Thursday, March 29, 2007

Beth: Pizza Dough

theKid's favorite pizza: Canadian bacon and pineapple...

Anyone who has been reading my writing for long probably knows that, while I think recipes have their place, I tend towards a somewhat improvisational approach to much of my cooking, including bread. After three decades, I possess a certain confidence when it comes to judging dough by feel. While this makes it simple for me to adjust, or even create, recipes on the fly, it means I am starting from a disadvantage here since I haven't written a lot of recipes down.

When I realized this had to change, I started by writing up what I knew of my pizza dough off the top of my head:

"Measure" 3/4 cup of water into bowl, pour about ~1/2 tsp yeast in my palm to measure it, toss that into water, stir. Add a couple of scoops of flour (~1 1/2 cups) and mix. Add more flour a little at a time until it feels right.Let it rest for a few minutes. Drizzle in some olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. Then knead it for a couple of minutes adding enough flour to make a very soft dough. Walk away again for a few minutes, come back and knead a few more minutes. Fridge. Bake.
Not very useful, is it?

My next thought was to reverse engineer some directions for what I normally do by feel. I made a few batches of crust, weighing as I went along and came up with something that resembled a pizza crust. Then I read Kevin's recipe and started wondering about what I'd come up with.

Dough: rest and motion

How would you like a simple technique that gives you better bread with less work?

Here it is: Step away from the dough.

Not forever mind you, just for a bit. After mixing the dough, but before kneading it, put your feet up and have a cup of tea. Come back in half an hour. (I know it has been long enough when my arms feel rested enough to knead the dough.)

This resting period, called an autolyse (aut-oh-lees), gives the flour time to fully hydrate. During this time, glutenin and gliadin - the two proteins in flour that combine to form gluten molecules—bond. Kneading time is reduced substantially because the flour is fully hydrated before you start, and gluten bonding has already begun. Kneading flour also causes oxidation, resulting in bleaching, along with loss of beta-carotene and a bit of flavor, so this improves the flavor of your bread as well.

Salt, which inhibits hydration and gluten development is often left out until after an autolyse, as is any old dough. These ingredients are incorporated while kneading the dough after the autolyse.

Less work for better bread—this is truly a transformative addition to any bread baker's bag of tricks. Some might call it magical.

See, my dough is wet. Not just a little wet, really wet.

To grab an example, Kevin's pizza crust uses ~10 oz of liquid to ~18 oz of flour, whereas I use 13 oz of liquid to roughly the same amount of flour. Like I said, it's wet.

Don't let that scare you away, though. While this dough is a bit sloppy to work with and requires a bit of faith the first time you bake it, it's not as slack as the infamous no-knead bread everyone—maybe even you—is baking. Because this dough is so wet, it is more extensible (stretchy) and tolerant (resistant to breaking down) than a lot of other recipes. Better yet, and a critical payoff to this approach, is that it is incredibly tolerant of delay, which you can plan to fit your schedule.

This dough also employs cold fermentation, which is when a bit of magic happens. During the first fermentation of any bread dough, enzymes are broken out of the flour, releasing sugars and flavor. Normally, with bread rising at room temperature or warmer, these sugars are gobbled up by the yeast so you only get a hint of those flavors in the resulting bread.

Not so with this technique. Cold dough means the yeast is sleeping (shhhhh) and can't eat a darned thing! All those lovely sugars that give bread its flavor and beautiful caramelized crust. are yours to enjoy when the bread is baked. Keeping the dough cold also makes it a bit easier to work with, as I wrote about while experimenting with the very wet no-knead bread. (and it even rises slowly, as you can see from this picture of dough that was refrigerated for about 36 hours)

pizza dough after ~36 hours in the refrigerator

I usually make this dough the night before I want to bake it. It takes about 10-15 minutes (spread out over an hour or two) after which the dough is refrigerated until shortly before baking. The dough needs at least half a dozen hours to ferment after mixing, and can tolerate up to 3 days before baking. Unused dough freezes well too, (see my notes on freezing at the end of this article)

Finishing the pizza takes an hour or so from when you hit the front door after work. This is mostly determined by the time it takes to heat your pizza stone. If you freeze your crust as I describe below, you can even defrost a frozen crust in that same hour. That makes this a great crust for people who are juggling work, kids, blogging, and a social life.
kitchenMage's Overnight Pizza Crust
ice water 1 1/2 c | 355 ml | 12 oz | 340 g
bread flour 4 c | 0.95 l | 18 oz | 500 g
instant yeast 1 tsp | 11 ml | 1/8 oz | 3+ g
olive oil 2 tablespoons | 30 ml | 1 oz | 28 g
salt 1 tsp | 5 ml | 1/4 oz | 8 g

(These directions are for mixing by wand, err, I mean hand. Parenthetical directions are for those of you who are using a stand mixer.)

