Minimal pizza dough quantity?

2,270
206
Joined Oct 2, 2010
I'm not a fervent nor regular pizzamaker, but I only just recently discovered that you can buy "virgin" pizza crusts to make your own pizza. These crusts are so-so, not bad but not good either.

My question is wether it's possible to make pizza dough for just one good pizza bottom. Let's say one that covers an entire oventray, making a pizza for 2-3 persons. A little left-over dough doesn't matter, but I won't freeze it, my freezer has already signs of constipation.

   
 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
Of course you can.

My dads pizza dough recipe is:

3 c flour

1.125 c water

1 7g packet of yeast

Salt

I wish I knew this recipe by weight but like I said, it's not mine.  This is perfect for 2-3 people and I've found its about the smallest amount of dough that my 5 qt stand mixer can still knead.
 
71
12
Joined Feb 27, 2008
I am kind of a pizza purist and have been practicing seriously on and off for about the last year and a half. I started with a version of the Jeff Varasano recipe but have altered the amounts, mixing, and cooking. So now I can call this whole process my own.



This is a 5 pie batch.

850g 00 flour

550g water

100g sourdough
30g kosher salt
1tsp ady
305g+ per pie

For scaling this down to one pie, I would just hand mix/knead it.

My dough is cold fermented in the fridge for between 4-7 days. I am also cooking these things at a temp of between 800-850F. I am able to achieve these temps by pre-heating the oven at 550F for an hour and then turning the broiler on high for about another 20 minutes.

This is the kind of pizza I am getting.




 
 
143
17
Joined Mar 3, 2011
1 1/4 Cups Water

1 Tbs Honey

1 Tbs Yeast

2 Cups HG Flour

1/2 cup WW Flour

2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Makes one large Pizza, two medium thin crusts.
 
2,270
206
Joined Oct 2, 2010
Thanks guys!

I'm especially intrigued by your sourdough method, Bishop, I have to admit your pictures and results look fantastic. You mention "1 tbsp ady"; I don't know what that is, could you explain please?

I will probably never obtain that kind of result, as my oven will never reach your optimal pizzamakers temperature of 800F.

I already have fresh bakersyeast in my fridge, but I still have some dried beeryeast pills simply to swallow as a vitamineB source, I never cooked with it. They are 100% dried beeryeast from the abbye of Westmalle, a famous trappist beer. The remaining beeryeast is now a few years old, I wonder if I could use that to make a starter sourdough or to simply replace the fresh yeast by this dried beeryeast?
 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
Bishop, I used to bake my pizza like that but I wasn't happy with the lack of char underneath.  I can see how a broiler would be 800 to 850 from the top but you're clearly not getting that underneath.  If you want a bit more char on the bottom I use this method:

Heat a cast iron paellera as hot as you desire.  I usually go to about 900 degrees with an IR thermometer.  Then I flip it over, place it in the broiler and use the peel to slide the pizza right on top.  Cast iron has some great heat retention properties but not even close to a ceramic oven so the pan should be reheated for each pizza, it doesn't take long though.

A friend of mine cooks his Neopolitian style pizza in the oven while its on the cleaning cycle.  It takes FOREVER to preheat but does reach a legit 800 degrees.  His pizza can cook in about 2:30, my method is more like 2 minutes even and my pies are a full 12" and a hair thicker than the New Yorkers make them.
 
5,014
357
Joined Apr 24, 2011
My husband LOVES his pizza.  For years he talked about Tomato Pie.  I tried for years to figure this one out and find a recipe.  Finally a friend of ours gave me her recipe; this makes just one pizza, plenty for 2-3 people:

Mix together in a cup and allow to proof -

½ C warm water

One ¼ oz pkg yeast

1 tsp Maple syrup

In a food processor mix together –

Yeast mixture

1 C + 3 Tbsp warm water

½ tsp Salt

1Tbsp Olive Oil

4 C Bread Flour

Once the dough comes together, run the machine for 30 seconds, this kneads the dough for you – Place the dough ball in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to proof until doubled in size.

In a half sheet pan that has been well greased with Olive Oil, spread the dough out with your fingers, top as desired; bake @ 450 degress F for about 20-25 minutes, keeping an eye on the crust.
 
2,619
230
Joined Mar 21, 2008
I make a multi crust dough batch and freeze the extra dough. Take it out and let it thaw all day on the kitchen counter.
 
