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Pizza Dough

May 26, 2000
Web posted at: 4:54 p.m. EDT (2054 GMT)

Serving makes four 7- or 8-inch pizzas, 6-ounces each

Ingredients:
  • 1 package active dry or fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or chili-and-garlic oil), plus additional for brushing
Toppings
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, basil
  • Chopped black olives
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chili flakes

To prepare: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

Combine the flour and the salt in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil; when it's absorbed, scrape in the dissolved yeast. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and knead on low speed about 5 minutes.

Turn out onto a board and knead 2 or 3 minutes longer. Dough should be smooth and firm. Let rise in a warm spot, covered with a damp towel, about 30 minutes (Dough will stretch when lightly pulled.).

Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball (see Illustration). Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then, on a smooth. flour-free surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the dough is smooth and firm -- about 1 minute. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be loosely covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 525 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pizza stone in the oven.

To prepare each pizza, place a ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Press down on the center, spreading the dough, or roll into a 7- or 8-inch circle -- the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. Brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with chopped onions, herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes according to your own taste.

Arrange the pizza on the baking stone and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pizzas are nicely browned. Before serving, brush again with olive oil if desired. Transfer to a firm surface and cut into slices with a pizza cutter. Wrap in a warm napkin and serve immediately.

Courtesy Wolfgang Puck © 1990



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