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 Post subject: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:44 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2795
Not a picture...sorry my pizza crusts suck. That is the point of the post, anyone have a pizza dough recipe they like that they are willing to share? I know these things are "need-to-know" but damn is this getting annoying.

My dough recipes never seem to develop much gluten so they end up more like a spongy bread. The flavor is ok, but the texture is all wrong. I have tried a number of recipes with both bread flour and AP, I usually mix on the wet side then add flour toward the end and knead into a ball, proof for at least a few hours, then bake as high as I can get my oven, ~500°.

Any pointers? Obvious shortcomings in my game plan?


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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 4:42 pm
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Location: USA... mostly.
CEDAR <> Explain the final product more. "Spongy bread" is ambiguous.

    What is the crust looking like (i.e., color, thickness, density, etc.)?
    What are you baking on (stone, aluminum, cast iron, etc.)?
    What temperature does your oven actually get up to (on an in oven thermometer at the level you're baking)?
    What style pie (e.g., neopolitano thin crust, chicago deep dish, etc.)?



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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:37 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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Thanks for responding Mel,

The dough I have been getting does not take to stretching well. It tears too easily. So last night I rolled it out to ~1/4". It held that dimension when cooked. The color on the bottom and exposed sides was about the color of a brown roux, dark but not real dark. I have a basic white bread recipe I make to sop up soups, slather in butter, and dip in herb oil, the texture was similar to that though it was overcooked so it was a bit drier and crisper.

I was cooking on an overturned sheet pan.

This is a doh on my part, but I have not checked the temp while cooking pizza because it is set as high as I can get it so it doesn't matter if it is accurate. Obviously it did not occur to me that troubleshooting a problem does not depend on what myequipment can do.

Going for a thin crust.

Does that help?


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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 273
Great questions, guys!

I (as a home cook) have also for long been looking for the perfect pizza dough recipe. Perfect for me is Italian style: very thin and crusty. I have been told this simply cannot be done in a home kitchen, since you need much higher temperatures than what can be achieved with a home oven.


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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:33 pm 
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There are a thousand recipes on-line so I will refrain from that, but usually method is the issue. As I'm typing I see MARK, commented about thin crusts, and yes, a classic artisanal neopolitano pizza is baked around 900°F in around 150 seconds. That said, you can still bake them at lower temps, but the finished product won't have the same crisp or char. And with that said, most homes have BBq grills in which can heat well over the limits of their indoor oven constraints. Baking in your grill is recommended. On your grill or in your oven, baking on unglazed quarry tiles, available everywhere for under 50¢ each, will help promote oven spring & help mitigate temperature loss when you open the door. Just make a sheet of them in your pan, and use as a budget baking stone. If you have an extra-large cast iron skillet or plancha, they are better options than the thin aluminum sheet pan you are using. Fibrament is the way to go though if you wanna drop the coin.

As for the dough, just sounds too dry if it's tearing so easily and/or a lack of gluten development. Autolyse your dough by mixing just the water & flour (look for OO grind) and leave it covered for 20 minutes before adding your salt, yeast, and whatever else you use for your knead. This method accelerates gluten development w/o the oxidation in which occurs in the kneading process. Try all of the above, and try a slightly higher level of hydration in your dough, as well. This should help its stretchability, should help adjust texture, and create a better dough overall.

Report back for further adjustments...



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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 191
Location: S. Louisiana
I wish I could find unglazed quarry tiles locally. I can order them on line but the shipping is more than the product. With that said, I opted for a 12x12 piece of 1/4" A36 steel plate.Would like to have 1/2" but the weight would have been too much for my oven. If I fire of the grill, I either cook my dough directly on the grates then add topping or I use a cast iron pizza pan or for thick crust a 12" cast iron skillet.

Try a wetter dough and let your dough rest in the fridge for two days. If you do that, cut back on the yeast. There is a pizza forum that has a pizza calculation tool that is helpful.

If you can get 00 flour try that but as Mel said you will need to adjust the hydration. I use King Arthur unbleached flour, either AP or bread.



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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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Thanks Mel and all.

It may be a few days before I tackle pizza again but have a cheapo pizza stone and a cast iron griddle that would probably fit in the oven so I can definitely increase the thermal mass in there.

I am really excited to try the autolysing and up the moisture content.

Will report back...


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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:52 pm
Posts: 212
I love to make pizza at home with the kids. But we cheat and buy the pre-made ready to go dough in the refrigerated section :)
(raw pizza dough in a bag...)

Pizza stone in red hot grill is how we roll (Works fine without the stone right on the grill bars if you like it a bit crispier.. my kids are a PITA so that is out at my house)


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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:32 am 
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ED <> Char-grilled pizza doughs are great, but are definitely a different flavor; it does make it much easier though to grill your shells and come inside to bake your toppings. As for the mexican tiles, I haven't been to every Lowes & Home Depot, but pretty much every big box store has em. Local tile stores have to be able to get them easily, and local restaurant general contractors have to have access to them as they are a common kitchen flooring.

As for the 00:AP:Bread designations; it's sorta apples to oranges as the 00 is a grind while the AP & Bread are protein levels. I like the fine 00 grind for pasta & pizzas, but in CEDAR's described application, specifically BREAD flour would most likely be more appropriate for increased gluten development.

As for fermentation periods, overnight, I feel, is a nice compromise. Two days is a long time to let your dough go; not saying it's not a good way - just saying I don't see the risk:reward. To make a dough the night before a party/meal is a simple & fluid part of the process.

CEDAR <> Great to hear you have a stone. Use it. Both the oven & grill are acceptable boxes as long as your cognizant of deck temperature.

As for dough hydration, I don't know where you were so it's hard to address directly. I can say, "it should spring back to your fingerprint", but there is a large margin of spring so its a vague tip, at best. If you're using a stand mixer, when finished - as the hook rotates - the dough ball should stick to the bottom of the bowl. Albeit slightly, but it should be sticking. If the ball is rotating absolutely free of the bowl, your dough is under-hydrated... IMO. When the dough is done & sticking slightly, just give the inside of the bowl a quick spray of whatever oil you used in your dough (or choose), and the dough will separate more easily for the removal. At this point, you are either going to let the dough rest slightly before portioning for proofing or it's going to rest overnight; either way, the oil will be welcome.

Cast iron skillet is great... especially for deep-dish.

STAR <> It ain't cheating if it keeps the kids mouths shut, right.?!



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 Post subject: Re: Pizza dough
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 191
Location: S. Louisiana
Mel, the local Lowes and Home Depot do not stock individual tiles-you have to buy a case and have it shipped to the store. I have no need to buy a case so I opted for the steel plate.
I also checked with local flooring places and they to do not stock the item either. Guess it's not common around here.

As for fermentation, I find the longer I cold ferment the dough, the better flavor it has. I find a three day cold ferment produces the best tasting dough. I've went as long as 7 days but started to run into the dough over-fermenting and I didn't find the flavor was any better then with a 3 day ferment.

Grilled pizza definitely does produce a different flavor/crust but it's my preferred way as I like a thin crust where my wife likes thick so I have to make it both ways.



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