Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pizza Bones

The most important part to making pizza is giving it good "bones". Nothing is more important than the crust.
Mama D as painted by the great Tony Bennett!
My standard go-to recipe is from my husband's Aunt Jenny, who was better known in Minneapolis St. Paul area as Mama D. Thanks to my new friend Benny the Chef!, I've also learned to make pizza bones in the Roman way - a leisurely slow rising crispy crust with wonderfully chewy bones. Do purchase his new cookery book The Art of Cooking According to Me so you can try it sometime, as his dough is simply awesome.

This time, I'll show you how Mama D taught me.

not quite done kneading, but just about!
Mama D's Pizza Dough 

The nutrition facts for those that like such things, can be found at Calorie Count


2 envelopes dry yeast
2 C warm water
5 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
4 T olive oil


Dissolve the yeast in the water. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the salt and sugar. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture and oil. Mix well until the dough is soft but not sticky - if it is sticky, add a little more flour in the next step.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board (more flour here if dough is sticky). Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic - it will pop back if you stick a finger into it.

A Bowl Too Small
Place the dough inside a lightly oiled bowl and brush a bit of oil on top of the dough. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place such as in an oven. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size and a hole remains if you poke your finger into the dough. LOL! Make sure your bowl is big enough, as you can see, when I doubled my recipe, I failed to double my bowl!

Shhhhh! The pizza dough is resting.
Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down on a board..I just LOVE doing that! Divide into 2 equal balls for two large pizzas or 4 balls for four smaller dinner plate sized pizzas, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Taking 1 ball at a time, roll it out or pat and stretch it into a circle about 14 inches in diameter with the dough a little thicker and pinched up a bit at the edges. Place on a pizza stone or a lightly oiled baking sheet and prick all over lightly with a fork. Before adding the sauce and other ingredients I like to brush the dough with olive oil, spread with garlic and sprinkle with Romano cheese.

pizza bones with sauce and fresh basil leaves!
My new favorite topping is a bunch of whole basil leaves plucked fresh from the garden and slices of fresh mozzarella - in fact, there is now a new Mindful Rule - you are not allowed to buy pre-shredded mozzarella cheese for your homemade pizza. Nope, not allowed. You must purchase logs of fresh mozzarella and cut slices and lay them on the top with great reverence.

After the bones are topped with the rest of the ingredients, bake in a 400 degree oven until the crust is done - about 20 - 30 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs. I have also, after neglecting to check my recipe first, baked it at 375 or even 350 with good luck so if your oven runs hot, go ahead and do that.

Delicious homemade pizza!
It is so easy and fun to make homemade pizza. The dough is very simple and you can make sauce and prepare your ingredients while the dough rises. You are in charge of the quality of the ingredients and should always choose the best available. Share pizza building with family and good friends - as well as a nice Chianti.

Enjoy your pizza Mindfully, it's good for you. Mama said so.

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