The View from My Kitchen

Benvenuti! I hope you enjoy il panorama dalla mia cucina Italiana -- "the view from my Italian kitchen,"-- where I indulge my passion for Italian food and cooking. From here, I share some thoughts and ideas on food, as well as recipes and restaurant reviews, notes on travel, and a few garnishes from a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

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Grazie mille!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Recipe: The Best Pizza Dough

(The Best Pizza Dough)
Disregard any other pizza dough recipe you may have tried. This recipe, developed by cooks in America's Test Kitchen and published in Cooks Illustrated, is designed to replicate the taste and texture of authentic pizzeria-style pizza. It yields a perfect thin crust that is crisp on the ouside while still maintaining a chewy texture inside. It's also incredibly quick and easy to make.

Note: A pizza stone is essential to the success of this recipe.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup water, at room temperture
1 1/4 tsp yeast

In a cup or small bowl, whisk the yeast into the water to dissolve and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix thoroughly.

With the machine running, slowly add the liquid yeast mixture through the feed tube; continue to process until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of he bowl, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (Adjust texture with 1 or 2 tbsp of flour or water as needed.)

Divide dough in half and shape into smooth, tight balls. Place at least 3 inches apart on a floured surface and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500°.

When dough balls have doubled, remove covering and dust liberally with flour and transfer to a well-floured work surface.

Press one ball into an 8-inch disk. Using flattened palms, gently stretch into a 12-inch circle, working along the outer edges and giving the disk quarter turns. Transfer the dough to a peel that has been liberally sprinkled with flour or corn meal, Top lightly with tomato sauce. Slide onto the pizza stone and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add remaining toppings, then return to oven and bake for 4 or 5 mintes more.

Makes 2 12-inch pizzas

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