I have a special interest in pizza making. My brother, Stephen traveled to northern Italy years ago to learn how to make an authentic pie. Upon his return he opened his first restaurant, The New York Pizza Factory (which has since closed its' doors), serving brick oven pies with names like the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State each made with in-house mozzarella. Here are some pies he made for us during a recent family visit on Long Island. He has been busy with plans to open a new restaurant in Tuxedo, NY/November 2018 and we can't wait!
I have always loved a good slice of New York pizza and while living there I sampled many, but my brother's pies are special. His recipes are steeped in tradition, and reflect a skill level that was developed through years of hard work and travel.
I have tried to emulate this particular level of quality at home while learning about the importance of using fresh yeast, proper dry measuring techniques and most recently (thanks to my brother) how to cook the proper sauce.
Here is a recipe for a dough that I use at home. This dough is not only basic and reliable, but will provide you with a crust that has great 'bite' and a bit of crunch!
See below for vegan topping ideas!
Pie Crust (Vegan)
Recipe Inspired from The Complete Italian Cookbook 1953
-1 package active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
-1 3/4 cup warm filtered water (make sure it's not too hot or it will kill the yeast (between 110-115 degrees fahrenheit)
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-4-4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons fine sea salt
In an electric mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup of water and mix at low speed. Turn off the mixer and let the mixture proof until it bubbles, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining water and olive oil and turn the mixer on at low speed. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time on low speed to mix the ingredients. After the third cup, add the salt. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add enough flour to make a dough that clings to the batter paddle. Turn off the mixer and check dough; it should be soft, not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the right consistency. If the dough is too dry, add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time until it becomes soft and smooth.
When done, turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 3-4 minutes. Form it into a ball and place in a large bowl sprayed with vegetable oil. Tightly wrap the bowl in plastic, and let sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Now you are ready to make your pizza! Yield two 12" crusts.
Here are some plant-based topping ideas:
-Crisped Field Roast Italian Sausage
-Vegan Mozzarella (I like Miyoko brand)
-Capers (instead of anchovies)
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