Recipe courtesy of Sal Passalaqua

Pizza Dough

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 21 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: Twp 14-inch pizzas
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Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

1 envelope active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

4 cups bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups cold water

1 tablespoon olive oil

Yellow cornmeal, for sprinkling the baking sheet

Toppings:

Sausage, Tomato, and Artichoke Heart, recipe follows

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza, recipe follows

Caramelized Onion, Radicchio, and Goat Cheese Pizzettes, recipe follows

Variations:

Pizza with Stuffed Crust, method follows

Calzone, method follows

Calzone with Cheese, Sausage, and Roasted Red Pepper, recipe follows

Three-cheese Spinach Calzones, recipe follows

Focaccia, method follows

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia, recipe follows

Thyme Focaccia and Parmesan Focaccia, recipe follows

Sausage, Tomato, and Artichoke Heart:

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casing discarded and the sausage chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried basil

One 14-ounce can Italian tomatoes, drained, chopped fine, and drained well again in a colander

One 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and patted dry

1/2 cup coarsely grated mozzarella

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza:

1 cup small to medium arugula leaves

4 ounces mozzarella (preferably fresh)

1 cup pizza sauce, or other tomato sauce

6 very thin slices prosciutto

Caramelized Onion, Radicchio, and Goat Cheese Pizzettes:

1 pound red onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 pound radicchio, chopped (3 1/2 cups)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

Calzone with Cheese, Sausage, and Roasted Red Pepper:

1 large red bell pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 pounds red onions, sliced

4 sweet or spicy Italian sausages, casings removed

3 cups (packed) coarsely grated mozzarella (about 12 ounces)

12 ounces ricotta

4 teaspoons dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Three-cheese Spinach Calzones:

Two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

6 green onions, chopped

1 cup part-skim ricotta

1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 cups (packed) grated Fontina (about 8 ounces)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia:

6 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise

1/2 cup olive oil 

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary 

Coarse salt, for sprinkling 

Freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling

Thyme Focaccia and Parmesan Focaccia:

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan 

Coarse salt for sprinkling 

Freshly ground black pepper for sprinkling

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to combine. In the food processor, combine flour and salt and pulse. Add the yeast mixture, cold water, and oil. Pulse until a ball is formed: this will happen quickly, be careful not to overwork the dough. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for several minutes until dough is smooth. Allow dough to rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl and allow to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  2. Punch dough down, divide into 2 to 4 balls, let rise another 30 minutes.
  3. Heat up pizza stone in a 500 degree F oven. Form a 10- to 14-inch pizza crust and place on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with yellow cornmeal. Place topping on the crust and place the pizza, with the parchment paper in the oven on the pizza stone or on hot inverted cookie sheet (not aluminum). Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

Sausage, Tomato, and Artichoke Heart:

  1. In a small heavy skillet cook the sausage over moderate heat, stirring, until it is cooked through, transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat remaining in the skillet. In the fat cook the garlic, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper, to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is soft and transfer the onion mixture to the bowl.
  2. Top uncooked pizza dough rounds with sausage mixture, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, Parmesan, and salt and pepper, to taste and bake the pizzas on the bottom rack of a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza:

  1. Trim any tough stems from arugula and thinly slice the cheese.
  2. Top pizza dough with pizza sauce, spreading with back of a spoon to within 1/2-inch of edge.
  3. Arrange mozzarella slices evenly over sauce.
  4. Bake the pizza for 6 to 7 minutes, or until dough is crisp and browned, and transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board.
  5. Scatter arugula over pizza and arrange prosciutto slices on top.

Caramelized Onion, Radicchio, and Goat Cheese Pizzettes:

  1. In a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, cook onions in oil, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, radicchio, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Top uncooked pizza dough with onion mixture, goat cheese and thyme, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Pizza with Stuffed Crust:

  1. Roll out pizza. Pipe ricotta around the edge of the round and fold the edges over. Or, cut mozzarella into logs and place on the edges of the round and fold over the edges. Top with desired toppings and bake as above.

Calzone:

  1. Roll out dough balls to about 9-inch rounds. Place fillings over half of each round. Fold plain dough half over filling, forming half circles. Pinch edges together to seal. Transfer to baking sheet. Cut 3 slits in top to let steam escape. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes .

Calzone with Cheese, Sausage, and Roasted Red Pepper:

  1. Char bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and slice pepper. Alternatively, use jarred roasted pepper.
  2. In heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add red onions; saute until brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside. In heavy medium skillet over medium heat, saute sausage until cooked through, breaking into 1/2-inch pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Mix both cheeses and oregano in bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. If making 4 calzones, spread 1/3 cup cheese mixture on half of each round of uncooked calzone dough, leaving 3/4-inch border. Cover cheese on each with 1/4 of onions, 1/3 cup cheese mixture, 1/4 of sausage, 1/3 cup cheese mixture, then 1/4 of bell peppers. Fold plain dough halves over filling, forming half circles. Pinch edges of dough firmly together to seal.

Three-cheese Spinach Calzones:

  1. Mix spinach, onions, ricotta, Gorgonzola, and Fontina in medium bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Focaccia:

  1. Oil a cookie sheet. Roll out dough and place in cookie sheet. Make indentations with your fingertips. Top with desired flavorings and toppings. Let rise in warm place about 1 hour and then bake until golden.

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine garlic and oil in a very small metal bowl and set on a baking sheet. Bake in lower third of oven for 1 hour. Cool on a rack 30 minutes. Pour oil through a small sieve into another bowl and discard garlic. Roll out the focaccia, drizzle with some garlic oil and sprinkle with rosemary, coarse salt, and pepper, and bake until golden brown.

Thyme Focaccia and Parmesan Focaccia:

  1. For thyme focaccia, knead thyme into dough after 1st rest.
  2. For Parmesan focaccia, sprinkle dough with Parmesan before baking.
  3. Sprinkle both doughs with salt and pepper before baking.

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