Seeing as Kiernan Shipka is mature beyond her years, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that her pizza topping of choice skews more sophisticated than pepperoni. On a recent trip to L.A., the Mad Men actress stopped by Venice Beach hotspot Gjelina and snapped a shot of a delicious-looking squash blossom pizza, captioning the pic “Pretty, pretty good.”
True to Gjelina’s vegetable-centric menu, this signature dish is topped with a medley of cherry tomatoes, burrata, Parmesan cheese, and, last but not least, squash blossoms, which, in case you’re not familiar, are edible flowers with a flavor reminiscent of squash and zucchini. We snagged the recipe for Gjelina’s legendary pizza dough, below, from the restaurant’s self-titled cookbook Gjelina ($21; amazon.com), so you can replicate the ‘gram or add your favorite toppings.
Gjelina Pizza Dough
Makes three 6 ½-oz portions
1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp fresh yeast ($8; kingarthurflour.com)
1½ cups 00 flour ($8/2.2 lbs; amazon.com)
1½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting ($4; amazon.com)
3 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Semolina flour for dusting ($4; jet.com)
All-purpose flour for dusting
For the dough
1. In a small bowl, combine the water and yeast, stirring until the yeast dissolves.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the 00 flour and bread flour. Add the dissolved yeast to the flours and mix at medium speed just until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Drape a clean kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Add the salt and mix at medium-high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and very elastic.
3. Coat a large glass or metal bowl with the olive oil. Fold the dough into thirds like a giant letter and put it in the bowl, turning it over several times to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at warm room temperature until it has increased its volume by 50 to 75 percent, about 3 hours. Punch the dough down, fold in thirds, and rotate it 90 degrees, then fold in thirds again. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 ½ days. If the dough grows larger than the bowl, punch it down, and return to the refrigerator.
4. Divide the dough into three 6 ½ oz pieces. Dust a little bread flour on your work surface, put the dough on the work surface, and, pressing down on it lightly with the palm of your hand, roll it in a circular motion, forming a boule (dough ball). If the dough is sliding around, there is too much flour on the work surface. Wipe some away if necessary. You need some friction between the work surface and the dough, but not so much that the dough makes a mess. Once the dough gathers into a tight ball and the outer layer of dough is pulled taut over the surface, check the bottom of the dough to see that the seam has sealed. If there is an opening on the bottom, you need to roll the dough more tightly or it will tear easily when stretched. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
5 .Transfer dough balls to a baking sheet brushed with a little bit of olive oil, leaving plenty of space between the balls so they have room to rise and expand. (The boule shape encourages an even, round, and more vertical rise, as opposed to a flatter, more irregular shape.) Brush the tops with a bit of olive oil, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1½ to 3 hours.
6. In a small bowl, combine 2 to 3 tbsp semolina flour and an equal amount of all-purpose flour, and then mound the blended flours on your work surface. Put another 2 to 3 tbsp all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Put one of the dough balls in the bowl of all-purpose flour and turn to coat with the flour on all sides, handling the dough gently so as not to force out the air or misshape it.
7. Put the floured dough ball on top of the mount of flour on your work surface. With your fingertips, punch the air out of the dough and press your fingers into the center and extend outward to shape the mass into a small disk. Continue to press your fingers and palm down on the center but maintaining an airy rim around the perimeter. Continue stretching out the dough on the work surface with your hand by spreading your fingers as far as you can as you turn the dough.
Or, use this two-handed technique: With the palms of your hands facing down, slip your hands under the dough, lift it up, and use the backs of both hands to gently pull the dough while continuing to turn it. The dough should stretch easily, resting on the backs of your wrists and forearms, so do not pull on it too much. If it is super-elastic, then the dough probably has not proofed enough. If the dough is super-soft and tears easily, it has proofed too much. You are done stretching out the dough when it is 10 to 12-inches in diameter and thin enough so that you can read a newspaper through it. This takes a bit of practice so be patient, but under no circumstances should you resort to a rolling pin.
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For the pizza
1. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 500˚F for 1 hour.
2. Lightly dust a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with semolina flour. Scatter toppings generously over the dough, almost covering the whole base, then slide the dough onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake, allowing it to bubble up and rise, 4 to 5 minutes. Once the rim starts to look pillowy and airy, using the pizza peel, turn the pizza 180 degrees to ensure that it browns evenly all over. It’s ready when the rim is a deep golden brown and beginning to char, and the bottom of the pizza is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes total.
3. Using the peel or a rimless baking sheet, transfer the pizza to a cutting board or a baking sheet with a rim. Slice and serve hot.