This recipe, which was featured in Sunset Magazine, is from the king of hand tossed pizza crust: Ton Gemignani. Tony is a frequent feature on the blog here and is internationally recognized for both his superb flavors and acrobatic pizza dough tossing. If you were going to model your own efforts after anyone, this would be the guy to model. Read on for his hand tossed pizza crust recipe and tips on the actual tossing as well. Enjoy!
Hand Tossed Pizza Crust Ingredients
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm (90° to 100°) water
- 1 cup ice-cold water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- About 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour
- In a small bowl, with a fork, stir yeast into warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- In another bowl, mix cold water, sugar, and salt until dissolved; stir in oil.
- If using a heavy-duty standing mixer with a dough hook, place 5 1/4 cups flour in a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture again to blend, then add to flour along with cold-water mixture. Beat with the dough hook on low speed until mixture is smooth and not sticky, 14 to 16 minutes. (Don’t let dough climb up into motor drive; if it threatens to, stop mixer and push dough down. If machine labors, stop and wait a few minutes for motor to cool, then resume.) If dough remains sticky, add 2 more tablespoons flour and beat 2 minutes longer; if still sticky, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons flour and beat until nonsticky and smooth.
If using a heavy-duty food processor, make dough in two batches, using half the ingredients for each: Place 2 3/4 cups flour, half the yeast mixture, and half the cold-water mixture in processor bowl and whirl until dough is smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes. (If machine stops, wait a few minutes, then resume.) If dough is still sticky, add 2 to 3 more teaspoons flour and whirl until dough is smooth. Transfer to a floured board.
- Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board; cut in half (omit cutting if using processor). With floured hands, pick up one portion of dough; pull opposite edges together toward center and pinch to seal. Repeat all around circumference to form a smooth, tight ball. Place each portion in a 1-gallon plastic bag. Squeeze out air and seal bag, allowing enough room for ball to double. Chill at least 10 hours or up to 2 days.
Hand Tossed Pizza Crust Tossing tips
The setup: Remove your watch and any rings you’re wearing. Place the dough slightly off-center on the palm of your throwing hand (generally, if you’re comfortable spinning the dough counterclockwise, use your right hand; for spinning clockwise, use your left). Make a fist with the other hand, knuckle side up, and place it under the dough, beside your throwing hand, to support the other side. Hold the dough parallel to the ground, between your waist and chest.
The release: Turn the palm of your throwing hand toward you, then quickly twist your hand outward and up to launch the dough into the air. Catch the round with both fists, knuckles up. Toss with fast, deliberate moves; if you’re tentative and slow, the dough will be more likely to flop over or droop. Don’t get discouraged! In our test kitchen, a little practice produced amazing results (and a lot of laughs).
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