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Oct 14, 2011 07:43 AM

"Mozza Cookbook" Pizza Dough - trouble

A good friend makes wonderful pizza dough and yet we love Mozza so he wasted to try Silverton's. He has tried the dough recipe twice and both times it comes out very soupy, not like dough. Has anyone tried this?

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  1. PS: he says his sponge comes out fine. He just thinks there is way too much water as opposed to flour listed. He is obsessed and is going today to get a scale, as the ingredients are done in ounces, which he has been converting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom P

      Certainly weighing the ingredients is the way to go, particularly if that is how it is in the book. Flour, when measured in a dry measure, can be anywhere from 31/2-5 ounces, a huge difference when making dough or baking cakes or cookies, so it is always preferable to weigh the flour. There are many web sites with the exact weights, as well as some web sites that will give weights based on the brand of flour you're using. Quite simply, it sounds like not enough flour!

      1. re: roxlet

        Thanks, roxlet... he used a baking scale and it made all the difference. A beautiful dough! I will let you know how it tastes :)

    2. Tried the recipe and was not happy with it. It was very wet, and there was no indication of how one is supposed to tell when it is done mixing or what speed to mix it at using a Kitchenaid mixer. The dough never pulled away completely from the mixer bowl. Even though the dough was sticky and uncomfortably soft while making pizzas, after cooking it turned out hard and not crispy either. We used a kitchen scale too. I'm stumped.

      1 Reply
      1. re: OC Mutt

        I wish I could give you more info, as it is my roommate who made the dough. I'll say this: he has become a pretty incredible baker and even had previously invented his own pizza dough, which was terrific. It took him four tries to get this right... but once he did, he loved it and it is now his go-to dough. So if you are up for it, try again and be as specific as possible with the directions and ingredients. I'll see him tonight and see if I can get you some more info.

      2. Add bread flour in 1/3 cup increments until in becomes the proper sonsistency of stiff and only slightly sticky.

        All flour amounts in yeast bread recipes are only suggestions because the weather and the age of your flour will determine how much flour that you need.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          I kept adding flour. Should "slightly sticky" mean that it pulls away from the mixer bowl? Mine had a 1/4" film of dough on the bowl that never went away and yet when cooked it came out hard, not chewy or crispy but like dried paste in texture.

          1. re: OC Mutt

            The dough should certainly pull away from the bowl and form a ball around the beater blade. Slightly stickly means that the surface should be tacky to the touch but pieces of dough should not stick to your hand when you pull away.

            How much oil did you add to the dough because that ratio will determine how crunchy or chewy the crust is.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              Followed the recipe exactly and weighed ingredients as well. The unclear parts were the mixer speed, mixing time, and what the dough needed to look like in the mixing bowl - thanks for clarifying.

        2. Pizza Mozza is my absolute favorite restaurant, and I was thrilled to be able to try to make Nancy Silverton's pizza dough at home.
          It took me 5 hours (mostly unattended, rising time), and it surpassed my high expectations.
          What a delicious dough, almost as good as the restaurant's.
          I did have to add about an additional 1/2 cup of flour in the last mixing, and the dough was still very sticky. I used a flexible pastry scraper to get the dough out of the mixer and into another container for the final rise before shaping, and it was very shapeless and soft.
          After this rising, I followed her directions and shaped the dough into 7 ounce balls, heavily dusting my surface with more flour.
          The pizza baked up soft and chewy, very flavorful, wonderful! if I have the time to do this, I will make the Mozza dough every time from now on.
          I did give it another drizzle of olive oil and salt after coming out of the oven.

          1. The "Nancy's Pizza Dough" recipe in the cookbook is wrong. It calls for 22 oz of water in a recipe with 26.5 oz of flour which results in a hydration (percentage of water to flour) of 83%. This will result in a batter like mixture. Normal hydration of pizza dough ranges from 55% to 65% with 65% giving you a pretty sticky dough that is hard to handle. 83% hydration is just not possible. You could not form it into a ball. The amount of water in the recipe should be between 15 to17 oz, not 22.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lagunamaniac

              "Normal" hydration for pizza dough depends totally on what you are trying to achieve and how. I have not been to Mozza, but understand it to be Neopolitan-ish style, so 83% hydration for that style of dough isn't unusual. Difficult for a beginner to construct and handle, yes. "Wrong", probably not.

              My standard homemade Neo style pizza dough is 81% hydration. Seventy to 75% hydration is what I would consider easy to handle with a bit of experience and practice. 83% hydration is utterly possible--It's 1000% about technique. Admittedly, however, it's probably not worth the extra effort vs. a lower hydration for the dough novice, home cook and indoor oven. IME, identical pies cooked in an indoor oven and a wood-fired oven yield completely different products. So different as to be unrecognizable.

              Every.Single.Little.Thing. matters with pizza dough. High hydration Neo-style doughs do not lend themselves to mastery and perfection in a single try. Or fifty. Keep practicing and be an obsessive observer of the process and the details. A gram scale is a must.