Friday, April 29, 2011

Milan Cooking Class Part II: Pizza Dough 比薩製作方法

How could you take an Italian cooking class without learning how to make pizza!  The first five days in Milan, I was so in love with their breads especially their bread sticks and crackers.  When chef showed me how to make pizza, I was so amazed how easy it is and we all can make it at home as long as you have a very hot and good oven.  Goodbye pizza delivery, you can have home made thin crisp pizza in two hours.  After return from Italy, I had a create your own pizza party at home and we turned out some amazing pizza right at home.  Here is the recipe and I hope you use it to impress your kids and friends.


All Purpose Flour 500g
Honey or malt 1 teaspoon
Lukewarm Water 280g
Yeast(dry or fresh) 12g
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 10g
Table salt 10g


Preheat your oven to the hightest heat 260 C or 500F Degrees.  Melt yeast, honey, olive oil in water.  Spread flour on table and create a large well in the middle. Add yeast  mixture in the well and slowly mix in flour from the inside.  When combined, add salt. mix until a dough is form and dough is smooth.  Place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in room temperature. Let rise for an hour or double in size.  Divide dough into your desire size.  To make personal small pizza, I divided it into 8 portions.  Cover with a moist dish cloth and let rest for another 15 mins.  Dust table with flour, shape dough into a round disk and using the palm of your hand flatten it to form a think disk. Grease baking sheet with a little olive oil and place disk on top.  Then you are ready to dress your pizza. Place pizza in the oven and bake for about 7-10 minutes until crust and filling is golden brown or crisp.  Enjoy.

Theory: Make disk as thin as possible, it is ok to have a hole, don't worry, just pinch and fix it on the sheet pan.  HOT HOT oven is key!  You can make the dough a head of time and refrigerate up to two days until use, just take it out from the fridge 30mins before use.  If you find your dough too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time and keep working.  If the dough is too wet or too sticky, add more flour on the table and keep working.  The dough should not be sticky nor flaky, it should just form a smooth dough that you can work without sticking to your hands.  Working with flour and yeast all depends on your atmosphere.  If it is the summer time, make sure your dough temperature stay within 30-50C or your yeast will die.  You can add or decrease water content depends on the humidity of the day.  Try it a couple of times and you will get your perfectly crisp pizza.

Try these combo:
Tomato sauce, fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella(Drained) and fresh basil.
4 Cheese of any kind with anchovy.
Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella, Parma Ham and top with chopped Rocket lettuce after pizza is out of the oven.
Pepperoni and mozzarella with tomato sauce and pineapple for the kids.
Nutella, marshmallow, banana slices and strawberries for a dessert pizza.

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