71
12
Joined Feb 27, 2008
Bishop, I used to bake my pizza like that but I wasn't happy with the lack of char underneath.  I can see how a broiler would be 800 to 850 from the top but you're clearly not getting that underneath.  If you want a bit more char on the bottom I use this method:
Actually I clearly am getting those temps on the stone. Pies are finishing between two and three minutes. I quit timing them. The pie pictured above might have been cooked at closer to 800 but that was just me being hungry. I am careful not to let the bottoms get too much char because of the bitterness that adds to the overall pie.



I have been curious about Nathan Myrhvold's suggestion of using a piece of steel as the cooking surface in his new book.

Just haven't had a chance to try that out.

Oh and to the person that was asking what ADY is. Active Dry Yeast
 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
I'm impressed that you can get that kind of heat from your stone!  My oven has never touched that on anything other than the cleaning cycle.  I find that if a char on the crust is too bitter, its often because I used too much bench flour between shaping it and putting it on the peel--I completely get what you're talking about though.  If you ever feel like experimenting you could still give my method a shot although with the heat you are getting the only real advantage of my way is speed.
 
71
12
Joined Feb 27, 2008
I'm impressed that you can get that kind of heat from your stone!  My oven has never touched that on anything other than the cleaning cycle.  I find that if a char on the crust is too bitter, its often because I used too much bench flour between shaping it and putting it on the peel--I completely get what you're talking about though.  If you ever feel like experimenting you could still give my method a shot although with the heat you are getting the only real advantage of my way is speed.
A lot of the pizza cooks over on Slice are doing a variation of what you are talking about. They all seem to like it.

I did actually hack my almost brand new electric oven to work on the cleaning cycle but was never able to get the proper heat reflection back on to the top of the pies. They were always burned on bottom before getting the proper color on top. This broiler method seems to have given a better balance of heat at least in my oven.

Next for me is some kind of wood fired oven. Not going to be happy until I have one. I can just imagine how a little smoke would add so much flavor to the pies.
 
2,171
90
Joined Jul 30, 2007
ChrisBelgium, 

i use Mario Batali's par baked pizza crust recipe...its wonderful, easy and makes 8 individual sized pizzas. you could easily cut the dough into 4ths as well,but will need a bigger griddle  and more room in the fridge if you don't use them all. i also like small pies with totally different toppings. these crusts are really fun! the crust is more new york than anything, which is thin but still has some 'bread' to it. i par bake the crusts on a hot griddle pan til browned in spots, then cool, use however many i want and freeze the rest. you can also store them parbaked in your fridge and use them like nan or a wrap or warm bread or anything you like. only thing i do differently than Mario's is that i roll the crusts out on polenta instead of flour. think i've also tried different flours, or a mix of flours, spelt being one. the recipe is from 'molto gusto' easy italian cooking by mario batali. the recipe is on epicurious.com as well, under pizza dough.

joey

oh geez, i forgot to add the best part...the beauty of these parbaked crusts are,once parbaked and topped, only take about 8 minutes under the broiler...how's that for simplistic?
 
Last edited:
5,192
295
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Bishop,

are you retarding the doughs rudded in oil?

Chris... off topic.

My 19yr old is on his way to his annual European backpack trip. 30 days. He'll be in Antwerp then Brussels 26,27

any suggestions for good sights and meals?

jeff
 
71
12
Joined Feb 27, 2008
Bishop,

are you retarding the doughs rudded in oil?

Chris... off topic.

My 19yr old is on his way to his annual European backpack trip. 30 days. He'll be in Antwerp then Brussels 26,27

any suggestions for good sights and meals?

jeff
I wipe the bowls I am aging the dough in with just a few drops of olive oil. I don't coat the entire ball with oil. Is that what you are asking?
 
 
2,270
206
Joined Oct 2, 2010
Chris... off topic.

My 19yr old is on his way to his annual European backpack trip. 30 days. He'll be in Antwerp then Brussels 26,27

any suggestions for good sights and meals?

jeff
Jeff, both cities are real culinary walhalla! Also, for all kinds of spending types. A 19 year old backpacker sounds like limited budget? No problem at all and too many to mention. Also, there are thousands of cafés in both cities where you can enjoy one of our 750+ beers... Some will provide snacks, not all of them. To try in Antwerp the "Het Zuid" area. Must haves in both cities are of course moules frites and steak frites, both with a beer.

