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Jan 12, 2009 05:48 AM

Getting the "chew" in pizza dough???

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?????

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

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: Kelli2006

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

                  1. re: chowser

                    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: chowser

                        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

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

        2. 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

            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

              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

              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

                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

                  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

                    King Arthur bread flour works just fine.

              2. 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. 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.