Pizza Dough

This recipe, taken from the Oprah website, produces the best pizza dough I’ve come across without a starter. It takes about three hours to make, but it freezes well. Developed by my friend Nancy Silverton to approximate the recipe she uses at Mozza in Los Angeles.


15 oz. warm water
1 t. dry yeast
13 oz. bread flour
1/2 oz. rye flour
1 1/2 t. wheat germ

13 oz. bread flour
7 oz. water
1 1/2 t. honey

1/2 oz. salt

Dissolve the yeast in the first water, then measure the flour, rye flour, and wheat germ into the work bowl of a mixer. Add the water and yeast, and stir to combine.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and ferment for 90 minutes. Then Add second water and flour and honey and mix for two minutes on speed one. The dough will come together, but it will not pull away from the sides of the bowl. It is a very wet dough. Increase to medium speed, add the salt, and mix for eight minutes. Turn out onto a floured work surface and gather into a ball, then transfer to an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Allow to ferment for 45 minutes, then turn out onto a floured surface, and fold the dough four times. Return to the bowl and cover tightly. Ferment another 45 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and divide it into 7 portions of 7 oz. each. Round the dough tightly, then cover with a cloth and ferment at least another hour. Shape and top as desired

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.