Adapted from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
The recipe for the pizza dough can also be used to make white bread, French breads and rolls. I decided to make it with whole-wheat flour but the original recipe calls for white all-purpose or bread flour plus 1 tablespoon of whole-wheat flour.
- 1 package (a scant tablespoon) active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup tepid water
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 lb whole-wheat flour
- 2¼ tsp salt
- Proof the yeast in the tepid water with the sugar for 5 minutes. After this time, it should start to bubble. Then stir in the cold water.
- Measure the flour and salt into a food processor with a Steel blade. With the machine running slowly, process in the yeast and water until the dough balls up on the top of the blade. You may need to add some more droplets of cold water. Let it revolve 8 times. Stop the machine and feel the dough, which should be soft and pliable. If it’s damp and wet, process in a tablespoon or so more of flour; if the dough is dry, add a Little more cold water. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Process the dough for about 15 more seconds. Remove it to a floured board or counter and let it rest for 2 minutes. Knead it vigorously by hand about 50 times by folding it over on itself and pushing it out in front of you with the heels of your hands. When you are done, it should be smooth and elastic but should hold together when stretched.
- Turn the dough into a 4-quart fairly straight-sided ungreased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Leave in a draft-free place for about an hour. The dough will rise to about 1½ times its original volume.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Push and pat it into a 14-inch rectangle and fold it into 3 like a business letter. Repeat this process one more time and return it to the ungreased bowl. Cover it and let it rise once more for another hour and a half. The dough is ready when it has almost tripled in volume.
Shaping the Pizzas
- Pizza dough (recipe above)
- Tomato sauce (or other sauce of your choice)
- Grated mozzarella cheese
- Toppings of your choice
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Dried rosemary
- Set the rack on the lower-middle level of the oven and preheat it to 450F (232C).
- Form the dough into 2 smooth balls and let rest, covered for 10 minutes.
- Place the balls of dough on 2 separate greased 16-inch pizza pans. Stretch and press the dough into a thin disk on the pan.
- Spread the tomato sauce over one of the stretched pizza doughs. Top it with mozzarella cheese. Add any other toppings you like. Finally, sprinkle the seasonings on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is bubbling, the edges have puffed and the bottom is crisped. Prepare the second pizza while the first is baking.
Comments: This comes out as a thin, crispy pizza. If you want a spongier crust, you can try using the entire dough recipe for 1 pizza or use a smaller pizza pan. This time, I topped the pizza with sautéed onions and sliced bell peppers. One of my favorite pizzas is what we call in Argentina fugazzeta that is topped with an overwhelming amount of onions. Another personal favorite is one I have made several times at home: goat cheese, apple slices and sautéed or caramelized onions. At one restaurant, I always order the Gorgonzola and pear pizza which is also a fabulous combination. Feel free to be adventurous!