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Ruth Gresser

Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown

www.eatyourpizza.com  

Owner and chef Ruth Gresser grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Cafe and at Le Trou Robert. In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman's Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, NH. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open four popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Blue Plate and Obelisk. Ms. Gresser has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and a guest chef appearance at Alice Waters' renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She has also been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and by Georgetown University Television. Ms. Gresser has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Pizza - How to Shape Dough Into Pizza by Tossing it in the Air

Pizza expert Ruth Gresser demonstrates how to shape pizza dough by tossing it in the air.

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Pizza - How to Shape Dough Into Pizza by Tossing it in the Air

Ingredients

1 lb Flour
10 oz Water
1 tsp Yeast
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Oil
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Garlic
1/2 tsp Oregano
5 Tomatoes
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Parsley

1 tsp Honey (optional)

Instructions

1. Dump the flour on the counter and create a well in the center. Pour in water that is 100 degrees F.


2. Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix the yeast into the water. Let it sit for a few minutes.


3. Add the oil and salt and mix them into the water and the yeast.


4. Gently mix the flour into the yeast mixture.


5. Start kneading the dough. Take a portion of the dough that's farthest away, and fold it over the front portion and then push away with the heel of your hand. Knead for about 10 minutes or until you have a nice smooth dough.


6. Put the dough to rise in a bowl, cover it with a little plastic or a tea towel and leave it out to rise. It will take about two to three hours or you can refrigerate the dough and let it go overnight.


7. When the dough has finished rising, put some flour down on the counter and take the dough out of the bowl. Knead the dough and then cut pieces of the pizza dough into even size pieces and shape it into balls.


8. Put the dough balls onto a floured flat surface, like a plate, and then cover it and let it rise for another hour or so.


9.  Flatten the dough and press all of the air out of the pizza and then take a rolling pin and roll it and turn it and roll it again until the dough is flattened.


10. For the tomato sauce, cook the oregano and the garlic for a minute. Dice five medium size peeled and seeded tomatoes. Add them to the pan and let the sauce cook for 5 minutes. Add the salt and parsley to finish the sauce.


11. Put the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough as well as any additional toppings.


12. Turn your oven to its highest setting and place the pizza on a pizza stone or preheated pan to simulate a wood-burning oven.
 

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Transcripts

So, I am going to take one more ball of pizza dough, and I will show you how to throw the dough. So, again, we're going to flatten it with our fingers, you can either roll it or not depending on what mood you're in. You start the same way, you stretch and turn, and stretch and turn, and stretch and turn. Now, you have got it, so it's a good size. Now, let's say we wanted to make it a little bit bigger, and we wanted to do it in front of our guests, so we are going to want to throw it. You hold your hand, just sort of cup your hand, and turn it over, and place it underneath the pizza dough, on either side of the dough. Then all you are going to do is turn your wrists, so just an upward motion, one hand above the other, and turn your wrists. So, here I have one hand above the other, my hands are cupped underneath, and I am twisting my wrists, and I don't know if that went out of your shot. There you go. As you can see, it does thin the pizza dough a little bit in the center, but it's completely unnecessary. So, if you don't want to do it, you can still make pizza.

So, now you have got your pizza dough in the shape that you wanted, you need to place it on your pizza peel in order to top the pizza. So, you're going to put some flour down to make sure that the dough doesn't stick to the peel, and then all you have to do is pick up the dough and put it on the peel like that. So, next we're going to talk about topping the pizzas.