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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sicilian Pizza


Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza
This is the regular pizza dough that is aged and not the sourdough recipe.
4.25 cups of unbleached, unbromated, high gluten flour (King Arthur Brand)
1.5 cups of spring water
2 teaspoons of Fleishman's Bread Machine Yeast
2 teaspoons of Sea Salt
2 teaspoons of granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Combine the water, yeast, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together thoroughly. While whisking add the olive oil. I use a stand mixer to knead the dough (doh!) because pizza dough requires a lot of kneading to develop the glutenous chains in the dough. You can knead this by hand, by it is a real workout for your forearms. Add the flour to the liquid mixture and knead for 10 minutes. This recipe yields about 2 pounds. The pizza in the picture only used 12 ounces of dough so you can store the rest of the dough in a hard container in the refrigerator.

For the Sicilian pizza in the picture I used an 8" X 8" baking pan which I lubricated thoroughly with spray olive oil. Take 12 ounces of the dough and roll it out to the approximate size on the counter, using flour as needed to prevent sticking. Take the rolled dough and fit it into the pan. As the dough rises it will expand to cover any gaps. Take the pan cover it, and place it in a warm area to rise for a couple hours. I rise my dough in an unheated oven and leave the light on to provide a little warmth. If you rising chamber is too hot (above 105 degrees Fahrenheit) it will kill the yeast, and your dough will not rise. This is the secret of Sicilian pizza, it is really bread that is topped like pizza. It's a flat pan bread, rather than a bread pan bread (loaf).

After a couple hours, when the dough is risen, we start making the pizza. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with the pizza stone in the oven. Be careful not to punch down the dough because we want the pizza to be risen and fluffy. Carefully apply pizza sauce to the dough, add some extra dried oregano, and granulated garlic. Bake the pizza on the pizza stone for 5 minutes. Pull the pizza out of the oven and prepare the rest of the toppings, whatever you like really. The dough is set now so you don't have to worry about collapsing it. I used a layer of mozzarella, chopped green and black olives, chopped pepperoni, a little more dried oregano, and a little more mozzarella on top. Put the pizza back into the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pizza during the last 5 minutes of cooking and pull it if you think the cheese is getting too dark. I usually let pan pizzas sit for about 5 minutes after cooking so that they don't get squished when you try and cut them. I have to use a chef's knife to cut the Sicilian Pizza because it is too thick to cut with the pizza wheel.

Bon Appe'tit...


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