It all Comes Down to Pizza

Pin It DLD: Pizza Dough & Pizza

I first published a recipe for pizza dough on this blog four years ago. Back then my wife and I were living in Idaho Falls, my wife had just started her internship at EIRMC, and I was looking for a full-time job. My oldest son was less than a year old, and life was a whole lot simpler, but not necessarily better. A lot has changed since then, but one thing has remained constant—I love pizza!!!!

As I wrote in my previous pizza post, I have been making pizza for a long time, but my goal has always been to get a pizza with a crispy-yet-chewy crust that bubbles in the oven. My dream pizza is puffy on the outside but thin in the middle, and isn't overloaded with toppings. There would be some almost-burnt places on the bottom and outside, and the cheese and sauce would perfectly melt together in a red and white dream. In fact, my dream pizza would look something like this:

NYPizzaPie

Alas, some of these characteristics can only be achieved in a dedicated stone-lined pizza oven, but I feel that I still make quite a good pie. The following tutorial contains some of the tricks I have learned over the years which hopefully can help you.

One note: I realize that everyone has a different preference for pizza. Thie recipe reflects a combination of what I like and what my wife likes.

I make pizza for my CSID kids using the same method, but with my low carb bread dough, and they can't get enough of that. For more information of making pizza, I would direct your attention to a website I just discovered www.pizzamaking.com. There are a lot of forums and recipes which can answer any question you might have about making pizza.

—Sam


Skip the tutorial and go straight to the recipe.

Prerequisites:

Before you start making pizza dough, I would highly recommend obtaining a stand mixer. Not only do these make a big difference in everyday baking, but it is difficult re: nigh-impossible to make pizzeria style dough without a mixer.
You will also need a pizza peel. The peel looks like a really big spatula and is used for getting the pizza in and out of the oven. I favor a metal peel, but wooden ones work just as well. There is a little bit of technique with using a peel effectively, but it is worth learning. Plus using a peel makes you look cool. (^_^)
Lastly, you will need either a pizza stone or pizza screens. A pizza stone is just that—a really heavy rock that you bake the pizza on top of. I used to bake pizza with one of these until it broke while I was moving up to Idaho last year. I will say that these make excellent pizza, but they take a long time to preheat. Recently I have started using pizza screens for my pizza. I feel the results are still good, even if I can't get that charred look on my pies with them, and they make cranking out a lot of pizzas easy because you can prep the pizzas in advance.

Show Notes Hide Notes

Step 1:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 600g high gluten flour, 18g vital wheat gluten, 3g instant yeast, 12g salt, 12g sugar, and 360g room-temperature water.
Turn the mixer on low speed for 2 minutes, and then at medium speed until all the flour is incorporated.
Okay, start with the notes on these ingredients.
Firstly, let's talk about flour. You can make good pizza with any flour with a protein content over 10%, which means either all-purpose or bread flour. The bread flour absorbs a little more water, so you may find your dough a little drier, but it yields a chewier crust. I personally have found no noticable difference with bleached versus unbleached, as long as the bleaching is not done with chlorine, which changes the pH of the flour in addition to whitening it.
Moving on to yeast: I prefer using instant or rapid rise yeast in my baking because I find it more reliable and you don't have to dissolve it in water before using.
I use good, old regular table salt in baking instead of kosher salt because I find that the smallers grains dissolve more easily, and it is cheap. I save the kosher salt for cooking, when I want more control over how much I am picking up. That's not a problem with baking because I am weighing a set amount out. By the way, there is no difference between sea salt and "regular" salt other than the source of the salt—they are both sodium chloride crystals.
While sugar isn't strictly necessary for pizza dough, I add it because it helps the crust brown faster. That being said, sucrose (table sugar) doesn't brown well, so if you want a really dark crust swap it out for honey or dextrose.
I know a lot of bread recipes call for using water between 105°F and 115°F. It is true that yeast grows fastest at those temperatures, but it doesn't mean that they won't grow at lower temperatures. In addition, the temperature of the water affects the temperature of the final dough. You want your final dough temperature to be around 80°F, so use whatever temperature water will give you that final temp.

