∙ Gor­gonzola, potato & radic­chio pizza bianca

taste.com.au - - THIS MONTH -

makes 6 balls of dough (250g each) | prep 1 1⁄4 hours (+ 17 hours rest­ing, ris­ing & chill­ing time)

1kg (6 2⁄3 cups) un­bleached, stone­ground whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour 550ml wa­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture 2g dried (pow­dered) yeast 20g sea salt 30ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 Place flour and 500ml (2 cups) wa­ter in a mixer fit­ted with a dough hook at­tach­ment. Be­gin mix­ing on low speed and keep mix­ing un­til the flour has ab­sorbed the wa­ter but is not smooth. This should take 3-4 min­utes. Rest the dough in the bowl for 15-20 min­utes. 2 Mean­while, dis­solve yeast in re­main­ing wa­ter. Once the dough has rested, turn the mixer on to medium and add the dis­solved yeast. Mix for 2 min­utes, then add the salt. Mix for 2 min­utes, then add the olive oil. Keep mix­ing un­til the dough is shiny and ho­moge­nous, about 6 min­utes. Turn the speed up a lit­tle and mix for 2 min­utes more. 3 To check the elas­tic­ity is right, stretch a piece of dough – if it forms a strong, trans­par­ent mem­brane without break­ing (sim­i­lar to blow­ing a bub­ble with gum), it’s ready. Rest the dough, cov­ered with plas­tic wrap, for 30 min­utes in win­ter or 15 min­utes in sum­mer. It is then ready to be shaped.

shap­ing dough into balls 1 Use a pas­try scraper or large sharp knife to cut off about a third of the dough from the edge. Hold the piece of dough at one end and, us­ing both hands, form a ball by tuck­ing the folds un­der so the top sur­face is taut and smooth. When the ball is about 200-250g, pinch the dough un­der­neath to sep­a­rate it from the rest of the piece. Re­peat this pro­ce­dure to make 6 balls. 2 Roll each ball gen­tly on the work sur­face to make it even and round. 3 Place balls on a non-stick tray with a cover. Make sure there’s at least one ball width be­tween each ball and the edges of the tray, and that the balls don’t touch the cover. Spray the balls with a fine mist of wa­ter to hy­drate them. Let them rise for 1 hour at 20-24°C, then place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The balls can stay in the fridge at around 4-5°C for up to 3 days.

shap­ing dough into bases 1 Once the dough balls have ma­tured and tripled in size, re­move from the fridge and leave at am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture for 3-4 hours (less in sum­mer and more in win­ter) be­fore form­ing the bases. Choose the dough ball to be used and lightly sprin­kle some flour over the top and along the edges where it touches the sur­round­ing balls. Use a pas­try scraper or knife to sep­a­rate the dough ball from its neigh­bours. 2 Lift the dough ball from the tray and turn it bottom-side-up, re­veal­ing the bub­bles. Place the ball, still bottom-side-up, on a small mound of flour and turn it over in the flour so that both sides are cov­ered. 3 Be­gin by us­ing your fin­gers to form the cor­nice (bor­der) and push the dough out, mak­ing the cir­cle larger (see pic A). Once the cir­cle has dou­bled in cir­cum­fer­ence, re­move it from the flour and place on the work sur­face. 4 Keep­ing one hand on one side of the base, gen­tly stretch the op­po­site side with the other hand and lift and slap the dough cir­cle from side to side (see pic B). This will stretch the gluten in the dough and the base will get larger and larger. 5 Once stretched to the de­sired size (our pizzas are around 30cm in di­am­e­ter), place the base back on the work sur­face and neaten it into a cir­cle (see pic C). The pizza base is now ready for you to dress with the top­pings and then bake.

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