Ruth GresserOwner 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.
So, you need a nice big work surface, and a smooth work surface, so that you can pull all of this pizza dough together really well. As you can see it's starting to come together very nicely. In just a little bit we're going to start the kneading process, so I think I'm going to start that now. You can see that there is still some flour on the counter, but that will get worked in as we continue to work the dough. Now, the pizza dough is pretty soft, its very wet, very moist in the center, and now we're going to start kneading. So, there are several ways to knead. One way to knead the dough is you take a portion of the dough that's farthest away from you, and you fold it over the front portion and then you push away with the heel of your hand. So, I'm pulling the dough towards me and pushing away. Now I'm going to gather up some of this flour and continue. I have this extra dish of flour here in case this dough picks up all of this flour and needs a little bit more while I am kneading it. It will vary from day-to-day how much flour you might need; some days if it's more humid you might need a little extra flour. So, you're going to continue kneading this for about ten minutes, and you can feel the dough change. What you want to do is knead it until you have a nice smooth dough where you have developed the gluten. So, were kneading the pizza dough, and we have been kneading the dough for about ten minutes. It has come together into a very elastic, very soft, dough, that as you can see when I make an imprint into the dough, it comes back completely, and that's what you want. That shows that the gluten has developed in your dough so that the bread, or in this case the pizza, will rise. So, you want to make just -- I mean it will come naturally into a ball shape, which is what you want. Then you just want to put the dough to rise in a bowl like this, cover it with a little plastic or a tea towel, and you can leave it out to rise, it will take about two to three hours, or you can refrigerate it and let it go overnight and use the dough for pizza the next day.