Author Notes: Anna Teresa Callen was a native-born Italian who lived her adult life in New York where she became renowned for teaching authentic Italian cooking. She was a dear friend of mine so I had many opportunities to not only enjoy her cooking, but also to cook with and learn from her. This is her pizza (and calzone) dough recipe. I've been making and teaching it for about 30 years. It never fails - not for me, and not in my cooking classes. —ChefJune
Makes: one 11 x 15 inch rectangle or 2 12-inch pizzas
packets (or 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
cups organic unbleached flour (or substitute whole wheat flour for half of the measure)
cup lukewarm water
teaspoons coarse sea salt
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and the yeast mixture. With your hand, stir the flour into the liquid and gather the mixture into a ball.
- Turn dough out onto a floured board, or proceed to knead it in the bowl. Knead and slap the dough until it is smooth and elastic (like a baby's bottom). While kneading, add a little more flour, if necessary. Dough must be smooth, elastic, and not sticky.
- Gather dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Set the bowl in a warm place, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch dough down, and knead a little. Shape into a ball, and let rise again (for about 1 hour). At this point, dough is ready to use.
- Teacher’s Tip: After the first rising, dough can be punched down and refrigerated or frozen. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight.