Friday, March 27, 2009


Yea for homemade pizza! It was great fun putting it all together. This past Sunday I made the dough as instructed by Chef Pino Ficura and it tasted the same as it did in class. When does that ever happen?

I prepared the dough Sunday morning, let it rest, divided it, and refrigerated it for several hours.

Pino suggested using either a baking stone or untreated terra cotta tiles (cheaper, but what if they were secretly treated??). Cook's Illustrated recommended Old Stone Oven which I found on sale at Shar's Kitchen. I put the stone in the oven, set it at 500 degrees, and 45 minutes later started baking pizza.

The family came over for dinner and everyone had their own bit of dough to stretch and add whatever toppings they chose. We then baked the pizzas for around 7 minutes each. Soooo good.

Here is Pino's recipe (he is actually an Italian trained in Italy, France, and the US, so he has "pizza" credibility):

500g All purpose/Plain flour [18oz], plus more for kneading the dough
1/2 Tbsp fine salt or 3/4 Tbsp kosher salt
300g lukewarm (100F, 38C) water [10 1/2oz]
1 envelope/1 scant Tbsp of dry yeast
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
In a large bowl mix flour and salt.
Dissolve the yeast in the water, add oil, whisk all together and add to the flour and salt mix.
Work with a spatula or a spoon until you can no longer mix, then transfer on a floured surface and knead for 10 or 15 minutes, until the dough is silky and elastic.
Put in a well oiled bowl, cover with wrap and let ferment until doubled in bulk. Usually 1 hr.
At this point divide the dough with a bench scraper into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece individually to form a tight ball.
At this stage you can refrigerate the dough, covered up to 8hrs (it will develop more flavor), or let if proof again, covered at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hrs.

Place a pizza stone or terracotta tiles (with no chemical treatment!) in the bottom rack of your oven and preheat the oven at the maximum temperature your pizza stone can support without cracking. Terracotta tiles can take higher temperature without breaking. Preheat for at least one hour.

Stretch one of the 4 pizza dough balls into a flat disk, heavily sprinkle flour on a pizza peel (or the back of a cooking sheet), place the disk on the peel, spread two or three tablespoons of tomato puree on the pizza, leaving a good inch (2cm) outer border. Place sliced or grated mozzarella on top of the tomato sauce and slide the pizza directly on the heated tiles. Turn on convection if available.

Your pizza should cook in 5 to 8 minutes, look for puffed border and a cooked bottom before taking the pizza out.

Slide cooked pizza on a cutting board and let rest a couple of minutes before cutting and serving. Pizza can be garnished with raw olive oil and fresh basil leaves.


  1. Hey......Some of those pictures you didn't send to me!

  2. I sent you all the pics except for the Rosemary pizza--do you want that for your blog? And what are you doing up at 11:06 pm??

  3. It's Saturday Kim.....what were YOU doing up at 12:03 A.M.???

  4. Hi Kim! What did you use for the pizza sauce?

  5. Jill:
    I used canned tomato sauce. Chef Pino also used canned tomato sauce but had us taste if it was sweet enough--it wasn't so we added two teaspoons of sugar to the sauce. I added one teaspoon of sugar to my sauce.

    Just got back from DC--I'll call you on Monday!