For Lizzie, It’s Amore

Picture 056
“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore” Ok, so these lyrics have never really made sense to me, but I can see Cher and Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, with his wooden hand making pizzas, a big sweaty mess, and Cher with her absolute coolness, being well, Cher. I used to love that movie. I just realized that it is kind of an odd movie to like when one is 8, perhaps it was just the song, It’s Amore, by Dean Martin, that stood out to me the most. There is something about Pizza. I love it. I loved my mom’s homemade pizza growing up. When we lived in Europe, there was not a word to describe the thrill my taste buds endured. Absolute wonder. I am excited to share a pizza dough recipe that was introduced to me when I visited my lovely friend Renata and her family in the state of WA. This recipe is from a blog called Not Without Salt. I find making this dough therapeutic. The kids love watching the process as well, especially when it rises and we poof it down. There is an atmosphere of begging, “Can I touch the dough, can I touch the dough.” Seriously, it is the most exciting thing for them. The most freeing thing is, is that you can top the pizza however you like. I am still on my radicchio and truffle oil kick, but the kids love these different types of toppings:
mozzarella cheese with ricotta and Parmesan
mozzarella cheese with pizza pepperoni
mozzarella cheese with ham and pineapple
and then there is me with spinach,feta, peppers, mozzarella cheese, and radicchio in there somewhere…
But for all who are in great need of a snazzy pizza dough, I truly hope this helps in some way, I have been so pleased with it.

Picture 045

The Greatest Pizza Dough I Know

From Not Without Salt

Pizza Dough
makes enough for 3 or 4 pizza

4 cups all purpose flour (1 lb 4 oz.)
1 T salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cups water, room temperature
Additional flour, for dusting.

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of room temperature water, then mix on low speed using dough hook until dough binds, about 1 minute, adding more water as necessary. Let rest for 5 minutes. Knead on second-lowest setting for 5 to 7 minutes, until dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth ball. (I don’t have a stand mixer, I just use a wooden spoon.)
Turn out onto a floured surface, knead and form into a ball, then let rest in a bowl for 3 to 4 hours.

By this point the dough should have doubled in size. Punch down and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight. It is possible to use this dough the same day with great results although the long rest in the fridge improves the texture and becomes much easier to stretch.

Take it out of the fridge two hours before you want to eat dinner and let rest on counter. After approximately 90 minutes, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 4 8-ounce pieces. Fold and knead each three or four times until it forms a smooth ball. Let rest/rise for 30 minutes.Working with one ball at a time, using your hands, slowly stretch the dough to your desired size leaving a bit of a crust around the outer edge. If the dough becomes tight and hard to work with, let it rest for a few minutes while you move on to the next ball of dough. Sometimes the dough just needs a moment to relax. Preheat your oven for at least 45 minutes with a pizza stone inside, to 485 – 550 degrees. Create 12” round using your dough. We then place it on a floured piece of parchment paper, place it on the stone or baking sheet, cook for 6-8 minutes until cheese is bubbling and the crust is to your liking.