Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge #23: Bake Your Pizzas Like A Real Pizzaiolo

I made this recipe many times before, and I really love this recipe. So, when I see the challenge for this month, I feel happy.
I rarely buy pizza from the store lately (except for the very lazy days ^ ^"). Home made pizza is very pleasing, the crust is up to your taste and the topping is excellence. You can choose everything that you like, any kinds of ham and cheese, even the book suggests less topping is more delicious, I still believe it's up to your taste.
For this time I made full recipe, but I kept the other half for simple foccacia (I didn't take the photograph). The topping for my pizza is so easy, it's a tomato pasata with a bit of Italian seasoning, then top up with pepperoni and cheese. But as I always say I love creation, so I don't think you have to follow me. There are many variation which you can make, just try and taste, but I believe that you will find it easy to make and you will do it again.
This recipe is very easy esp. when you use the stand mixer, because all you have to do is mix and put it in the fridge, and the next day you will have a tasty pizza dough waiting for you.

Original recipe taken from
The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter)


4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/574 g)

bread flour

1 3/4 Tsp


1 Tsp

Instant yeast

1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g)

Olive oil or vegetable oil

1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml)

Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)

1 Tb



1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

October 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge #23:
Bake Your Pizzas Like A Real Pizzaiolo


  1. Your pizza looks great! And so do all your other things you've been making. I want to try all of your recipes!

  2. Great pizza! I agree.. it often tastes so much better when you make it yourself, but sometimes we just feel too lazy to even step into the kitchen :)

  3. Your pizza looks delish - tks for inspiring. Btw, I have problems linking you - are u able to explain/help? tks

  4. i tried turns great...thanks for the recipe...this is one of the best pizza base i'd tried..

  5. Hi, may I know if I can omit the semolina flour n just use baking sheet sprayed w non stick spray?
    Also, I hv made this dough dip it with oil and kept it in freezer. On the day that I want to bake , do I still need to flour and spray the top with oil? Since it's already been dipped with oil. Thanks in advance.

  6. Hi,
    You can omit the semolina flour, and use the spray, the semolina is for stopping the dough to stick to the sheet pan.
    If you freezing it you still need an oil when shaping the pizza, it help to stop the stickiness.

  7. Hi DD, can we just bake the pizza without going through the 2nd day process? I mean without refrigerate the dough

  8. Hi DD, can we just bake the pizza without going through the 2nd day process? I mean without refrigerate the dough

  9. Hi, fatimah zaharah
    Yes, you can bake it without refrigerate it, but it will be harder to roll in thinly.



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