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Neapolitan-Style Pizza

Time: 5 minutes to mix the dough, overnight to retard it, and about 6 hours intermittent work the following day.

Equipment Mise en Place
For this recipe you will need a digital scale, a large mixing bowl, a whisk, a wooden spoon, a plastic dough scraper, a metal dough scraper, a pizza peel, a little tea strainer, a couple of pastry brushes, a pizza stone, and 2 long oven mitts.

For the dough:
12 ounces (just over 2 cups) Heirloom Pizza Maker's Flour
1 generous teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon instant yeast
10.3 ounces (about 1 ¼ cup), spring or filtered water, cool

For the sauce:
4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) fine olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ cups pure strained tomato product such as Bionaturae's Organic Strained Tomatoes
Fine sea salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

For the topping:
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
1 5-ounce ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices (1.5 oz per pizza)
15 fresh basil leaves, washed

For the bottom:
3 tablespoons Heirloom Semolina

1. Make the dough: Place the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Make a well in the bowl and pour the water into the center of the well. Stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients come together to form a wet dough, 1 minute. When the dough has come together, begin kneading it by hand, using pulling and pushing motions to lift the dough up from the bowl and snap it back down. Continue "kneading" the dough in this fashion until it is smooth and elastic, 2 or 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Proof the dough: The following day remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the bowl stand at room temperature until the dough loses its sluggish appearance and becomes lively and bubbly, 4 or 5 hours. Use a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold the dough over upon itself with a few light strokes. Cover the bowl and rest the dough 30 minutes. Repeat the folding strokes once more and rest 15 minutes. Repeat once more, resting the dough 15 minutes.

3. Make the sauce: While the dough is rising, melt the garlic in the olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, about 3 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes and cook to a simmer, 5 minutes. Simmer lightly, but do not reduce to a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; remove additional racks. Place a pizza stone on the rack and heat the oven to 550 degrees.

5. Round the dough: Flour a work surface or wooden dough board liberally. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the board. Toss a generous amount of flour on top of the dough and round it by cupping both hands around the sides of the dough and drag its bottom against the surface, using friction to stretch and tighten the dough into a smooth, round ball sealed with a veil of flour. Rest the dough 10 minutes. Use a metal bench knife to cut the dough into 3 7-ounce pieces. Flour and round each piece. Let the dough rest about 10 minutes.

6. Shape the dough. Working one disc of dough at a time, flatten the dough lightly with your fingertips. Sprinkle or sift (sifting is easier) a tablespoon of mixed semolina on the surface of a baker's peel. Transfer the dough to the peel. Flour your hands and stretch the dough from the center out into a 10-inch round. If the dough sticks, lift an edge gently where it is sticking and sprinkle more semolina on the peel.

7. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and brush the oil across the dough surface. Use a clean pastry or basting brush to brush any excess semolina from the peel. Spoon about ¼ cup of tomato sauce over the dough surface and smooth lightly with the back of a spoon. Slide it onto the pizza stone and close the oven door quickly. Bake 2 minutes. Open the oven door and quickly pull the rack out slightly using long potholders. Arrange the mozzarella slices on the pizza. Shove the rack back in and close the door. Bake 2 more minutes or until the pizza is dark golden and the cheese has melted. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cool slightly and top with fresh basil. (You can sweep the semolina that remains scattered on the stone into a bowl using long mitts and an old, clean cloth.) Let the oven recover its temperature, about 10 minutes, while you are stretching and saucing the next disc of dough. Continue to bake the remaining two pizzas in the same manner.

Makes 3 10-inch pizzas

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