Mixing the dough

Important: Water temperature matters—the colder, the better. About 15 minutes before starting, combine 1 1/2 cups of water and add a handful of ice cubes. By the time you are ready for it, there will be very cold ice water waiting. Remember to remove any remaining ice before measuring. If you have room in the freezer, you can put the measured flour in it to chill for that same 15 minutes.

shaped pizza crust

In mixing bowl, stir flour and yeast together just to distribute yeast. Add ice water and mix to combine into wet dough, about 1 minute. (mixer: use paddle attachment on low for 30-60 seconds) It will look like sort of like thick, lumpy pancake batter. Cover and stick back in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator, drizzle oil on one corner of dough, drop salt on top of the oil, and stir to combine. Turn dough out on well-floured counter and knead for a couple of minutes. (You can add more flour if you need, or want a substantially thicker crust—I do at times—but this is better with less so give it a shot.) Place dough in clean bowl, cover and return to refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours, preferably overnight. (The dough can stay refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Baking the pizza

When you get home from work, turn on the oven as high as it goes to get the stone really hot. Make sure the stone is in the oven (or is that just me who forgets?) It takes about an hour to thoroughly heat the stone. Fortunately, this is about the same amount of time it takes to finish preparing the crust, toppings and assembling the pizza—even allowing for interruptions from the small people. You can even toss a salad together.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out on floured counter. Divide dough in half (or thirds for smaller pizzas) and refrigerate the portion you will not be using.

With well-floured hands, shape each portion of dough into a flat disc as large as possible without tearing the dough. When the dough starts to shrink back immediately after stretching, let it rest on counter for five minutes before continuing with shaping it.

With a bit of tweaking, this is a fairly versatile crust. If you like cracker-thin pizza, use less dough and stretch it thinner. (Amusingly enough, this is one of the few doughs I make that I can get a good windowpane from.) For thicker, breadier pizza, use a little more dough and stretch it less. (If you like your crust even thicker, go ahead an use more flour, starting with an extra 1/4 cup.)

When the crust is about the right size, place it on a parchment sheet, cover and let rise until you are ready to top it. If you turned on the oven when you took the dough out of the refrigerator, this should be another 30-45 minutes. It will not rise substantially, but it should warm to room temp and poof just a bit in spots.

In honor of theKid, my toppings for this pizza are Canadian bacon and pineapple. She usually adds black olives but I was out. Oh well. I'd say a 12" inch pizza takes 6 ounces of Canadian bacon, 2/3 of a can of pineapple, and a handful of olives. (feed the rest of the pineapple and olives to the kids who are helping you make it)

crust with fresh basil and lobs of sauce

My standard marinara, which I make in my largest stockpot using cans of crushed tomatoes and herbs from the garden, goes on first. (Sorry there's no recipe for this, but Kevin's tomato sauce looks like it would work just fine if you need one.) Next, I put on the pineapple and olives so they will be underneath the meat and cheese. Half the cheese is next. If I have parmesan, I might grate some over the pizza at this point. Otherwise, I am a mozzarella purist. Following the first part of the cheese is the meat. By leaving the meat partially exposed amongst the cheese, you promote browning on the edges, which is both pretty and flavorful. Finish off with more mozzarella.

(Kevin and I are going to have a throwdown one day about the relative unholiness of each other's pizza toppings. He has been known to snark about pineapple, while I simply can't fathom cheddar cheese on pizza!)

Carefully slide pizza (still on parchment) onto the hot stone. Bake at 500-550 degrees (hotter if your oven does it) for 3-4 minutes then check to see if the pizza needs rotating for even baking. Continue baking until cheese is melted and bottom of crust is brown and of desired crispiness, usually another 4-5 minutes, depending on how carried away you got with the toppings.
Freezing dough

This dough freezes nicely, although I don't know what is up with forming them into little balls first. I shape dough into 5 inch disks so they thaw quickly, leaving you with just a bit of stretching before your crust is ready to top and bake.

When I am in a hurry to thaw a crust, I take advantage of the preheating oven to kick-start my dough by placing a wooden rack over the burner where the heat vents, and putting the peel with the crust on it on top. Once the peel is warmed a bit (about 10-15 minutes), you can move it to a counter to finish it's mini-rise while the oven finishes heating.

