After I bought the PizzaQue for a Father’s day gift, I was now a girl on a mission. To find the perfect pizza dough recipe.
I tried many recipes, and read many a description of how things should be done. Mix it a lot to build up the gluten, don’t mix it too much so there’s not so much gluten. Sheesh it’s enough to make you go crazy, sifting out the “super important” from the “wow that is totally esoteric and I’m not seeing it”.
The base recipe I found that worked really well for me (and this part is pretty easy)
- Flour (795 grams)
- Water (495 grams)
- Instant dry yeast , 2.5 teaspoons
- Salt , 4 teaspoons
- Olive oil , 3 T
- 1/4 cup sourdough starter discard
Update: I now add 2 teaspoons of King Arthur Pizza Dough Flavor and I’m *really* loving the flavor it adds. It adds certain je ne sais quoi to the flavor of the dough that makes it taste exactly like pizzeria dough.
Seems pretty simple right? And yes in fact it is.
There are some things that I found that I considered important to both the flavor and the handling of the dough
- weigh your water and flour
- use the right flour. For me, that was Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour (Blue)
- After mixing (I use the Kitchenaid mixer with dough hook) store in your refrigerator for a bare minimum of 3 days, I typically put in a freezer bag that has been well oiled and try to leave for 5. This is critical for maximum flavor development and the dough becomes easier to handle. You may have to punch it down a couple of times, that doesn’t seem to matter.
The fact that keeping it cold but letting it develop flavor compounds, after actually thinking about it, is a no-brainer (see what I did there). I mean we’re basically talking about fermentation. And we all know that makes things magical.
I wish I could tell you more about how to turn it into the perfect circle when it’s time to make a pizza, but I can’t. Mine are always oblong, heart shaped, or some type of weird elliptical. Aaron’s are typically more perfectly round, but he does this weird throwing thing (that about 25% of the time ends up requiring the 15 second rule to be invoked).
I can give you a couple of tips: grab the dough you want, drop it in some flour and try to make it as round as you can. If you’re getting frustrated, let the dough rest for 10 minutes to decrease the gluten activity. Make your pizza crust on a parchment paper with cornmeal on it. The cornmeal just tastes good, but the parchment makes for super easy handling. Just do your best, it takes practice and tastes just as good triangular as it does round. Hey it’s “artisan” (probably my most hated term. What even does that mean? other than “hipsters will buy it”)
Then comes the fun part. The toppings. We’re as adventurous as what we have lying around. I personally have one rule and that is “pineapple does not belong on pizza” (hint: because it’s nasty)