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Author Notes: I've been making Pizza since I was a 10-year-old Girl Scout and my Sicilian troop leader taught us to make it on a cookie sheet. Around this house, we have pizza often, and frequently with toppings you wouldn't expect. All great pizza starts with a fabulous crust, and this one is the best. This recipe was made famous by my 10 years of Pizza Classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education. This is one of the BEST basic bread dough going. Not only can you create perfect pizzas, fabulous focaccias and crusty calzones with this recipe, it’s magical for dinner rolls or a quick crusty loaf! The more you bake with this dough, the more you’ll love it! —ChefJune
Serves 4 to 6 depends how hungry the eaters are
Fabulous Pizza and Calzone Dough from Anna Teresa Callen
- 2 packets or 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour (or substitute half whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- This recipe will make one 11 x 15 inch rectangle or 2 12-inch pizzas.
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oregano 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. After the first rising, dough can be punched down and refrigerated or frozen. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Crust for 1 12-inch pizza
- 1 10-ounce package frozen artichoke bottoms, thawed and dried
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, well washed and blanched, or 1 16-ounce package organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped very fine
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces fresh Mozzarella
- extra-virgin olive oil for drizzle
- Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Lightly oil one 12-inch pizza pan. Halve and flatten the dough and place one piece in the prepared pan. With oiled fingers or a small pizza rolling pin, stretch the dough toward the rim of each pan, pushing to form a 1/2-inch rim all around.
- Cut each artichoke bottom into 4 to 6 pieces and strew around pizza. Mix the spinach and garlic together in a bowl and scatter this mixture on top of the prepared dough. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over all. Slice the mozzarella fairly thin and arrange around the pizza, so everyone will have cheese on their slice. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over everything.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until rim gets crusty and brown. Cut into wedges and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Using Fresh Mozzarella
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pizza