Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pizza Dough Recipe with Contempt Laden Rant

Earlier I wrote that I'd had enough questions about how I made pizza dough to warrant a post about my recipe. I was planning to post this yesterday, but Blogger was down when I was free to write. So here is the recipe with (apologies to anyone who knows how to use a camera) an illustrative slide show.

About the recipe

The ingredients are listed in the order that they are to be combined. The salt and yeast must be added to the dry flour to assure even distribution. The oil must be added before the water otherwise it will be repelled by the wet dough and the nascent gluten structure and will not be able to do its job of shortening the gluten network and tenderizing the dough.

Cool water -between 60-68 degrees F- is used because gluten forms better at lower temperatures AND I'm almost never in a hurry to proof this dough. I prefer relatively long periods of fermentation at low temperature for most bread doughs to give the yeast more time to produce flavorful compounds and to give the bacteria (which in fresh dough is a minority component of the microfloral community) time to catch up with the yeast.

Although the recipe is written for hi-gluten flour (>13% protein) you could AP flour or Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 flour if you prefer a crust that is less chewy. Sometimes when I'm in the mood for crust that is crispy and does not work my jaw like too much, I will swap out some of the hi-gluten flour for some AP (10 % protein) or other low protein flour.

Never, never, never use any whole wheat or any type of whole grain flour for pizza dough.

Whole grain pizza is a perversion of good taste, an insult to the concept of pizza and a knife-in-the-back to the generations of chefs who have labored to make pizza the way that god and nature intended it to be. If you don't care about this and still want to make whole grain pizza dough, fine. Just don't serve it to anyone.

There is a special place in hell for people who feed other people whole wheat pizza, and if you don't want to find out what that place is like, don't make it. If you think I'm kidding, go read the Hell (Inferno) section of Dante's Divine Comedy. You won't find any description of the region of hell reserved for the makers of whole wheat pizza because Dante understood that it was so awful that no one would buy his book: not even Beatrice! :0

All ingredients are weighed: I have no patience for measuring cups and spoons.
  • Hi-Gluten Flour 20.5 ounces/575 grams
  • Salt 0.30 oz /9 grams (Approx 1.5 tsp table salt)
  • Instant Yeast 0. 10 oz/ 4 grams
  • Olive oil 40 grams (approx 3 Tbsp)
  • Cool water 380 grams/380 ml/14 ounces/14fluid ounces
  1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast in the mixing bowl
  2. Add the oil and stir that in with a spatula until it just begins to disappear.
  3. Add the water and stir it in with the spatula and let it sit (autolyse) for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Knead with the bread hook for 10 minutes (I set the mixer to 4) or by hand until the dough is smooth and shiny. Kneading by hand will require the addition of flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and work surface -don't overdo it.
  5. Proof the dough at room temperature for three or four hours (2 rises and "punch downs").
You could use it for pizza now, but it won't taste as good as it will if you put it in the refrigerator and ferment it overnight or longer. I usually dump it in a plastic bag and leave it in the bottom (coldest part) of my refrigerator until I'm ready to use it. At other times I apportion it into three masses and place them on a parchment-covered sheet pan which in turn I cover in oiled plastic to prevent the dough from sticking. But mostly I find the latter method too fussy.

I usually pre-bake the dough until it is "set" but not browned because it makes it a bit easier to keep the crust from getting soggy. I dock it with a fork to prevent it from billowing up, and cook it for, I don't know, ten minutes on stone in an oven preheated to 500 degrees.

If you need a recipe for simple tomato sauce you will find one here.


rk said...

Thanks for the recipe. What about the sauce?

blondee47 said...

So this will be in the frozen pizza section when???

as for the tomato sauce i shall be making it soon...my italian grandma (not really my italian grandma-more a friend's italian grandma) told me to put in a whole carrot and cook till it is soft, this will stop hubby's heartburn...it works too

Kanani said...

Oh, that's perfect. I'll print this up and keep it.

Kanani said...

P.S. I put whole wheat pizza dough together with women who wear Birkenstocks with skirts that go down to their ankles. They should have stopped that habit long ago.

Bob del Grosso said...

To your point: In my house we call whole wheat pizza "hippie pizza."

cookworm said...

Great looking pizza there. Just wondering, how long can I let it sit in the fridge after that first proof?

Bob del Grosso said...


I know it's good for ten days because I've left it that long and it still works fine. It looked slightly oxidized (gray) but that did not show in the baked product.

Don Luis said...

I'm currently watching "America Eats", a show about how Americans fuck up everything.

From Pizza Hut to Chicago deep-dish
to Domino's (and many other vaguely pizza-like substance vendors), this
stuff is about as far away from pizza as you can get.

I think these represent the eighth circle of hell (conscious fraud or treachery).

Scotty said...

I hope you won't condemn my addition of a small percentage of semolina flour to my pizza dough. Actually, condemn away - we like the resulting crust! ;-)