Following is the recipe for a basic, soft and easy to work with dough. I used this recipe for making pizza pockets for my granddaughter Sloan’s first week of Grade 1, and then turned leftover dough into meat hand pies for 93 year old Auntie Elsie, who is kind of tired of cooking these days. Leftover dough you say??? Well I didn’t think 8-10 small pizzas would give me enough dough so I doubled the recipe … which yielded 25 pizza pockets, 10 hand meat pies and 1 pizza for our dinner. Significant yield!!!
Pizza Crust: (makes 8-10 small pizzettas)
- 750 g white flour (use Tipo ’00 flour if you can or a strong bread flour)
- 200 g semolina flour
- 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. (or 1 x 8 oz packages) yeast
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Place your flour(s) and sea salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Create a well in the center.
- In a large measuring cup, mix together your lukewarm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for approximately 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to ferment.
- Pour the water/sugar/yeast mixture into the well along with the olive oil and stir together with a fork or large spoon until it is well mixed. Once it becomes too difficult to mix together with your fork or spoon, sprinkle extra flour on the dough and your hands and mix with your hands until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Place the dough on a well-floured flat surface and knead, pushing the dough using the palms of your hands, for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and stretchy. You may need to add extra flour as you go, being careful not to add too much to keep the dough from being too stiff.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil, dust the top of the dough with flour, and cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm draft-free area for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down. At this point you can either refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap and occasionally punched down) or divide the dough into 4-6 portions (depending on how big you want your pizzas). I highly recommend making your dough in advance and letting it sit in the fridge as the longer ‘proof’ really makes a difference. Ensure that your pizza dough comes to room temperature before cooking (bring it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you are ready to cook).
- Once ready to cook, heat your oven to the highest heat setting (500F for most ovens) and place your pizza stone in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
- Portion the dough into 8-10 balls and place on a well-floured surface. Using your hands, with your knuckles, (dusted with flour, along with the counter to prevent the dough from sticking) form your pizza crust 15-20 minutes before cooking your pizza on a flat surface dusted with semolina flour until it is nice and thin. Keep stretching it with your hands to make a flat pizza base (it doesn’t have to be round or perfect!).
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven, lay your rolled dough on the stone, and add your ingredients ….
If you are using this dough for pizza pockets or hand pies, after step 5 skip to step 7 and form circles of dough.
For pizza pockets, layer on pizza sauce, your chosen ingredients and cheese, closing the pockets with a fork. Make sure to prick the top surface with the fork so steam can escape.
For the meat pies I used an ice cream scoop to get a consistent amount of the meat mixture – centered on the dough, and then brought up the edges to crimp over the middle of the circle. Brush with beaten egg and poke with a fork.
Bake pizza pockets or meat pies at 400 until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
FILLING FOR MEAT PIE
1 onion, minced finely
1 garlic clove, grated
2 stalks celery
1/2 cup each frozen corn and peas
1 small zucchini, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp each dried oregano and basil
Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is lightly carmelized, add the carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables are almost cooked through, then add zucchini and saute for another few minutes. Remove from heat and place in bowl. Add frozen corn and peas. Return pan to heat and stir in ground beef – cooking until lightly browned, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Add beef to vegetable mixture and season with dried herbs, adding more salt and pepper if needed. At this point, if you feel like it needs a bit more flavour, add 1 tbsp of tomato paste. Stir well and set in fridge to cool down. When cool, continue on with forming your hand pies.
These pies are only limited by your imagination – use whatever you feel like to fill the pies, making sure to taste the mixture before filling the dough rounds. Made in a smaller size they make a great appetizer too.