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Pizza Dough: Tips, Troubleshooting, Storage


markf424
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Right now I am experimenting in the kitchen, but help from a more experienced e-gulleter is much appreciated.  Anybody in the biz willing to contribute some suggestions?  I want to know what kind of flour and other ingredients I should be using (and where I can get them as a person off the street), how to assemble the ingredients properly, and how I can maximize the abilities of my home oven for pizza making.

I made pizza successfully for several years and didn't realize how important the oven is to the process until we moved and my (gas) Okeefe and Merritt was replaced by an (electric) Kitchenaid that was all looks and no performance. After several failures, with several types of dough (including professional doughs I bought frozen), I finally got a (gas) Wolf and added a professional quality pizza stone (the first, el-cheapo, stone, exploded the first time I used it with the Wolf). Sudden the pizzas were perfect again, no matter which recipe I used.

That said, I was disappointed by the vast amounts of sugar called for in many contemporary pizza dough recipes (even from Cook's Illustrated, good grief!). These recipes tasted like the ghastly sweet dough used in California Pizza Kitchens.

Here's a basic East Coast dough recipe. The dough is even better after being refrigerated over night:

1 cup trepid water

1 pkg dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

2-1/2 - 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

olive oil to grease bowl

cornmeal

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water.

In a separate (large) bowl, add the remaining 3/4 cup water to 1-1/2 cups flour. Add the salt. When the yeast begins to foam a bit, add it to the flour mixture. Stir vigorously, then turn the dought onto a floured board and let it rest (safe from cold drafts) while you clean the bowl. When the bowl is clean and dry, rub the interior with a light coat of the olive oil.

Knead the dough continuously for 15 minutes, adding flour as necessary, to create a silky dough. Return the ball of dough the bowl, roll it around to coat it with the oil, then cover bowl with two tight layers of plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm (but not hot) place until double in bulk, about 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven, with pizza stone in it, to 450 degrees.

Punch down dough and flatten it on a lightly-floured board. Divide it in half, returning one half to the bowl (covering it with wrap again). Pounding with the heel of your hand (or using a rolling pin) work the half into a pizza about 12-inches in diameter. Sprinkle a baker’s peel or flat (no-rim) cookie sheet well with corn meal and put the dough on it. Brush the dough with olive oil and add your toppings.

Slide the pizza from the peel or sheet onto the pizza stone. Bake 15 minutes or until underneath of crust is light brown. Remove, slice and serve. Repeat with second dough (or refrigerate that dough to use the following night).

Editor of Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, a Take Control series ebook.

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I think it's important to mention what kind of pizza you're looking for--what's the crust like?  Is it thick?  Thin?  Thin and crispy?  Thin and chewy?  Does the pizza end up with big air pockets near the crust, or not?  Without knowing details, it may be difficult to give you helpful hints.

Thanks, Prasantrin. To clarify, I am looking for a thin crust, crispy on the outside, very airy and slightly chewy inside with big air pockets.

Right now, I'm pulling things out of the oven that taste like squished white bread with sauce and cheese. Bleh!

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as a first simple step of progress from your squished white bread, i'd reccommend the following procedure for one pizza, appr. 25-28 cm diam., with thin, semi-crisp buttom. sure, you can get a better pizza by using the biga method, or perhaps sourdough, and fresh, very ripe tomatoes, and a super hot brick oven. but this is still a mighty fine pizza:

dough, made 8-12 hours in advance of baking it:

dissolve 1-2 grams of cake yeast in 170 ml tepid water. add 250 g bread flour and one small teaspoon salt. mix and knead. it is rather sticky. put in an oiled bowl. cover with damp cloth and lid, let rise at ca. 15-18 C.

tomato sauce: 1/4 can of crushed peeled tomatoes (passed through food mill if you like). add 1/2 small-medium garlic clove, finely chopped, plus salt to taste.

preheat oven, with pizza stone, as hot as it gets. expect it to take at least one hour.

