Pizza Dough perfection?

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Lamkins: I've never made sourdough, so I can't speak to that. But the NY style pizza dough (and similar formulations) ferments in the fridge rather than at room temperature. The cold makes the fermentation happen more slowly. I don't know all of the science well enough to explain it in detail, but it definitely does different things in a long/slow/cold ferment than at room temp.

So what I've always done for NY style pizza dough is mix and knead all of my ingredients together (10-15 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook, takes longer by hand), let rest just to loosen up a bit, then divide it immediately into portions, ball them up, oil them, and slide each ball of dough into its own container or a plastic baggie and pop in the fridge. After they've sat in the fridge for 3 days or so, I just pull one out and let it warm up a bit and it's pretty much ready to use.

They can also be frozen in the ball stage and thawed later, but I haven't figured out exactly how to get optimal results. Some of the yeast dies in freezing, so you won't get quite the same amount of rise from fresh and frozen from the same batch.

Well, I made some dough and let it sit in the fridge for 3 days. The texture is outstanding!! I’ll be making dough like this from now on.
 
My main issue with the pizza dough recipes that I have tried (probably around 5 so far) is that the crust will rise too much, which is fine for a cast iron deep dish, but I find myself with the same problem when I'm trying to achieve a thinner crust. I think what I have been doing wrong is letting it rest at room temperature for an hour or so and then rolling it out to cook OR, I've been adding too much yeast (typically 1.5-2 teaspoons per 4 cups of flour)

I do think I should incorporate the refrigeration, so my questions on that is does it need to be in the fridge overnight? or will a few hours suffice? Do I still let it rise a bit at room temperature before putting it in the fridge? What is the best way to create a thin crust.

Also, the flavor...I know they use a bunch of powdered flavor additives for pizza chain dough, typically these recipes say a spoon of salt and a spoon of sugar. I can't taste either in the end dough, any suggestions for flavor?

I've searched the forum for Roosh's tweaked to perfection recipe, but I can't find it..maybe it'll show up on this thread? :)
There are likely a few reasons for this. One of them is that the dough probably needs a cold ferment for at least 2 -3 days in the fridge (brush the dough lightly with olive oil and cover in a bowl).

You can put the dough immediately in the fridge after you have kneaded it (no rest needed). Just make sure on the day when you take the dough out that it gets to rise to room temperature, because cold dough is harder to stretch, especially thin. And you will have to roll out the pizza crust extra thin by a mixture of the rolling pin and your hands in stretching the dough.

Have you tried using Italian Flour? Italian Flour is usually best to use, but make sure to go with a really good brand, like the Artisan ones. They cost more but are extremely well noticeable. Another secret too that most Pizzerias will not tell you is that wonderful flaky / bubbly crust that has the really rich taste and texture that we only experience in restaurants is by using a special but rarely found type of flour called "Manitoba".

I'd recommend this Brand (all of their flour is excellent), but typically use the Manitoba for Pizza. Type 00 Flour is my second choice:


When you start using these flours, you will also be amazed at how much easier and well they spread when you are forming the dough.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
Hey, great point about the type of flour! I was kind of assuming most recipes dictate what sort of flour to use... but then, I forget how hard I look for the really specific/technical recipes. Flour type is important for everything but ESPECIALLY pizza crust. :)

I've never used Manitoba flour (not keen on expensive imported/specialty ingredients, though I'm sure it's lovely), but DEFINITELY recommend a good 00 flour. Point of fact, though: 00 is just a designation of particle fineness, so different 00 flours may perform differently from one another if made from different types of wheat! If you switch brands, you may get a different result. This is especially true if you jump into buying from small "artisan" mills. Not that those are not good flours, just important to be aware, sometimes part of their "thing" is that they use different/special varieties. Pretty sure most (all?) flours list the variety of wheat somewhere on the packaging, though.