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(my apologies for the wonky image formatting, i don't usually use Blogger and Kevin has this spiffy custom template and I am confused! with any luck, Kevin will come along and fix it before I wake up...and this will all have been a dream...)

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Anonymous ~DanaB~ said...

I can't wait to give this a try! I need dough with flexibility, amen! I can get the first mixin' but I don't always get BACK in an hour lol. Thanks, Beth...givin' this a go soon!


3/29/2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Oh I am too excited!

Me an' bread....of any kind, is a love affair of the highest accord. Carb freak?? You betcha! Pizza freak?? That's my son, who once said to me "I could eat pizza every day and never get sick of it"

I imagine this crust will help us achieve carb nirvana

3/29/2007 7:53 AM  
Anonymous yahaira said...

haha and I thought I was the only one that didn't write things down.

this sounds perfect for a yeast killer like me! one pizza I made a week or two ago never rose....ooops
this week's (the cast iron one) did so maybe I'm on a lucky streak?
I'll have to try yours next!

3/29/2007 7:56 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I've at least tried pineapple on pizza -- can you say the same about cheddar? Hmmph!

3/29/2007 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I find time to get this started before I have to pick up my grandson from school. It sounds like you can kind of ignore it until you are ready to bake the pizza. I had a recipe for angel biscuits that you left in fridge overnight, but have never experimented with refrigerating yeast dough. The toppings sound good to me, but my husband might not eat the pineapple. He just wants MEAT, while I like all kinds of things. Nice thing about pizza, we can both have what we want. The best day to you all. judyinknoxville

3/29/2007 8:24 AM  
Blogger Mae said...

Even though I luvvvvvvv working in the kitchen, I've never before had the courage to try making pizza crust, it would be the kind of thing that I couldn't make rise if my life depended on it, and by reading the feedback I see I am not alone lol This recipe sounds manageable enough even for me. Most inviting is that time btw prep and cooking is flexible and dough can be frozen flat rather than in a ball.
Enjoy your pizza day I know I will!

3/29/2007 8:24 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

this sounds great - I love that you can leave it in the fridge for a day or two depending on what your schedule is!

3/29/2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Good news, peeps: I've got a working oven!

I think I'll do two mini-pizzas, same toppings, and see how they compare!

3/29/2007 9:20 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Woo hoo!

3/29/2007 9:57 AM  
Blogger Chel said...

Parchment! Brilliant... I think many of my bread-smithing woes have been solved. Love the schedule flexibility in this dough. Can't wait.

3/29/2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dough is in the fridge. It was not as wet as I expected it to be, but I double checked my measurements and they were right so I am thinking it may be the flour. I did not try to alter it, although I was tempted, so we will see. I will let you know how it looks tonight. I won't make the pizza until tomorrow night. judyinktown

3/29/2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger Baking Soda said...

This sounds interesting, I like wet dough, I like slow ferments... and the bonus of taking your time. Yes, definitely going to try.

3/29/2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Beautiful Beth! You give me courage that my bread development is proceeding along good principles. Long ago I have up the warm water to proof yeast bit. And I am working into the step away from the dough thing. And I love the ability to make the dough work in my time dimension! Thanks for this one.
I've tried cheddar on pizza, on some it's ok but nothing to write home about-sorry Kevin.

3/29/2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Hey everyone! I go to bed at the crack of dawn and awake to find a crowd. You are a bunch of dedicated bakers!

danab, flexibility is the key here. Discovering just how tolerant this dough is made me very happy.

kate, me too with the bread-lovin' - I've always said the Atkins diet would be worse than death for me.

yahaira, that cast iron skillet pizza is very nice (I'm so glad we have the flickr group)

Kevin, I've not only tried cheddar, it was my local Tillamook so I know it was good cheese. It was just...weird.

Judy, you are fast woman! Skip the pineapple on half the pizza. The toppings are the favorite of a ten year old (who is now in her late-twenties) and I know pineapple is a specialized taste on pizza. Maybe it's a Tennessee thing...?

Mae, give it a shot, it's pretty forgiving dough.

stacey, this pizza is perfect for busy folks with unpredictable schedules.

Shel, I posted at kitchenMage last night with a pizza that didn't get parchment and should have. You can go here and laugh at my pain.

s'kat yea! I am doing a happy dance for you!

Judy (again) you can always make it wetter! I am a big fan of wet dough, but I know it can be intimidating at first so I tried to make this halfway reasonable.

3/29/2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger winedeb said...

