Pizza Dough and Sauce
Circle B Kitchen
Makes approximately 40 oz of dough
2 1/4 tsp (or 1 pkg) active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
1 T flour
1 biga recipe
4 ½ cups (approx) flour
1 cup lukewarm water
3 T olive oil
1 T salt
1 large can of whole tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil or oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Step One: In a large bowl combine all biga ingredients. Whisk well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it ferment several hours until you’re ready to start your dough. (I’ve let the biga sit anywhere from 1 hour to 6 hours. The longer the better, but it will still work if it only has a short ferment time.)
Step Two: To make the dough, sift 4 ½ cups of flour into the bowl with the biga mixture. Add 1 cup warm water, oil and salt. Mix well either by hand or mixer. Knead on medium high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Add more flour as needed if the dough seems to wet. The dough should be a little sticky, so flour your hands. Remove and knead with both hands for 5 to 6 minutes. Add more water or flour by the teaspoon in order to have an elastic ball of dough.
Step Three: Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for a couple of hours.
Step Four: “Punch” down the dough and fold it back into a ball, cover and let rise another couple of hours.
Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
Sprinkle a little flour on your countertop and with flour-covered hands, re-knead the dough and divide into 4 balls. For each pizza, stretch (or roll) the dough into a round that’s about 10” in diameter. Place a piece of parchment on your pizza paddle and then lay the pizza on top. Cut the excess parchment from around the dough and add your sauce and toppings. Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and cook until the dough is starting to brown and the sauce and cheese are bubbly (you can remove the parchment paper partway through the cooking).
For the sauce, place the tomatoes in a blender (or use a hand blender) to create a smooth sauce. Heat the olive oil in a 10" saute pan and add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the basil (or oregano), salt and pepper. Heat through and add a teaspoon or so of sugar, if needed. Let this simmer for another couple of minutes and then remove from the heat until ready to use.