pizza dough

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michaelnj
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2004/12/06 10:44:03 (permalink)

pizza dough

I need some suggestions on making pizza dough by hand without the aid of a mxer. I have been attempting this and each time the crust has an almost cracker like consistency, much too crunchy. I kneaded the dough for 8-10 minutes and let it rest for 1 hour, then punched it down and let it rest an additional 45 nminutes before forming the pizza. I cooked the pizza in a 550 degree oven with a pizza stone. the contents of the dough are as follows:
5 cups of flour
1 tsp of sugar
2 packages of yeast
2 cups of warm water
3 tsp of salt
4 tbsp of olive oil
I have no clue what I am doing wrong and would appreciate any suggestions are additional recipes. Thank you in advance.

Mike
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    UncleVic
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/06 11:13:03 (permalink)
    Is the dough still sticky when your done kneading? I always seem to need to add more flour until I can knead it without sticking to the hands. I normally let it double for 1.5 hrs, then form on a screen and do a slight pre-bake of the crust... Then I add the sauce and toppings and finish cooking it off. Also, what kind of yeast are you using? I normally use the Fast Acting stuff. Also make sure your water is not over 110 degrees that you use to rise your yeast in. I'd also up the sugar to 1 Tablespoon (This is the food for the yeast to grow).

    PS, your recipe should make enough dough for 2 or possibly 3 pizzas..

    #2
    Grampy
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/06 11:46:49 (permalink)
    The path to perfect pizza is below. Use a high gluten flour for the best results (note: true Neapolitan dough will not have olive oil in it). From Peter Reinhart's "American Pie":

    Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough

    This dough recipe makes a thin, crisp crust with airy pockets in the edge. It's a little sticky and a touch tricky to handle, but the payoff is in the snap when you take that first bite.


    5 cups unbleached bread flour (22 1/2 ounces)
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey
    2 teaspoons table salt or 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon fast-rising instant yeast
    2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening
    1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water (70 degrees)

    With a large metal spoon, stir together flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast, oil or shortening and water in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined. If using an electric mixer, fit it with the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a rough ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom. If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful. The dough should pass the windowpane test, in which a small piece gently stretched forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane near the center.

    If mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the spoon into room-temperature water and use it much like a dough hook, working the dough vigorously into a rough ball as you rotate the bowl with your other hand. As all the flour is incorporated into the ball, about 4 minutes, the dough will begin to strengthen; when this occurs, let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then resume mixing for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is slightly sticky, soft and supple. If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful. The dough should pass the windowpane test.

    Immediately divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil or vegetable oil. Place each ball inside its own self-sealing freezer bag. Let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze any pieces you will not be using the next day. (Or, if you are making the pizzas the same day, let the dough balls sit in the bags at room temperature for 1 hour, remove them from the bags, punch them down, reshape them into balls, return them to the bags, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.)

    The next day (or later the same day if refrigerated for only 2 hours), remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to take off the chill and to relax the gluten. At this point, you can hold any balls you don't want to use right away in the refrigerator for another day, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
    #3
    redtressed
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/06 13:54:51 (permalink)
    As an addendum to Grampy's suggestion, I would recommend using the honey instead of the sugar. It usually results in a more pizzaria style crust both tender and crisp on the bottom. Also I often lightly oil the stone and dust it with cornmeal flour.
    #4
    seahealth
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/07 20:07:21 (permalink)
    I have been experimenting with this myself, but using whole wheat flour - I have found it is very important to use the right temperature water when working with yeast, and also keeping your dough in a warm place to rise. I put mine in the microwave for rising - heating it up slightly first before putting it in there.
    #5
    zataar
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/07 21:54:54 (permalink)
    My whole bread making philosophy has changed through out the years. I use as little yeast as possible in pizza dough, making a sponge starter, using cool water, letting it ferment for 10 - 12 hours, then I make the dough, letting it rise at a very cool room temperature, or like Grampy's Peter Reinhart's recipe states, let proof in the refrigerator. The slower the rise, and the smaller the amount of yeast, the better flavor. So you have to plan ahead. But it's worth it. I can make 4 12" pizzas using 3/4 - 1 tsp. yeast. It's crispy on the outside and pleasantly chewy on the inside, without an overly fermented flavor. And even though it's not authentic, I do add extra virgin olive oil. Good flour is essential.
    #6
    UncleVic
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 04:55:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    As an addendum to Grampy's suggestion, I would recommend using the honey instead of the sugar. It usually results in a more pizzaria style crust both tender and crisp on the bottom. Also I often lightly oil the stone and dust it with cornmeal flour.



    Please dont take this personal, but every Pizza Shop I've ever worked in or managed never used Honey to make a pizzaria style crust! Maybe it's used in some overpriced gourmet style shop, but in all honesty it's not cost effective. The only purpose of the sugar is to feed the yeast to get it started and working, as with any dough recipe. To replicate a pizzaria style crust it will depend on the flour you use. For home use I use just use the standard White Flour you buy cheaply at the store. In the pizzaria, I used High Gluten White Flour (normally Pillsbury when I had my say). Visit www.pizzatoday.com and look up the dough doctor for more info on this (along with some trade recipes for dough).
    #7
    michaelnj
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 08:48:58 (permalink)
    I want to thank you all for your input. I am going back to the drawing board this saturday. Preparation will begin Friday evening. I will post the results, and once again thank you.

