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Apr 5, 2009 10:50 PM

Homemade pizza dough question

First time trying to make pizza dough at home and was wondering if I can get some suggestions to reduce and / or eliminate the slight 'yeasty' taste in the finished product. I'm guessing that I can probably just add more flour to make more dough but would like to hear from someone with more experience than I have.

Some other info - Recipe was based on the thin crust in 'pizza and other savory pies' ( . Yeast was Red Star Quick Rise - one 7g / .25 oz packet, flour was Pillsbury bleached AP, three and a third cups and another quarter cup, (was supposed to be whole wheat, but I forgot I had it in the cabinet). Also, it was the first time firing up the cool Cusinart kitchen toy.

I did deviate from the recipe when it came to the yeast. Instead of putting the yeast into the flour, I proofed it in the water (110 degrees) with a tablespoon of sugar. After proofing for 10 minutes, I slowly added it to the dry stuff with the motor running. After mixing the dough I put it in an oiled bowl covered with cling wrap for 90 minutes or so before I punched it down and cut it into two pieces. They sat quietly under a kitchen towel for another 10 minutes before we grabbed one and stretched it into a pie-like shape. It sat for another 10 minutes and then we put it on parchment paper, brushed some olive oil on top, and proceeded to add sauce, cheese and toppings. We cooked it on the parchment paper on a pizza stone at 450.

I think next time I'll let it cook for a few minutes then pull the parchment paper out to see if it gets a little crispier. My goal is to eventually be able to make a regular crust and a sweet one similar to Bertucci's.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Get a pizza peel and ditch the parchment. Use semolina to keep the dough from sticking to the peel when assembling it, so it slides directly onto the stone. And I'd push the temperature up a bit. 450 is a minimum for pizza.

    1. nothing beats hand mixing/kneading and tossing. gets messy. reduce the yeast if it's thin you want and consider punching twice (climate, humidity, altitude can all add many factors into the final dough) you weren't wrong to 'feed' the yeast, but the sugar will encourage it's development. salt will inhibit.

      thin pizza is one step up from an unleavened flatbread. my mom does a good yeast one but she also rolls it within an (eighth) inch of its life.

      parchment, I wouldn't bother, keeps in moisture that the EVOO (on both sides) addresses. better to use a little cornmeal on the sheet/stone for release.

      1. Your best bet to reduce the yeasty flavor is to cut the yeast back and give it a long, slow bulk fermentation or to retard it overnight in the fridge. The enzymes in the flour will have time to unlock more flavor. You don't need to proof the yeast. And sucrose really doesn't help yeast that much as it is hygroscopic and actually retards yeast growth, which is why sweetened bread recipes usually call for lots of it.

        1. I agree with FT.

          The key to any natural leavener is to use the least amount possible for the job at hand which is Peter Reinhart's mantra. Since you're not looking for a huge rise, less is the way to go. Also, whenever we make pizza, the dough is always left to ferment overnight in the fridge.

          1. I would think all you need is an addition of salt to control the yeast. Feeding it sugar in high quantities can burn out the yeast. If the flour has the amylase enzyme, usually in the form of a malted barley flour addition, that’s all it needs to break down the complex carbs into simple sugars for the yeast to feed on and produce the gases (alcohol & carbon dioxide). A little less yeast for that amount of flour wouldn't hurt either.