Pizza Dough

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by theprivatechef, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. theprivatechef

    theprivatechef

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    Hello all,
    Hope you can help. I have a wood-fired pizza oven in my back yard in Los Angeles. Growing up in New Jersey I have a passion for pizza. I have probably made 1000 pizzas over the years and I just can't seem to get the crust to my liking. What I want is a thin crust pizza with a high crispy edge. I'm able to accomplish this but the inside of the crust-edge is heavy and I want it light and airy. I use unbleached all purpose flour, water either from the east or Italy, active dry yeast and salt.
    5 cups flower
    1 tbsp. yeast with 1/4 cup water for proofing
    2 cups water
    1 tbsp. salt.

    The dough is mixed in a Kitchenaid mixer with a bread hook for about 5 minutes. I have tried tossing it as soon as it doubles and I have tried a slow rise in the frige overnight. I'm about 90% there but I want that crisp airy crust. Can anybody help?
    Thanks,
    The Private Chef
     
  2. jock

    jock

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    Ah, the elusive goal. I don't ahave the benefit of a wood fired oven but I'm still trying for that same resultt. My oven goes to 550 and with the convection fan on I can crank up some pretty good heat but still, like you, not quite there. I'll be watching rsponses to this thread.

    Thank you for posting this.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The crispest I've made involved a night in the fridge and low initial yeast
     
  4. web monkey

    web monkey

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    Here you go.

    It's long-winded, but it works. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Terry

    From: http://www.bupkis.org/index.php/pizza-index/pizza-dough


    Pizza Dough

    This is a slow rising dough, but is more than worth the time required.




    Ingredients:
    715 ml (25 oz) Bottled Water
    5g (1 t) Sugar
    5g (1 t) Instant Yeast
    1 Kg (2.2 Lbs) Unbleached, unenriched bread flour.
    I use New Hope Mills (local brand) or King Arthur
    39 g (2 T) Kosher Salt
        Corn Meal
    Equipment:
    Digital Scale, Thermometer,
    Dough Mixer, Pizza Stone(s), 4 Quart Plastic Bucket w/Lid
    • Use a scale!
    • Make the water about 70°F.  Add the the water, sugar & yeast to the dough mixer bowl and whisk (by hand) until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.
    • Put the dough hook on the mixer, add about half the flour and start the mixer on slow.
    • Once the ingredients have been mixed, add the salt. You need to add the salt after the yeast/water has been mixed into the dough, since the salt retards the action of the yeast.
    • Increase speed to medium
    • Adding Flour:
    • If using an accurate scale: Add the rest of the flour now.
    • If not using a scale: Continue to slowly add flour 1/2 cup (or less) at a time until the dough just cleans the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. The dough should be all on the dough hook, and not on the side or bottom of the bowl. If it’s still stuck to the bowl, add more flour.
    • Keep kneading until you can windowpane the dough: Take a small piece and flatten and stretch it out into a disk. If you can get it thin enough to get a semi-transparent membrane before it tears, it’s ready. If it tears before you get the windowpane, knead for another 5 minutes and try again. You’ll probably have to knead for 15 or 20 minutes. This is a very wet dough, but the water is important, and is responsible for the amazing texture.
    • Fear not! Once the dough kneads and rises, everything will be perfect.
    • Note that because of the tiny amount of yeast used, the room temperature is critical. If it’s too cold, the dough won’t rise enough, and if it’s too warm, it will rise before developing it’s flavor and texture. Put the dough into a 4 Quart plastic bucket with a snap-on lid, and let rise in a cool place (about 50°–60°) for 18-24 hours, or until doubled in size.
    • Don’t punch down the dough! The yeast has worked very hard to make those bubbles, and you want them! Gently dump the dough out on to a floured cutting board and cut it into 4 pieces. Don’t worry if it looks more like thick pancake batter than dough. It’s supposed to.
    • Gently form the pieces onto into balls by pulling the sides underneath until it forms a ball. Lightly dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 4-8 hours until doubled again.
    • To use the dough, generously dust a pizza peel with cornmeal. Gently lift the dough off the cutting board with a bench knife or other wide scraper and lightly dust it in flour. Gently poke it all over with your fingers, then stretch it out into a disk and lay it on the dusted pizza peel.
     