Just avoid eating in tourist traps in Brussel like the "Rue des Bouchers"; nice to walk through, not to spend money.
 
2,270
206
Joined Oct 2, 2010
My try-out is now rising.. in my cellar with a temperature of around 10-12°C. I'm planning to let it rise very slowly in there for another 5 hours.



Looking at your proposals and with some extra research, I went for this combination;

- 250 g flour - 100 g lukewarm water - 10 g fresh bakers yeast - 25 g olive oil - 5 g salt

As you can see I weigh all of it, so it's all in grams. The yeast is 1/4th of a package, which is 42 grams, fit to make a normal 1 kilo bread.

I took care not to let the salt get in direct contact with the yeast. I kneaded for around 10 minutes, Et voilà, looks like more or less the amount I'm needing.

The dough is in a glass bowl that I rubbed entirely with a few drops of olive oil. It's covered with a kitchentowl that is slightly moistened.

This is such fun! And so easy, 10 minutes and it's done, and, there's that smell of fresh yeast. Can't hardly wait to make the pizza.



This looks like the portion I need. I hope it doubles in volume in the rising process, just enough for an entire baking tray, or a 2-3 persons pizza. But, let's first see how the dough evolves...  

Does anyone have experience with rising dough at low temperature? Well, except for the sourdough yeasting like Bishop does?  
 
Last edited:
2,270
206
Joined Oct 2, 2010
The pizza turned out quite well and exactly the portion I needed for 2. Maybe not enough for 3 people.

Next time I'm gonna use "strong" bread flour or "doppio zero" instead of all purpose. Any suggestions?

Here's a before and after picture of rising the dough at 12°C for 5 hours. I'm almost sure making dough could be done the day before, or not??

I always have stomach trouble when eating store bought commercial pizzas and crusts. This dough digested without any problems at all! Enough reason to make this again. Second reason; you can roll the dough as thin as you like. I rolled mine to 2-3 mm. After baking, you still could see the uncountable airbubbles in the thin crust.



 

 

 

Just enough dough to fit this aluminium baking tray. After rolling the dough, I put a very thin layer of olive oil on it, simply to avoid the moist from the topping to be absorbed and go soggy. Works perfect! Topping; homemade tomatosauce from fresh tomatoes, some bacon, onion, lots of garlic, a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden; thyme, savory, oregano, sage, lovage. Cooked for an hour, sieved, reduced and cooled. The rest is ham, artichokes, green olives, mozzarella, dried oregano and olive oil. It stayed in the oven for 20 minutes at 230°C.



 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
Judging from the "cheating" thread, Bishop will absolutely hate this but I have a sourdough shortcut that I often employ to get a complex flavor from my pizza doughs and bread.

I once had a sourdough starter (named Kevin) that I had kept going for two or three years but when my girlfriend moved in, I came home one day and it was gone.  She had mistaken Kevin for rancid batter and threw him out.  In an ironic twist that really defines what its like living with women, the girlfriend complained about the Kevinless bread a few days later.  So I sought to imitate sourdough without enough time to reincarnate Kevin.  Not surprisingly the thing that makes sourdough sour is acid but straight lemon juice or vinegar won't do.  The primary acid formed in sourdough is lactic acid, the same stuff that makes your muscles sore after you work out btw.  Well lactic acid isn't a common ingredient in cooking, but it is very common for those who brew beer and living in the beer capital of the world, I've got several friends who had lactic acid in stock.  After playing around with amounts, I had an approximation of sourdough that I was happy with.  No waiting, no feeding, no heartbreak when your girlfriend throws away your pet.  RIP Kevin.
 
2,619
230
Joined Mar 21, 2008
I do a 24 hour warm ferment for my pizza dough, the flavors from this are great.
 
5,014
357
Joined Apr 24, 2011
That looks fantastic, ChrisBelgium!

I’m with you about commercial pizza too.  Both my husband and I need a huge handful of antacids when ever we go out for pizza.

I use bread flour exclusively when I make pizza dough and the other trick that I learned is to not use the dough on the day that you make it. 

I divide up a HUGE bowl of dough into quart sized freezer zip top bags and stash them in the ‘frig for a minimum of 24 hours (break open the seal & place on the kitchen counter for a few hours to come up to room temp).

The flavor profile is like night and day!!   
 
Top Bottom