When I was baking commercially, I used a 50/50 blend of Giusto's Organic 00, and their Organic "Ultimate Performer" (high gluten flour). I found that, at least with this brand, using their straight 00 actually made the dough too silky and delicate. The 50/50 blend was spot-on, though. It was so glorious. Once it was up to temperature, I could just pick it up and stretch it gently and lay it over the screen. Took 5 seconds, tops. As long as it was balled correctly and the crust pinched out before stretching, it would kind of just melt into shape.

Confession, though: I haven't actually made pizza since I stopped having a commercial kitchen to make it in.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
This is the closest to a pizza thread, so...

This best pizza I have had is one with a cauliflower base and halloumi as the cheese. If I remember correctly you put the cauliflower into a food processor to make "cauliflower rice", and then add cheese to it. The cauliflower is best if it's just starting to stodge a bit - go a bit brown.

A view of a couple:

e5e8c9ce4fdb5a75_cauliflower-crust.jpg


Cauliflower-pizza-base.jpg


roasted-cauliflower-pizza-ghk-1545342580.jpg


Recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfoodme.com/recipes/cauliflower-crust-pizza/

Video:

 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
It's extremely noob of me to admit this, but I typically defer to buying dough, and just experimenting with toppings / sauces / cheeses (Publix grocery offers a very affordable fresh dough in the bakery department for around $2). A big part of this is simply because I have enough problems managing the dough (flattening it properly, tossing it, etc.) so I don't feel like I'm advanced enough with dough handling to benefit from making my own.

Fresh mozzarella and portabella mushrooms are my favorite toppings, and Cento Italian tomatoes make a really good sauce. I love adding capers to the sauce, but I love capers on about anything.

I took a cooking class in Italy where we made our own pasta from scratch using only 4 ingredients. The key to good Italian food, as the chef taught us is simply this: Fresh ingredients. They used a fresh egg, sage, special pasta flour, and fresh butter. Likewise with pizza, the fresher your ingredients, the better the pizza will be. I'm sure this also applies to dough, but can any of you confirm that homemade dough makes a large difference in the quality of your pizza? I'm ready to give it a try.

Da Michele in Naples is supposedly the oldest pizza restaurant in the world (this is debatable). They use peeled Solea tomatoes, which I have never purchased domestically. Their other secret is extremely hot ovens (filled with lava rocks from Vesuvius). What I love is their menu offers only 2 choices for food and 2 for drink: Margherita or Marinara, and beer or water.
Sadly, it seems since I have visited they have added Coca Cola and Fanta to the menu.

antica-pizzeria-da-michele.jpg


This article discusses their ingredients:
https://web.archive.org/web/2008112...vel/europe/1076251,TRA-News-detours27.article

Another thing I like is the pizza is never a perfect circle. In America, you would always be served a pizza that is circular. The food quality in Italy is the best I have had anywhere in the world (I have not visited France). This was the best pizza dough I have ever eaten.

Da-Michele-Pizza-Rome-5.jpg



EDIT: I think I know why you can buy coca cola there now. Apparently the restaurant was mentioned in the Eat, Pray Love book.
 
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With all that's happening in the world at the moment, how the shit can you care about pizza dough??))
That is exactly the point of the exercise. To return to the basics and to celebrate life in all ist riches and splendor. It is Satan who wants us all to cower in fear and desperation. The worst thing you can do to the Satanist is to ignore their propaganda and instead follow the path of the Lord. I rather spend time perfecting my pizza baking skills than to waste time on the endless fear p0rn that is peddled by the Western media.
 

Hannibal

Ostrich
Gold Member
Whether I use a lean dough or not, I find the best results by heating up a steel plate in the oven to 500 F and setting the pizza on the parchment paper on the spatula then slide it in the oven.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
The key to good Italian food, as the chef taught us is simply this: Fresh ingredients.
A lot of chefs say this, and it is repeated as a mantra by many people - but to me, "fresh" is mostly a buzz-word in the kitchen. A profit-driving verbal garnish, if you will.

