I rarely make pizza myself. There is no valid excuse for that. I bake almost daily (well, not so much lately, but I used to) and I make yeast goods very often, but it rarely occurs to me to make pizza. And, believe me, I have a genetic disposition for eating it as often as I can! However, I’m not a picky pizza eater. I eat almost any kind of pizza, even Pizza Hut (shhhhh don’t tell my family or my government or they will take away the Italian passport from me!). After all, if I were a picky pizza eater I should have never left Italy. Probably, the reason why I don’t make it often is that I know it will never be as good as the Napolitanean pizza I eat when I go home and so I don’t even try.
Last week, however, I was in pizza making mood. Maybe it was the spring break, the extra time I had, the cloudy weather….I don’t know. I just know that I felt inspired to make my own pizza. I did not make a big round pizza, though. I wanted to make something that Wally could easily bring to work the day after (I was sure there was going to be leftovers). So I decided to make 4 small rolls instead of two big round pizza. Ehmm…I intended to make 4 small rolls. In reality they turned out pretty big! Well, we just had a lot of leftover. No complains, right?
And by the way, this time I’m really glad I decided to make it. It was the best pizza dough I’ve ever made! Now I only need to be able to replicate this success over and over again.
Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
Ingredients for two round pizza or 4 big rolls
500 g (17.6 oz) bread flour
30 g (2 tbsp) active dry yeast
45 ml (3 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil
10 g (2 tsp) salt
15 g (1 tbsp) sugar
300 ml water (I used less than that)
additional flour to dust
In a small bowl, mix a half glass of warm water together with the sugar and the yeast. Stir well and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and the water is foamy.
In another small bowl, pour another half glass of warm water and stir in the salt until dissolved.
On a flat surface (or in a big bowl if you don’t have much practice), put the flour and make a dwell. Pour the content of the first small bowl (water, sugar, and yeast) in the center of the well. Next, pour the water and salt mixture and finally add the olive oil and start to mix.
You can initially stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, keeping next to you additional flour and the remaining water to be slowly added to the dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth, silky, and elastic. (If you were working in a big bowl, when the dough starts taking more shape you can put in on a flat surface to knead).
Put the dough in a big bowl with a bit of flour sprinkled on the bottom. Cover with a kitchen towel and put in a warm place (I usually put it in the oven or in the corner of the kitchen counter.)
Note: the cook of my school (an Italian, of course) always tells me that the dough needs NOT to be moved at all while it’s rising. So find a place where the bowl will not be in your way and let it sit there until double in bulk (1 to 2 hours depending on the yeast and the level of humidity).
When the dough has doubled, rolled it out in the shape you have decided to make it and top it or fill it with our favorite toppings.
Bake the pizza at 350F degrees. It will take 20 to 40 minutes depending on whether you are making a round pizza or pizza rolls. If you are making pizza rolls, make sure to roll out the dough very thin and to cook it for at least 30 minutes or the dough inside will not be thoroughly cooked,
Have a sweet day!