I’ve been making my own pizzas now for quite a while. They come out good but the crust isn’t the consistency that I’m trying to achieve. The crust is thin, but bread like in its consistency. I’m trying to achieve a crust that snaps cleanly when you break it apart, rather than tearing raggedly like a piece of bread.
I assume that I’m developing too much gluten. I usually use unbleached all purpose flour. I recently tried Tipo 00 flour imported from Italy with the same results. My dough recipe is as follows:
1 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. fine sea or table salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1¼ cups water @ 75 degrees F.
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1. Place the dry ingredients in the food processor bowl and mix for 10 seconds.
2. Mix the water and EVOO in a measuring cup.
3. Slowly pour the water/oil mixture into the feed tube of the processor with the motor running.
4. When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, process for 10 more seconds.
5. Place the dough onto a floured board and form into a ball.
6. Place the dough ball into a bowl and rub or spray it with EVOO. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours. The ball should double in size.
7. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the floured board. Form the ball into a log and divide into two equal pieces.
8. Form both pieces into two balls. Return one ball to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Put the other ball into a zip lock bag and freeze it for later use.
9. Remove the first ball from the refrigerator and place it on the floured board. Pat it out into a disk approximately 6 to 8 ins. in diameter. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it come to room temperature and rest for approximately 1 hr.
10. Carefully stretch the dough into a pizza form that is between 12 & 14 ins. in diameter. Place the dough onto a floured (or cornmeal) peel. Add the toppings (tomatoes, cheese, etc.)
11. Place the dough onto a baking stone in a 500 degree oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown with a slight char in some spots.
I was thinking of using 3 cups of flour and a 1/4 cup of corn starch instead of all flour or maybe use some pastry flour to reduce the total gluten.
Should I use less yeast or maybe reduce or eliminate the first rise? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
I've got no experience with home pizza....although another (t) does, and I'm sure he will weigh in......my suggestion is this. Since I know you are a Jersey guy, next time you venture into the Northern part of the state, i.e., around Newark and above......bottle some tap water. In the bread business, that's the demarcation line for what is believed to make the best crusty bread. Just a thought.
btw.....one of my favorite pizza places for thin crust uses shortening in his dough. Maybe subsitute that for the EVOO.
Try researching here:
Are you allowing to pizza stone to heat for a while in the oven? The yeast seems too little to me. I use a packet, or 2 1/4 tbsp for my pizza dough, which uses 3 cups flour.
I can get a crispy, crackly pizza with 00 flour and my outdoor grill cranked to 650 and cooked in just 2-3 minutes. Cooked on a pizza stone.
I think you need more heat. Also, the second rise in the fridge may not develop the yeast as well as it would in a warmer climate. My second rise is only 10 min at room temp (covered with a towel).
Try this- use a baking sheet to bake your pizza. Generously slather evoo on it before you place the dough on. The evoo will help to crisp the pizza.
Seems like you want thin, cracker type crust? I'm not sure how to achieve it but based on my typical dough and my fairly basic pizza knowledge, it seems like you are a bit light on the water but that should make the dough more cracker like. Also, seems like an awful lot of sugar. Most recipes that use sugar, keep it to a pinch or a teaspoon. Maybe you are getting overactive yeast since you are giving them so much sugar to feed on?
If you are going to let it cold rise in the fridge (you don't say how long but i'm assuming at least overnight), you don't need to let it rise on the counter. Just put the dough directly into the fridge after forming.
I also agree that maybe your stone isn't hot enough. I preheat mine at 550 for at least an hour which makes sure its completely hot throughout the stone and it doesn't lose alot of heat when the dough is placed on it.
Try prebaking the dough first - for about 5 minutes with some brushed on olive oil. Then add toppings, bake for another 5-7 minutes....
Ive been experimenting for the exact crust you are looking for for the past month. I think I found one that seems promising with high gluten flour and a twenty four hour rising period in the fridge then docked. I just got the high gluten flour from king arthurs yesterday, had to order the sir lancelot online. I tried with a bread flour a few days ago came out good I had to brebake crust on stone for a few minutes before toppings. I was planning on making dough tonight and trying it tomorrow night I'll post how it comes out.