My slightly ambitious pizza dough recipe.

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ej0rge

Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
63
46
Utah
I've been making pizza dough since my folks bought a kit including a really hefty ceramic stone and a really pitiful peel in about 1989. I started with the recipe that came with the kit.

I talked a lot of smack about making better pizza than I can buy for a good long time and then for no good reason a 3rd generation Sicilian pizzeria owner set up shop in my town and shamed me. I snooped around a bit and maybe picked up some tricks.

But it is Utah after all. The pizzeria in question was Nicolitalia and it doesn't exist anymore. There's a place called Nick's that is like 8 business purchases removed from the original and i have given up on them.

So anyway. Here we go. For best results, make it the day before.

I like to use bread flour, King Arthur, or local brands. But honestly, this is a thing where you don't need to chase the last 5% of performance when you are just getting started. Use whatever white wheat-based flour you want. If you need gluten-free, I can't help you. Got no idea.

I'm not sure whole wheat pizza crust is a good idea. Frankly, I was raised on whole wheat bread made from fresh ground flour, and I have yet to try a commercial whole wheat flour (or bread) that didn't taste rancid to me.

Apologies for the volumetric measurements.

2.5 c white wheat flour (+ potentially more depending)
1/4 c (4T) semolina flour
1 Tbs dark rye flour
1-1/4c room temperature water

1 Tbs instant dry yeast (SAF, etc)
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Olive oil (or whatever oil)
1 tsp salt (maybe 1.25)

I hope you have a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Sift the flours into the mixing bowl and combine with 2.5 cups of water. It's perfectly ok if this looks like a really sticky mixture.

After mixing for a couple of minutes until the water and flours are fully combined, turn off the mixer and walk away for 20-30 minutes. A modern baker refers to this as the autolyze step. The flour is absorbing water and enzymes in the flour are breaking down starches, etc.

It's completely fine if this seems like an excessively sticky mixture, or alternately if it seems a little dry. We'll fix it in post.

While the flour is autolyzing, put 1/4c of water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it to hydrate.

By the by, if you store your instant dry yeast in the freezer, it basically lasts forever. I'm still using yeast with a best-by date that passed during the Bush administration. I didn't even get it into the freezer until after it expired (while still in the vacuum-sealed bag).

After a the autolyze period has elapsed, spin up the mixer again and add the yeast solution, honey, oil, and salt.

You *want it to be a little sticky to the touch of a dry finger. We need a slightly wet hydration ratio. Add a touch more water if it seems dry. Be brave.

Let the machine knead it for 10-14 minutes. Yup.

Throw a damp towel over the bowl and let it rise for half an hour.

Take the towel off (just in case) and turn the machine on briefly to punch it down.

Oil up your hands and your work surface and take the dough out of the bowl and off of the hook.

Cut it into four balls (for roughly four 8-12 inch pizzas depending on your method and skill).

Knead each ball into a nice little, uh, ball. You know what I mean.

Make sure they are nicely oiled up and put each one into a ziplock sandwich bag and put them in your refrigerator overnight.

You read that right. Texture and flavor are improved by slow fermentation. Cold fermentation is better, with (most) beer and with bread.

Take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to stretch it and let it thaw on the counter.

If you leave it in the fridge more than 2 days it will go a little sour and that is tasty with funkier cheeses. If you're not into that, you can transfer them to the freezer.
 
It might be reasonable to increase the salt to 1.5 teaspoon or slightly higher.

It might be good to reduce the rye to half a tablespoon. It's potent stuff.
 
Just doing some rough math to convert this to grams and i think i must be measuring some pretty heavy cups of bread flour because if the standard is 125g per cup it comes out to like 87% hydration and I'm good but I'm not that good . . . .
 
I've been making pizza dough since my folks bought a kit including a really hefty ceramic stone and a really pitiful peel in about 1989. I started with the recipe that came with the kit.

I talked a lot of smack about making better pizza than I can buy for a good long time and then for no good reason a 3rd generation Sicilian pizzeria owner set up shop in my town and shamed me. I snooped around a bit and maybe picked up some tricks.

But it is Utah after all. The pizzeria in question was Nicolitalia and it doesn't exist anymore. There's a place called Nick's that is like 8 business purchases removed from the original and i have given up on them.

So anyway. Here we go. For best results, make it the day before.

I like to use bread flour, King Arthur, or local brands. But honestly, this is a thing where you don't need to chase the last 5% of performance when you are just getting started. Use whatever white wheat-based flour you want. If you need gluten-free, I can't help you. Got no idea.

I'm not sure whole wheat pizza crust is a good idea. Frankly, I was raised on whole wheat bread made from fresh ground flour, and I have yet to try a commercial whole wheat flour (or bread) that didn't taste rancid to me.

Apologies for the volumetric measurements.

2.5 c white wheat flour (+ potentially more depending)
1/4 c (4T) semolina flour
1 Tbs dark rye flour
1-1/4c room temperature water

1 Tbs instant dry yeast (SAF, etc)
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Olive oil (or whatever oil)
1 tsp salt (maybe 1.25)

I hope you have a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Sift the flours into the mixing bowl and combine with 2.5 cups of water. It's perfectly ok if this looks like a really sticky mixture.

After mixing for a couple of minutes until the water and flours are fully combined, turn off the mixer and walk away for 20-30 minutes. A modern baker refers to this as the autolyze step. The flour is absorbing water and enzymes in the flour are breaking down starches, etc.

It's completely fine if this seems like an excessively sticky mixture, or alternately if it seems a little dry. We'll fix it in post.

While the flour is autolyzing, put 1/4c of water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it to hydrate.

By the by, if you store your instant dry yeast in the freezer, it basically lasts forever. I'm still using yeast with a best-by date that passed during the Bush administration. I didn't even get it into the freezer until after it expired (while still in the vacuum-sealed bag).

After a the autolyze period has elapsed, spin up the mixer again and add the yeast solution, honey, oil, and salt.

You *want it to be a little sticky to the touch of a dry finger. We need a slightly wet hydration ratio. Add a touch more water if it seems dry. Be brave.

Let the machine knead it for 10-14 minutes. Yup.

Throw a damp towel over the bowl and let it rise for half an hour.

Take the towel off (just in case) and turn the machine on briefly to punch it down.

Oil up your hands and your work surface and take the dough out of the bowl and off of the hook.

Cut it into four balls (for roughly four 8-12 inch pizzas depending on your method and skill).

Knead each ball into a nice little, uh, ball. You know what I mean.

Make sure they are nicely oiled up and put each one into a ziplock sandwich bag and put them in your refrigerator overnight.

You read that right. Texture and flavor are improved by slow fermentation. Cold fermentation is better, with (most) beer and with bread.

Take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to stretch it and let it thaw on the counter.

If you leave it in the fridge more than 2 days it will go a little sour and that is tasty with funkier cheeses. If you're not into that, you can transfer them to the freezer.
I'm going to try this!

Apologize for volumetric measurements? Why?

Fancy digital scales haven't been around for that long.....

My mom and grandparents didn't use weight scales during cooking/baking...

Stick with what you know and like!
 
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