Parchment on the stone is a GREAT idea. I have had trouble with my stone as all pizza's stick. Kevin suggested that maybe my stone is not hot enough. (?) And WOW, cooking in such a hot oven ! Now if my dough will just hold it's shape I will be a major happy camper. I am doing this Fri and Sat and will let you know results.

3/29/2007 1:48 PM  
Anonymous theKid said...

Mmm, my favouritest MomPizza.... okay, now I'm hungry!

Kevin just doesn't get the whole indulging the kid thing, does he? Admittedly, I still like pineapple on my pizza, but yeah. There was indulgence involved initially. And seriously, cheddar on pizza... nope, that's just weird.

3/29/2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

As for cheddar, it's not so much an ingredient as a flavor note. I doubt anyone would shudder if I added tarragon to my marinara sauce (which would be unusual) and yet, there's essentially no difference in the effects on the final dish.

Pineapple, however, has a direct and major influence on the flavor of the final dish. As I mentioned to your mother: Hmmph!

3/29/2007 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean even after I have put it in the fridge I can take it out, add a little ice water to loosen it up some? I noticed it had risen a little when I got home, but I almost feel like I am getting left out (whine). So, if I can do that, I will try it. Should I do that tonight, or wait until in the morning? I will make the pizzas tomorrow night. judyinktown

3/29/2007 6:10 PM  
Anonymous kyle said...

I got your back man. I eat cheddar on pizza often and it most certainly adds an excellence to it. Most often I eat it as a cheeseburger pizza: beef, bacon, onion, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Dill pickles for the brave.


3/29/2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

winedeb, much a I hate to give the cheddar-lover credit, Kevin's actually correct in that an insufficiently hot stone will make dough stick. With a really hot stone, the bottom forms the start of a crust quickly, which then hardens and contracts above the texture of the stone. If the stone isn't hot enough, the dough has more of a chance to actually stick into the minuscule little crags of the stone. Or so I've heard.

theKid, thank you for defending a long and honored tradition from Kevin. I think that pizza is always going to be monstrrr food (monstrrrs being our favored term for children)

Kevin, if you put tarragon in your marinara, I will slap you! What are you thinking? (especially if there's no real effect...) That stuff is hard to come by up here, mine isn't even above the ground. However, if you would put tarragon in your marinara, or even consider it seriously, the cheddar cheese makes more sense.

Judy, why are you feeling left out? How could you feel left out? You had crust made before I got online today! I am in awe at your dedication. Dough rising in the fridge isn't a problem, it's expected to a certain extent--depends on things like how warm the dough gets during mixing. Mine usually comes close to doubling in ~36 hours. You can add more water if you want (I'd do it now) but keep in mind that the dough is stiffer when it's cold.

3/29/2007 8:22 PM  
Blogger a year said...

> Kevin, if you put tarragon in your marinara, I will slap you!

Better example, I always put a tablespoon or two of anchovy paste in my red sauces. No one ever notices that addition, and yet that addition works with the other ingredients to create a depth and richness of the noticable flavors that nothing else can contribute.

It's because anchovies have high levels of MSG that work to enhance the other flavors, particularly the tomatoes which also have high MSG levels. I can't argue that cheddar has the same chemical effect because I don't have the chemical data, but my taste buds tell me that a little bit (not a lot) of cheddar makes the mozzarella, provolone, and parmigiano taste better without asserting it's own character.

Cheeseburger pizza? Please pick another side. I'm talking a subtle flavor enhancement here.{g}

3/29/2007 8:53 PM  
Blogger oopsydeb said...

Excellent--an excuse for more pizza! We'll try this over the weekend. If we can work our schedules out, I think we'll have a pizza tasting Week 4 using all three dough recipes. (A big if; I'm a bit schedule challenged.)

I love the photo--beautiful, gooey, messy.

I'll fess up to using cheddar on pizza once in a while. It's not usually a first choice, but sometimes it's what you have on hand. Tarragon in marinara? Now that's just wrong.

3/29/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Kyle, good to see that Kevin has someone in his corner.

Kevin, you draw the line at dill pickles, huh? Good to know you have standards. (nice bit of food theory too)

opsydeb, you can always freeze one of this week's and one of Susan's next week and then you only have to make another batch of Kevin's the next week.

3/29/2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Can I come to the tasting? Sounds like great fun.

It's theory in the same way gravity is a theory. Fhht.

3/29/2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous kyle said...

I think I am a little insulted. Who says cheeseburger pizza cannot have subtle flavors?! For the record, I hate dill pickles on my pizza, but I have seen it done. I think the key factor in all of it is ratios. ratio of crust to sauce to cheese(s) to toppings can make a wide variety of flavors out of the exact same basic assemblage.

call me unsophisticated if you must but don't kick me off the team!

3/29/2007 11:05 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Gee Kevin, try to pay you a compliment and you get all Pffty! on me. See how you are?

Kyle, you were the one who brought it up! But since you say you hate dill pickles on your pizza and you understand it's all about balance...I guess you can stay...but watch it with encouraging Kevin. You never know what wild idea he'll get!

3/29/2007 11:15 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

{big grin}

3/30/2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, you are all sent to the corner until you can quit fussin' and let me get my two cents worth in. Pineapple, cheddar cheese, tarragon; these are all things that I love, sssssooooo, I think I might try them all on one pizza. hahaha No kiddin', did ya'll ever eat a pineapple sandwich as a kid. A little mayo on the bread, a slice of cheddar cheese, and a ring of pineapple. Yummmmmy! I think if I had been into the gourmet as a kid, I would have sprinkled a little tarragon on the mayo. ha

I still haven't done anything to the dough because I haven't felt like it. Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, yes, I have the old spring whatyamacallit.

I want my dough to look like KM's, and I must say that is the cutest pizza, thanks for the smile.


3/30/2007 8:45 AM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Ah Judy,

You wouldn't really do that to a nice pizza, would you? Wait, you probably would...and it would probably taste good somehow. But pineapple/cheddar sandwiches? Now that is just weird. At least it doesn't have pickles on it!

3/30/2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger oopsydeb said...

Judy, I think I could try the sandwich IF you used grilled pineapple AND grilled the sandwich. And possibly added peanut butter.

I'm not gonna kicked off the team for that one, am I?

oopsydeb--who loves a grilled tomato, banana, cheddar, red onion, peanut butter on rye sandwich.

3/30/2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Grilled peanut butter and pineapple sandwiches? You people are wierd. Hell, Kyle's starting to look normal (especially because he doesn't recommend pickles on pizza).

Alright, I think we need to have a contest for a bread recipe with pineapple and/or peanut butter. I'll talk to my co-conspirators and maybe we can come up with something.

3/30/2007 4:03 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Well, crap. This is my one night that I'll have to make the dough(s). I thought I had everything, but in fact I have:
-whole wheat flour
-organic whole wheat pastry flour
-cake flour
-Southern Biscuit AP flour
-ap flour

I suck.

3/30/2007 7:07 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

s'kat, use AP and it'll be close enough for pizza. In fact, there's debate amongst bakers, some of whom swear by AP for pizza. You aren't trying to get a huge amount of lift here so you don't need the structural support for ciabatta or something, plus the long ferment helps, I think.

3/30/2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

What Beth said.

With most breads the difference between bread and AP flour is distinguishable, but unimportant.

However, I do keep a box of wheat gluten around in case it does matter and I'm low on bread flour, or want a tad more gluten.

3/30/2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

...really? I thought it was a significant change to use AP as opposed to bread.

It's not too late to mix up KMs, and I'll then make Kevin's tomorrow. Thanks, ya'all!

3/30/2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

s'kat, I probably baked bread for a decade before I laid hands on any actual bread flour, and my supply of gluten was intermittent.

You might notice it a little but it will work. Besides it will give us feedback on how they work with AP flour.

3/30/2007 9:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

That was a great question. And yes, the choice of flour makes a huge difference in the bread -- usually. But, as Beth noted, not always.

Give us a couple of more weeks to get our act together on the basics of doing this blog, and we'll do a post on flours. And did you know the water matters too?{g}

3/30/2007 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed, the whatyamacallit has me down and I didn't make my pizza, hoping for tomorrow night, good thing the dough will wait. I can definitely see advantages to that now. If my neighbor is home, I will try to get her to take a picture, and help me put it on flickr. But, don't hold your breath, because I really am not good at that kind of thing. I have really enjoyed seeing your pizzas and other things, knitting & doggies, etc., so I would like to share mine.

30 or so years ago, when I first started baking bread, I don't even remember having bread flour. Of course we lived in a small rural area of lower SC, so maybe they had it in the big cities. And gluten, I never saw a recipe with gluten, bought some one time and didn't know how to use it, so I evently threw it out.

Now I want to know about the water, since I have my own theory concerning water, and I can taste a drop of chlorine in a gallon of water. ha judyinktown

3/30/2007 10:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


> 30 or so years ago, when I first started baking bread, I don't even remember having bread flour. Of course we lived in a small rural area of lower SC, so maybe they had it in the big cities. And gluten, I never saw a recipe with gluten, bought some one time and didn't know how to use it, so I evently threw it out.

I had bread flour available 30 years ago here in Knoxville, but don't recall more than that. Nevertheless it was a key to making great croissants.

And yeah, too much clorine matters, not a lot, but some. So does hard water.

3/30/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I am dragging myself to the kitchen to make the pizza. It will be very traditional, I made some homemade sausage, portabella mushrooms, mozzarella, and parmesan (the good kind). I guess I will use some organic marinara sauce I have on the bottom. I'll let you know how it turns out. judyinktown

3/31/2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

If you're feeling bad make that man of yours get up off his ass and cook. What is he, a wuss?

3/31/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger oopsydeb said...

Well, I just put the dough in the fridge. We'll have pizza tomorrow night. I'm a little bit worried about this one. When I first added in the water, I did not have the wet dough I expected. It was a bit shaggy but I don't think anyone would think it wet. I measured my ingredients by weight but I reckon I could have messed that up some how. I had extra ice cold water so I added it in. Hopefully the dough has, if not the right consistency, a workable one. I'll let y'all know tomorrow.

One general pizza Q--any tips on making whole wheat crusts, either with these two recipes or in general?

Judy, your pizza sounds wonderful but take care of yourself before worrying about that dough.

3/31/2007 5:14 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Judy, I'm with Kevin, make your husband finish the pizza!

oopsydeb, Don't worry, be happy! Seriously, you can add more water. I confess the recipe is a little drier than when I make it for me, but people I tested this with still said "wet" so it got a little drier as I went along. So here's the confession/hard-core tip - you can increase the water to 1 3/4 next time you try it. But the faint of heart convinced me to go with less; I promise I will ignore them next time.

As for the whole wheat, I have a reasonable recipe that will get posted when I have time. I'd say "soon" but that's Susan's word. I think she has it trademarked.

3/31/2007 5:37 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"I'd say "soon" but that's Susan's word. I think she has it trademarked."

That's why she's the manager -- I told you it had nothing to with her pointed hair. And mark my word, she'll swoop in on Thursday with a recipe that rounds everything out perfectly.

Damned managers.

3/31/2007 5:56 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Well, this is quite fun. I just made my second pizza dough in as many . weeks. It is in the fridge right now, I finally got a chance to use the instant yeast I bought at King Arthur Flour, and I used AP flour only because I hadn't noticed that you called for bread flour. Hopefully it all works out as it's diner tomorrow, I put my typical sausage on it last week so tomorrow I am going to make a big batch of homemade meatballs, some for the pizza the rest for the freezer. I'll let you know how it turns out.

3/31/2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger oopsydeb said...

Up to 1 3/4 c. water...great! I probably used just shy of that. No rush on the whole wheat crust. We'll try out the recipe eventually, but we're doing fine on pizza dough supply right now.

3/31/2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"Well, this is quite fun."

We're sure having fun!

3/31/2007 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think making the pizza actually made me feel better. And hubby (wuss that he is) said it was the best yet. My theory is all the sausage I put on it is what he loved. 1/2 lb on each pizza. It was good. I did make pictures, but don't get too excited because all I had was the polaroid the kids gave me two years ago. The battery on the good camera was dead. I have a lot to learn about making pictures of food. hahaha If I can scan it onto the computer, maybe I can put it on flickr. I really took about 6 pictures, but only one or two have the right light. I forgot about the shine on some of the kitchen finishes that reflected back. I will get better, and before the year is out, I'm thinking I'm gonna have one of them thar fancy cameras. ha You all are so sweet, I really think that is what made me feel better. Thank you. judyinktown

3/31/2007 8:24 PM  
Blogger KitchenKiki said...

Fun! I'm glad I found this blog. Can't wait to try!

Since the weather is warming, any ideas if your dough or Kevin's dough will work on the grill? My B-I-L does his that way, but I haven't tried it. I think it is from Steven Raichlen

As for topping, I love caramelized onions, yum! Hubby-Poo keeps talking about a pineapple-sauerkraut-Canadian Bacon pizza. Sounds scary to me.

3/31/2007 10:09 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

oopsydeb, judy, you two are my inspiration for never again going easy on you all. I love that you wanted wetter dough!

