How to make Pizza Dough

I have been making pizza at home for years but have never been totally satisfied with it - particularly the crust.  It never seemed to develop the taste or texture I was looking for.  Along came Arthur Schwartz with his great cookbook “The Southern Italian Table”.  His recipe for the dough requires an overnight rise in the refrigerator and that makes all the difference.  He also uses far less yeast which I thought might detract from the flavor but that is not the case.  His recipe gives 16 ideas for toppings which, I am sure, will help inspire you to create your own. One which he did not mention - probably because it is not authentic - but which I had in a restaurant in Vermont, is a pear and gorgonzola topping.  Different, but delicious!

For the dough:  

1 teaspoon active dry yeast (not fast-rising)
1½ cups warm water (between 100 and 110ºF)
3½ to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

At least 30 minutes before mixing the dough, in a minimum 2-cup liquid measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast on ½ cup of the water.  Wait a minute, then stir with a fork until the yeast is dissolved.  Stir in ½ cup of the flour.  Set aside at room temperature and let the mixture increase to at least double, about 1½ cups.

Combine 3 cups of the flour with the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 cup of warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix on low speed until the dough just begins to mass together.  Add the salt, and continue to knead the dough with the dough hook until it looks smooth and the machine struggles a little.

Stop the machine.  Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, folding and turning it onto itself as demonstrated in the video, adding just enough flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
Lightly oil a medium sized bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough over so that all surfaces are coated with oil, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator.  Allow to rise until doubled - this will take up to two hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  After an hour, turn your oven on to 550º.
Deflate the dough by pressing it down, then divide into 3 parts.  Each will make a 10 to 12-inch pizza.  

See My Breville Pizza Maker Video for Forming:

To form the pizza, flatten a ball of dough into a thick disk.  On a lightly floured surface, rotating the disk as you go, flatten the center of the pizza with your fingertips or the heel of your hand.  When a ridge of dough starts appearing on the perimeter of the disk, lift the dough up with both hands, and holding onto the ridge, let gravity and the weight of the dough stretch the circle.  Keep turning the dough to get a relatively even 10 to 12-inch circle.  Keep pulling the ridge slightly so the circle gets larger.  Be careful not to make the center too thin or the ridge more than a ½-inch deep.  Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin. Spread the formed pizza dough onto a paddle lightly dusted with cornmeal.  If you don’t have a pizza stone, place the formed dough on a lightly floured cookie sheet.
Top as desired and bake for 8 to 10 minutes depending on your oven and the topping and how well baked you like pizza.


  For many years, I’ve also had so very many disappointments regarding pizza dough that I  pessimistically thought that  your system wouldn’t work.  I was pleasantly surprised, that, following your instructions, except  leaving the un-risen dough in the refrigerator for 2 days (as opposed to over night), it turned out GREAT.
   I guess the moral of the story is to never question the abilities of Betty Busciglio.

P.S. You are also good in front of a camera (I assume that this ability comes along with the Scottish blood).

Betty's Raspberry Frangipane Tart (Betty's Kitchen Fare)

The recipe that follows is about the sixth version of this tart.  The first one had too much butter in the pastry so it leaked out all over the place; the second had a filling which was too light so that puffed up and then cracked when it cooled.

A third try didn't have enough frangipane.  I was on the way to the right crust and the right filling, but the raspberry flavor didn't "pop".  

The solution was to add a thin layer of raspberry jam on the crust before adding the frangipane filling.  Finally, just what I was looking for.

Of course, you can vary the fruit - blueberries work well as do fresh or canned apricot halves.  Just be sure to drain and dry canned apricots really well.

Be sure to follow the instructions to press the pastry slight over the top of your tart pan so that it doesn't shrink down the side of the pan.

Any problems, just contact me. (
Raspberry Frangipane Tart

Sweet Pastry
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water

Raspberry Almond 
1 cup ground almond meal
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup raspberry jam
6 oz. fresh raspberries, washed and dried
⅓ cup sliced almonds, more or less to your preference

First, make the pastry. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.. Add butter and pulse until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together yolk, vanilla, lemon juice, and water with a fork and pulse until combined.  
Turn out onto a sheet of waxed paper or work surface and gently knead until a dough forms. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk and chill, wrapped in waxed paper, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Take the pastry out of the fridge. Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper until it is about 11 inches in diameter.  Line a 9-inch tart tin with the pastry, making sure the edges are higher than the tart tin, as the pastry shrinks while baking. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Place a sheet pan or cookie sheet in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
Prick the bottom of the pastry lightly with a fork, line the tart with lightly buttered foil and fill with pie weights (dried beans/rice).  Blind bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and the foil and bake for 5 minutes, until the pastry is cooked but still very pale. Let it cool completely.
For the almond cream, add all ingredients to food processor and process until well combined.  Coat the bottom of the cooled tart with the raspberry jam and top with the almond cream, smoothing it out with a small offset spatula.  Arrange the raspberries over the top of the almond cream. There is no need to push them down as the almond cream will rise while baking and the raspberries will sink in a little bit. Scatter the sliced almonds over the raspberries. 
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake the tart for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Dust with icing sugar just before serving if you wish.

        Watch the video: