Bread / Pizza Dough

Meister’s Pizza / Bread Dough
(Makes 2 pies / 4 calzones / 1 large loaf of bread or 2 small loafs)

2 cups hot tap water (hot enough to touch, but not too hot where it’s painfully hot)
5 teaspoons yeast / 2 packets (1/4oz ea)
3 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt (table salt is ok, but sea and kosher makes it taste better)
4 cups of bread flour or unbleached flour (better quality flour yields a better rise and more fluffy bread / crust)
2 table spoons extra-virgin olive oil “EVOO” (if making rosemary bread, use infused rosemary olive oil)
1-2 tablespoon semolina flour
1 tbs crisco (for bread with with a bread tin)
2 tablespoon honey (for the bread recipe – if used in pizza it will burn the crust at the 450º-470º temp)

1) In a mixing bowl, combine salt, yeast and oil (and honey if you are making bread). (photo 2) Turn the faucet on and get the water just got enough were you can barely touch it. Add water in the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and with a whisk, mix until everything is combined. Set timer for 10 minutes and allow yeast bloom. (5-6 minutes if you use honey) (photo 3 w./o honey)

2) After 10 minutes, add one cup of flour to the mixing bowl. With the same whisk, mix in flour. Add the second cup of flour and mix again with the whisk. (photo 4) The consistency should be just like pancake batter. Now dump the third cup in and mix with a rubber scraping spatula. (photo 5) Mix in thoroughly scraping the sides of the bowl. It should be pretty thick at this point. With the fourth cup of four mix in a little at a time. (photo 6) Towards the end of the fourth cup you can use your hands to mix in flour. You might not need the entire cup. You want the dough to be kind of sticky.

3) Put some flour on the counter. (photo 7) Please dough in the flour and knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes. (photo 11) If it gets sticky, add a sprinkle of flour and continue kneading. After awhile, It will start to get less sticky, you can stop at this point. Don’t put too much flour in. If you do it will not rise. The inside of the dough should still be slightly tacky.

At this point you can cut it in half, wrap it in cling wrap and freeze it or put it in the refrigerator for tomorrow. It will rise in the fridge or freezer. Just kneed it a few times when your ready to use it to get the Co2 out of the dough.

4. Pizza) (Pizza) In a new bowl (or you can just clean the mixing bowl you just used) put a little bit of EVOO in the bowl. Coat the entire bowl with the all of oil. (photo 8 & 9) Now put the dough in the bowl. With a tiny bit of extra-virgin olive oil brush the top of the dough so it’s coated on top. Now cover with a towel and let rise for about 60 minutes. It will double in size.

4. Bread) (Bread) If you are making bread, let it rise in a greased bread tin, or for a french style loaf, roll it out long after kneading and just leave it on a cookie sheet and let it rise. You can grease with Crisco or semolina flour on the sheet. After an hour you can put it directly in the oven.

After 60 minutes has gone by, your dough should be about double the size. (photo 10) Punch the dough to release the co2.

These will make 2 – 14 to 16 inch pizzas. You can also preheat your oven to 450°-470° (depending on your oven) and cook it right away. (let it rest for 10 minutes before throwing or rolling out. If you don’t let it rest, it will be too elastic and will not hold it’s shape)

If you do not have a pizza stone you can use a cookie sheet. Sprinkle semolina flour on your surface you are transferring it from. Do not use regular flour. It will burn. Pizza stones should be preheated minimum 45 minutes to cook the pie thoroughly. You can use a cookie sheet as a pizza peal to transfer it onto the preheated stone too.

With the regular flour roll out pizza dough with a rolling pin as flat as possible. If you have the know how, try and throw the dough like a pro, but the results will be the same either way.

Evenly, apply the semolina flour on the cookie sheet, then put the rolled / thrown dough on the cookie sheet. Top pizza with desired toppings.

If you do not have a pizza stone then use the cookie sheet and just put it in the oven like that. If you do a little twist and shake the cookie sheet quickly, this will allow the pizza to slightly move off the sheet and transfer it to the stone. It takes a little practice.

Pizza should take about 14 minutes to cook depending on how efficient your oven is.

You can roll into baguette, tennis ball sized ball for dinner rolls, Or all the dough on a cookie sheet or in a bread pan. Let rise for 60 minutes then put it directly in the oven for 25 minutes at 400º. To get a crispy crust, remove after 15 mins and brush with olive oil.

Cheese / Sausage bread:
After kneading roll out flat, add a generous amount of cheese and/or precooked pork sausage, roll into a log and let rise 30-60 minutes after kneading then put in the oven for 25 minutes at 400º. To get a crispy crust, remove after 15 mins and brush with olive oil.

Rosemary Bread:
Add 2 tbs of honey to the yeast and dry ingredients, before adding hot water. Add 2 tbs of dried rosemary. Add it in while you are mixing the first cup of flour.

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