The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Primer Dough

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Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

Pizza Primer Dough

Today I made the pizza dough given in Floyd's A Pizza Primer listed under Favorite Recipes on the home page. It turned out really good! I'm eating some even as I type. I made the dough this morning, then put a bag in the freezer and made two smallish pizza tonight for dinner. Toppings were what I had on hand: chopped red bell pepper, thin sliced Vidalia Onion, a sliced cluster tomato that tasted pretty darn good, and 3 chopped cheeses - parmesan, provolone, and mozzarella. I also drizzled on some olive oil, brushed some on the edges, and gave it a final sprinkle of Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle. If you haven't tried that stuff, you should!

Another observation, I thawed some cooked pizza sauce at room temp, and a lot of excess water separated out from the sauce. I just poured it off and had a very thick sauce - almost like a tapenade.

Thanks, Floyd, for a really easy and tasty pizza dough recipe!

Teresa

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

It was the best pizza I ever made. I used Rao's marinara sauce thinly spread and parmesan (reggiano), mozzarella and pepperoni. That was the easiest dough I ever made and the tastiest. I cooked one on an oiled cookie sheet and it baked well and came off the pan with no problem. The other I cooked on cornmeal on parchment right on the hot stone. The crust was more crispy on the bottom. We really couldn't decide if we liked it better cooked one way or the other. Both were great.         Thanks Floyd.                                                                                weavershouse

Susan's picture
Susan

I also made that pizza for dinner. We're waiting for our guests, so the dough's still in the fridge!

Susan

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Glad to hear it turned out well for all of you.

All credit goes to Peter Reinhart. Pick up his pizza book the next time you are near a bookstore. It doesn't cost much more than a large deluxe pizza from a take-out joint and, as you can tell, the results are *so* much more rewarding.

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

In your primer you say to mix it for a couple of minutes then bag and refrigerate or freeze it.

Here's my problem. When I take it out of the fridge (about 6 hours later) it is too slack. As if there is no gluten development. (this was the first time I made the recipe) So I ended up kneading it and letting it rest and it helped.

The second time I made the recipe I went ahead and put it through 3 French fold sessions at 30 minute intervals then split it after the 3rd rest.

How do you do your dough? Am I doing something wrong or missing a step?

Also, my dough is about 1/8" final thickness. Topped with scant raw tomato sauce, mozz cubes, scant cooked mushrooms and scant green olives and just a tiny few chopped onions. So very lightly dressed. Cooked at 550 on a stone for 8 minutes. Very brown on top. Crust a light gold. Bottom crispy but the part next to the pizza was a little on the gummy side. What can I do to remedy that? Will par baking cause the crust to toughen?

Thanks in advance!

(btw, to show how forgiving this recipe is, despite my questions, it's still made the best pizzas to date!)

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Hi bluezebra, I know you're asking Floyd, but I thought I'd jump in and just tell how I mix this dough (it's my new standard pizza dough).  I just mix it in the KA until I get a windowpane.  It doesn't take too much longer than regular bread dough (like for my sandwich bread), about 5 minutes or so at speed 2.  Then I throw it in a covered rubbermaid and leave it in the fridge all day (I usually make the dough the morning of the day I want to have pizza for dinner).  It's pretty easy to shape and stretch and all of that when 6 PM comes around.

Hope that helps a little!  

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Sounds great! Then maybe doing French folds will be ok. I don't have a machine to do my mixing. It all has to be extrapolated from machine time to hand! :D

I also don't like to do regular kneading so I think I'll just continue to fiddle with the FFs and rests until I can form a windowpane on it. Have you ever tried making this by hand?

p.s. Your name is Katie right? Or did I get you confused before when I called you Katie?

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Hi bluezebra, it is Katie, you're right.  I have to try to remember adding that at the bottom of my posts.  I have never tried to mix the pizza dough by hand--I have no time or patience for that since I have two little ones who are all over me, day and night.  Like ducks on a junebug, I tell you.  And the first thing they see of bread dough, they want to play with it (it's much better than Play-Doh, don't you know).  So rather than let them loose on my precious pizza dough, I have to hide it in the mixing bowl. =)

From what I've seen of that folding stuff (those videos of Mike's, I think), it looks like it develops the dough just great. I had never heard of such a thing, till this week when I joined The Fresh Loaf!

