Recently I’ve purchased Peter Reinhart’s fabulous pizza book, American Pie, and let me tell you: best – pizza – book – ever! The book details Peter’s travels through Italy, New York, California, Chicago and other locations in search of his most favorite pizza in the whole world. The first half of the book is his tales of pizza travel. The second half of the book, however, is a giant pizza resource center wherein Peter tries to re-create all of the various pizzas he had across the world and shares his recipes and findings with you. This would be cool enough for me to pick up a copy, but then you consider that Peter is a professional baker AND recipe product developer and suddenly his collection of dough, sauce and toppings recipes seem like the Lost Arc of the Pizzanant! I guess what I’m trying to say is that Peter’s book was not only a mouthwatering good read, but also has become my #1 go-to guide for new dough and sauce recipes.
I wanted to share with you a recent recipe I made from his book, as well as some photos of the results. This dough was much different to work with than my dough that I usually make, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and the flavors and texture (not to mention the great big bubbles that formed out on the crown of the pizza) were well worth the learning curve. I would highly recommend you go spend $15 and pick up this great resource!
Peter Reinhart’s Neo-Neapolitan Dough
The dough to use for making New-Haven-style pizza and/or pizzas in the style of Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, or Grimaldi’s. Makes a “thin, crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown”. Slightly sticky and may be tricky to work with. Requires high-gluten flour.
Makes 4 10 ounce dough balls ( but I like to make 13.3 ounce balls)
- 5 cups (22 and 1/2 ounces) unbleached gluten flour or bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups room-temperature water, plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water
- With a big metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined.
- Fit mixer with dough hook; mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball.
- Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on med-low speed for 2 more minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom.
- *If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful.
- The dough should pass the windowpane test—snip off a piece of dough and gently tugging and turning it, stretching it out until it forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane somewhere near the center; if dough does not form this membrane, it probably needs another minute or two of mixing).
- Immediately divided the dough into 4-equal portions; round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil.
- Place each ball inside its own zip-lock freezer bag; let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze any pieces you will not be using the next day.
- The next day, remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to take the chill off.