I have known for many years that the key to a great pizza is the crust. The bark is the base of everything that is added. You always have to start with a good foundation. Each one has its preferred ingredients, but the base or crust remains the same.
I have tried different recipes for different pizza crusts over the years. It was always a frustrating and disappointing experience. Over the past year, I've read Peter Reinhart's book American Pie, which is a book about authors looking for the best pizza. He traveled the United States and Italy eating all kinds of pizza.
Reinhart shares the story of his travels in the first half of the book and then shares recipes in the second half. After reading the stories, I decided to try their Napoletana pizza dough recipe. The first time, I made the recipe exactly as it is written. It turned out fine, even if the pizza crusts weren't exactly round or not even thick. I am not a professional pizzaioli. I decided to modify the recipe to make the dough a little easier to work with, healthier, and a little tastier.
So this is what I did. Using a mixture of organic all-purpose flour and organic whole wheat flour, I made the dough stronger, so it won't tear so easily, healthier and more flavorful. I also added more salt than Reinhart asked for. I use sea salt instead of kosher or iodized salt. If you don't like that much salt or are on a low sodium diet, you can cut the salt in my recipe in half. Now, this is how to do it.
I like to weigh my ingredients. Having the exact measurements, especially when it comes to breads and bakery items, is extremely important if you want them to turn out the same every time. Even then, differences in temperature and humidity can change your bottom line as well, but we don't necessarily have control over those factors. Therefore, it is important to focus on the factors that you can control. That said, I'm going to give you the recipe with the flour and water by weight. If you want to convert it into cups, a cup of all-purpose flour weighs 120 grams and a cup of whole wheat flour weighs 115 grams.
First, combine 425 grams. of water at room temperature with 1 teaspoon of instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let this stay that way while you take the next step. Combine 340 grams. and half a cup of all-purpose organic flour, 285 grams. of organic whole wheat flour and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Mix them with the hook of the mixer. Add this flour mixture to your water and yeast mixture. Mix with the dough hook on medium speed of your electric mixer for 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix on medium / low speed for an additional 2 minutes.
When you have finished mixing the dough, you will need to flip it over onto a floured surface, working the dough into a smooth ball.
Oil a large ceramic or stainless steel bowl with your favorite oil (olive oil, coconut oil, butter, etc.). Put your ball of dough into this oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place where it won't be disturbed for an hour and a half.
After the hour and a half has passed, place the pizza dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then, take the pizza dough out of the refrigerator at least two hours before you are ready to make your pizza. You need to bring the dough back to room temperature before you can work with it. During all this time in and out of the fridge, the yeast will do its magic in the dough.
Once the dough has reached room temperature and you are ready to make your pizzas, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you don't have a pizza stone, don't worry. You can still make pizza without it. I bake my pizza in the middle oven with a pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone, you may want to lower the oven rack a little. Experiment with it to see which level turns out to be the best pizza.
Generously bake the work surface where you will shape the pizza dough. Remove the dough from the bowl as gently as possible and place it on the floured work surface. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into four or six equal pieces. For me, since my pizza dough rolling skills are limited, six balls of dough make six personal size pizzas, four make normal small size pizzas. If you are going to make those 18-inch pizzas, you may want to cut the dough in half. Form the cut pieces into balls of smooth dough.
Take one of your dumplings and begin to roll it out evenly to form a circle. After a few minutes, I decided that if I rolled it a bit with a roller, then worked it with my knuckles from the edges, it would turn out better. I even tried making the pizza toss, and the dough held up just fine. Make sure you don't drop it on the ground. My advice is to shape the dough, but it is the easiest and the least frustrating for you. As you can see, the first one did not turn out to be a perfect circle.
Once the dough has formed, you can choose. If you have a pizza peel and you know how to use it. Then proceed with the preparation of that and all of its ingredients. I have no pizza peel. I have a pizza pan that has holes in it so it still works on the pizza stone. If you have a pizza pan, then move the dough to the pan so you can start putting your ingredients. Red sauce is not my favorite, so it's rarely on my pizza. Instead, I brush the dough with organic extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle garlic granules and a little sea salt over the whole set, and then proceed with the rest of my toppings. Pesto is another one of my favorites to use as a base sauce. You already know which are your favorites, so do it how you like it.
On this pizza, I was very basic and only used pesto, mushrooms, and grated mozzarella cheese. If only I had sun-dried tomatoes!
My stay in Barcelona
Actually, my stay in Barcelona helped me to verify that there are restaurants of all kinds there, highly recommended, and if we specify in the world of Pizza we find a great variety of Pizzerias in Barcelona that make a spectacular dough, similar to the one we have seen here. Specifically, I had the opportunity to speak with La Bona Pizza, a pizzeria with home delivery in Barcelona and I was really amazed by the natural materials they use and the high quality of the Pizza and its ingredients.
Eating pizza, therefore, can be natural and good for health if we know where to eat them or how to make them.
With information from: