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Cal Italia Pizza Recipe

Cal Italia Pizza Recipe


Web Extra: Pizza Recipe

Did our Ultimate East Bay Pizza Guide (October, 2006) leave you hungry for more? Make Tony Gemignani’s famous Cal Italia pizza at home.  Judges were so impressed with this pie from the owner of Pyzano’s Pizzeria in Castro Valley and Spin in Walnut Creek, they awarded him Best Pizza in the United States 2006.

The Cal Italia

1 dough ball (see recipe below)
8 oz 100 percent whole milk mozzarella (shredded)
2 oz. imported aged Asiago (shaved)
2 oz. imported Gorgonzola, like Ciresa
½ jar fig preserve, like Dalmatia
2 oz prosciutto di parma (sliced thin in 9 strips)
1 oz. imported parmesano reggiano (shaved)
Aged balsamic

Position the oven rack on the lowest level and place a baking stone on the rack. Preheat oven to 500°F. (If you have a “convection” bake setting, Gemignani recommends it.)

Dust the dough with flour.  Push down and hand stretch your dough into a 9-inch circle. Leave a small half-inch border as a crust.

Lightly dust a pizza peel with flour and place your dough on top of peel.

Evenly distribute the ingredients leaving a border that is a half-inch. Start with mozzarella and Asiago, then add the Gorgonzola in dime-size pieces.

Sometimes your pizza may stick, so quickly slide your pizza onto the stone in your oven.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut into eight slices.

Add 9 dollops of fig preserves, one on each slice and one in the middle. Place the Prosciutto on each slice and one in a circle in the middle. Add Parmesan and lightly drizzle the aged balsamic over the top


Neapolitan Pizza Dough

½ teaspoon (3 grams) fresh cake yeast
2 cups lukewarm water (90° to 100°F)
1 tablespoon table or fine sea salt
7 ¼ cups Caputo flour, plus more for dusting

In a small bowl, using a fork, stir the yeast into 1 cup of the lukewarm water. Set aside until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

In another small bowl, combine the salt and remaining cup of water. Stir to dissolve the salt.

To make the dough by hand: Place 7 ¼ cups of the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture along with the saltwater mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough, incorporating as much of the flour as possible. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes. It will still be a little sticky but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Add only a minimum amount of flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.

To make the dough using a mixer: Fit a heavy-duty stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place 7 ¼ cups of the flour in the mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture along with the saltwater mixture and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough gathers together to form a coarse ball, about 2 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-low and mix the dough until it is smooth and not sticky, about 5 minutes longer. (If the dough begins to climb up the dough hook toward the motor drive, stop the mixer and push it down. If the machine labors and the motor feels hot, stop and wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down.) Reduce the speed to low and mix the dough for 3 minutes longer. The dough should be as soft and as smooth as a baby’s bottom and none of the dough should stick to the bowl. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface.

To prepare the dough for rising: Cut the dough into fifths to form five even portions, each weighing 9.5 ounces. Pick up one portion of dough and pull the opposite edges together, wrapping them underneath toward the center to form a tight, smooth ball. Pinch to seal. Repeat with the other four portions. Place each portion in a 1-gallon lock-top plastic bag. Squeeze out all the air and seal the bags, allowing enough room for the dough to double in size.

Let rise in a cool room (about 60°F) for 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate for at least 10 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before using to allow the dough to come to room temperature. Proceed with recipe.

Makes five 9-inch pizzas.

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