Oh Dean Martin, I wish I had your song playing while we made pizza a couple of weeks ago. The second half of our pie adventure was making pizza with Gabe. It was dough love!
Gabe Mill’s Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe
Makes two pizzas
500 grams unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt (6 grams)
3 grams yeast
325 grams water
Place all the ingredients in a Kitchen Aid mixer with a bread hook and process on the mix setting of “2” for six minutes. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for about 1-2 hours. Punch down the dough and divide into two balls. Let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter before forming into a pizza.
To form the dough into a circle, grab the edges of the dough and let it hang down (see the top picture of Gabe) and go round and round with your hands on the edges. Slowly a bigger pizza pie dough circle will develop.
Pizza pointers from Gabe:
1. Measure everything with a scale. Flour is sensitive to humidity and you get a more accurate end-product.
2. The temperature of your oven should be turned up as high as it will go (without going to the broil setting). My oven went to 500 degrees F but I think 450 would’ve been ideal for my little oven. Gabe, being a carpenter, has built his own brick oven kiln in his backyard. The temperature of his kiln can get to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. You can use any type of pan or stone to put the pizza in. Don’t oil the pan.
4. If you are not using the dough right away, oil the dough and bag it for the refrigerator. When you take it out of the refrigerator , let it have a chance to come to room temperature for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
5. You can use Semolina corn meal on pizza peel if you use a stone and a paddle to take the dough in and out of the oven.
6. Put toppings on pizza dough and sprinkle olive oil lightly over top.
7. Check on the pizza after about 8 minutes, then continue to check on it every 1-2 minutes. You can turn the pizza 180 degrees if your oven is not very even in baking.
8. Gabe’s Sauce for Butter knots: minced garlic, butter, white wine, olive oil, and cream. Combine the ingredients in a pan and heat on the stove top. All the ingredients are to taste. It was fabulous!
9. Use fresh tomatoes with some salt for the pizza sauce. It brings out the freshness of all the ingredients.
10. This dough is great for bread making too. After it rises,punch it down, form it into a baguette then let it rest for 10 minutes before putting it into the oven.
I lost track of how many pizzas we made, maybe ten? We had a variety of toppings, feta cheese, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes. We even had a dessert pizza. Bake the pizza dough without anything atop, spread a mixture of marscapone cheese with fig jam and crinkle malt vinegar with sea salt potato chips atop. Sounds weird but it was yummy.
We all gathered around the table to finish up our pizza, drink some wine and limoncello to cleanse our palate. Julie, our school teacher among the group, read the book below. The Little Red Hen didn’t bake any pizza but she did do the dishes. It was a nice ending to a beautiful day and everyone pitched in to clean up which was even better for me as the host.