dough for pasta, pizza & pies

pizza dough

26th May 2020

This dough can be made on the day or can be refrigerated up to 3 days (the latter allows the dough to develop, creating more flavour and texture). I alternate between the two, depending on convenience.

notes 

  • Choose quality flour: flour is the main ingredient in pizza dough, so use high quality and high protein flour, all-purpose works fine but for better texture (in terms of hole structure), use bread flour or tipo “00”.
  • Lean towards a wetter dough: when mixing the dough, if in doubt, keep the dough on the wetter/stickier side, you will be adding more flour during the roll-out phase.
  • Cold ferment: as mentioned above, a cold ferment improves flavour and structure, after making the dough (step 2), keep in the fridge for 1 (minimum) to 3 days (ideal), then on the day of pizza making, take the dough out 3 – 4 hours prior to cooking and repeat as above (step 4).
  • Keep toppings simple: use quality ingredients and keep the toppings to 2-3 vegetables.
  • Crispy crust: invest in a baking stone, it holds a lot of heat, releasing it into the pizza as it bakes, giving it a crispier crust.
  • Hot oven: a very hot oven plays an important part in the finished result. Preheat the oven on the highest setting – generally 290C/550F, for at least 45 minutes – 1 hour.

pizza dough

Recipe adapted from Shir, with guidance here and here.

Makes 3 medium pizzas (enough for 3 – 4 people).

Active time – 90 minutes

Total time – 4½ hours

ingredients

1 tsp yeast

1 cup/220g water

2 Tbsp olive oil

2½ cups/340g bread flour/Tipo “00” or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

cornmeal or semolina, for cooking

preparation

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and water, allow it to sit for a few minutes for the yeast to activate.  Add the olive oil.

2.  Add the flour and salt, and with the dough hook attached turn the mixer on low, mix for 4 minutes. The dough should look sticky but still resemble a loose ball. If not, add a tablespoon of flour or water accordingly, it is safer to lean towards a wetter dough, you can always add more flour later on. When you touch it, the dough should be sticky on your hands. I leave it to sit in the bowl, however, if kneading by hand, transfer to an oiled bowl.

IF YOU WANT TO PREPARE THE DOUGH IN ADVANCE – at this step you can refrigerate the dough up to 3 days (see variation above). 

3. Cover and allow the dough to rise for 2 – 3 hours.

4. Cover a working surface with a generous amount of flour, gently shape into a rough rectangular shape and divide into 3 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, gather the four corners to the centre. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball.  Dust with flour; set aside on work surface. Repeat with remaining portions.

5. Cover and let rise for 30 mins – 1 hour (preferable). Preheat your oven to the highest setting, 290C/550F with your pizza stone or baking tray in it. Prepare your toppings (see below).

6.  When ready to bake: cover a baking sheet with semolina/cornmeal and press down the dough, working from the centre outwards with your fingers to form a crown. Then, pick up the dough and stretch the dough between your knuckles, slowly enlarging the circle keeping a raised edge. This is a helpful video to watch, from 1 min onwards.  Avoid using a rolling pin because the pressure pops the bubbles. Leave the outer ½-inch untouched to keep the bubbles intact. Repeat with the remaining dough.

7.  Assemble your toppings: drizzle a little olive oil on top and assemble your toppings. I try to keep the topping to 2 – 3 vegetables. When finished, brush the outer edge with olive oil.

8.  Cook your pizza: In the preheated HOT oven, scoot the pizza (still with the baking sheet) onto the pizza stone or preheated baking tray. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. After 2 minutes of baking, lift the dough and slide the baking paper off – but if you forget – no problem, the baking paper gets brittle where there is no pizza. 

favourite pizza toppings

  • finely chopped rosemary, tomato base (I use smaller quantities of this sauce), *torn strips buffalo mozzarella, sauteed red and green peppers, sauteed eggplant rounds. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh oregano leaves and red pepper flakes.
  • olive oil, ¼ cup ricotta cheese, *torn strips buffalo mozzarella, ¼ cup basil pesto, grilled zucchini, finely chopped green olives, fresh basil leaves. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with ¼ cup grated parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

*to avoid a soggy pizza, place fresh mozzarella which has been sliced between paper towel sheets to absorb excess water – allow to rest for 15 minutes.

vegan 

to serve

  • a big green salad of arugula leaves, toasted pinenuts, shaved parmesan with a sweet balsamic and olive oil dressing.

Because of the hot oven, the cooking time is quick, so as one pizza comes out, the next one goes in and by the time you have finished the first pizza, the next one is ready!

pasta dough (without eggs)

29th August 2017

homemade vegan pasta 4 - 1

Once you get the feel of the dough, making pasta without eggs is easy, it is a little softer, more delicate, however, the texture is divine. Homemade pasta is much lighter on the system and easier to digest.

The durum wheat flour helps absorb the flavours. It makes a softer, silky, smooth dough, that you will not get from other flours. It also absorbs more water then ordinary flour, so keep that in mind if swapping the flours around.

This is a recipe that has developed over trial and error, as time goes on I am sure it will evolve even more and I will update accordingly. So far, I found when rolling and thinning the dough I used a liberal amount of flour – this may have something to do with where we live, as there is a lot of moisture in the air in Sintra. I found using an icing sugar shaker very handy for this purpose, a sifter or sieve will work just as well to get a fine layer of dusting. The process is quite time-consuming, however, the more confident you become with the process the quicker it is. The results are so delicious and worth the effort and impossible to go back to a box of dried pasta.  Making your pasta from scratch is a very satisfying process.

homemade vegan pasta 3 - 1vegan pasta dough - 1 (11)vegan pasta sheets & noodles - 1

pasta dough without eggs

Preparation 1½ hours

Serves 6 

Recipe inspired by Kusama via Elegantly Vegan.

