Mama Mic’s Magic Dough
Yield: 2 loaves, 3 pizzas or 48 rolls
2 cups water, warm to the wrist
2 packets dry yeast,
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar * SWEET DOUGH increase sugar to ⅓ cup
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Sea salt
5 to 6 ½ cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, not packed down
In a large deep bowl you love to use, pour water and stir in yeast with a wooden spoon until the yeast dissolves. Stir in sugar, olive oil, salt, and flour one cup at a time. Stir each cup of flour, scraping sides and the bottom of the bowl, turn the dough, fold up and in from the bottom. Dough will become sticky after 5 cups, start to knead it with your hands. Add extra flour as needed by ½ cupful, scrape dough off sides, continue to rotate, lift, fold, and press dough into itself.
Press the dough ball toward yourself with a flat to cupped hand; keep turning and feel the warm dough energy.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a breadboard or hard surface lightly dusted with flour, keep adding a dusting of flour as you knead and the dough absorbs the dusting of flour. Use the heel of your hand to knead the dough, about 5 to 8 minutes, until the dough becomes silky, “smooth as a baby’s bottom.” Form the dough into a ball, set aside.
Scrape off and discard excess flour from inside the dough bowl. Thoroughly coat the inside of bowl with 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Place the dough ball in the oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides and top with oil. Press a cross with the straight of your hand into the dough ball, to relax the dough. Cover the top of the bowl with clean, thin, wet-warm kitchen towel pulled taut. Place in a warm draft-free area and let the “baby” rise. About 45 minutes.
After first rising, divide into three equal balls or punch it down with your fist and let rise again until ready to use.
If covering cloth gets cold, rinse with warm water and ring out as often as needed.
Preheat oven 400°F.
Divide Dough into three equal balls. Roll each ball of dough into a 14×10 inch rectangle and place on lightly oiled baking sheet.
Shape edges by pressing dough between thumb and forefinger to make a ridge. For round pizza, roll dough into rounds.
Cover with seasoned tomato sauce, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh tomato slices, or pesto.
Top each pizza with toppings of your choice:
Artichokes, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, fresh basil leaves, Mozzarella cheese, Asiagio cheese, pitted black olives, precooked Italian sausage (you don’t want extra grease on the pizza).
With anchovies, omit the mozzarella cheese and add 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Top with 8 anchovy fillets, cut in 1/2 inch pieces.
Before baking sprinkle over each pizza, in order listed:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons grated imported Parmesean cheese
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Bake at 400°F. 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is browned. Slice and serve.
I said it was Magic!!!
- If you want to delay making your bread or pizza you can push dough down a few pushes with your fist to let the air out after it rises, turn, coat, and cover, to rise again.
- After the dough rises you can freeze it in an oiled tightly-sealed plastic bag, defrost in refrigerator, and let rise in a warm towel covered bowl at room temperature. Tara did for the Pizza Party.