  5. teamfat

    teamfat

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    For the last few years I've been using King Arthur bread flour for my crusts.  You may want to try using some bread flour and see if the higher gluten content makes a difference in texture that is to your liking.

    mjb.
     
  6. theprivatechef

    theprivatechef

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    Thanks Terry!
    I can't wait to try this. I'm going to fire-up the pizza oven tomorrow! I'll let you know how it turns out. I've been in the food business for 30 years and pizza has become my passion. It always amazes me that 4 simple ingredients can have so many different outcomes.
    All the best,
    The Private Chef
     
  7. theprivatechef

    theprivatechef

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    Thanks for that. I just bought some. Wish me luck!
    The Private Chef
     
  8. nichole

    nichole

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    Wood fire is great for the aroma but messy for me.  Wish I could help you but my knowledge here is limited! Good luck! 
     
  9. web monkey

    web monkey

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    Cool!

    I'd recommend actually using the bottled water at least the first time you try it. The water doesn't need to be fancy, just not overly mineralized, and no chemicals. The bottled water made a huge difference in repeatability. The city would sometimes dump a bunch of chlorine in the water because they found ducks living in the in reservoir, or add a bunch of acid when cleaning out pipes, and it was making me crazy not knowing if the next day I'd have beautiful dough or library paste.

    Since switching to bottled, I haven't had a single failure.

    Let us know how it works for you!

    Terry
     
  10. theprivatechef

    theprivatechef

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    Hello my friend,
    Tried your dough the other day it was great. However it still isn't exactly what I am looking for. But some of your techniques I'm going to incorporate in the dough I make and I'm sure I will attain the results I am looking for. Thanks so much for your expertise. I'll let you know how the next batch turns out.
    Regards,
    The Private Chef
     
  11. pastalover4life

    pastalover4life

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    Please post if you find your pizza dough.   I too haven't found one I like.   You'd think it wouldn't be that hard... but indeed it is the endless quest.   It would be faster (not cheaper though) to just fly to Italy and buy pizza there! 

    Liz
     
  12. mrsbushaxe

    mrsbushaxe

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    My suggestion would be to use King Arthur Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour made by King Arthur Flour Company.
     
  13. belikinbill

    belikinbill

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    You might try adding an egg
     
  14. abefroman

    abefroman

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    I was going to say this, try Hi-gluten flour, or bread flour.
     
  15. homemadecook

    homemadecook

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    I haven't tried making a Pizza dough, but I think, it is the same a making a normal bread.  :)
     
  16. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I would love to throw in my two cents.  As a home maker, I’m always watching for tips and ideas from the professionals.  WAY back in 1990 I found this recipe in the newspaper.  I use a food processor with the metal blade and just bring the dough together, not too wet and not too dry. I also work the dough in the machine for 30 seconds rather than knead by hand.  I was watching a program on PBS from Italy and they went into this home, they were talking about making pizza at home.  They used the equivalent of bread flour; let the dough rise a minimum of six hours at room temp and then refrigerated it for at least one full day.  The taste and texture is so much different.  Really nice chew; it’s hard for me to describe the flavor. 

    1 cup warm water (I take it to 100⁰)
    1 pkg Active Dry Yeast (1/4 oz)

    2 – 2 ½ cup Bread Flour (I use Gold Medal)

    2 Tbsp Olive Oil

    ½ tsp Table Salt

    Pinch of sugar

    In your measuring cup of warm water add the yeast and sugar; mix to dissolve; set aside to proof.  Place 2 cups of flour in the bowl of a food processor with the salt.  Turn on the machine for about 10 seconds.  With the machine still running add the Oil; after about another 10 seconds, give the yeast mixture a stir and then stream into the machine through the tube.  Once the dough has barely come together, stop the machine.  Sprinkle in more flour if needed; pulse until combined.  Now turn back on your food processor for 30 seconds.  Turn out into to a well oil large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel.  Place on a non drafty counter for at least six hours.  Portion out into zip-top bags and refrigerate for 24 hours.  When you’re ready to make pizza, open the zip-top and allow dough to come back to room temp on the counter, about 4 -6 hours.  MANGIA!!
     
