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Pizza dough question

bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
edited 12:57AM in EggHead Forum
Did some pizza tonight using Alton Brown's dough recipe. I made two pies. The first one was practically impossible to get into a pie. I pushed, and it contracted into a ball. I had let it sit out for 30 minutes after a 24 hour stint in the fridge. I made a second pie after consuming the first and it didn't have quite the spring as the first but still didn't want to take a thin crust shape. What did I do wrong, and hoe do I fix this? Any thoughts.
Thanks, Bob


  • bobbyb,[p]Can't wait to hear the responses to this as I have the same problem. Letting the dough rest for 15 minutes helps but my "round" pizza is usally oval with all sorts of jagged edges. Bought some "dough relaxer" gonna try that soon, hopefully it will help.[p]Good luck,

  • Banker JohnBanker John Posts: 583
    Without knowing what ingredients you used, it is hard to guess what went wrong. If you used regular bread flour, you may want to try adding vital wheat gluten (about 2 tbsp) to the recipe. Reduce the flour by the same amount of gluten you add. This may help.[p]Banker John

  • BabyBoomBBQBabyBoomBBQ Posts: 703
    bobbyb,[p]If you have a good stand mixer, give this a try. I am very happy
    with the results.[p]CasaBP Pizza Dough:[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 and set aside.
    3) Mix all ingredients, except flour, 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 or until doubled in size.
    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.

  • bobbyb, Overnight is a good idea. It works for me, but I allow at least one hour on the counter after I press the ball into a about 1/2 inch disc. Then I don't roll it out with a rolling pin. I use the backs of my hands (no toss yet, too tricky). My dough is so slack I have to get it to the pan quick. It isn't regular--perfectly round, but it is still slack enough that I can pull the dough to the edges of the pan. Then I let it raise for 15 to 30 minutes before decorating it. I use the recipe in the Breadmakers Apprentice by Reinhardt with no oil and no sugar.

  • CJCJ Posts: 50
    I have been trying for a long time to make a Thin Crust dough that had minmal 'spring back' when stretching out. I found a recipe a couple of weeks ago that I'm very happy with. Go to the URL below. The only add I would make to it is that I go over the dough with a Dough Docker prior to adding the topping (or go over it with a fork as you would a pie crust) Good luck.... (much more simple and no wait time ) Being single this recipe makes (2) nice sized pies..[p]

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    You got some good spring in your dough, mostly its from over mixing & over kneading. I use traditional methods of mixing and kneading by spoon and hand. I keep the dough on the moist, oily side. Makes beautiful pizzas. I recommend you mix until the dough starts to come away from the bowl and then knead for no more than two minutes by hand on a well floured bread board, sprinkle in flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky ball, place in a oiled bowl and pat a little oil on top of the dough. Let it proof(rise) 45-60 minutes in a warm 100 degree oven and then your ready to make pizza. When rolling out use plenty of flour on your board and rolling pin.
    Good luck!

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    Banker John,
    Here is a link to the recipe.
    Used bread flour made for bread machines, so my understanding is that this flour is already high in gluten. Thanks for the input.

    [ul][li]Alton Brown pizza dough[/ul]
  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    Thanks for the recipe, I'll give it a go!

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    I'll let it sit longer after taking out of the fridge and see what happens. Alton mentions that if you like thin and crispy (like me) you should decorate immediately after forming and let it sit if you like chewy.
    Thanks. Bob

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    Thank you for this recipe. I will definitely give it a go.

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    I was wondering if I over kneaded. The AB recipe calls for it to be kneaded for a full 15 minutes, then check for windowpane. I did this and the dough tore so I let her rip for an additional 10 minutes. I used a Kitchen aid stand mixer with a dough hook as called for by AB.[p]It's interesting that the recipe suggested by CJ only calls for 2 minutes of hand mixing.
    Why such a big disparity?? What about the 24 hour rest in the fridge without proofing?? Any comments about this?[p]
    Thanks for all your help.
    Cheers, Bob

  • CJCJ Posts: 50
    I keep reading conflicting stories about lenght of time of say, in a mixer, until it comes off the sides of the bowl, Alton says 20 minutes (?), others say too much mixing makes it 'rubbery', all I can say Bobbyb is that what I sent you works for me.....and I have a 325 watt Kitcheaid mixer with a dough hook. I just want to eat good PiZza, not interested in 'breaking new ground' or becoming a Scientist!!!!

  • Banker JohnBanker John Posts: 583
    Bobby, did you follow the recipe exactly as stated with the exact ingredients? Did you test for the "baker's WindowPane" and did it form or did the dough tear before you got the window pane?[p]If you used regular bread machine flour (pillsbury, King Arthur, etc), chances are there was not enough gluten in your dough ball. Try the substitution I mentioned or try "dough relaxer". My preference is the vital wheat gluten; it is more healthy.[p]Banker John
  • what kind of pizza are you trying to make?

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    Thin crust. The ones I made were sauce, cheese, herbs and mushrooms. They actually came out tasting good, but just that the dough was near impossible to roll/press out. Finally took a rolling pin to it.

  • one more question, are you looking for a crispy crust like a cracker, or more of a soft, NY style thin crust w/ puffy edges? sorry, but it matters a lot....[p]
  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    NY style thin crust w/ puffy edges

  • M,[p]We have had this discussion before, regarding kneading times. I really don't get that 15-20 minute knead time. I figure I more need to eat than I need to knead! [p]Check out the video from my site. This well behaved simple dough was made from french bread recipe on the bag of KA AP Flour, with the addition of 2T olive oil, only kneaded about 2 minutes - maybe, and allowed two rises - then straight to the pie. Notice how behaved and soft the dough is and how thin the resulting baked crust is. It comes out thin, with a nice crunch. Personally, I do not care for an overly chewy crust.[p]Gaspar
    [ul][li]Pizza Video[/ul]
  • bobbyb,
    sorry it took me a bit to get back to you, I didn't have time to jump on the site.
    I am actually big into pizza, just considering an egg for bbq'ing and summer pizza's.[p]to get where you want to be you need a high hydration dough, high gluten flour, and a long, cool rise time.[p]Try to find high-gluten flour if you can. As a substitute use bread flour with about a 1/2tsp of VWG added per cup.[p]use about a 63% hydration dough by weight, not volume.[p]knead it slowly, either by hand or machine. best is to knead it a few minutes, let it rest about 15 minutes, knead again for 2 minutes, then one more rest and one more knead.[p]lightly oil it and give it at least two days in the fridge. up to 4 works fine, 3 is ideal.
    just pull it out about 1.5 hours before baking.
    it'll be slightly cool, and will stretch real nice and have developed a very good flavor.[p]oh, and you'll want to cook it at high temp for a shorter time. Around 600 degrees would be good, with a cook time of maybe 4 minutes or so??[p]my big concern with an egg is dealing with the heat loss in the dome when you put the pizza in. if you are going for a 4 minute cook time I fear the heat applied to the crust will be too much as the heat above the pizza has to go back up when the dome is closed, and the crust will be done long before the toppings. I won't know till I buy one....[p]at any rate, those basics will get you 75% of the way to your goal. [p]hope that helps.

  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    Thanks for the tips!

  • bobbyb,
    oh, and whatever you do, DON'T take a rolling pin to it!!
    when you take it out of the fridge, while it is still cold, dust it with flour and put it back in it's container and cover it again with plastic wrap. when you are ready to make it, lift it gently and get it on a clean surface, then work around it slowly stretching it from the middle out but don't press and deflate it! it'll stretch pretty thin in the middle, thicker toward the edge.... enjoy!

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