With a background as a pastry chef and baker, (she studied at the French Pastry School in Chicago) Melina Sinigos likes to experiment in the kitchen. “I enjoy the chemistry and the art of pastry.”
One of her most recent kitchen experiments has been perfecting her focaccia pizza dough recipe. “This recipe mixes a classic pizza dough with a fluffy, quick focaccia dough. It’s not meant to be a thin and crispy dough but a fuller and more succulent version.”
She added, “I love making regular and adventurous pizzas with this dough. We’ve tried the classic pepperoni or meat lovers. But we’ve also tried a simple olive oil with fresh chopped veggies and herbs. It works well with all toppings. Just have fun with it!”
- Yields 6 small individual pizza crusts
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, place the 5 cups of flour and 2½ teaspoons of yeast and mix well to combine.
Warm the water to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit and dissolve the salt in the water.
If using a stand mixer, turn the mixer on low speed and pour the saltwater into the flour mixture. Once 75% combined, pour in the olive oil. Once the dough becomes a ball shape and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, adjust the stand mixer to medium speed, and knead the dough until the dough is smooth on the surface. (It should take 5-7 minutes.)
If using a hand method, make a well in your flour/yeast mixture and pour in the saltwater. Stir by hand until the dough starts coming together. At this point, you will add in the olive oil. Continue mixing by hand, by folding the dough on top of itself. Once the dough forms a full ball, remove from the bowl and knead on the tabletop (it’s easiest to lightly flour the surface of the counter). This will take about 10 minutes of kneading by hand.
Once kneaded by hand or using the mixer, place the dough in a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap and let the dough proof and double in size. (This should take around an hour to two hours depending on the temperature of your room).
After the dough is proofed, gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a counter that’s lightly floured.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (if your oven doesn’t reach that high of temperature, try 475).
Cut the dough into six individual portions and shape each portion into a ball. Cover all 6 dough balls with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and apply pan spray.
Have fun spreading your pizza dough in any shape you like, then place on the greased parchment and top with your favorite pizza toppings.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven until it’s cooked to your liking. Enjoy!
This story can be found in the May 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox each month, subscribe here.