  17. maedl

    maedl

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    The best pizza I've made came from Local Breads by Daniel Leader. It is on page 201, the Genzano potato pizza. You don't have to use potatoes on the topping--just use whatever you have in mind. The dough requires several days to rise, ferment, etc., but I thought it was an excellent crust, even without a wood-burning stove. I made it last winter and used Gorgonzola, pears and walnuts. Quite tasty!

    Genzano is just south of Rome, in the Alban Hills, and is known for its breads. I was down there last year and can attest to the delectability of the breads.
     
  18. chef khadi

    chef khadi

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    wonderful recipe i tried it  and the result was very good, also i like to ask about pan pizza dough 

    i need recipe if you have one. 

    thanks 
     
  19. mkevenson

    mkevenson

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    Interesting and timely topic. I am visiting Italy in the fall and have been working on pizza, pasta and risotto a lot.

    I use a mixture of methods to make my dough but only do it by hand. Several folks have commented that there is no way that a machine can knead a dough as well as by hand. I don't have a machine but love doing it by hand. I have found that I control the size of my dough the best by measuring the water and adding the flour until I achieve the proper dough consistancy. I shoot for a dough ball, after kneading, that is smooth on the outside and moist but not sticky on the inside. I let mine rise in a bowl covered with cling wrap, I lightly coat the dough with EVOO before it rises. I have found that after the dough doubles in size the best dough comes from letting the air out and reforming the dough ball and doing a second rise. Once ready to form the dough into a pizza I also find it best to let the dough rest a bit before trying to stretch it fully. Less resistance. You can make the dough as thin or thick as you like, roll the edges or stuff with cheese. I bake on a pizza stone placed low in the oven at 550 degrees. I would go hotter if I could. Our local wood fire oven cooks at near 700.

    So for one med-large pizza:

    3/4 cup warm water, about 110-115 dgress, put into a pre warmed bowl, just soak the bowl in hot tap water for a while.

    2 tsp active dry yeast, I buy in bulk from a local grocery, lots cheaper.

    1 tbs sugar or honey.

    mix together and let the yeast proof for about 10 min.

    add flour 1/4 cup at a time, I use Italian 00 form Caputo. It is a soft milled, fine flour.

    Keep adding the flour and mixing with a large fork until you get a pancake batter consistancy. Let rest 5-10 min.

    Add 1 Tbs evoo.and about 1 tsp kosher salt

    Add more flour until a dough ball forms and it comes away from the sides of the bowl.

    Lightly flour a hard surface, I use a wooden island cutting table, put the moist dough on the table and begin to knead, adding flour slowly until you achieve the right consistancy, described above. I make a ball about the size of a soft ball and turn over to seal the edges on the bottom.

    Let rise 1 or 2 times as described.

    The pizza dough is placed on a pizza peel after dusting with a bit a flour and white corn meal. This keeps the dough from sticking to the peel. I add toppings and a sauce and place on the pre heated stone.

    Cook till done, not long ! at those temps.

    Mark
     
  20. cheffconnie

    cheffconnie

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    I worked in a restaurant with a wood-fired pizza oven for five years.  We would always use a little semolina flour in the dough, and 1 tablespoon each of honey and olive oil to standard pizza dough recipe. We always tried to make the dough a day ahead, so it could rest overnight.  We got lots of complements on our crusts.  When I tried making pizza in my home oven, I found that it worked best if you didn't pre-heat your oven, but just cranked it to 500 when you put the pizza in. (That's if you're not using a stone.)  This always made a nice, crispy bottom crust, but you have to watch carefully so the top doesn't get too brown.

    Happy Pizza Making!