* Flour varies by manufacturer, type of flour and the humidity in your environment. Bakers use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour AND the water--this gives consistent results time after time. If you don’t have a scale, approximate one pound of flour with 3 and ¾ cups. Spoon the flour into the cup until overflowing. Level with a knife. No shaking, sifting or packing down. Just spoon and sweep. * All-purpose makes a crisp crust with a tender interior. Bread flour makes a chewier crust. Your choice. You can even use a blend of the two, or substitute some whole wheat flour for an equal weight of all-purpose.
1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, about five minutes.
2. Stir the yeast water and add a handful of flour. Blend in with a wooden spoon or plastic scraper. (Don’t worry about any lumps.) 3. Add the Olive Oil and the Sugar. Stir briefly. 4. Add the rest of the flour and the salt. 5. Using a wooden spoon or plastic scraper, mix the ingredients together until all the flour is moistened. 6. Transfer the mixture onto a clean work surface. Don’t add any flour to the table or to the dough! 7. Smear the mixture away from you across the table with one hand. Use the scraper in your other hand to gather the mixture back toward you. Repeat this smearing action for two minutes. 8. Let the dough rest for five minutes. (Invert your work bowl over the dough to protect it.) Meanwhile, clean any wet dough off your hands by rubbing your hands together in some additional flour. This leaves a smooth finish on your hands and you won’t stick to the dough. 9. Lightly dust flour on the rested dough, turn it over with your scraper and dust the other side with additional flour. Gently knead the dough on the table for two minutes more. No additional kneading is required. Flour your hands lightly if you are sticking to the dough. Also, move the dough to a clean spot on your table to eliminate any sticking. 10. Put additional olive oil on your hands and rub it all over the dough. Transfer to a clean bowl. Place a cover over the bowl (plastic or a dinner plate). Place the covered bowl in a warm spot, about 80 to 85 degrees. 11. After 30 minutes, punch down the dough and return it to the covered bowl. Let it rise 30 minutes more. 12. The dough is now ready to form into balls. Use a scraper to divide the dough into three pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Oil your hands with additional olive oil and coat the dough balls with oil. Place the balls on a baking tray or other flat surface (a large dinner plate works well). Wrap them with plastic and press the plastic down over the dough to prevent air drying out the dough. 13. Refrigerate the dough for one hour or up to three days. The longer the dough sits, the more flavorful it becomes and the easier it is to handle. 14. Bring dough to room temperature about one hour before shaping for pizza. (If the dough has rested in the refrigerator for more than a day, it will be very slack and lose its round shape. Simply place the ball on a lightly floured table and form it once again into a ball, as in step 12. Cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature for one hour before shaping.)
ⓒ From “How To Bake Bread” by Michael Kalanty, Red Seal Books, 2012. Get more recipes from "The Dough Guy" Michael Kalanty at his website, www.chefmikebakes.com.
Michael's book, "How To Bake Bread," Winner of the Best Bread Book in the World at the Paris Cookbook Awards is available on Amazon.
You can also get a copy of Michael's iPad book, "Bread Baking the Artisan Way" on iTunes.
"If you would like to find out more about how to help with Cystic Fibrosis research visit the Cystic Fibrosis website at www.cff.org.
And, to participate in their great strides program, or to help Matt Roger's cause visit the Team Rogers website at www.cff.org/great_strides/terirogers.