    Mike
    #8
    sizz
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 13:05:48 (permalink)
    Mike.............. I know what your going through. and you most likely followed the recipe to a "T" right? The reality of making bread / pizza dough cannot be learned by reading out of a recipe book or here in this thread. The knowledge required to become accomplished at making dough whether it be by hand or by machine can only be obtained by working side by side with someone who really does know how to make dough. You have to learn what a bread dough is supposed to feel like. Mike you have to learn the touch.

    There has to be someone in your world that's a whizz at making bread dough, search him/her out and get them to actually show you and let you feel first hand what the dough is supposed to feel like.
    Once you learn the feel of the dough you'll find that a recipe is only a guide line where you'll be adjusting it as you go along to obtain the right consistency.

    All the info above is right on the money but you see Mike, these folks already know what there looking for in the feel of the dough. They could probably through in the kitchen sink and still have a wonderful pizza "cuz they got the feel"
    Mike, here is the recipe for dough that I learned when I was 14 years old working in the cities largest Italian bakery back in 1953
    step 1. open a 100 lb. bag of flour
    step 2. empty about half the flour into the mixing machine
    step 3. add a hand full of yeast
    step 4. add a hand full of salt
    step 5. start the machine
    step 6. open garden hose and add water till the dough feels right.
    step 7. have Master Baker feel dough and make adjustments as required
    #9
    redtressed
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 14:15:24 (permalink)
    Uncle Vic, no offense taken, mah deah. BUT.....(I have to throw my but in here) around these parts, honey is the primary starter with yeast(even in a lot of bread baking)I don't know what to attribute it to exactly, whether it's because of a cultural preference,(many of the pizza shop owners are from Sicily or owned now by their children) or if it was just a habit acquired here because of the great availiabilty of local honey production. A lot of their recipes have been published in the local paper over the years, and an abundance of them use honey. As well, when they came into the ER for treatment, I often tortured them for their secrets.(Amazing what the sight of an enema bag and a needle can induce,muahahahaha) Maybe the glucose/sucrose in honey gives a different dimension, I dunno, but it's use is pretty prolific around here.
    #10
    1bbqboy
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 14:41:54 (permalink)
    Um ,Red: exactly WHY were these pizza shop owners/cooks coming in to ER? ....and might bribes from sicilian pizza makers be one of the root causes of your recent unpleasantries?
    Pick up any biscotti recipes along the way?
    #11
    redtressed
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 15:11:56 (permalink)
    oh the stories I could tell you of pepperoni slicers and hot pepper burns.( Hint to those who suffer from hot pepper burns....in all but the eyes and (cough) more delicate parts of the body, the magic lotion to eradicate the oils and soothe the pain is Dawn Dish Detergent...not Grease relief, not Lestoil.....DAWN...)
    #12
    sizz
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/08 15:52:03 (permalink)
    Emergency Room? ............My God no, the only Sicilians I knew were on Mulberry St. in New York City but they never made it to the ER. It was non stop to the morgue, some of them still holding on to a slice of anchovy pizza or a hot meat ball sandwich from Mamma Leone's ...............
    #13
    UncleVic
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/09 22:42:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    Uncle Vic, no offense taken, mah deah. BUT.....(I have to throw my but in here) around these parts, honey is the primary starter with yeast(even in a lot of bread baking)I don't know what to attribute it to exactly, whether it's because of a cultural preference,(many of the pizza shop owners are from Sicily or owned now by their children) or if it was just a habit acquired here because of the great availiabilty of local honey production. A lot of their recipes have been published in the local paper over the years, and an abundance of them use honey. As well, when they came into the ER for treatment, I often tortured them for their secrets.(Amazing what the sight of an enema bag and a needle can induce,muahahahaha) Maybe the glucose/sucrose in honey gives a different dimension, I dunno, but it's use is pretty prolific around here.


    Ohhhhh K... Point well taken! Again, a regional thing at its finest! When you say the glucose/sucrose may give it a different dimension, maybe it's the way the yeast, ummm... how should I put it, excretes it's waste in a more flavorful form!
    #14
    UncleVic
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    RE: pizza dough 2004/12/09 22:44:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    oh the stories I could tell you of pepperoni slicers and hot pepper burns.( Hint to those who suffer from hot pepper burns....in all but the eyes and (cough) more delicate parts of the body, the magic lotion to eradicate the oils and soothe the pain is Dawn Dish Detergent...not Grease relief, not Lestoil.....DAWN...)


    Nice Tip! Dawn also makes a good flea soap for dogs I've read...
    #15
    Squidly
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    RE: pizza dough 2006/03/27 22:41:37 (permalink)
    Thanks for the recipe Grampy. Best recipe I've tried yet!!
    #16
    ZekeTheCat
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    RE: pizza dough 2006/03/28 12:24:38 (permalink)
    Here's a great pizza making website - you might give it look :

    http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/

    They cover everything pertaining to homemade pizza.
    #17
    Cosmos
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    RE: pizza dough 2006/03/28 13:00:06 (permalink)
    Some of the deep dish doughs I've had in Chicago have a more pie-like, buttery tasting crust. Anyone out there run a cross a recipe for something like that?
    #18
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