Since posting this picture on social media, I have been asked by many followers to publish my pizza dough recipe. Since CritDicks has occasionally featured different recipes or techniques for food preparation and service, I decided to share with you my secret. Occasionally you can find me in my home kitchen tossing pies like a pro.
A couple of years ago I made a trip to Italy and spent hours training on techniques of how to make pizza from an Italian born, raised and living in Florence Chef. Thomas Marchetti was a young guy with an authentic European culinary background. “It’s not about how you flip it, it’s about how careful you prepare the dough. The rest is simple”.
Every culinary region in Italy makes their pizza differently, with different nuances of the dough, crust and regional toppings. The finished pizza in the different regions also have their own characteristics, but the basics and ingredients are the same.
The following is an adaptation from the time I spent with Chef Marchetti learning how to make the perfect pie.
Pizza Dough Recipe – Firenza (Florence) Italy
Recipe adapted from original – Chef T. Marchetti – Firenza, Italy
7 Cups (1kg) Wheat Flour
3 Cups (700ml) Water – room temperature
1/2 oz (15g) Dry Yeast
1/4 tsp Sugar – for blooming yeast
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Add yeast to ½ cup of tepid water (according to directions) and add sugar, stir vigorously to dissolve. Allow yeast to bloom. After yeast has bloomed, combine mixture with remainder of room-temperature water and add oil. Stir vigorously again to combine well.
- Place flour and in a pile on a marble or wooden surface. Add salt and combine.
- Using your hands, make well in the middle of the flour and then add the water mixture to the well.
- With a fork, gradually add flour from the wall of the well.
- When mixture has a sticky consistency, begin to knead with your hands. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Once your dough is smooth, cut into pieces (sized as you desire).
- Form balls with each of your pieces of dough. Leave balls to rest for two hours covered with a damp towel. Dough should increase greatly in size.
Prepare dough and let rise. Use palm of hand and fingers to shape dough (using a roller will have different final results) on a floured surface. Transfer flattened/shaped dough onto a flat baking sheet or pizza pan. Spread desired topping on dough and immediately place into a very hot (minimum 475 to 500 degree) oven. Stone or convection oven on the center rack works best. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes until crust is golden.
You can divide this recipe in half, it makes about 2 – 12” pies and is much easier to handle.
We used live yeast in Italy. Dry yeast works fine, but you must prepare (bloom) yeast according to the package.
You can experiment with different types of flour. All Purpose (AP) flour works fine, but has different final results.
You can use a Kitchenaid style stand mixer to do the mixing and kneading process. Use the lowest setting at first to combine all of the ingredients, then switch to the next setting to do the kneading. Allow it to run for 10 minutes until the dough is fully kneaded and has a smooth texture.
Climate and quality/selection of ingredients will affect your final results.
Play with different flour combinations until you find what works best for you.
Have fun and keep trying.