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Pizza - moderate success (long)

TroubleTrouble Posts: 276
edited 12:07PM in EggHead Forum
I made pizza with homemade dough last night (first time on the dough part) and here is my report.[p]What fun! I have no bread machine or any kind of dough-mixing gadget. I read an article called "It's Nice to be Kneaded" at and used a basic pizza dough recipe from [p]4 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/4 cup Olive oil
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 C warm (110) water
2 t light brown sugar[p]This recipe is kind of a pain in that it says things like "add 3/4 of the olive oil" in the flour mixture. That's 3/4 of the 1/4 C, reserving the rest for the bowl into which the dough ball rests while rising. [p]Aside from that small bit of pickiness, I found the homemade dough to be much nicer to work with. After resting for 1.5 hours, it had doubled and then was easy to divide (into 2 dough balls), punch down and roll out. I used a rolling pin rather than trying other stretching methods, and it worked great. There were still many air bubbles on the surface. It did not spring back nearly as much as the Publix dough I've been using--it had some elasticity, but I was able to achieve a round 12" crust with about 8 or 10 rolling pin passes.[p]To the egg: 500 degrees, grid, plate setter, pizza stone, cornmeal. The first pizza was plain cheese. No sauce, even, because that's the way the kids like it. I let the crust cook for about 8 minutes, then added the cheese and cooked for 8 more minutes. Perfect. The kids said it was too "dusty" so I brushed some cornmeal off the bottom and then it was okay.[p]Grown up pizza was pretty simple: broccoli (cooked for 2 minutes in the microwave prior to topping pizza), mushrooms, onions, cheese. Broccoli takes on a nice toasted flavor and was the best of the toppings.[p]The flavor of the dough was a little disappointing. I like fresh bread like warm baguettes. This dough was a little too yeasty. It was much more noticeable on the kids pizza than the pizza with sauce and toppings. [p]Overall, I'm very pleased with the first effort. If you have any ideas about how to back down the yeast flavor, I'd appreciate them. I don't know the chemistry behind yeast--does a smaller amount of sugar keep the yeast from taking off so much? Does that affect the flavor? Or should I be looking in the direction of other flavors in the dough, like more salt or other seasoning. [p]I hope this helps anybody who might be interested in taking on homemade dough, and I hope somebody out there can help me with the flavor.[p]Thanks--[p]Joyce


  • Joyce,[p]Nice report and I am surprised that you didn't like the yeast flavor but you can cut the yeast to one packet and the sugar to 1 tsp. and still get a good dough. It may take a little longer to proof and don't let it proof over double in bulk.[p]Dave

  • Trouble,[p]Here's the dough that I use. I got the recipe from someone who runs pizzerias on the East coast. Below is from my collection, so it talks about using a mixer. You can knead it by hand, but you should have a spray bottle of water on hand to keep the moisture constant. [p]A Kitchenaid is worth it![p]Yield: one dough ball for a 14 inch pizza. Double for two, tripple for three. When making multiple recipes, cut into equal portions prior to raising. Use weight to divide![p]3/4 Cup Warm water (or warm beer)
    4 Tsp. Sugar
    1 Tsp. Olive Oil (NOT Extra Virgin)
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    1 tsp. active dry yeast
    1 1/2 Cup High Glutin Flour
    1/2 Cup Semolina Flour[p]1) Measure flour and set aside.
    2) Measure other ingredients.
    3) Mix all ingredients except flour and mix until solids disolved.
    4) Immediately, add liquid to mixer, turn on low and add flour.
    5) Knead for at least 20 minutes or until the glutin forms the bakers window when you make a mini pizza and streach it.
    6) Form ball and place in a lightly oiled zip lock bag so that the ball is resting on the opening.
    7) Allow dough to riase for two hours.
    8) Pinch down gently, reform ball, return to bag and set in refrigerator for at least two hours or up to 24 - hours.
    9) Allow dough to reach room temprature before using.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Congratulations on your pizza making! Any pic's? [p]I'll second Old Dave, only one packet of yeast needed. I'd use white sugar, a tablespoon. A slightly sweet crust is good for pizza and works well with olive oil that is slightly tart. And that leads me to think about your taste for bread,

    try replacing the olive oil with melted Crisco shortening for more of a French bread taste.
  • Trouble,
    I'm no expert on pizza dough, but after brewing beer for 11 years I know a little about yeast. More sugar equals more yeast activity because yeast eat sugar. The byproducts of that process are alcohol (good for beer) and carbon dioxide (good for making dough rise). Yeast also are constantly multiplying. My understanding is salt is used in bread because it kills yeast, or really just keeps them from growing beyond control. So I would up the salt and/or lower the sugar (but that may have negative flavor consequences), or put in less yeast to start with.[p]BigDave

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Congratulations.[p]I agree totally with Old Dave, cut the yeast in half and be aware that rises may take a little longer. May I suggest that you consider not using the cornmeal. It only adds an off taste and lots of dustiness. The pie will stick quite solidly to the pizza stone when first inserted into the egg. Upon cooking the dough will crust over and will slide quite easily off the stone. Once you learn to set the pie correctly on the pizza stone the first time, you will have it made.[p]Spin

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Lately I have been rolling out my pizzas on parchment paper and cutting off the excess paper with scissors. That way I can take my time dressing the top and the dough won't stick to the peel. Once it's baked the paper falls right off. -RP

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    AZRP,[p]That is a very good idea. I will have to try it with those overly large pizzas we all make once in a while.[p]Thanks.

  • TroubleTrouble Posts: 276
    I love this place.[p]Thanks, everybody. I am going to do almost everything described here next time. I don't have a peel, so the parchment paper sounds like an excellent idea. Will also cut yeast in half. In fact, some of the other recipes I looked at had 1 packet for 3 1/2 C flour, so 2 packets for 4 1/2 sounds like the high end of the yeast requirement scale.[p]Sorry, I'm really bad about taking pics. Will set that right next time.[p]Thanks again, Daves, ClayQ, BBBBQ, Spin and RP. Happy egging to ya.[p]Joyce
    wondering why my forearms are sore today

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