Last updated November 23, 2014
One thing I miss about Europe is its pizza. When you’ve had a tough day at work, and you don’t feel like cooking, there’s nothing like a hot pizza. I’m guilty of ordering delivery in the states. But no matter which chain I try, it’s never the same as the oddly shaped pizzas we got in Belgium and Italy.
So today, I traveled to Italy via Google to find an authentic dough recipe. If you type Italian pizza dough, everyone and their brother think they know how to make one, but they just didn’t look right. So I Googled Italian pizza crust fresh cake yeast. I bake all my breads with fresh cake yeast because that’s what they use in Europe, so I knew if someone posted a recipe with that type of yeast, it would be close to authentic.
Fortunately when I traveled to Atlanta last weekend, my sister-in-law found a great store called Star Provisions that sells fresh cake yeast. I bought four pounds of it. I was so worried I was going to get stopped by airport security because it kind of looks like C-4, but fortunately, it didn’t raise any concern.
So now I have more yeast than I know what to do with. What a great excuse to make pizzas. Soon after Sunday brunch (nothing fancy…just slept past breakfast and ate before lunch), I started the dough and by dinner, it was ready to go. It won’t quite work for a late night at work…but what a great weekend treat.
The store was out of fresh basil, so I purchased a Mozzarella, basil, prosciutto roll in the fancy cheese section of the deli. It was cheaper than buying the separate ingredients and was the perfect amount for three pizzas. I hope you find the time to make this. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks to the Artisan website for posting such an authentic dough recipe.
- 14 grams fresh cake yeast (or one package active dry yeast)
- ¼ cup water
- 100 grams Type 00 Italian flour
- 1 cup water
- 300 grams Type 00 Italian flour
- 5 grams salt
- Olive oil
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella, basil, prosciutto roll (sliced)
- Parmesan cheese
- Toppings (pepperoni, caramelized onion, goat cheese, tomato, etc.)
- Paul Prudhomme’s Pizza and Pasta Spice (optional)
- Picante oil (optional)
Mix the yeast and water and let rest for about five minutes. Stir in 100 grams of flour to make a starter dough. Cover with saran wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour.
Place 1 cup water in stand mixer and add the starter dough. Use dough hook and mix on low until it starts to bubble and combine. Add in the flour and salt. Mix on low for 2 minutes, then on medium-high for 4-5 minutes until the dough is soft and silky.
Divide the dough into three parts and shape into balls by pulling the sides into the center. Set on the counter seam side down and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
Dust counter with flour. Pick up a dough ball and stretch it on all sides. Then, place it on the counter and roll it out to 1/8-inch thick. Before topping it, be sure you can pick it up off the counter. I used a pizza board sprinkled with cornmeal and baked it in a 450 degree oven on a pre-heated Pampered Chef pizza stone.
Once the dough is rolled out. Drizzle it with olive oil and spread along the surface, leaving the crust dry. Spoon on ½ cup of tomato sauce (I used a jar of Italian sauce I brought back from Italy). You don’t want it to be too thick. Add slices of the cheese roll. Top with any other ingredients of your choosing. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and the pizza spice and drizzle with Picante oil.
Place on the pizza stone (or a cookie sheet or the oven rack) and bake at 450 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on the texture you like. Remove from oven, slice and enjoy.