New York-Style Pizza Dough
You'll find this dough to be a little wetter and tackier to work with than some of the others in the book. Learning to work with a slightly sticky dough rewards you with a crust that is crisp and airy, yet chewy. In New York, most pizza dough is pressed, stretched, and tossed, but never tolled with a rolling pin. Keep your hands well dusted with flour and even though the dough feels tacky, your hands won't stick and tear the dough. As you press and stretch the dough, if it bounces back, let it rest for a few minutes before continuing to stretch and toss the dough. This is a great dough for practicing your tossing skills!
In a small bowl, using a fork, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Set aside until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
In another small bowl, combine the cold water, sugar, salt and olive oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
To make the dough by hand: Place 5 1/4 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture along with the cold-water mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough, incorporating as much of the flour as possible.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. It will still be a little sticky but shouldn't stick to your hands. Add only a minimum amount of flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.
To make the dough using a mixer
Fit a heavy-duty stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place 5 1/4 cups of the flour in the mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture along with the cold-water mixture and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough gathers together to form a coarse ball, about 4 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes.
Mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and not sticky, about 6 minutes longer. (If the dough begins to climb up the dough hook toward the motor drive, stop the mixer and push it down. If the machine labors and the motor feels hot, stop and wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down.) Turn the dough out on a well-floured work surface and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional flour, if necessary.
To prepare the dough for rising
Cut the dough into thirds to form three even portions, each weighing 15 ounces. With floured hands, pick up one portion of dough and pull the opposite edges together, wrapping them underneath toward the center to form a tight, smooth ball. Pinch to seal. Repeat with the other two portions. Place each portion in a 1-gallon lock-top plastic bag. Squeeze out all the air and seal the bags, allowing enough room for the dough to double in size.
Refrigerate for at least 10 hours or up to 2 days. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before using to allow the dough to come to room temperature. Proceed with any New York-style pizza recipe. Makes 45 ounces dough or three 15-ounce portions, enough for three 12-inch pizzas.
Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani, Pizza (Chronicle Books, 2005).
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