Step 2:

Add 24g oil and mix again for 2 minutes at low speed, or until the oil is incorporated.
Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
There is no need to use extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe because you probably wouldn't be able to tell in the final pizza. Use regular olive oil, or even plain vegetable oil. You do want to make sure you are adding it after the dough has already come together though because adding it too early would hinder the gluten formation.
Regarding the long mixing time, you really do need to mix it for that long to get good pizza dough. Remember, we are going to be stretching this dough very thinly, so it needs this structure to keep from ripping during that process.

Step 3:

Take the dough out of the mixer and gather it into a ball with a tight skin by moving the dough on the counter with cupped hands.
Spray the inside of a large container with cooking spray, dump the dough ball in, then spray the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid or with plastic wrap and place the dough in the fridge for 24 hours, and up to 72 hours.
A lot of things happen during this time. First and foremost is the fermentation of the dough by the yeast—the yeast produce gas bubbles as they digest the starch and sugars in the dough. However, the natural enzymes in the flour also are going to work on the dough, transforming the gluten into an extensible network which will be easy to roll into a thin membrane. Also, peroxides produced by the yeast during fermentation have a drying effect on the dough, which will make it easier to handle when it comes time to make the pizzas.
By the way, if you are crunched for time, you can skip the 24 hours of refrigerated rising and replace them with 2 hours total rise at room temperature. You won't get quite the flavor and texture that you would with the slow rise, but you will have pizza dough for dinner.

Step 4:

Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it 2-3 hours to come up to close to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go without setting off the smoke alarm (for me that's around 550°). Then, once it comes to temperature, let it continue to heat for another half an hour.
Baking a thin pizza at a very high temperature is crucial to the so-called New York style pizza. The high temperature causes rapid expansion of bubbles in the dough through steam generation. At the same time, the crust is setting quickly, but the lack of a thick interior means that you won't burn the outside by the time the inside is complete.

Step 5:

Divide your dough in half and form each half into a tight ball. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Using a combination of stretching, rolling, and tossing, form the dough into a circle roughly 14" in diameter. Place the dough, now called a skin, on the screen or peel dusted with flour or cornmeal.

Step 6:

Working quickly so that the skin doesn't stick to the peel, brush the outside 2" of the skin with garlic oil (1/4 cup oil plus 1 tsp minced garlic, microwave for 2 minutes).
Spread 100g pizza sauce (or crushed tomatoes) on the dough, going almost to the edges.
Sprinkle the sauced skin with 150g shredded mozzarella cheese, again, going almost to the edge.
Add additional toppings as you see fit, but make an effort to show restraint.

Step 7:

Use the peel to slide the pizza into your extremely hot oven, and bake until the crust has turned brown and the cheese is starting to brown.
Slide the pizza out and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing—that cheese is hot.

Pizza Dough & PizzaYields: 2 14" Pizzas



Dough Ingredients
Pizza Ingredients (per pizza)
Garlic Oil for brushing
Additional Toppings:
Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Olives, Sausage, Bell Peppers, Onions, etc.
Dough Ingredients Pizza Ingredients (per pizza)
Garlic Oil for brushing
Additional Toppings:
Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Olives, Sausage, Bell Peppers, Onions, etc.

  1. Combine the flour, gluten, yeast, salt, sugar, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes before increasing the speed to medium and mixing another 2 minutes, or until all the flour has been taken up by the dough.
  2. Add the oil and mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the oil has been completely incorporated.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough in half, transfer the dough to lightly greased containers and place in the refrigerator for 24-72 hours.
  5. Allow the dough to come to temperature for 2-3 hours. Preheat the oven too at least 500°F.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, shape each half into a 14" round.
  7. Transfer the dough to a pizza screen and brush the outside with garlic oil.
  8. Spread the sauce then the cheese on the pizza and top with additional toppings.
  9. Bake the pizza until the crust has browned and the cheese is starting to brown.


This recipe was printed from Dinner in the Life of a Dad (samslaugh.blogspot.com)
Pizza Dough & Pizza 2 14" Pizzas A super simple pizza dough recipe that yields a thin, crisp crust 4 3/4 cups All-purpose Flour 2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten 1 tsp Instant Yeast 2 tsp Salt 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp Sugar 1 1/2 cups Water 1 cup Pizza Sauce 10 oz low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

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