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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tri - State Pizza Dough.

Perfect crust that's hand tossed and folds well, because that's how you eat a slice.
 Pizza dough. The main building block of most Italian style fast foods: pizza, calzones, or strombolis, to name a few. Everyone has their favorite style, but if you ask anyone from New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania and lives somewhere else what they miss most about home - pizza. There's nothing else like it.
Just your average cheese pizza at the Sawmill, Seaside Heights, NJ.
What I found out after I left my home state was that if I ordered pizza, I either ended up with something on a prefab (read cardboard) dough or a flavorless white bread style dough. I couldn't take it anymore. So now I know the way to make what I call Tri - State dough, based mostly on the New York style method. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

A few simple ingredients...

You'll need:
for the starter:
packet of yeast (pizza yeast, if available)
1/2 cup flour (bread flour is best)
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

2 cups flour (also, bread flour is best, but all purpose works)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder

also; extra flour for kneading, and approximately a tbsp. or so of olive oil

In a small bowl, mix starter ingredients and whisk with a fork until thoroughly mixed, set aside for approximately 20 minutes or until foam builds up.
Meanwhile, mix dough ingredients in a large bowl. Once starter is ready, add it to bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms. If you are blessed enough to own a mixer with a dough hook, run it at medium low for about 5 minutes once all ingredients are in the bowl.

Lightly flour the mixing surface and knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes, regardless of the original mixing method. Coat the inside of the bowl with a little olive oil. Take the kneaded dough, add a light coat of olive oil to it, and place in the bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise till doubled, about two hours.

Fresh ball of dough.
Two hours later... 

Punch the dough down, knead for a few more minutes, then put in a resealable freezer bag and store in your refrigerator. The cold gives a slow rise to the yeast. giving it that characteristic texture and flavor that makes our pizzas so great.

Recommended cold proof: 24- 72 hours.  The longer, the better. Bring it to room temperature and create your own favorite pizza!
Fresh out of our own oven - one of two loaded pizzas... tasted just like home.

(Note: while it is not recommended to use a rolling pin to get your dough to the desired shape, if you must, it's a good idea to use one made of marble. Gives and even roll.)

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