Homemade masa dough might sound intimidating, but doesn't have to be: prepackaged masa harina, the coarse flour ground from hominy that's already been slaked with lime in the traditional manner, makes its preparation a snap. Enriched with lard and lightened with baking powder, the dough makes a flavor-packed base for a variety of dishes, including Mexican tacos, gorditas, and sopes, as well as Salvadoran pupusas.
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From a textbook version stuffed with apricot jam at hot Union Square bakery Breads to a not-quite-sufganiyah-but-still-awesome blood orange curd doughnut at Bed Stuy's beloved Dough, here's our guide to finding your ideal fritter this holiday season.
Sleep early tonight and wake up early tomorrow. That way you can visit Dough and get a Cafe Au Lait ($2.50), fresh from the fryer and cooled just enough to apply that layer of creamy coffee icing.
"I've read about people freezing their homemade dough. Is there a proper way to do this? If you were doing a cold ferment, at what stage would you freeze it? What's the best way to thaw the dough? I'd sure love to be able to cook a decent pizza on a whim."
Winter in New York means that your public parks get a holiday makeover. On 6th Avenue and 42nd Street, Bryant Park boasts a giant Christmas tree that towers over a 17,000 square foot ice skating rink. Surrounding the plaza is a village of more than 100 Holiday Shops. Here are some tasty treats you can snack on while you're shopping for handmade soaps and fuzzy slippers.
A basic recipe for party-style Sicilian square pizza dough.
A basic Neapolitan-style pizza dough.
We've gone through a lot of pizza styles and recipes here at The Pizza Lab, but I still often get asked "what's the best pizza crust recipe you know?" When I'm in the mood to fire up the grill or heat up the broiler, I might take my time and make a Neapolitan-style lean dough. If I want to relive my childhood without stepping out my apartment door, it's a New York-style. Company coming over and I want to feed a crowd without messing up the kitchen? It's Sicilian-style square pie all the way. Here's a brief run-down on the three recipes that every home pie-maker should have in their arsenal to tackle all manner of pizza-centric circumstances.
I've never seen what I consider to be a really satisfactory explanation of the science behind the No-Knead Bread recipe, so I'm gonna try and fill that hole here. And what cool science it is. In 2006, Mark Bittman introduced the world to a recipe from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery, which had a whole bunch of home cooks opening up their Dutch ovens and exclaiming oh my goodness—I can't believe I just did that! It certainly had me thinking that. Even more interesting to me than that it works is how it works, because by understanding the how, we can then modify the recipe to fit many different baking situations, even improving its flavor.
Pop quiz: what do whipped cream, Nerf footballs, Pizza, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses have in common? That's right — they're all foams. Wait, huh? Pizzas are foams? You mean those annoying, piddly things that chefs were goofing around with in the mid 2000's? That's right, as are hot dog buns, Wonderbread, Pane di Genzano, Portuguese rolls, Naan, pancakes, and pretty much every other leavened batter or dough-based product in the world.
"I tell him to handle the dough like it was a woman—gently, softly," says Fany Gerson of DOUGH, a new doughnut shop in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. In this video from Food Curated with Liza de Guia, we go behind-the-counter with Gerson to learn about her doughnut experimentation. After over 50 trials, she found the winner recipe: a not-too-sweet batter with a smidge of nutmeg that, when fried, gets those crispy outsides and light insides. They're also about as big as your face. "You don't want to have it end too soon!"
In 2008, we published a guide to the Best Doughnuts in New York—but that was three years ago, and new doughnut shops have popped up all over the city. Where can you find the best doughnuts in New York?Check out our exhaustive guide for the answer.
Working with a dough that wet has its challenges, particularly if you're used to handling more typical doughs. Mixing a wet dough is easy. Baking a wet dough, well, the oven does all the work. Kneading a wet dough is where many bakers go astray. For most doughs, the kneading is done on a floured surface to keep the dough from sticking. But if you knead a very wet dough that way, that dough is going to gather up a lot of flour along the way.
Fresh yeast imparts a flavor that isn't present in breads or pizzas made with dried yeast. It's not the same as sourdough, but it has a distinct flavor of its own. Here's how to buy it, proof it, store it, and revive it.
I recently started a Talk thread asking Serious Eaters if there were dough-related tips and techniques they wanted to hear about. There were quite a few "troubleshooting" questions—not so much "how do I?" but more like "Uh oh, it's gone wrong...now what?" So let's get answering!
A high altitudes, the boiling point of water is lower, the air is thinner, and generally the air is also drier. Two of those three things affect your dough significantly. Here are a few ways the baker and pizzamaker can adapt.
If you've found an intriguing recipe that requires a food processor or stand mixer, you can convert that recipe to hand kneading without too much trouble. The first thing that changes is the amount of time it will take to knead the dough enough to properly develop the gluten. You'll also need the change the order in which you incorporate ingredients.
Most dough recipes don't give you options for kneading. But most dough recipes can be converted from one kneading method to another; it's just a matter of changing a few things: the amount of time you need to knead and the order you add ingredients.
Can a food processor or mixer replace kneading by hand? Using a machine to do your kneading changes the final product. While a food processor or a stand mixture does a fine job of developing the gluten in dough, neither one of them perfectly mimics the motion of hand-kneading. There are a few other differences as well.
While pizza purists among us might say that adding anything except the basic ingredients to pizza dough is wrong, sometimes the urge to experiment gets in the way of tradition. If you're going to start flinging things into your pizza dough, you might as well do it armed with a little bit of knowledge about what might happen.