Pizza lesson #1: circles!

19 06 2007

Yes, here it is. My moment of triumph, my shining glory.

success!  Let’s open a pizzeria!

Karen did most of the work.

Karen and I made pizza together Friday night so she could show me what dough is supposed to look and feel like. Karen thinks I’ve been pushing too hard when I knead the dough. I mixed the batter and kneaded the dough. Karen sliced the toppings, rolled the dough into CIRCLES for pizza and assembled the pizzas. I put the boys in their aprons so they could top their own pizza.

silly in the kitchen

I also put the pizzas in the oven and monitored their cooking. Yes I’m making it sound like I did more than just stand there watching Karen work. Here’s the dough after I kneaded it.

I may be small but I’m drinking milk!

Did I tell you I hate my oven? It doesn’t self-clean any more, and it shut off again while cooking pizza #2. We really need to have it repaired / replaced. Karen loves the downdraft and convection though.

We used a different dough recipe this time (from Mario Batali of course). Karen suggested using bread flour instead of all purpose flour and it was the best dough we’ve ever made. Plus there’s wine in it. A wine that drew the attention of the guy at the liquor store such that he complemented my taste. I didn’t have the heart to tell him “I only need a quarter cup, it’s going in pizza dough.”

Pizza with our standard toppings

Next we decided that while we’re making Mario’s dough we may as well make a pizza from the same show. Plus we had the fresh mozzarella in the fridge. He called it Classic Pizza Napolitana and it’s got slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves on it. Karen suggested adding some tomatoes on top. It was close to being the best pizza I’d ever had.

pizza napolitana before cooking

Remember the soup nazi from Seinfeld? They’d taste his soup and then say “Oooo, that’s good. I gotta sit down.” That’s how good this pizza was. It’s only Friday and already it felt like Father’s day.

Below I’ll put our recipe adapted from Mario’s.

Classic Pizza Napolitana


1/4 cup light red or white wine, Fiano di Avellino
3/4 cup warm water
3 packs of active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups bread flour

Place wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix well to combine. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, incorporating as much flour as you can with the wooden spoon.Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and firm. Place in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.

Knead the dough into 3 rounds and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.


basil leaves
fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin medallions
1 ripe plum tomato, sliced

Roll the pizza into circles and fold the outside edge over to form a crust. Ladle the tomato sauce in an even layer over the dough. Distribute the cheese evenly over the surface of the pizza, press the basil leaves into the sauce and place tomato slices on the cheese medallions. Cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is golden brown.

Sorry, I used store bought pizza sauce because we had it and I needed to get rid of it. I’ve already made Mario’s pizza sauce before, and it worked well.

Thank you Mario. Holy crap.



2 responses

19 06 2007
Daddy Forever

I’m bookmarking this page in case I ever make pizza again. But after the last time, that might not ever happen again.

20 06 2007

I don’t know guys…Wolfgang makes an fabulous pizza crust in my opinion and I made some AWESOME pizzas and calzones yesterday. I don’t do a scratch sauce like from cooked tomatoes but we do add magic to a can of regular tomato sauce. And of course, EVOO and lots of garlic makes ANYTHING taste GREAT!!! Actually took some pics for your Mark! Hehe. My Kitchenaid does all the leg work though…not a big fan of labor… however we still enjoy a fabo pizza. I do have to say though Mark your pizzas are looking rounder and less like the US States. Bravo.

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