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Home Made Pizza - To Roll or Not to Roll....


TicTac
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*Note to mods - if this forum has a 'poll' feature, that would be great for this thread...

 

I am curious, as I am about to make some Pizzas on our newly acquired Modernist Cuisine Pizza Steel (a fantastic tool!), how many of you Pizza makers use a rolling pin vs. stretching by hand.

 

I go both ways, when the dough is fresh I will typically stretch by hand, when it has been frozen I roll with a pin.

 

My thought is that pin's will remove some of the lovely crumb one wishes to attain - then again when I roll I go for a very thin Neapolitan style pizza.

 

Would love to hear how you all spread out the dough!

 

 

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For me, it depends on the style.  Hand stretching for sure for most styles.  But what I call midwestern style is happy with a rolled, very uniform dough that is square cut.

 

[ETA] Chicago deep dish style dough is not really rolled or stretched, but rather, sort of mushed around the pan.

 

[Back again] Cracker style crust is also another good rolled style.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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Majority so far seems to lean towards the hand pull method - which ultimately is my preference as well.  Tonight as mentioned the dough was frozen, and there simply is not enough air left in it to warrant the hand pulled method, not to mention the dough is not nearly as nice to work with.  So I opted for the thin Neapolitan style crust, which is still enjoyable.

 

Any special tricks you folks have learned along the way to avoid the inevitable (with the hand pulled method) massive air bubbles (I have had a few over the years that have been nearly half the pizza!).  Some I know like the 'random fork stab' method...

 

 

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9 minutes ago, TicTac said:

 Tonight as mentioned the dough was frozen, and there simply is not enough air left in it

 

 

Frozen dough shouldn't mean dead dough.  Thaw it in the fridge overnight and then let it come up to room temp.  Then treat it as you would new dough.  It should still rise (not as well as never frozen, but still....).

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1 hour ago, TicTac said:

Majority so far seems to lean towards the hand pull method - which ultimately is my preference as well.  Tonight as mentioned the dough was frozen, and there simply is not enough air left in it to warrant the hand pulled method, not to mention the dough is not nearly as nice to work with.  So I opted for the thin Neapolitan style crust, which is still enjoyable.

 

Any special tricks you folks have learned along the way to avoid the inevitable (with the hand pulled method) massive air bubbles (I have had a few over the years that have been nearly half the pizza!).  Some I know like the 'random fork stab' method...

 

 

 

I have seen some pizza parlors using a docker on the dough before topping it.

 

Sometimes, I lightly coat the ball of dough with olive oil before pulling. I think it helps cooking -kind of like oiling potatoes before baking.

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1 hour ago, IndyRob said:

 

Frozen dough shouldn't mean dead dough.  Thaw it in the fridge overnight and then let it come up to room temp.  Then treat it as you would new dough.  It should still rise (not as well as never frozen, but still....).

Typically I thaw it the same day on the counter, then put in the fridge, and back to counter to come to room temp before using.  Wonder if your suggested method would produce better results....The dough frozen (which is not my preference) often seems to have more water content and far less volume/life to it.

 

44 minutes ago, Ann_T said:

I posted the pizza that we had for dinner last night to the Dinner thread.  The dough was just hand pulled to stretch. With rests in between.

I recalled the crumb in your fantastic potato pizza as I made this post and our pizza tonight.  Do you make your own dough, Ann?  It looked fantastic.

 

17 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

 

I have seen some pizza parlors using a docker on the dough before topping it.

 

Sometimes, I lightly coat the ball of dough with olive oil before pulling. I think it helps cooking -kind of like oiling potatoes before baking.

Interesting re: the oil.  How does that interact with the flour - or do you forgo it in that case? 

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2 minutes ago, TicTac said:

Typically I thaw it the same day on the counter, then put in the fridge, and back to counter to come to room temp before using.  Wonder if your suggested method would produce better results....The dough frozen (which is not my preference) often seems to have more water content and far less volume/life to it.

 

 

Thaw it overnight in the fridge.  Take it out later and do not go back and forth.

 

The water content you're seeing is likely from the freezer taking water from the dough.  The freezer is a very dry environment,  If the dough is in a bag it will be contained there.  It needs to be allowed time to go back in when the dough is taken out of Colditz .  Incidentally, this is the same for, say, an already baked baguette you've stashed in the freezer.  Don't open the bag until it's completely thawed.

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33 minutes ago, TicTac said:

I recalled the crumb in your fantastic potato pizza as I made this post and our pizza tonight.  Do you make your own dough, Ann?  It looked fantastic.

TicTac, I do.   I have the recipe on my blog.  You can find it  HERE.  The only thing I change with this recipe is the hydration.  Yesterday's pizza dough was at 76%.  And I also made two loaves of bread

from the same batch.  Posted on the Bread Thread on Pastry and Baking Forum. 

 

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Because I make my pizza's very thin, I roll the base to get an even uniformity. My base is about 2mm in thickness. When doing a thicker base, I just hand form it - but it is not often I do a thicker base!

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15 hours ago, TicTac said:

Interesting re: the oil.  How does that interact with the flour - or do you forgo it in that case? 

 

It doesn't really interact, it's like changing what you do to the top crust of a loaf of bread. Bread that just gets steamed has a crunchy crust, oil gives a softer, more flexible crust. (steam still escapes from the crust) But, I suspect that there's a small effect with temperature -kind of like there is with roasted vegetables. The oil can obviously get hotter than boiling water temperature while the dough still has moisture in it. I tend to like thicker pizza dough, but have had nice results with almost every type of crust. (except I don't make the cracker-thin crust)

 

I also tend to build on a screen and then bake on either my steel or stone. (stone is always in the oven and easy, steel weighs a lot and i don't always feel like hauling it out) Try it some time and see what you think; maybe make a mini pizza with this technique the next time you're making pizzas.

Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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