Throwing pizza dough into the air the Italian way is more difficult than it looks. I didn’t end up wearing any of the dough, but I was remarkably unsuccessful at getting the dough to resemble anything that looked like a disk. I can make a ball of dough really well, but, so can a three year old. Actually, I think that making dough would be a tremendous amount of fun for a three year old. I’ll have to ask my adolescent development professor about that.
Laura swooped in and rescued my increasingly frustrated attempts to stretch the dough without breaking it and not overwork it so it remains tender. Actually, she physically took the dough from me and dexterously formed the dough into a perfect circle. I read somewhere a long time ago; no doubt from an unreliable source, that anyone who can draw or make a perfect circle is mentally unstable and should not be trusted.
I do trust her, though. Anyone who can make pizza like she can has to be trusted. Our new dough recipe worked perfectly and we topped it with homemade sauce, parmesan cheese, pepperoni slices, golden oyster mushrooms (YUM) and thinly sliced Vidalia onions. Ten minutes in a 500 degree oven and it was perfect.
I’ll share the pizza dough with you – it is so good! Just be sure to allow the dough to come almost to room temperature before working it into the crust. This makes about five twelve inch crusts and they freeze beautifully.
5 ¼ cups of bread flour (all-purpose works as well)
2 ½ cups of warm – not hot water (It should not burn your finger)
One package of dry active yeast (About 1 ¼ teaspoons)
Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Two tablespoons of honey (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in large bowl – remember, it’s going to almost triple in size!
Mix with a large spoon until you have a big wet ball of tacky dough.
Wait ten minutes or so.
Mix again until you have a large wet ball of smooth dough.
Wait ten minutes.
Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and with oiled hands, knead the two three or four times.
Wait one hour.
Knead again, just enough to thoroughly combine.
Place the ball of dough back in the large bowl, lightly oil it, cover with plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator for three days.
Separate the dough into four or five balls.
Allow it to come to room temperature and sling it in the air!
Top it with whatever you like. Remember: The Italians are simple with their ingredients. You want to be able to taste this dough!