Judy, we'll take whatever pictures you want to share. And yeah, half a pound of sausage. Yum.

kitchenkiki, Welcome! Well, except for the sandwich. What is with you people? I bet you could grill Kevin's pizza, it seems stiff enough. I fear mine would slither through the grill if you made it as is, you might try with a little extra flour. And definitely take pictures!

4/01/2007 1:06 AM  
Blogger KitchenKiki said...

If I get my self in gear to try it one on the grill, I will definitely take pictures. And eventually post them! kiki

4/01/2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

So this after we made a triple batch of homemade meatballs, each about golf ball size we put around 15 on two pizzas and another 70 in the freezer. The dough hadn't risen much at all over night and was pretty easy to roll out. We then let it sit for a 1/2 hour while it started to form some nice bubbles in the crust. We topped with sauce, meatballs and mozzarella, then cooked for 12 or 13 min. My wife thought it was our best dough yet but I like mine a bit crispier. I think the method is a winner when we know we will want pizza for the next night and will continue to experiment with cooking times etc. Thanks so much for the recipe.

4/01/2007 6:31 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Oh yeah, I am thinking about grilling season too. I am actually planning on putting my pizza stone on the grate of my charcoal grill and doing pizza that way, no worries about falling through the grill

4/01/2007 6:34 PM  
Blogger plongstocking said...

I've completed my first 'from scratch' pizza! It was so fun. I felt so homey. My first try was with Kevin's recipe. It was tasty and crispy. I must have rolled it out too thin - I prefer a thicker, bread style pizza but ended up with thin crust. I didn't have the toppings Kevin suggested. I used onions, green pepper, andouie sausage and minced jalepenos, with mozzarella and parmesan as suggested. I took pictures along the way, so I'll upload my 3 best ones. I just started this weekend so I'm a bit behind. I'm looking forward to trying Beth's recipe next weekend.

4/01/2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I usually don't roll it out all and instead stretch by hand.

4/01/2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger oopsydeb said...

Sounds like it's pizza Sunday across the land! We just tried two pizzas, both using Beth's overnight dough.

Pizza number 1: Entree
We made a tomato sauce with a hint of cinnamon (new for us, we loved it) and topped that with spinach, red onions, green olives, cremini mushrooms, and goat cheese. We cooked it for 10 minutes at 525. It was fantastic. What an incredible crust! All around great pizza.

Pizza number 2: Dessert (or, you really shouldn't do that with pizza and call it pizza)
Just for fun, I made a smaller 2nd pizza. The sauce was peanut butter melted down so I could spread it on. Topped that with grilled pineapple and banana, and then drizzled on some melted cream cheese (sorry Kevin and Kyle-no cheddar cheese in the house). Then a fine grating of 70% cocao chocolate. Cooked for 8 minutes at 525. Then shaved more dark chocolate and drizzled with tulip poplar honey. This was definitely in the running for ugliest thing I ever made. It was ridiculously rich. But guess was actually kind of good. If we ever do it again, I'll leave the cream cheese off.

4/01/2007 7:08 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

oopsydeb, the second pizza has me in awe...that's it, just awe...

btw, I posted an update on the wetness, or not-so-wetness, which comes down to my new belief that my flour is wetter than everyone else's flour.

4/02/2007 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, love the Year in Bread idea. I make a pizza dough very similar to yours with an overnight rise in the fridge. Usually when I take the dough out the next day, I turn it out onto a floured board and then fold it up like a envelope. Since your recipe didn't mention doing this, last night when I turned it out, I just started pressing it out into shape. I would say it was almost too easy to work with, and it ended up extremely thin with no effort at all. There was no rest time needed to let the dough relax as it never starting bouncing back at all. But then when I tried to transfer it to my peel it stretched even further, ending up way too thin. So my question is: do you shape the dough into a tight ball before pressing it out, or just immediately press it out after taking it out of the bowl?

4/03/2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

jinct, I don't generally form this into a ball first because it doesn't seem to need it. But as you've seen, the overall wetness varies so you can since your dough seems to need it. I use a well-floured counter and just gently pull the crust into shape, keeping it fairly flat.

How did it turn out?

4/03/2007 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the end crust came out pretty good for the most part, but some of the inside areas came out hard and thin like a cracker - way too thin for my tastes, but not bad if you think of it like a pizza-topped cracker ;)
I also have another question - I read somewhere, and now I can't for the life of me remember where, that if you get those really large dough bubbles while fermenting the dough, the type that blow up like balloons and hit the top of the plastic wrap, that you've let your dough ferment for too this true? Sometimes I get these even when fermenting in the fridge....perhaps it is just a matter of using less yeast?