Katie in SC

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

because of this site and also Mike Avery! He maintains that any dough can be developed through the stretch and fold method and I believe it! It's so easy to do once you get used to it. The big hint is to use wet hands! Then there's is little to no sticking! And using a wet scraper will cut down even more on flour use when folding.

I fold mine on the counter and again to use Mike's words, use flour as if you are a miser and it's precious gold. I can get through 3 folding sessions on less than 1/4 cup of flour now. I think that's pretty good. I haven't weighed it but I would geuss it's somewhere in the vicinity of about 1 extra ounce of flour and for people who stress about their absolutel hydration percents it would be very easy to leave that 1% out of the original mix and just use it to do the folds so there's no net flour increase in the recipe.

You should go read about the Jason's Quick Crocodillo Ciabatta experiment I just did using the FF method. It's on my blog. I think it turned out pretty good even though I ran out of time and patience in letting it do a final proof! lol. It was 12:45 and I was tired!

Your babies sound precious Katie! And what a great age too! I think you are building memories with them by letting them play with the "playdough" while you're baking. You could even give them a little section of the counter and a stool to stand on and aprons and make it an event. I bet you would be raising tiny little future bakers!

Cheers!!

L_M's picture
L_M

I used to make that same recipe for pizza until I came across the one in "the bread bible" by RLB. I think the main difference is not in the actual recipe, but rather that it calls for AP flour  and the technique of no kneading or folding at all -simply mixing in the bowl with a spoon or spatula until you don't see anymore flour. Then it goes into a container coated with a bit of olive oil to rise ( I always let it rise in the fridge overnight). The crust is crisp, chewy and tender and the best part is that now all of our plates are clean - no more left over crusts! It might be worth a try...

L_M

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

That is pretty much the instruction from the Pizza Primer, but when I take the dough out the next day, it's very slack and lacking body and very sticky/wet.

Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong or maybe can you describe what your recipe of dough looks/feels like when you remove it from the fridge? What do you do to it between removing it from your container and shaping it into a pizza?

TIA!!!

L_M's picture
L_M

The dough rises until it is somewhere betwwen double and triple, and when it's time to take it out of it's container I first prepare baking parchment on the counter and put the dough straight onto it. Come to think of it my dough does feel sort of lifeless, probably intentional lack of gluten development to keep the crust tender. I shape it into a ball on the paper and in order to keep it from sticking to me I use some olive oil on my hands to gently start the pressing out. After a while I use a rolling pin and again using oil when needed and resting a few times before I get it to the desired size. That usually takes about 20 - 30 min from fridge to full size rolled out. Then it sits for about 45 min (summertime about 20 min) before I put on the toppings and bake. My dough doesn't have any oil in it so all together it isn't very oily and I think it helps to keep the sauce from sogging up the crust. I bake on the paper so it is very easy to transfer the pizza into the oven, but I know that some people like to take the paper out after a few minutes in the oven when the crust has already set. The first  time I made pizza with my new baking stone I wanted to transfer it on a floured peel with a bit of cornmeal - it stuck terribly and then for a final stunt the whole thing turned upside down and smeared all over the stone and burned...I almost cried. Since I read about using baking paper - I'm hooked.

I hope this covers it but if you have any more questions about it - feel free!

L_M

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I appreciate the extra information. I will do it as described in the recipe this week (will go ahead and make the dough tomorrow). Which is basically how you describe it and see if there is a difference in the crust. Will report back on the outcome, ok?!

I bake on parchment directly on the stone as well. I don't see any big difference other than the fact that I'm protecting my stone from any rogue oil from the cheese or crust! :D And boy is it sooo much easier than risking a fold over or pizza derailment! I woulda cried too if it had happened to me!

Thanks again!