If attempting for the first time, halve the dough recipe.  It comfortably serves 3 – 4, or once shaped 120g per person.  The best way to get good at making fresh pasta is to make it again and again! 

ingredients

480g/4¼ cups finely ground semolina flour from durum wheat

2 tsp fine rock salt

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 –  1¼ cup/250 – 300ml warm water

extra flour for dusting

special equipment 

pasta making machine

preparing the pasta dough

1.  In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, add the salt and whisk to combine, then create a well in the centre, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in the water, little by little.

2.  Using your hands, combine the dry into the wet, adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball.

3.  Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough, begin gently folding the dough on itself, flattening, and folding again, for about 10 minutes, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for ½ – 1 hour. For best results knead and allow the dough to rest for as long as possible.

rolling out the pasta dough

4.  Unwrap the dough and divide it into quarters, and then each quarter in half again so you have eight equal portions, weighing approximately 90 – 100 grams.

5.  Work with one portion at a time, and cover the rest. Flour your work surface and flatten one piece of dough. Feed it through the thickest setting on the machine – #0. Lightly dust both sides of the sheet of pasta with flour and fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, dust again and feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers.

Repeat this step 5 – 6 times. This helps strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked.

6.  Change settings to – #1, dust with flour and feed it through the machine without folding; then set it on #2 and so forth until achieving the desired thickness – I finished at #5 for fettucini/spaghetti and lasagna sheets, #6 for ravioli/tortellini.

vegan pasta noodles - 1 (3)

If your pasta sticks at all, dust both sides with more flour or is too lengthy to manage, lay on a cutting board and cut in half.  Don’t tug or pull on the pasta as it goes through the machine. Let the rollers do the work. 

7.  Cut the sheet of pasta crosswise into pieces about 25 cm long and lightly dust them with flour again.

To make the process easier, roll out all the dough at once before cutting it into the desired shape. Dust the sheets of pasta generously with flour and overlap them on a floured board. When ready to cut, use the sheets which were rolled out first and have been sitting longer to dry.

cutting the pasta 

8.  If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping.  If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, dust again with flour and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. As soon as the pasta comes through the cutter, dust generously with flour and gently fold into loose rounds to make a nest or lay flat. Dust again with a little flour and continue with the remaining dough. Leave the pasta to air dry for 15 minutes – 3 hours before using. This helps the pasta to not clump together while cooking.

vegan pasta - 1 (3)

9.  When ready to cook the pasta, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil, then add the pasta to the water, wait for it to boil again and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes – don’t overcook!  The pasta should float to the top of the pot when it’s ready and be al dente. Drain and then just drizzle it in olive oil or toss it with your favourite pasta sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

To dry, allow to air dry until completely brittle, turning the nests from time to time. Depending on the humidity it should take 5 – 6 hours.

To freeze, gather the bundles in a single layer separated with baking paper and freeze, in an airtight container, up to 3 months. Do not thaw them – place them directly in boiling water – may take 2 – 3 minutes to cook.

serving suggestions 

walnut parsley pesto

Jonathan’s Sunday night pasta sauce

tortellini with roasted pumpkin & sage butter

pine nut sauce

vegan pasta - 1 (1)

Note to self

Lasagna – #5 (use 360g flour)

Ravioli/tortellini – #6 (240g flour)

Goodness shared by Stacey

pie dough (with butter)

27th August 2012

This is a basic butter pie recipe that bakes up wonderfully into a flakey dough. This pie dough works well for sweet fruit pies, savoury or handheld pies.  When using it for a sweet pie increase the sugar quantity to ½ cup/90g.

NOTES

  • Use high-quality butter and flour. Poor quality butter has higher water content and less fat; and low quality flour can vary in protein structure and that can affect your final pie crust.
  • Combine the butter and flour evenly, so the butter is the size of a pea and no bigger than a marble.
  • Work with very cold ingredients, especially the butter. Soft butter will not allow your dough to come together evenly, resulting in a tough dough. Cold butter creates the lovely flakey layers.

pie dough

This is a very good post on basic butter pie crust.

ingredients

350g flour (250g white & 100g whole-wheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100ml very cold water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

preparation 

1.  Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix, then cut the butter into pea-sized pieces and add to flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with flour – cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

2.  In a food processor with the S-blade attached, add the cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal), then stir the vinegar with the cold water and pulse in short bursts. The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth. If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add ice water – a tablespoon at a time. Do not over-process!

To make the dough by hand: Use your fingers to pinch the butter and flour together, making thin, floury, disks of butter. Continue working until the butter has broken-down into pea-size beads, then into a sandlike consistency. Drizzle in the ice water, mixing until the dough comes together in a crumbly mass.

3.  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass, then divide and press into two round discs, wrap tightly in plastic, and then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough and flatten it so it fills any empty space making it airtight. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours (ideal).

4. When ready to roll out, you may need to let it rest 5 – 10 minutes. You want it to warm up slightly so that it is easy to roll out. If it is too cold it will crack when you roll it out. However, if it is too warm it will be sticky and fall apart when you are baking it. On really hot days you may need to put it back in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes then continue to roll.

Here are some favourite pie recipes –

apple raspberry pie

peach pie

baked samosas

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