when dough is ready, transfer (carefully, so that it is still one big lump) to flour dusted table. dust the dough on top, too. transfer to baking parchment. start flattening the dough from the center, by hand. NO PIN! if the dough starts sticking to your hand, spread a bit more flour.

add thin layer of sauce and 125 g mozz (preferably italian), plus what ever else you like, but thinly.

transfer to pizza stone. bake 'till done. if your oven is 275 C with convection turned on, it's a matter of 5-7 minutes.

ps: please forgive the metric measures, as i have only a vague idea of american measures

Edited by oraklet (log)

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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I made pizza 2 days ago with the crust recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice. I used AP four plus the added oil. The crust crisped up very well on my pizza stone. The dough was a bit sticky and hard to work with, but the end result was one of the best pizza crusts I've ever had from a home oven--if I may be so modest.

Sam

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Peter Reinhart has an excellent book on pizza - 'American Pie', published a year or two ago. It includes different kind of dough, even one to use on the BBQ. There should be one to suit your taste. Everyone I tried so far was slightly different and delicious - much better than any pizza I ever had in a restaurant or take out. I did not care much however for his tomato sauce recipes¸(can't be perfect I guess).

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I think it's important to mention what kind of pizza you're looking for--what's the crust like?  Is it thick?  Thin?  Thin and crispy?  Thin and chewy?  Does the pizza end up with big air pockets near the crust, or not?  Without knowing details, it may be difficult to give you helpful hints.

Thanks, Prasantrin. To clarify, I am looking for a thin crust, crispy on the outside, very airy and slightly chewy inside with big air pockets.

That sounds to me like my favorite kind of pie, which is typical of a NYC vulcan oven type of pie (which in turn is very different from a Neopolitan wood burning oven style, which, just to confuse things, is popular in NYC as well).

To get those air pockets, thin crust and slight chewiness, I promise, you need a higher gluten flour. Also, in order for the gluten to develop sufficiently, you need a lean dough. Other than oiling the dough for rising, thin crust style dough requires no additional oil. This is very important.

To obtain the right crispiness, you need a decent sized thermal mass on your pizza stone. A good barometer of whether or not your stone is thick enough is the time it takes for your pizza to cook. After pre-heating to around 550-600, a pizza should take less than 8 minutes to cook. An even better way of determining proper stone thickness is the time it takes for your second pizza to cook. In other words, if your oven isn't recovering fast enough to cook another pie in a similar rate to the first, the stone isn't thick enough.

The intense, sustained heat from a thick pre-heated stone is what gives you crisp puffiness while at the same time protecting inner moistness.

It will be especially difficult to recreate pizzeria style pizza without the right stone, the right flour and a lean recipe.

Peter Reinhart is a legend in bread making, but as far as his "NYC style" thin crust pizza goes... I'm sorry, but he dropped the ball there. New York pizza is, imo, the best on the planet. His recipe doesn't even come close.

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Your mileage may vary, but I've always had what I consider great success with Cook's Illustrated pizza dough. We make this at least once a month or so. It uses bread flour, has 2 tablespoons of olive oil, no sugar or honey. It can be a pain to get it really thin, but I don't worry about trying to get it so thin. I bake it on parchment on a pizza stone that is about 14" diameter and ~1/2" thick, set on the bottom rack, preheated to 550F, and the pizzas are done in 6-7 minutes.

Paging Brian Spangler, Brian Spangler to the white courtesy phone, please.

I relocated to Seattle from Portland almost two years ago and I am missing Scholls Public House/Apizza Scholls.  I am a novice, but I'd like to develop a tasty pizza that I can make at home.  Realizing that my home oven will never really be able to bake up a crust close to what I can order from Apizza Scholls, I would still love to create something less bread-like and more flavorful than what I am turning out now.

Right now I am experimenting in the kitchen, but help from a more experienced e-gulleter is much appreciated.  Anybody in the biz willing to contribute some suggestions?  I want to know what kind of flour and other ingredients I should be using (and where I can get them as a person off the street), how to assemble the ingredients properly, and how I can maximize the abilities of my home oven for pizza making.

I made two different doughs tonight.  Both consist of flour, water, salt, yeast, and a wee bit of honey.  The first was made from a Pillsbury bread flour (I have minimal kitchen experience, so my first inclination was to use a flour with slightly higher protein content), the second dough was made from a combination of 80% Bob's Red Mill white, unbromated flour and 20% Softasilk cake flour (because when I tried the pizza made from dough #1, I was highly dissatisfied with the result).  Because I started both of these this evening and have not been impressed, I am parking them in the chill chest overnight and then I'll try them out again tomorrow.  After comparing the results, I'll move forward to the next round of tests.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I guess that I make pizza once a month and the Cooks Illustrated recipe of a few years ago changed for the better my pizza. When the dough is ready I roll it out with a rolling pin with parchment paper on the bottom and plastic wrap on top and bake at 500 with the parchment paper in place. Works every time.

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hi, recommend me a good pizza stone please!

The one I use looks like this. It was a gift. There have been several discussions of pizza stones you might want to search for.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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It can be a pain to get it really thin, but I don't worry about trying to get it so thin.

Let me guess, King Arthur's Bread Flour? Without a doubt, the most salacious lie perpetuated on the novice bread baker is that King Arthur's makes the 'best' bread flour. Since changing from King Arthur's my crusts have gone from pitiful to sublime.

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It can be a pain to get it really thin, but I don't worry about trying to get it so thin.

Let me guess, King Arthur's Bread Flour?

Yes indeed! Consider me impressed. I'll try another brand next time I make pizza.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Let me guess, King Arthur's Bread Flour? Without a doubt, the most salacious lie perpetuated on the novice bread baker is that King Arthur's makes the 'best' bread flour. Since changing from King Arthur's my crusts have gone from pitiful to sublime.

What brand of bread flour do you recommend?

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This is the flour I recommend.

I didn't know it at the time, but compared to Spring King flour, King Arthur's was pure angst for me. The slight chemical smell/taste, the stickiness of the dough (regardless of the level of hydration), the tendency towards tearing, the resulting dense/rubbery crumb that King Arthur's flour cursed me with - once I started working with Spring King, that misery was fully revealed. I put up with it for months because I thought the problem was me. I thought that somehow I needed to learn more about breadmaking. Eventually I just said "forget this" and went looking for another brand of flour. Since King Arthur's was the only brand my supermarket carried, I went to my favorite Italian bakery and asked if they'd sell me some of their bread flour. They did. That flour turned out to be Spring King.

I'm not talking slightly better flour. This is night and day. Suppleness, manageability, oven spring, crumb, taste, smell, resistance to tearing- the Spring King is vastly superior.

What's the downside to this flour? Well, you won't find it in a supermarket. Call your local bakeries. See if they use it/if they'll sell you some. Even if it's not Spring King, try the bread flour they are using. Chances are excellent that it will be better than King Arthur's. I have a strong feeling that just about any commercial bread flour is superior to King Arthur's. That's how little faith I have in it.*

Don't get me wrong, great flour isn't going to make your pizza crust for you. You'll still have hydration/gluten formation/rheology issues to deal with. Still, though, I promise you that this flour will bring unbridled joy to your breadmaking/pizzamaking.

*One caveat. I don't completely hate King Arthur's. They (Taylor and Sands) make a seriously kick butt unbleached white pastry flour. Again, though, you won't find it in stores. Maybe it's because commercial bakeries are more demanding, but, whatever the reason, retail consumers are stuck with some pretty crappy high and low protein flours. Don't even get me started on Softasilk. Supermarkets do fine with all-purpose (Heckers makes a good cookie), but if you need application specific flours, you're out of luck. Go to a bakery instead.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Recently had some results I like with <i>homemade</i> pizza.

<br><br>

I use 24 ounces (weight) of dough to make a pizza 12" in

diameter, use no <i>pizza stone,</i> do <i>pre-bake</i> the

dough just on a cookie sheet and without toppings (four

minutes), add toppings, bake directly on the oven rack (five

minutes). I use a home electric oven with a temperature of

about 625 F.

<br><br>

I use only simple toppings and very much like the results.

<br><br>

There is no end of ways to cook pizza. There are ultra thin,

ultra thick, ultra crispy, ultra <i>bready,</i> etc. And much

more variety is possible in the toppings.

<br><br>

Here I describe what I do.

<br><br>

These notes are a description of the steps I settled on after

a sequence of over 20 trials during a few weeks earlier this

year.

Here are some positive points:

<blockquote>

<SL>

<LI>

For the dough, I just buy that frozen, as <i>doughballs,</i>

and let the company that makes these worry about flour

varieties, yeast varieties, moisture levels, gluten

development, dough hooks, etc.

<LI>

For the oven, I just use a standard home electric oven with

no effort at a pizza stone.

<LI>

At the start of wanting a pizza, there are only three main

ingredients, dough, sauce, and cheese; and all three can

be kept frozen indefinitely. So, I can stock up on these

three and then forget about the short lifetimes of fresh

ingredients.

<LI>

Once the dough has thawed and risen, the rest goes very

quickly. It's all super easy with just simple usual kitchen

equipment.

<LI>

The resulting pizza may not be just exactly like what I had at

some small restaurant in Italy with some gorgeous girl

in a pastel floral print chiffon dress outlined with satin

ribbons, but it's good.

</SL>

</blockquote>

<b>Dough Source</b>

<br><br>

At Sam's Club I get

<blockquote>

Cafe Doughballs

<br>

Item #80005

<br><br>

Golanian Bakeries

<br>

1405 South Main Street

<br>

Fountain Inn, SC 29644

<br><br>

High gluten wheat flour (ascorbic acid. enzymes, niacin,

reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic

acid), water, 2% or less of soybean oil, yeast, sugar,

dough conditioner (vegetable gum, soy flour,

monoglycerides, L-Cysteine, enzymes (amylase)), salt

</blockquote>

So, I get 20 balls, each in a plastic bag (not closed),

frozen, 24 ounces per ball, 30 pounds net weight for the box.

<br><br>

Price for the box is about $15.24. So, each ball is about 75

cents.

<br><br>

This box appears to be intended as a commercial product, not a

consumer product. Gee, why can't consumers also have some of

the advantages of good frozen pizza doughballs for 75 cents

each?

<br><br>

<b>Thaw and Rise</b>

<br><br>

To use one of these doughballs, need to thaw the dough, let it

rise, etc.

<br><br>

A nice feature of these doughballs is the plastic bag they

come in. So, for all thawing, rising, handling until actually

forming the pizza shape, just leave the dough in the plastic

bag. This way, during the rising, don't need to coat the

surface with flour or oil, and the dough surface doesn't dry

from exposure to air.

<br><br>

To thaw the dough and let it rise, I tried several obvious

techniques. Except for trying to thaw quickly using the power

of a microwave oven, all the techniques worked with no

significant difference in the final results.

<br><br>

For all the techniques, first I close the open end of the

plastic bag with a twist tie; I place the tie near the open

end of the bag. Now the bag is closed to outside air but

there is room inside the bag for expansion as the dough rises.

<br><br>

Here are three techniques that work:

<blockquote>

<SL>

<LI>

<b>One to Several Days.</b>

One technique is to place the dough ball in, say, an empty

vegetable bin of refrigerator. In 24 hours, the dough should

be ready for making a pizza. If don't want to make a pizza,

then gently drop the bag on counter top a few times to let

some of the carbon dioxide gas escape, that is, partially to

<i>deflate</i> the dough, place back in vegetable bin, and

look again in 24 hours. A few times, I repeated these steps

for a few days and then made a pizza. So, yes, just in a

vegetable bin, the dough will thaw and rise. This fact is

convenient; with my meager knowledge of bread making, I was

surprised.

<LI>

<b>Twenty-four Hours.</b>

Another technique is to place the bag and frozen dough on,

say, the flat floor inside a microwave oven with the door shut

and the power off. The oven provides a way to protect the

dough from any small rodents! No, I don't have any rodents,

but, then, I live in the country and don't want any rodents!

After 24 hours in the microwave oven at room temperature, I

have nicely thawed and risen dough ready to make a pizza.

Likely an equivalent technique would be to place the dough in

its plastic bag in a bowl of, say, at least two quarts, and,

to protect against rodents, place a dinner plate over the

bowl.

<LI>

<b>Four Hours.</b>

For fast thawing, can place the bag and dough in a one gallon

freezer bag, carefully close the freezer bag to be water

tight, place in a dishpan of 100 F water, and let thaw and

rise nicely. If keep the water at about 100 F, then should

have nicely thawed and risen dough in about four hours. Since

the part floating above the water level will tend to thaw

significantly more slowly, occasionally rotate the dough in

the freezer bag 180 degrees about a horizontal axis to put the

top part of the dough on the bottom.

</SL>

</blockquote>

So, whether I let the dough rise for days in the refrigerator,

with deflating between each two days, for 24 hours at room

temperature, or for four hours in 100 F water, the final

results for the pizza as baked and eaten seem to be the same.

<br><br>

Here is a technique that does not work well: Using microwave

to defrost, even for just five minutes at 10% power, leaves

spots about the size of a quarter that have been overheated,

essentially <i>cooked,</i> where the yeast has been killed,

and that will not rise.

<br><br>

<b>Oven</b>

<br><br>

The oven I use is a standard home electric oven. I preheat

the oven at its highest temperature setting, 550 F, for about

an hour. Thermometers inside the oven show the actual

temperature to be above the 600 F maximum indicated

temperature of the thermometers. Generally my oven

temperature is about 75 degrees higher than the oven

temperature setting shows; from that fact and extrapolating on

the dials of the thermometers in the oven, I estimate the

temperature at about 625 F.

<br><br>

<b>Shape Dough</b>

<br><br>

When the dough in its plastic bag is puffy, can make a pizza.

The amount of puffiness can vary a lot, but the resulting

pizza is essentially the same.

<br><br>

I make no effort to <i>punch down</i> the dough. I just dump the

dough onto a bread board with a coating of flour.

<br><br>

To get the dough out of the plastic bag, I remove the twist

tie from the bag, hold my left hand open with palm up, place

the bottom of the plastic bag on my left palm, use my right

hand to peel the open end of the bag inside out and down over

the dough and my left hand, turn over my left hand to place

the dough on the flour, and with my right hand grab the inside

out end of the bag and lift with some gentle jerking motions

to turn the plastic bag fully inside out and let all the

dough peel away from the plastic and fall out of the bag in

one piece. Works great.

<br><br>

Then I dust the top of the dough with more flour and roll it

to a circle of about 14" in diameter. To help keep the dough

from sticking during the next step, I'm sure to have a good

coating of flour on the bread board and, hence, also on the

bottom surface of the dough.

<br><br>

<b>First Baking</b>

<br><br>

I pick up the dough and place it on a clean stainless steel

cookie sheet and shape the dough to a circle about 12" in

diameter. For the cookie sheet I use, the diameter of the

largest circle that will fit on the flat portion of the cookie

sheet is just 12". Now the cookie sheet and dough go into the

oven for a carefully measured 4 minutes. Need to get the

cookie sheet into the oven right away; if delay, then the

dough can stick to the cookie sheet. But, if dough surface is

nicely floured and place the cookie sheet into the oven right

away, then the dough does not stick.

<br><br>

In four minutes the dough will be lightly browned, puffed

enormously, and be loose on the cookie sheet. The puffed

dough can look like some Hollywood version of a <i>flying

saucer</i> with a convex top and bottom, symmetrical about a

horizontal plane, and still in contact with the cookie sheet

only on a small circle in the center.

<br><br>

So, I remove the cookie sheet and dough, now a <i>pre-baked</i>

crust, and place on a cutting board. If the crust surface has

loose flour, then I quickly dust it off.

<br><br>

At this point, need to be sure to remember to thoroughly clean

the cookie sheet. Some of the loose flour may burn, but it

tends to come off easily enough. But if use pot holders that

have some oil on them, then, with the high oven temperature,

even a thin film of oil on the cookie sheet from a pot holder

can burn on the cookie sheet and form a dark brown varnish

that is really difficult to remove.

<br><br>

<b>Toppings</b>

<br><br>

I use the back (convex) side of a 300 ml Pyrex custard dish to

punch down the largest of the crust bubbles. I press down

enough to form a small rim that will keep the sauce and cheese

from running off the pizza during the next period in the oven.

Also, can use sharp tip of a knife to cut a slit in some of

the larger bubbles. To avoid forming the large bubbles, I

tried pricking the dough just before placing it into the oven

100 times with a dinner fork (with four tines, 400 holes) and

decided that this step is not worthwhile. So, just live with

the bubbles; they don't have to have any noticeable effect on

the final pizza as served.

<br><br>

I add 2/3 C of thick homemade pizza sauce (recipe below) and 4

ounces (weight) of shredded Mozzarella cheese (e.g., Stella

whole milk Mozzarella from Sam's Club). <br><br> Note: Can

keep the cheese without mold growth by repackaging the cheese

in freezer bags, e.g., 1 quart each, and freezing. Can get

the frozen cheese loose in a bag by hitting the bag gently a

few times with the flat surface of a cutting board. Then, can

place the loose cheese on pizza while the cheese is still

frozen.

<br><br>

Just for convenience, I apply the pizza sauce still cold from

the refrigerator. If the sauce were frozen, then before

applying the sauce I'd thaw it and warm it to somewhere

between refrigerator and room temperature.

<br><br>

Can get a somewhat more interesting appearance for the final

pizza as served if the cheese, when melted, does not fully

cover the red sauce but forms an irregular pattern.

<br><br>

<b>Second Baking</b>

<br><br>

Next, I slide the topped crust from the cutting board directly

onto the oven rack -- "Look, Ma: No cookie sheet, no pizza

pan, no pizza stone." I bake for an accurately timed five

minutes. With the pizza directly on the rack of my electric

oven with the heating element on the bottom of the oven, the

bottom surface of the pizza has plenty of opportunity to get

brown and crisp. Due to the first period in the oven, the

dough is plenty stiff enough not to sag through the relatively

wide gaps between the wires of my oven rack.

<br><br>

If leave the pizza in the oven too long, then the dough can

form a large bubble or two, and the topping on such a bubble

can rise enough to get hotter than desired and start to burn.

<br><br>

Generally, then, in another oven, would have to be careful

about the times of each of these two periods in the oven.

At a temperature as high as 625 F, the baking goes

<b>very</b> quickly.

So, in a different oven, until I had some solid data, I would

have to check the first period in the oven, say, each 20

seconds starting at three minutes and the second period, each

20 seconds starting at four minutes.

<br><br>

To remove the pizza from the oven, with one hand I hold the

cutting board nearly as an extension of the oven rack and,

with other hand, place one finger on the crust edge and pinch

with a dinner fork below and pull to slide the pizza to the

cutting board.

<br><br>

I cut the pizza into four pieces and slide the whole thing to

a dinner plate.

<br><br>

<b>Results</b>

<br><br>

The resulting pizza crust is yeasty, <i>bready,</i> crusty,

chewy! The surfaces are nicely crisp; the interior is thick

and nicely chewy; and the aroma is nice. May be the best

pizza I ever had.

<br><br>

With a 24 ounce (weight) doughball used for a pizza only 12"

in diameter, get a relatively thick pizza crust. So, the

crust is the glory of this pizza, not the toppings.

<br><br>

While the flavor and texture of this dough are terrific,

nearly all the glory is lost unless eat within minutes just

out of the oven. Also, having the dough thicker likely holds

in and enhances the glory of the bread and yeast flavors.

It's genuinely terrific stuff -- if eat right out of the oven.

<br><br>

<b>Sauce</b>

<br><br>

Here is my first usable effort at homemade thick pizza sauce:

<blockquote>

1/3 C virgin olive oil

<br>

11 ounces minced yellow globe onion

<br>

1/2 C minced garlic

<br>

2 T dried oregano leaves

<br>

2 T dried basil leaves

<br>

6 T dried parsley leaves

<br>

3 bay leaves

<br>

48 ounces Contradina tomato paste (8 cans at 6

ounces per can)

<br>

2 C water

<br>

50 twists of black pepper

</blockquote>

In a 3 quart Farberware pot, I cook the onion in the oil until

the onion is softened. Add garlic and cook gently. Add herbs

and pepper. Mix. Add tomato paste and water. Mix. Add to

double boiler top. Heat over simmering water to 160 F or so.

Refrigerate uncovered until chilled and then cover. Or,

measure out 2/3 C portions and freeze each.

<br><br>

I tried a similar recipe but with caramelized onions and then

tasted onions continually for 24 hours after eating the pizza.

The caramelized onions were <b>strong!</b> So, if use

caramelized onions, be careful about the proportions and

balance of flavors.

<br><br>

Edited by project (log)

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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  • 6 months later...

Hi,

I've often admired the beautiful pizza pictures on the Dinner! thread and keep thinking about making my own. The couple of times I've tried making pizza at home have led to okish results but nothing that makes me feel like doing it over and over again... what I'd like a nice really flavorful base that can be chewy / crisp (we've liked both at different pizza places in the past) that doesn't require a whole lot of toppings but tastes good with some nice fresh mozarella, some fresh basil that I just got in my CSA box and some roasted garlic..

Please help..

thanks a ton!

-w@w

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I'm a fan of a pizza dough recipe by sarah moulton on foodtv.com ... just enter in "basic pizza dough" into the recipe search and you should be able to find it.

Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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Hi,

I've often admired the beautiful pizza pictures on the Dinner! thread and keep thinking about making my own. The couple of times I've tried making pizza at home have led to okish results but nothing that makes me feel like doing it over and over again... what I'd like a nice really flavorful base that can be chewy / crisp (we've liked both at different pizza places in the past) that doesn't require a whole lot of toppings but tastes good with some nice fresh mozarella, some fresh basil that I just got in my CSA box and some roasted garlic..

Please help..

thanks a ton

-w@w

I use the recipe at Epicurious, which is fairly versatile -- split the dough into six balls for thin crusts, three for thick. It also freezes well -- just stop it before the second rise, as someone mentioned there.

But I think the real trick to delicious pizza is (1) not over-kneading, (2) getting good heat, and (3) using fresh toppings. I've used this recipe to make something similar to what you're describing (brush of olive oil, garlic, sliced eggplant, a salty feta-like cheese). Good luck!

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I have made a bazillion pizza doughs and a great standby is Alton Brown's recipe on foodtv.com. It was my first foray into dough many years ago.

Most lay recipes do not call for refrigeratring (retarding) the dough overnight. That is a critical step and is the difference (along with an appropriately hot cooking surface) between a yeasty tasting quick dough and a professional crust.

As michaelg said, oven heat is key. Get a stone and crank your oven up as far it is will go. Also, use bread flour or King Arthur hi gluten for extra chew if that is your desire.

As far as the caution of overkneading, I will respectfully disagree on that one. If using higher protein (bread) flour, it takes even more time to knead those doughs and unless you are using a professional mixer (not the KitchenAid like home machines) and fall asleep at the switch, you will likely never overknead a pizza dough. Pizza is a case where long mixes are your friend. Time = gluten development = stretch and chew. Higher protein ultimately forms more gluten.

The recipe I mentioned will put you on the right path.....

Although I never checked, there must be a pizza discussion in here somewhere. :raz:

Good luck

Evan

Edited by shacke (log)

Dough can sense fear.

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