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Jul 14, 2009 02:02 PM

perfect pizza dough~

I am looking for a everyday pizza dough that is both chewy and has those crunchy bubbles at the crown. it should have good flavor and can be baked up moderately thin to medium (i suppose super thin/ deep dish is another topic) I want to be able to make a rather sizable batch of 10-15 balls and keep them in the fridge and freezer (or share with sister). how do i store them? parbaked or in balls?

the ones i have made in the past are "ok" - they are more bready but not chewy and bubbly..

we generally get organic unbleached flour from arrowhead mills or the brand with the red barn. I have not tried KArthur or other fancy flours yet, as i use the same flour jar for baking cookies, quickbreads and pancakes etc..

we use a pizza stone and peel with the good o' polenta/cornmeal.

Thank you everyone!

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  1. The key to chewy and bubbly pizza crust has less to do with the composition of your pizza dough and more to do with the prepping of the dough and the baking process -- or, more specifically, the temperature of your oven.

    1. Never, ever roll your pizza dough. Always stretch and always allow sufficient resting time.

    2. Get your oven hot, really really hot. Some people even bake pizza on the "clean" cycle in their ovens -- not recommended, but you get the idea. And, yes, pizza stone for home pies are critical.

    *Side note: to add that extra "chew" to your crust add some semolina flour to your dough.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      any dough fomulas? do you think the dough will survive in the freezer?

      1. re: jeniyo

        I like this one

        Yes, you can freeze pizza dough. See Step No. 3 in the above link.

        Good luck and enjoy.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          If you like this recipe, I highly recommend checking out Reinhart's other pizza dough recipes in Crust and Crumb.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I am excited about trying this dough, thanks for the link. I tried Jim Lahey's No Knead pizza dough, but found it very difficult to work with. Hopefully this one is a bit more forgiving.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              This sounds like a perfect recipe. It tells me how to do everything living breathing thing - which I need being dough-phobic.

        2. Pour 236 grams of warm water (90 – 95 degrees) into a bowl. Add ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp granulated sugar, and 2 Tbsp active dry yeast. Stir to combine and let stand five minutes.
          Place 120 grams of bread flour (subst. AP flour) in large bowl. Create a well in center of the flour, pour in the yeast mixture until well blended. Allow rest for ten minutes.
          Add 300 grams of flour and 114 grams of Olive Oil and mix until dough forms a ball. Add a VERY small amount of flour or water as necessary to achieve a smooth dough ball. It’s alright if it’s slightly tacky, but it shouldn’t be sticky.
          Knead the ball of dough, folding it back toward you (to double its thickness) with each kneading. Knead for 1 – 2 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 30 – 45 minutes or until double or almost double in bulk.
          Remove the dough from the bowl and gently de-gas with fingertips. Return to oiled bowl, set aside and allow to rise another 60 – 90 minutes.
          At this point you can de-gas one more time or proceed with preparing the pizza crust. If you elect to degras and set aside for this one additional period, allow to rest for about one hour before beginning processing the crust.
          Place the dough on lightly floured counter top and press flat with your hands. Try to flatten as much as possible into an even semi-round mass.
          At this point you can either roll the dough out or, my preference, stretch it gradually, moving incrementally around the flattened dough and working from the center toward the outer edges to shape the pizza crust. Try to maintain an even thickness and if the dough resists stretching, take a five minutes break and come back to it after it’s had a chance to relax.
          If you want a light high crust, bake as is. It you want a heavier center, dock the dough with a fork or docking tool prior to baking.
          Sprinkle your peel with a little corn meal, semolina, bread crumbs, etc. and place the dough onto peel, prepare your oven and bake. You can bake with toppings in place or, as an alternative, partially bake and add toppings about midway through the baking time before returning to the oven to finish the pizza.
          You can freeze this dough, if it's tightly wrapped in a quality freezer wrap, for several days.
          I bake at 500 degrees on a baking stone but you can use your own judgement based upon the oven you're using.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Isn't he amazing!? I discovered this website recently as well and it made me completely obsessed with everything pizza. My only problem is that I am really very interested in a healthier soaked whole wheat sourdough crust that we can feel better about consuming on a regular basis.

            2. I'm no expert, but I've seen in various places that an extended rise in the refrigerator (for several days) results in more complex fermentation by products and a crust with more "character."

              1. I use Jim Lahey's No Knead pizza dough and I bake it on a hot (pre-heated for an hour) pizza stone with my oven cranked to the max. I turn the top (broil) burner on right after I slide the pizza on the stone. The hot stone cooks the dough from below and the broiler cooks the toppings from above.

                Alternatively, I use a pizza stone on a BBQ grill ( a Weber Q120 to be exact) - cook it there for a few minutes - then I broil the top in my oven to finish.

                A short note on the Lahey dough - it is very hydrated and could get tricky to work with if you ferment it too long ("too long" depends mostly on ambient room temperature). I suggest you "retard" the dough by sticking it in the fridge after an 8-12 hr ferment at room temp. You'll have more control of the dough's final workability this can leave it in the fridge for a couple of days or more (2.5 days seems to be optimal for me...YMMV). It took me a few tries to get a decent slice.

                Store a few of your doughballs in the fridge unbaked and in little tupperwares - the flavour improves over a few days. It starts to get too sticky to handle after about a week. Freeze the rest.

                Another note on very sparse with toppings...specially the sauce and any "wet" ingredients (eg use olives in oil instead of brine).

                One more note...I now use a sourdough starter instead of yeast. The flavour and texture have improved dramatically.

                2 Replies
                1. re: fmed

                  A couple more shots and a link to Lahey's dough recipe

                  1. re: fmed

                    The man behind the Sullivan Street Bakery; best bread I've ever had. And the Pizza Bianca with pecorino... wow.