Just saw Tony Gemignani on an episode of “Will Work for Food” and I had to go search out his homemade pizza recipe. Not only am I looking for a more hearty dough to practice my stunt pizza tossing, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed if it were also an award winningly tasty dough as well. I have a dough ball rising as we speak, so I’ll get back to you with my success/failure.
UPDATE: This recipe has become one of my favorite homemade pizza recipes. It tops all of my sourdough experiments, which is a bit embarrassing to admit. Try it out – you won’t be sorry.
Tony’s Homemade Pizza Recipe
Makes dough for 3 pizzas (Tony claims this makes two 14″ pizzas – I say it makes three minimum, but you may even be able to get four thin pizzas out of it.)
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm (90° to 100°) water – not tap water, filtered only please
- 1 cup ice-cold water – filtered
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt – sea salt might be a bad choice here because it sometimes contains minerals that aren’t water soluable
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- About 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour – This is important: USE HIGH GLUTEN OR BREAD FLOUR.
Preparation for this Homemade Pizza Recipe
Place your oven rack on the lowest height possible. Preheat your over to as hot as it will go. If you are using a pizza stone, put it in, then crank the oven up. Turn on your oven hood intake fan – it’s going to get hot.
- In a small bowl, with a fork, stir yeast into warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and you start to see little bubbles forming on top of the liquid, about 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, mix cold water, sugar, and salt until dissolved; stir in oil.
- Place 5 1/4 cups bread flour in your stand mixer with the dough hook. Stir the yeast mixture again with your fork to blend, then add all liquids to the flour. Beat with the dough hook on lowest speed until mixture comes together and is generally smooth – 4 to 5 minutes tops. If the dough isn’t completely uniform, don’t worry about it.
- Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap, or even better, a clean, brand new shower cap, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the bowl and start the mixer going again on its lowest setting for another 5-7 minutes. You should see the dough is much more smooth and elastic looking now.
- Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board; cut in half. 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 large Tupperware container which will allow the dough ball to at least double. Squeeze out air and seal bag, allowing enough room for ball to double. Chill at least 10 hours or up to 2 days.
- After two days have passed, you will probably see the dough pushing up against the sides of the container. to remove it, run your finger down along the side of the ball to release it from the sides. Then, flip the container upside down and you should almost be able to let gravity pull the ball out on its own.
- Place the ball of dough directly into a large mixing bowl or lipped tray full of regular AP flour and coat the whole outside of the ball with a light coating of flour. It’s ok if it seems like a lot of flour, it’s mostly going to come off when you start to toss it around In fact, while the ball is in the flour, go ahead and start flattening it into a pancake sized disc. You need to finese this, because what you are wanting to do is not pop all the bubbles in the dough, but reather spread them to the outter edges of it so they form your crust. Starting at the center, slowly massage your dough down to somewhat of a flat shape. Now you are ready to spread your dough. Instead of trying to describe it, why not just watch video lessons on it here?
- Once you have your pizza spread out, spread a light covering of sauce on, starting from the middle and working your way out. Two things about this: Use less sauce than you think you should. One serving ladel per pie should be about good. Also, try to put less sauce, as well as toppings, in the middle. This is where everything is going to try to pool in the oven, so don’t start it off too thick.
- Top and slide in your hot hot oven. It should cook in roughly 5 minutes, depending on how how your oven can get. What I like to do when I am not cooking on a pizza stone, is to cook the pizza on a pan until it is JUST starting to brown the cheese, then slide it out of the pan and just cook it on the rack, right above the heating element. This dries out the bottom of the crust further and makes for a crunchier crust. One thing to be aware of – if the pizza looks ultra wet because there are a bunch of fresh veggies on there, or you spread it so thin you could read through it, chances are your pizza is not very structurally sound and wouldn’t support the toppings if you were to take it off the tray. Yet another reason to keep the topping sitch simple I suppose
Tossing Tips for This Homemade Pizza Recipe
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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