4/03/2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Large bubbles are typical in a fairly wet dough that's minimally kneaded. You can pop them if you wish, but they're to be expected.

4/03/2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you talking about while the pizza is cooking? Those I do expect. I mean the large ones that form while the dough is fermenting in the fridge and rise up and stick to the top of the plastic wrap....and my dough is well kneaded, I usually knead it for at least 10 minutes. I had heard that once these large bubbles form, it means you have fermented for too long. That's what I'm wondering is true or not.

4/04/2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm going to let Beth follow up on this one, she has more experience with not only this dough, but slack doughs in general.

4/04/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...


I get those bubbles at times with cold fermented dough and generally ignore them. In theory - which I looked up - the huge bubbles during bulk ferment are either due to *under*kneading or *over*fermenting. But neither of these seem all that likely in your case. Or mine, for that matter.

In thinking about your question, I realized that my dough seldom gets the huge bubbles until/unless the dough hits a surface, like your plastic wrap. (I generally use a rising bucket so the top of the dough doesn't come into contact with anything, but a multi-day rise sometimes does this.)

So, my still forming theory is this:

Cold fermented, slack dough has really slow gluten development. This means there is less strength to the "structure" of this dough, compared to many others, for much of the fermentation time. Gluten helps keep the walls surrounding the little CO2 bubbles that are being formed intact to trap the gas and hold it. Less gluten, more rising CO2.

Back to the wet dough... The weight of the dough sometimes seems to result in an exaggerated "more rise at the top than the bottom" effect.

I think that the top surface of this dough is initially wet and permeable enough to allow some of the rising CO2 to leak out via the top surface. Then it skins over a smidge or, as in your case, hits plastic wrap. At this point, the CO2 can no longer escape out the top, but is still slowly rising through the dough and it bubbles.

Or I may be totally blowing smoke. It's just my theory, after all.

What do *you* think? Sound reasonable? I'll keep an eye on future dough, see how this pans out in the field, and keep you posted.

4/04/2007 8:13 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Your theory makes tremendous sense to me.

I would also add that kneading tightens up the gluten, which resticts rising. However, a slack dough, even if kneaded, has less gluten per volume than a dough containing more flour and so there's less resistance to bubble formation.

4/04/2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

And hey, are you having as much fun as I am?

4/04/2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think your theories sound pretty good. My own theory was that since these big bubbles look like balloons and you can really see the gluten structure in them (exactly like in a window pane test) that the gluten structure was trapping rising gases instead of letting it pass through.....but what the heck do I know? I am far, far, very far from being even close to expert on things bread. But I really appreciate and would like to thank both of you for indulging me in these topics....

4/05/2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

OK. I'm about to try this using 100% spelt flour since that's the closest thing I have on hand. (the last of the bread flour went into tomorrows rye bread) I picked up a nice looking saucage at the market yesterday so I looks like that will go on 3/4 of the top. The rest get frozen corn for my 6 year old who yesterday at borbourn glazed salmon (yeah) with catsup (yuck). The friend he had over for dinner rubbed off.
Hope this works cause it's late here (Tel Aviv).


4/15/2007 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Artemis said...

Yes! I finally got to bake with Beth's dough tonight. I didn't think I could do pizza twice this week but duty calls.

Made a slight mistake with the measuring of the yeast since, again, I was using traditional dry yeast and force of habit caused me to proof 1 tablespoon of yeast but it all worked out right in the end.

I did have to punch the dough down after the first 8 hours and then usually tried to get it under control at least twice a day until I rolled it into the actual pizza but the taste was heavenly.

Nice crisp bottom, the edges I left a little thicker and they were slighty chewy and bready. All and all a wonderful dough to work with.

4/19/2007 11:37 PM  
Blogger KitchenKiki said...

I don't know if you are still looking at comments on this post, but I did make the pizza on the grill. I used a combination of recipes for the crust & it turned out beyond delicious. The secrets to success seem to be:

* having a lot of olive oil in & on your dough (kneed and stretch with oil, not flour)
* either using a peel, or if you are like me & don't have one, keep your pizzas small enough to move onto the grill with your hands with out stretching or pulling
* make sure your grill & grates are very hot. Preheat on high then back off to low.

Dough recipe will be posted sometime this week. Unfortunately, no photos this time--the batteries were dead in the camera.

4/20/2007 9:39 PM  
Blogger Κατερίνα said...

Can i use instead of dry yeast the fresh yeast ?And the quantity??

10/03/2007 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2/12/2008 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4/25/2008 8:53 PM  

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