Classic Neapolitan Pizza Dough
- 1/2 cake compressed fresh yeast
- 2 cups warm water, 80-90 degrees
- 6-1/2 to 7 cups Italian "00" flour
- 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt
(Note: use 5-1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 1 cup pastry flour to approximate "00" flour)
Yield: dough for 6 10-inch pizzas
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir the yeast into the warm water until it dissolves. Add the pastry flour and the salt and mix well. Add the all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, kneading until the dough is not sticky, about 10 minutes. Continue to knead for about 20 minutes longer, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
For the first rising, shape the dough into a ball and leave it in the mixer or place it on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, with a temperature of about 75 degrees, for 4 hours.
Punch the dough down and divide it into 6 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Cover with a towel and let rise in the warm, draft-free place for 2 to 4 hours until doubled.Pizza Margherita
- 7 ounces fresh tomatoes coarsely chopped or 7 ounces canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 12 ounces mozzarella di bufala (or fresh mozzarella) cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Sea salt to taste
- 25 to 30 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Yield: 6 10-inch pizzas
Preheat a wood-burning oven to 750°F (preheat home oven to 500°F degrees for 30 minutes or up to an hour).
Pat and then stretch each ball of dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch, leaving outer edge cornicione, or slightly thicker. Each round will be about 10 inches in diameter. Place the rounds on a flour-dusted pizza paddle. Place some of the tomatoes in the center of each dough round and with a circular motion, spread them over the round, leaving a 1/2-inch rim. Distribute mozzarella evenly over the surface of the tomatoes. Sprinkle each pizza with sea salt and top with 2 or 3 leaves of basil. Drizzle olive oil in a spiral motion from the centers to the outer edges.
Slide each assembled pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, top each pizza with the remaining basil leaves and serve at once.
Adapted from ''Pizza Napoletana'' by Pamela Sheldon Johns