Friday, September 23, 2016

Pizza Dough

Every Saturday we have pizza and watch a movie. Needless to say, I have made a lot of pizza dough in my day. For years I have made fairly wet doughs (Neapolitan, focaccia, New York, etc.) which produce thin and crispy crusts with some chewiness when baked on a hot stone. More recently the kids have been asking for a thicker crust and I was happy to oblige. I wasn't happy with recipes I found since they tended towards the dense and stodgy, so I made my own recipe. This crust is thicker (and can handle a truck load of toppings) but is still crispy and chewy. The cold ferment imparts great flavour which is the most important thing of all.

Makes six 10" crusts
- 6.5 oz semolina flour
- 14 oz bread flour
- 13 oz all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 4 oz oil
- 13 fl oz cold water*
- 6 fl oz cold soy milk*
*NOTE: you can use up to 22 fl oz of total liquid. They final dough is wetter, but nothing that some stretching and folding with oiled hands can't solve. I find this makes a perfect crust for freezing--the higher moisture content allows it to be baked, frozen, thawed, and reheated without drying out. I use 30g of sugar, 20g of salt, and 15g of yeast when I up the liquid. 

1. Add all ingredients to a mixer bowl and bring together into a rough dough with a dough hook. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead with the dough hook for 5-7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and slightly tacky (but not sticky). Add more flour or water as needed.
2. Turn dough out onto an oiled baking sheet. Divided into six equal pieces and shape into balls.
3. Mist with oil, cover well with plastic wrap, and place sheet in the fridge over night.
4. On baking day, take the dough out of the fridge at least two hours before you want to start baking. Reshape the balls and leave to rise in a warm place, covered. The dough is ready to shape when it is warm and has risen.
5. Preheat your baking stone in a 450 degree oven.
6. Lightly spray six separate pieces of baking parchment with oil (you can reuse these from week to week). With your fingertips, spread the dough into a 10" circle, creating a ridge on the outside if you want. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.
7. Top with whatever suits you, and bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted (about 8-10 minutes), removing the parchment once the crust swells and begins to firm up.

NOTE: If you don't want to do the overnight ferment, use warm water and soy milk, then let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled. Shape into 6 balls and let rise, covered, on an oiled baking sheet. Shape into crusts per the instructions above in step 6.