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Basic Recipe for Yeast Dough

Source: The Italian Gourmet
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Active Time:  10 Minutes
Total Time:  2 Hours 55 Minutes
  Makes 6 rolls or pizzas
However simple it may seem, the making of yeast dough requires patience, skill and experience. Many cooks in Italy prefer to buy it ready prepared from the baker: Using this recipe, however; you can try it with a good chance of success. It provides the base for baking not only homemade bread but also pizza and a whole series of savory pies with a variety of fillings that belong to the classic Italian gastronomic tradition. Much depends on your oven, however; and to achieve a good result it must be heated to a high temperature - in the case of a domestic oven not less than 500 degrees F.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
1/2 oz dried or 1 oz fresh yeast
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
DIRECTIONS
In a cup, soak the yeast with the water - no hotter than 86 degrees F or the yeast will die. Add about 1/2 cup of the flour; knead rapidly and shape the dough into a ball. Put it into a floured bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume.


Punch down the dough and work in the remaining flour and a pinch of salt, adding just enough lukewarm water until all the flour is absorbed and the dough is smooth and elastic. (Be sure to work away from drafts and air conditioning.) The formation of tiny bubbles on the surface is a sign that the dough is ready.


Put the dough on a floured plate, cut a cross in the top with a knife, and cover with a cloth. Set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours until doubled in volume.


To make rolls: preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and shape each into a round or elongated roll. Make a cross in the top with the point of a small knife. Set aside, covered, to rise once more. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.


To make pizzas: Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Smooth each piece of dough like a skilled pizza-maker does, stretching the dough with the fingers or rolling it out on a floured board.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 6 rolls or pizzas
Calories: 177
Sodium: 27mg
Fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates, Total: 36g
Protein: 6g
% Cal. from Fat: 5%
Fat. Total: 1g
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