and smooth and elastic and we’ve got a nice spring back in the dough. What I’m going to do now is just divide this up into two pieces, in a bowl I’m just going to add a little bit of olive oil, take my dough balls and just coat them over and then take a damp tea towel, pop it over the top, find somewhere in the house that’s not too cold and leave these and let the gluten develop, let them double in size and become lovely and plump. Now here’s a bit I want to show you, this is what I’ve learned being here in Sicily from these artisan pizza makers, going to shape it and what you want is a fairly coarse flour. I’m using a semolina so it’s got some grit to it, you could use a coarse cornmeal, you could actually use the same flour you use for the pizza but it could be a little bit dry and if you store it in an airtight box you can reuse it every time you make pizza. You want a fairly big mound of this flour on the table, make it up into a little pile, just going to uncover my pizza dough, you can see it’s puffed up beautifully there and again get under that and lift it, we’re not going to knock the air out yet, put the dough onto your flour. I’m going to push the air out but in a little sort of ,think of a sombrero, so we’ve got a little mound in the middle and shape this dough out. So I’ve got this little mound in the center and this little sombrero hat now I’m going to turn this over and that’s because I don’t want the creases. I’ve still got all this flour in the center, pop it down there and then what we’re going to do is cup our hand on the center and take the side of your hand and stretch the dough out. You can then use this, and just gently, to turn it and keep stretching so we keep turning, turning it around and stretching as we go and you get a sort of motion going. You stretch the pizza dough and we keep this slightly thicker outside edge now some people might like to use their fingers but make sure that you do only push the outside edge and not the center otherwise it’ll thin out and you’ll get a big hole here. When we’ve got to approximately a pizza size we can lift this up now and then you can sort of flip the dough, you’ve seen them do it in the stores where they sort of hold it up and spin it in that up in the air. Michele will love me from making a mess of the kitchen but come now we’re just going to flick it backwards and forward a couple of times. take your pizza and then just lay it like a cloth on a baking tray and you can finally sort of shape it out and that’s it you’re ready to put your toppings on now and make your pizza. This is a really fun and cool way and an obvious way when you see them doing it here in the Pizzerias in Sicily. I hope you’ll give it a try next time you make pizza and here’s an idea probably get into trouble by the pizza makers here but you could make a bunch of these up and actually freeze them in the freezer and then if you take them out, put your topping on, straight into the oven. Ready made pizza. So from me Steve’s kitchen in Sicily, take care, share the love, give this a thumbs up and I will see you very shortly because we’re be turning this, or something similar to this, into the fantastic Aussie Pizza, See you then.

About Earl Carter

Read All Posts By Earl Carter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *