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Pizza Dough recipe


Matthew Grant
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Has anybody got a pizza dough recipe that isn't going to turn out like bread? I want my pizza bases like the ones you get in Pizza express and however many times I try to replicate it I fail, not miserably, but I can't get it quite right :confused:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Matthew, try a lower protein flour, or adding a little pastry flour to your regular flour. Gently turn the dough out several times during its rise and fold it over a few times. Don't punch it or bang it on the counter. You want it to become real stretchy (extensible, but I like real stretchy better).

Before you form the crust, allow the dough to rest at least a half hour if your kitchen is around 75 degrees farenheit. If it rests longer, so much the better. If your kitchen is cooler, allow a longer rest.

When you form the crust, do so by gently stretching the dough, not by rolling or pulling. If the dough seems to fight back, cover it and let it rest some more.

Bake at the highest temperature your oven will allow, preferably on a thick stone or unglazed ceramic tile surface. A "pizza stone" is of little use.

I've seen pizzerias here in New York using All Trumps high gluten flour. I can only explain this by reference to all the sitting around the dough does, allowing the gluten to deteriorate. Stretching and resting is what it's all about.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Robert--are you aware of the HearthKit?

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/22/dining/22OVEN.html

I saw an ad for it recently featuring Rose Levy Beranbaum then tracked it down at Sur la Table--seems solid and substantial though I haven't worked with it yet.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Thanks Robert, have you got a recipe for the dough? I tend to make mine pretty much like a bread dough (which I can make alright!) with some Olive oil in it. Does it make a difference using fast acting or Fresh Yeast (I've got both)?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I do know about the Hearthkit, Steve, and it seems like a good device for those seeking a turnkey solution. I agree with the statement that restaurants without deck ovens may find it useful, abeit perhaps a bit small. I bought unglazed ceramic tiles for about five dollars. Love 'em. I'm thinking of adding a second layer.

There's no doubt that certain kinds of cooking done on a massive heated surface will produce superior results. I still harbor the fantasy of a custom built wood fired brick oven, and the time to use it properly.

Another reportedly really good gizmo is La Cloche, a terracotta container for baking. Cheapskates recommend a flowerpot with a rigged up lid as just as good.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Here's a summary of a recipe from Carol Field, The Italian Baker, Harper Collins, 1985. I recommend the book if you're really interested in Italian baking. She writes extenisively on pizza, among many other things.

Proof a package (about 2.5 tsps) of active dry yeast in 1/4c water. Make a dough with about 5.5c flour (the amount of flour will vary with your environment), 1 3/4c water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp lard if you can get it, otherwise, use more olive oil, which will give the dough a different character, but still ok.

I don't subscribe to Field's instruction to slam the dough in order to develop the gluten, but if it makes you feel good, by all means, make yourself feel good. A thorough kneading will do fine.

Use cold ingredients.

Allow to rise until doubled, hopefully around eight hours if you've used cold ingredients. If the dough is rising too fast, turn it our and deflate it gently. I would do this a couple of times anyhow.

Turn out the fully developed dough, shape into three balls, allow to rest at least 30 minutes.

Shape each ball into a disk by gently stretching it, top and bake at 550 degrees.

Tip: use oil or water on your hands to make handling the dough easier. Don't use more flour. The dough should be very soft and bubbly.

Makes three crusts about 14 inches each.

Good luck. Let us know what goes on.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Robert, what kind of flour do you use for pizza dough?

Do you think there is advantage in using a high-gluten flour and letting it rest and relax over using a lower-gluten flour in the first place?

Priscilla

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ●  Twitter

 

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Priscilla, I use regular good old unbleached white flour, with a little pastry flour mixed in. I don't bake at all with high gluten flour for a couple of reasons, mainly because the stuff needs to be very thoroughly developed. I mix my doughs by hand, and getting high gluten flour to where it needs to be by hand is just about impossible. In a home kitchen, you'd need to let your Kitchen Aid or your Kenmore really run to get something like the right effect. Along with the brick oven, I fantasize about a little Hobart all my own. Second, I don't bake the kinds of things that specifically require high gluten flour, like bagels.

For the professional pizza baker, there could be an advantage to using high gluten flour mixed and developed mechanically. But it's my understanding that the Italians use something called - in  Italian, obviously - "double zero" flour, referring to the amount of ash remaining when a sample is burned, and indicating that the sample is low in protein, or "short extraction" flour. If this is indeed true, then the use of high gluten flour in New York pizzerias may just be a matter of a convenient method of production.

I should add at this stage that I am emphatically not a technical person, and I'm certainly not a cereal chemist. My technical knowledge is limited to that which will get me the result I want. I resentfully learn as much as I need to know to make my bread, but I'm not interested in technical knowledge for its own sake. There is a very large population of technical nuts in the baking field that will either drive you stone crazy, or make you very happy, depending on your orientation. I'm a subjective, rather than an objective type, whichever side of the brain that is.

I appreciate the question, though. I will ask one of my Italian food correspondents about pizza baking in Italy, and will let you know if I get a useful reply.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Robert, I too most emphatically am NOT a technical baker, although I have, as an amateur baker seeking information, certainly benefited from their research.  I didn’t even want to BE a baker at all!  But once one begins it is apparently impossible to stop, and there is pleasure to be derived under the burden, I guess.

I have read about Italian 00 flour, never used it.  The King Arthur Flour people used to carry something in their catalogue that was supposed to be comparable.  Any interest I have had in trying such a flour was for making fresh pasta, for which I have always used all-purpose.  I have read about cutting the gluten content with pastry flour, as you describe.  Recently I’ve noticed Mario Batali on his from-Italy show working with a bag of Barilla flour, and wondered if that was the elusive 00, and if it was available here in the U.S., as is other Barilla product.

As for baking, when you say add a second layer of tiles, do you mean a second layer right on top of the first, or on another shelf?  I use inexpensive unglazed tiles, too, on the floor of my oven, and the thought of a double layer, which has never occurred to me before this, seems as if it might both hold heat even better AND protect against scorching.  Hmmmm possibly worth the few dollars’ investment to see!

At least until I get my custom-built wood-fired oven in the back yard, that is.

Priscilla

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ●  Twitter

 

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In some NJ markets, Zarega offers a pasta/pizza flour marked 0-0 (zero-zero). About $3 for two pounds, I believe.  I tried it against a 75% regular unbleached plus 25% pastry flour mix, and didn't notice any difference in my pizza.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Priscilla, Well, it seems we share the dream of a wood fired brick oven. One day, hopefully sooner than later. Meanwhile, yes, I'm talking about another layer of tiles right on top of the first layer. For a few bucks, a worthwhile experiment, no?

Rail Paul, I'm not surprised that your mix works as well as the 0-0 stuff, and for a lot less money, too. For pasta, semolina is often called for, and that's a high protein flour. For me, handmade egg pasta is just as easily done with all purpose flour. Again, I think plenty of resting and gentle stretching are the key.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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hi matthew

what do you actually mean when you say that you don't want your pizza to be "bready"? most italians would state that a pizza is really a sort of bread...

but perhaps you just don't want it to be like a french/baguette-like bread, and then you might try this procedure:

use 5/6 parts 0-0 flour and 1/6 of pasta flour.

salt.

very little yeast (or admittedly even better: sourdough, but it can be rather much of a trouble keeping it alive during vacations).  

enough water to make the dough sticky.

let rest in a cool place for at least 8 hours (THE REAL TASTE OF WHEAT DEVELOPS ONLY THEN!).

when doubbled (at least), turn gently upon floured working table.

pour flour on top of it (sticky, remember?).

work, from the centre out, into a thin disc, leaving a 1" border (? sorry obout my lack of english...) untouched.

fill sparingly, and don't forget to sprinkle with olive oil.

bake in HOT oven (and a pizza stone works very fine, really).

all this makes for a dough that virtually "explodes", with lots of big thready holes inside it. just like the best italian breads.

i'm not a real gourmet cook, but at least my pizzas are praised by everyone around, and i think they are the best to be had in denmark! but: as mentioned on another thread, no two ovens are alike, so you will almost certainly not succeed the first time. it took me some 5 years to learn!

good luck

christian

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

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So Oraklet cuts 00-type flour with pastry flour, even further reducing protein content.  Hmmm.

I have used fine semolina as specified by Marcella Hazan for that square-spaghetti-type fresh pasta, hmmm, tonnarelli is it called?  Other than that, pasta-wise it's a-p all the way.

Robert, thank you for the double-tile idea.  I'll be enacting it asap.  

Priscilla

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ●  Twitter

 

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oh... i may not have expressed myself clearly. is pastry flour and pasta flour the same thing in english? well, what i mean is that i would add 1/6 of the kind of flour used by most of us for pasta: durum semolina. i believe that it is actually richer in protein, but perhaps i'm wrong there. anyway,  it adds texture to the dough, especially if you don't work it several times.

if you don't, by the way, use a very high grade flour for pasta, it will be sticky when cooked.

christian

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

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I have an outdoor grill made by a company called Altima that is great for making pizza.  It is one of those expensive stainless steel grills, but it has a few features that make it great for pizza.  First, the interior is lined with fire brick to give it a brick-oven effect.  Second, it has an infrared burner that is primarily for searing steaks, etc. (it supposedly can reach up to 1600 degrees F at the grill surface) and has very high btus, so it can reach extremely high temperatures.  I'm not sure exactly how high because my temperature gauge only goes up to 650 degrees F, but it clearly goes higher than that.  They sell a pizza stone as an option, but I just use one that I had before I bought the grill.  A pizza cooks in 2-3 minutes on the grill.

The grill also has a firebox that can be substituted for some of the gas burners.  I've used it for barbecueing meats, chicken, etc., but haven't tried it for making a wood or coal fired brick oven pizza.  For those who dream of a wood-fired brick oven, it would probably be a pretty good alternative, especially since it is so versatile.

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  • 4 years later...

This is sort of an old thread, but in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, they gave a recipe for the perfect pizza crust. Their secret is using some cake flour in the recipe.

Here is a photo demo and the recipe;

http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/14/cookin...zza-margherita/

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup water, room temperature

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 cup (4 oz) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

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This is sort of an old thread, but in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, they gave a recipe for the perfect pizza crust.  Their secret is using some cake flour in the recipe. 

Here is a photo demo and the recipe;

http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/14/cookin...zza-margherita/

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup water, room temperature

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 cup (4 oz) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

I've used this crust recipe several times now, and like it quite a bit. Crisp outside, soft inside. I press it out with a "rim," so you eat the slice and get a peice of crust left over for dipping in sauce.

gallery_23736_355_32774.jpg

"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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This is sort of an old thread, but in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, they gave a recipe for the perfect pizza crust.  Their secret is using some cake flour in the recipe. 

Here is a photo demo and the recipe;

http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/14/cookin...zza-margherita/

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup water, room temperature

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 cup (4 oz) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

I've used this crust recipe several times now, and like it quite a bit. Crisp outside, soft inside. I press it out with a "rim," so you eat the slice and get a peice of crust left over for dipping in sauce.

gallery_23736_355_32774.jpg

Good to hear Patrick. I made it tonight actually, along with their sauce. I believe I had some bad yeast because mine resulted in a thin crust, nothing like your's. I liked the flavor, but it did not puff around the edges like that.

The sauce was not bad, but I have had better. I am one for just using cheeses and a few ingredients anyway. I just wanted to try it. I will say it was simple to make.

I will give it another try and proof my yeast next time.

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This is sort of an old thread, but in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, they gave a recipe for the perfect pizza crust.  Their secret is using some cake flour in the recipe. 

Here is a photo demo and the recipe;

http://www.slashfood.com/2006/06/14/cookin...zza-margherita/

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup water, room temperature

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 cup (4 oz) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

I've used this crust recipe several times now, and like it quite a bit. Crisp outside, soft inside. I press it out with a "rim," so you eat the slice and get a peice of crust left over for dipping in sauce.

gallery_23736_355_32774.jpg

Good to hear Patrick. I made it tonight actually, along with their sauce. I believe I had some bad yeast because mine resulted in a thin crust, nothing like your's. I liked the flavor, but it did not puff around the edges like that.

The sauce was not bad, but I have had better. I am one for just using cheeses and a few ingredients anyway. I just wanted to try it. I will say it was simple to make.

I will give it another try and proof my yeast next time.

As far as sauce goes, I actually prefer the cooked, spicier marinara-like tomato sauces to the simpler, uncooked sauce that is traditional on Margherita pizza. Did your doughs double in size? If so, your yeast was still good.

Do you bake your pizzas on a stone? I bake my pizzas on a stone that has preheated for an hour on the bottom rack, and have always had good rise in the oven.

"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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Did your doughs double in size? If so, your yeast was still good.

Do you bake your pizzas on a stone? I bake my pizzas on a stone that has preheated for an hour on the bottom rack, and have always had good rise in the oven.

No, not quite. It did expand, but I don't think it doubled which was my first indication. I went ahead and used it. Loved the texture! I usually buy the 99 cent ready made dough at Trader Joe's, wonderful flavor, especially the garlic and their's always tears on me. The CI's dough was easy to form and not one tear.

I do bake on a pizza stone and it was heated for about an hour at 500F. I see you used parchment paper. I forgot about that trick. I used cornmeal which was fine, but I usually have to clean out my oven afterwards or it burns cornmeal for about a week, not a good thing for making cakes, LOL.

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I've read through this thread with great interest, beeing a big pizza lover.

I'm pretty sure that there is a kind of "manifesto" for making real italian pizza, that says things about max diameter of the crust, banned ingredients (I actually believe that no fat what so ever is allowed in "real" italian pizza dough), ovent types, heat, baking method (no rolling pins allowed) etc etc etc.

I didn't see any reference to it in the thread and was unfortunately not able to dig up my reference on short notice. Does anyone else know what Im talking about?

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I've read through this thread with great interest, beeing a big pizza lover.

I'm pretty sure that there is a kind of "manifesto" for making real italian pizza, that says things about max diameter of the crust, banned ingredients (I actually believe that no fat what so ever is allowed in "real" italian pizza dough), ovent types, heat, baking method (no rolling pins allowed) etc etc etc.

I didn't see any reference to it in the thread and was unfortunately not able to dig up my reference on short notice.  Does anyone else know what Im talking about?

could it be this?

from the site:

Basic Requirements

1. A wood-burning oven: The pizza must be cooked by wood. Gas, coal or electric ovens, while they may produce delicious pizza, do not conform to the tradition.

2. Proper ingredients: 00 flour, San Marzano (plum) tomatoes, all natural fior-di-latte or bufala mozzarella, fresh basil, salt and yeast. Only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients are acceptable.

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I've read through this thread with great interest, beeing a big pizza lover.

I'm pretty sure that there is a kind of "manifesto" for making real italian pizza, that says things about max diameter of the crust, banned ingredients (I actually believe that no fat what so ever is allowed in "real" italian pizza dough), ovent types, heat, baking method (no rolling pins allowed) etc etc etc.

I didn't see any reference to it in the thread and was unfortunately not able to dig up my reference on short notice.  Does anyone else know what Im talking about?

Yes, there is a Denominazione di Origine Controllata for Italian pizza, which specifies the official recipes for verace pizza napoletana. According to Wikipedia:

Neapolitan pizza (pizza Napoletana). According to the rules proposed by the Associazione vera pizza napoletana and other sources quoted by the BBC,[7] and the legal EU document with the Vera Pizza Napoletana Specification in translation, the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of Italian wheat flour (type 0 and/or 00), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other mechanical device, and may be no more than 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) stone oven with an oak-wood fire. When cooked, it should be soft and fragrant. Neapolitan pizza has also gained in Italy the status of "guaranteed traditional speciality". This admits only three official variants:

Pizza marinara: with tomato, garlic, oregano and oil;

Pizza Margherita: tomato, mozzarella in fillets, basil and oil;

Pizza Margherita Extra: tomato, buffalo mozzarella from Campania in fillets, basil and oil.

"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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  • 3 weeks later...

This is another great looking pizza dough recipe by Peter Reinhart from his book entitled, "Bread Baker's Apprentice." There is a forum that covers this book and gives nothing but high praise. His pizza dough is not the instant make in two hours version, but the overnight kind, allowing the dough to rest.

Here is the dialogue about it and recipe;

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001199.html

Here is the discussion about the book;

http://www.101cookbooks.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=187

Here is his focaccia recipe;

http://grafffamily.com/focaccia.html

Edited by RodneyCk (log)
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