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Simple Pizza or Foccaccia
This really works on most anything,
including fresh pizza dough,
foccaccia dough, or parbaked versions. Heck, it ought to work on
split crusty loaves of most anything, like making garlic bread.
don't have a favorite recipe and want to start from scratch, here's
simple pizza/foccaccia dough. The trick used here is that the
dough is not kneaded or punched down after shaping for the first rise,
so the gluten is very relaxed and it's easy to pull it thin after all
that long rising time. The chilling step adds to the flavor but
could be skipped if you're really desperate for time. If you're
not so good at shaping
dough to get it really thin (like me), just call it foccaccia. If
get it really thin & round, call it pizza!
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
flour milled from 350 grams hard white
wheat berries plus 150 grams soft white
2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour plus 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
About 1 1/2 cups cold water
Olive oil (optional, for foccaccia)
In food processor with metal blade, mix together the flour, salt and
yeast. With the processor running, pour 1 1/4 C water into the
Process until a ball of dough forms, then turn off the processor and
let the dough sit for 5-15 minutes.
Check for hydration: this should be a soft, fairly wet
dough. Add a
little more water if needed, and process for another 45 seconds (the
dough should be cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl). Add the olive
oil, 2-4 tablespoons, if you want a richer foccaccia dough.
Turn onto floured board and knead lightly to smooth all together, and
divide into 4 pieces. Round each into a smooth ball. Set
well apart on a lightly oiled pan and cover with plastic wrap with a
fairly tight seal, but allow room for each ball to expand.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and let rise, still covered, at room
temperature until quite light. It should take 1-2 hours to warm
up and resume rising. Preheat your oven (with baking
stone if you have one) to 500 degrees F while the dough rises. Prepare the topping while you're letting the dough rise.
Gently stretch each ball into a round or rectangle or whatever shape
you can manage, working with floured hands on a lightly floured
board. For pizza, let the rim be a little thicker than the
should get it to 8-10 inches in diameter if you're lucky. For
foccacia, it can be up to 1/2 inch thick, and whatever shape you
Place on a peel (if you have a baking stone) or baking sheet dusted
top with your prepared topping, and bake.
For foccaccia, dimple the
surface with your fingers after brushing or spraying with olive (this
will help keep the top crust from separating and forming a giant
bubble), and add herbs, salt, chopped nuts, sauteed onions, whatever
you like. Bake the thicker ones about 20 minutes, thinnner ones
For pizza, top with sauce, herbs, cheese, veggies, what have you, then slide onto hot stone or into hot
oven to bake 5-10 minutes or until browned & crisp.
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