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Getting the "chew" in pizza dough???

sjpjefe Jan 12, 2009 05:48 AM

I've got my pizza dough pretty much down, except it's still missing that great "chew" factor... Any ideas on how to achieve this last important element?????

  1. grampart Jan 12, 2009 06:15 AM

    Have you tried a low-yeast, refrigerated, 3 day rise?

    1. ipsedixit Jan 12, 2009 07:55 AM

      You need to let the dough rest, or ferment.

      I usually let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 3 days before using.

      Also, its important to stretch the dough; rolling is no good.

      10 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        sjpjefe Jan 12, 2009 12:06 PM

        I let mine rest in fridge 24 hours, but haven't tried the 3-day length yet....
        I used 2 teaspoon yeast for approx. 2c. flour...
        should i reduce yeast amount with the longer resting time?

        1. re: sjpjefe
          Kelli2006 Jan 13, 2009 09:38 AM

          Id keep the amount of yeast the same, but it doesn't make that much of a difference when you have a ferment that is more then 24 hours. Depending on the kind of yeast used they will replicate a generation completely in 4-6 hours.

          I've been experimenting with using the Bittman "no knead" bread recipe/method to make pizza dough. Ive added 2 TBL of olive oil and increased the flour by 1/3-1/2 Cup, and the results are quite promising.

          1. re: Kelli2006
            ipsedixit Jan 13, 2009 12:45 PM

            sjpjefe, listen to Kelli2006.

            (Kelli2006 - when you say the no knead dough has been quite promising for pizza, what do you mean?)

            1. re: ipsedixit
              Kelli2006 Jan 13, 2009 05:09 PM

              The no-knead bread technique and the dough it produces is proving quite promising for making a pizza dough. I have added a bit of bread flour and the olive oil for a of flavor and chew. I was hesitant to add more flour, but it unworkable w/o it.

              1. re: Kelli2006
                MMRuth Jan 13, 2009 05:12 PM

                I've used that dough as well, and it is definitely better as pizza dough during the second week.

                1. re: Kelli2006
                  chowser Jan 14, 2009 03:44 AM

                  How much more flour do you use? Does it make a thin crust?

                  1. re: chowser
                    Kelli2006 Jan 14, 2009 08:56 PM

                    I usually add 1/3 of a cup of bread flour and use a bit more bench flour instead of adding 1/2 cup. It will take the 1/2 cup to make a thin crust because the dough has to be handled more then a thick crust. I also like to add 1-2 tsp of both garlic and onion powder to the fermenting dough, but that is a personal choice.

                    One recipe of Bittman bread will make 2-3 pizzas.

                    1. re: Kelli2006
                      chowser Jan 15, 2009 03:42 AM

                      What is bench flour?

                      1. re: chowser
                        Stuffed Monkey Jan 15, 2009 08:32 AM

                        The four you add in by dusting the surface you are kneading on. Depending on the dough it can be very little or alot.

                        1. re: Stuffed Monkey
                          chowser Jan 15, 2009 10:01 AM

                          Thanks, I didn't know there was a word for it.

        2. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jan 12, 2009 08:00 AM

          The chew factor comes from developing the gluten. There's two ways to do it: Either a long rest as people have already mentioned, or kneading it more. Letting the dough rest for a long time in the fridge is the better of the two options because it also gives you a more flavorful crust. If you aren't keen on waiting three days, knead it for 15 minutes in a stand mixer.

          6 Replies
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
            ipsedixit Jan 12, 2009 08:28 AM

            Totally concur. The issue with kneading it more is you have to know when to stop. Overdo it and you end up with ... a flat bagel.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              cvhound Jan 12, 2009 11:50 AM

              We buy plain pizza dough from TJ's and I discovered that you can get a really great chewy crust by placing the refrigerated pizza dough in a roomy (olive) oiled stainless bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the oven or microwave prior to using.

              I typically leave it out in the morning before leaving for work and use the dough later that evening. I haven't let the dough sit out overnight, but plan to do so the next time we make pizza at home. My guess is that it will develop a taste profile similar to a sour dough crust if I let it sit out overnight.

              Good luck with your dough!

