Since when did hipsters start making such amazing pizzas? I guess we are getting old? Roberta’s in Brooklyn makes an extremely tasty dough that works perfectly will all sorts of toppings (but don’t you dare ask me to put pineapple on a pizza). Today we are going to take a detailed look at Roberta’s pizza dough recipe. I’ll share a few little secret’s with you to make sure that it comes out of the oven perfectly every time.
How to Make Roberta’s Pizza Dough
Did you know that pizza started life in Italy as ‘peasant’ food? A folded flatbread topped with cheese and tomatoes. That was it. I suspect it was far less complex than it is nowadays. That said, our homemade Roberta’s dough is pretty simple.
Well, here’s what you’ll need. A bowl and your hands. Is that simple enough? We take a few steps to get the dough absolutely perfect; let’s have a quick run-through.
We start by mixing all of the ingredients in a bowl, literally. That’ll be flour, water, salt, and yeast… Oh, and a little olive oil (it is Italian, after all). From there, we mix the dough until it is smooth. Then we give it (and ourselves) a little rest.
Once the dough has rested, we knead it and shape it into balls before letting the yeast do its work and make the dough nice and puffy.
The final step is shaping the balls into a pizza base. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. I’ve included how to shape pizza dough as part of the recipe. We then top the pizza and bake it in the oven.
Tips and Tricks
- Yeast is actually alive. Freaky right? And it works better if there is a mild heat source. For this reason, make sure that you use lukewarm water. This will speed up the rising process. As an additional aside, heat makes the gluten in the flour more stretchy and elastic, so it’s a double win. Oh, and don’t make your water too hot, or it will kill the yeast!
- Speaking of killing yeast, here is a top baker’s tip! Don’t mix your yeast and salt together before adding it to the flour. Keep them separate. Poor yeast really doesn’t like salt. In fact, salt kills the yeast. Your yeast is a key part of this recipe so show it some love, and don’t kill it!
- Your choice of flour is important, and you’ll see there are two different types. Look for Tipo flour. It is also labeled as ‘00’ flour. This is basically flour that is really finely milled. It works exceptionally well in pizza dough (and is also great for making fresh pasta if you have a few eggs leftover).
- How you knead the dough is important. Many people just mash it up with their hands. This isn’t the way. The aim of kneading is to stretch and interlace the gluten. I find that once the dough is well mixed, all you need to do is stretch the dough out and fold it over itself. When you’ve got it right, you’ll feel the dough tighten significantly. Once the dough is a smooth ball, it is ready. Don’t overwork it, or it will end up flat and lifeless.
- I’ve saved the most important tip until last. And this is crucial. Don’t use a rolling pin to make your dough. Yeast makes lots of little air bubbles that make dough light and fluffy. A rolling pin will squeeze out all this air! Instead, shape your dough by hand.
Pizza dough is actually pretty easy when you get the hang of it. Roberta’s pizza dough doesn’t contain any secret ingredients. It is slightly stiffer due to the inclusion of all-purpose flour. What is your favorite pizza topping? Why not let me know in the comments below?