Perfect Pizza Dough
If you won't need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until you are ready to start.
· Fresh Mozzarella
· Tomato Sauce (try Canned whole Italian San Marzano Tomatoes 2 tablespoons of good olive oil and 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, blend DO NOT COOK!!)
· Olive Oil
· Fresh Basil
Dust your hands with flour, and take a Pizza Ball. Flip it over so that the soft bottom side faces up, gently shape the ball into a flat disk, and then start pulling, stretching and turning the disk in the air to make the dough thinner and thinner. Try to keep working in a circle to keep the thickness of the dough consistent, avoiding thick and thin spots. At the point where can cannot get the dough thinner without making a hole, put your pizza on a floured work surface, and use your fingertips to work out the thick spots by pushing the dough to the outside. We try to make our pizzas about as thick as a credit card and about 10" in diameter.
Remember that the more you handle the dough, the tougher it becomes. We don't recommend using a rolling pin, which is hard on the dough and will give you a thin, but tough pizza. Try to shape your dough in the air as much as possible, before you lay it on the counter -- it will enjoy not being over-handled, and will reward you with a pizza that is both crisp and delicate.
Also, don't worry if your pizza is not round. We know a professional chef and bakery owner who loves to make his pizzas "football" shaped. He is so gentle with the dough and creative with his ingredients that his non-round pizzas are among the best we have ever tasted.
You can assemble your pizza either on a solid surface, then transfer it to a metal pizza peel for cooking; or you can assemble your pizzas on short wooden peels, which you can use to place the pizza in the oven. Most kitchens do not have wood or metal peels a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal works just fine.
Your oven is up to temp 500F ; you have assembled your first pizza, and you are ready to go. Test to make sure you pizza is not stuck on your peel by moving your peel forward and backward using short jerks - it should slide easily around. If it does stick, lift it up on one side using your fingers, and throw a little corn meal underneath. Slide your peel back and forth, and that should loosen it up.
If your pizzas consistently stick to the peel, use a more corn meal underneath your pizza dough before you start decorating. Also, if you have a group of people assembling pizzas, and one sits for a while before you place it in the oven, there is a large chance it will stick. Choose a spot roughly centered in your oven and slide your pizza to that spot. The best way to place your pizza is to push your peel toward your spot, then stop it short just short the spot, allowing the pizza to slide off the peel. Pull the peel backward as the pizza slides forward.
The perfect pizza is bubbling on top with completely melted (and possibly slightly browned) cheese, has a brown outer crust, The crust is crunchy on the outside and soft and delicate on the inside. Everything is steaming hot. Throw on some fresh basil, use a pizza cutting wheel to cut your pizza into pieces and you have done it.