            2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
              chowser Jan 12, 2009 01:52 PM

              In addition to the rise, which gives you a better flavor, you could use a higher protein flour, like bread flour or add a little vital wheat gluten to it.

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                scubadoo97 Feb 28, 2009 12:28 PM

                In an Alton Brown episode on pizza he recommends using bread machine flour, which is the highest in protein for more gluten development.

                1. re: scubadoo97
                  alwayscooking Feb 28, 2009 01:58 PM

                  I agree with chowser, adding vital wheat gluten will up the protein and make it chewier. The amount added depends on the initial flour.

                  1. re: alwayscooking
                    grampart Feb 28, 2009 02:21 PM

                    King Arthur bread flour works just fine.

              2. gourmandadventurer Jan 12, 2009 12:09 PM

                The Chez Panisse crust recipe has just a little rye flour which ads a great chewiness.

                Would cooking at a slightly lower temp do it, the way it does with cookies?

                1. kirinraj Jan 12, 2009 02:58 PM

                  Use bread flour. Knead dough for a long time and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out 2 hrs before you need it.

                  1. t
                    TampaAurora Jan 12, 2009 08:59 PM

                    Has anyone had success with pizza dough in a bread machine? I would never be able to do a 3 day dough with the best laid plans, and I sadly do not have a standing mixer.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: TampaAurora
                      grampart Jan 13, 2009 03:59 AM

                      Every pizza I make has begun with the dough done in a bread machine. Imho, it's the only way to go.

                      1. re: TampaAurora
                        chowser Jan 13, 2009 04:15 AM

                        You can mix the dough in the bread maker but still use a long rise. RLB in the Bread Bible has good information about using the bread maker, just for mixing the dough but not rising in it. So, you still need to plan ahead, but her pizza dough recipe can rest for 6-24 hours so you don't need 3 days.

                        1. re: chowser
                          MikeG Jan 13, 2009 04:41 AM

                          Definitely use less yeast, way less. Look at the New York pizza recipes at pizzamaking.com ...

                          [This was meant to be a post to sjpjefe's second post, above!]

                      2. Soop Jan 13, 2009 02:24 AM

                        Can I have your recipe for pizza dough? I want to get the italian-style dough. I nearly have it with this mix stuff, but the first one I ever made was like those bready ones. Very disappointing, as I'd spent a fortune making the perfect marinara sauce.

                        1. grampart Jan 13, 2009 05:06 AM

                          Here's the recipe I use in my bread machine for (2) 14" pizzas. I split into 2 balls as soon as it comes out of the machine and place them, lightly oiled and covered with Saran wrap, into covered pans. They go in the fridge for 3-5 days and are taken out to sit at room temp for 2-3 hours before using. The dough can be used after 24 hours.
                          NOTE: Flour and water amounts are given in weight units. For consistent results, I find that weighing the flour is essential. Salt is Morton's Kosher and yeast is of the type used in bread machines.

                          Flour : 523.28 g | 18.46 oz | 1.15 lbs
                          Water: 329.67 g | 11.63 oz | 0.73 lbs
                          IDY : 1.57 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.52 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
                          Salt : 7.85 g | 0.28 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.64 tsp | 0.55 tbsp
                          Oil : 5.23 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.16 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
                          Sugar : 5.23 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.31 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
                          Total : 872.83 g | 30.79 oz | 1.92 lbs | TF = 0.1
                          Single Ball 436.41 g | 15.39 oz | 0.96 lbs

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: grampart
                            Soop Jan 13, 2009 05:43 AM

                            Ok, I don't have a bread machine - how long do you suggest I kneed it for?
                            I have yeast, I have some very strong flour (stronger than bread flour - more gluten I think), olive oil, sea salt (will that do, ground?)
                            I may filter the water, or even used bottled water as I heard that makes a difference...

                            And last question, what is 'kosher' salt?

                            1. re: Soop
                              Kelli2006 Jan 13, 2009 09:46 AM

                              Kosher salt is a pure salt with no additives that has a large flake texture. I don't tend yo use kosher salt for baking because of the large size, but bread kneads and ferments for so long that it doesn't make a difference.