The pursuit of "fresh" leads a lot of people to ingredients that are sub-par in quality but appealing because of a "timestamp" - or how they look. Being shiny and smooth and swollen with excess hydration is often mistaken for "fresh, good quality."

What you REALLY want is GOOD ingredients that have been stored correctly. "Freshness" is primarily important when eating foods raw - but even then, sometimes "gracefully aged" is better.

For pizza toppings, specifically, I will always reach for older, partly-shriveled-and-dehydrated vegetables and mushrooms and so forth. The reduced moisture content and the way the cell structure is beginning to break down slightly is actually beneficial to the final product. Using really fresh raw vegetables on pizza often means that by the time your crust is done, your veggies are still crunchy and leaking juices into the cheese and sauce, and that makes it soupy and sloppy instead of cohesive.

People who have never lived like peasants - scrabbling in the bins and cupboards in the kitchen for the bits and pieces to transform the latest iteration of grains-mixed-with-water into something tasty - are left tragically blind to the fact that most foods actually get a little BETTER before they begin to decay outright.

For things like eggs... I'll take an egg that has a vibrant yellow yolk and has been sitting on the counter for two weeks, over an egg that was popped out yesterday but has a pale, sickly looking yolk.

can any of you confirm that homemade dough makes a large difference in the quality of your pizza? I'm ready to give it a try.
It totally depends on the dough you're buying. Usually the stuff that comes balled and tied up in clear plastic bags is pretty good. I've bought it that way in the past from Trader Joe's and Winco Foods (Winco's was better btw). The difference in overall taste and texture when I make my own dough is not astronomical.

The difference in price is, though! I can make like eight crusts for the price of one ball of dough from the store.

But the main reason I make my own dough, and the reason I make almost ALL of the wheat products I consume, is to avoid the additives. Store-bought dough includes conditioners and such - to ensure consistency of the final product while allowing for more variation/margin of error in process. It is also always made with enriched/fortified flour.

I honestly just don't consider these things to be food, and I don't want them in my food. I've never cared about the "organic" label, but I ONLY buy organic flour because it's the only kind I can get my hands on that is made of ground wheat and NOTHING ELSE.
 

IconWriter

Sparrow
Woman
Orthodox
I "cheat" and use the dough setting on my breadmaker. Toss in the ingredients and it's ready in no time. It came with a recipe booklet and makes great pizza dough.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
I don't like bread machines because they bake the loaf with that little paddle in it. And it is the wrong shape. But I "cheat" and use a stand mixer! :)

Although when you do a longer ferment it's not so hard to do large batches by hand with minimal kneading, with sufficient hydration. A lot of it is taken care of by the fermentation and you really only have to turn it a few times.
 

budoslavic

Eagle
Orthodox
Gold Member
It's extremely noob of me to admit this, but I typically defer to buying dough...
Guilty as charged.

At my local supermarket, I tend to buy (frozen) pizza dough that's already made by a local Italian restaurant. There are other pizza dough under various brand names (i.e., supermarket's pizza dough).

As for ingredients, pizza sauce is an important ingredient. I prefer Don Pepino's Pizza Sauce that comes in a can. Other pizza sauce such as Ragu, Prego, etc. tasted so-so.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
My favorite way to do sauce is to buy a big can of tomatoes and throw it in the blender or food processor with salt to taste and a ton of dried spices. There is a quart jar of homemade pizza spice in the cupboard at my house... but I'd have to look up what exactly went into it. In a pinch, I use: basil, oregano, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes. Sometimes needs a little tomato paste if the tomatoes are very liquidy. No need to cook it before using. I never add sugar. I detest sugar in pizza sauce - hence I don't tolerate store bought sauce very well.
 

Stadtaffe

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Gold Member
I never aspired to make pizza dough and don't eat pizza that often but have had a fair amount of success in recent times making pie dough from scratch (rolling pin), mainly for meat pies but also for the odd apple pie. Would imagine though the trick with pizzas probably has more to do with the oven than the dough.
 
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