Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to Toss Pizza Dough


* 1 cup water
* 1 Tb. Sugar
* 1 Tb. olive oil
* 1 Tb. dry yeast
* A little over 2 cups flour.


1. A good basic recipe for dough can be found above. Just mix the ingredients.
Knead the dough until a) it is glossy, and tacky but not sticky; and b) a small amount pinched off can be stretched (by pinching and pulling) thin enough to let light pass through.
3. Let rise up to 1 hr room temperature or 5 hrs in the refrigerator.
4. Place on a floured counter and flour the top of the dough.
Cut the dough into two round balls and repeat the following steps for each piece.
6. Flatten one ball with your hand until about 1 or 1 1/2 inches thick.
Pick up the disk of dough, and pinch the dough about 1/2 inch from the edge. Try and stretch as you pinch, repeat this all around the edge.
8. When the disk of dough has been stretched enough to start to be floppy, make a fist and drape the dough over your fist.
9. Make a fist of the other hand and slip it under the dough next to your other fist.
10. Carefully move your fists apart stretching the dough more.
11. Shift your fists (left towards your face, right away) so the dough rotates while stretching.
12. When the dough has reached about 8 inches in diameter you can quickly move your left fist in an arc that goes backwards towards your face while twisting your right fist forward away from your face. If you give a a little push upwards with your right fist the dough will spin like a Frisbee.
13. Practice to balance the force of the fist twists equally. This will keep the pizza from spinning off into the corner (or worse).
14. Be sure to catch the falling spinning pizza as gently as you can with your two fists to avoid tearing.


* Don't be shy to use flour as much as you need while you work the dough.
* Longer rise times can be used if the amount of yeast is reduced.
* A pizza stone or some sort of ceramic insert will make your crust crispier.
* You should be listening to lounge music, preferably Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, or the waltz from "The Godfather" while stretching the dough. In a pinch, sing the "da-da-da-da-da-da-dah" Italian song... you know the one.
* Also, it pays to stuff your cheeks with a little left over dough to give the real impression of being the Godfather of pizzas. Don't forget the croaky voice, too!

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