                              Filtered water definably makes a difference when baking with yeast doughs because the chlorine in the water is extremely detrimental to yeast growth. Some people think that the water in NYC is the secret to great bagels and pizza crust.

                            2. re: grampart
                              chowser Jan 13, 2009 08:50 AM

                              What kind of flour? Do you use the entire dough cycle? RLB recommended taking it out after the initial mixings. Thanks!

                              1. re: chowser
                                grampart Jan 13, 2009 08:59 AM

                                I use King Arthur bread flour, sometimes 2/3 KA bread flour and 1/3 KA all-purpose. and I leave it in my Zojirushi for the full 1:50 cycle. I have never hand-kneaded a dough so have no info on that. I do know that high gluten flours can be VERY difficult to hand knead.

                                1. re: grampart
                                  chowser Jan 13, 2009 09:10 AM

                                  Thanks--I'll give it a try, maybe make it today for tomorrow. I like hand kneading dough but have tendonitis in the elbow right now.

                              2. re: grampart
                                chowser Jan 16, 2009 04:49 AM

                                This was excellent. I did an overnight rise and used about the same proportions as you with bread flour and ap. I'm assuming you adjusted this recipe from a much larger proportion? My scale doesn't go to that level of accurancy, only to the grams or fraction as oz go. I do need to get a docker, though.

                                1. re: grampart
                                  LisaN Feb 28, 2009 09:07 AM

                                  I may be dense - what is IDY?

                                  1. re: LisaN
                                    Kelli2006 Feb 28, 2009 09:28 AM

                                    That is shorthand for instant dry yeast

                                  2. re: grampart
                                    LisaN Mar 3, 2009 05:47 PM

                                    This was terrific! I have a few questions. I let it rest 3 days, will it be any different after 5 days? Can you go longer than 5 days? I mixed the dough sunday morning, cooked one tonight, am wondering if I can cook one on Saturday night, we have company coming over.

                                  3. c
                                    cstr Jan 13, 2009 02:36 PM

                                    Are you using bread flour? I let it rise once on the counter then over night in the chill chest, it hydrates the flour. Lastly, get the oven screaming hot, I find residential ovens to lack the ability to get to 550+.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cstr
                                      Soop Jan 14, 2009 12:51 AM

                                      Did you ever see Heston Blumenthal's perfect pizza? In an attempt to make the oven hot enough, he pre-heated the oven to further warm up the grill (on top), then heated a cast iron le creuset pan, and placed the pizza on the upturned pan, under the grill.

                                    2. lupaglupa Jan 14, 2009 04:58 AM

                                      I use a mix of bread flour and semolina, which produces a great crust with a nice chewy texture.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lupaglupa
                                        WCchopper Feb 28, 2009 10:23 PM

                                        I use AP and semolina and notice a marked difference with the semolina.

                                      2. t
                                        tdl1501 Jan 16, 2009 12:15 AM

                                        Food processor. 2 c unbleached white flour, 1 c whole wheat flour. 1 tsp salt. Process. Add 1 c warm water with 1T yeast (one packet) and a little flour and a pinch of sugar for the yeast to grow, plus 1T olive oil.

                                        Pour in liquid ingredients to mix, adding water depending upon the weather. So not over-process. Pulse a few times after several minutes and place in covered bowl in draft-free place.

                                        This makes a resilient dough that fills two smaller cookie sheets for a thin and chewy crust. I take it out of the bowl, split it, punch it out and let both balls rise about 20 minutes before rolling. Sorry folks, I don't have the time or space for a three-day frig rise. dee@cookingwithdee.net

                                        1. d
                                          dmd_kc Feb 28, 2009 10:37 PM

                                          I truly think the only way to know the gluten is developed properly is to knead it by hand. When you've made it enough, you'll just get to the point where you know it's right. A huge part of good pizza is having the oven or grill hot enough. When I do it for me, it's always on the grill, set as high as it goes. When it's for people who prefer the American style with a softer chew, it's in the oven at 450 F. But that's not about the chew at that point.

                                          High, high gluten flour. For 2 cups of bread flour, I add a tablespoon of gluten. Water to feel, not by volume. Try it out six or seven times, and it'll just feel good -- and your friends will think you're a genius!

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