Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Best Pizza Dough Recipe: Mario Batali

I've been making homemade pizza for over 25 years.  It used to be a Sunday night ritual.  
My new favorite dough recipe is from Mario Batali, found in Food & Wine magazine.  The secret is the 1/4 cup of wine used to make the dough.  I use unbleached all-purpose flour but the recipe calls for double zero flour mixed with all purpose flour.  Double zero means that the flour is very finely ground; powder-like.  Regardless, this dough feels like silk after proper kneading and rising.  I love the texture.  I use half the dough to make two pizzas and freeze the remaining dough for another day.  
I bake pizza at 475 degrees F on a pizza stone which give the pizza a chewy texture with a crusty bottom.  Our favorite topping combo is caramelized onion, sauteed mushroom, sausage and Gruyere cheese.  
Here's the recipe for Mario's basic dough recipe

  1. 1/4 cup light red wine or white wine
  2. 3/4 cup warm water
  3. 1 1/2 ounces yeast
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 1/2 cups double zero flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted together
  1. Combine the wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir with the spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to incorporate as much flour as possible.
  2. Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until you have a smooth, firm dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.
  3. Cut the risen dough into 4 equal pieces and knead each portion into a round. Cover again and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. To make the pizzas: Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. Working with one piece of dough at a time, use your fingers and palms to flatten the dough into a 10- to 12-inch round, each about 1/8-inch thick.

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