The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pizza crust

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way2gofatgurl's picture

Newbie Here

March 25, 2011 - 10:09pm -- way2gofatgurl

Hello all,


I came across this site a few weeks ago and I really am interested in trying a few of the bread/pizza dough recipes. I am just your average person who likes to bake and cook. I do have a few questions.


1. What is the difference between fresh yeast and instant yeast? and is instant yeast the rapid rise? ie. feishmann's


2. Generally should i use instant yeast vs active dry? Based on my experience, i found that the active dry was much better than the rapid rise.

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Originally posted on 10-16-2010 at Evil Shenanigans



Pizza is one of those things that is either done very well or done very badly. I don't waste my time on bad pizza. Honestly, there is no excuse for gummy crust, plastic cheese, and manufactured toppings when fresh, wholesome ingredients are available. With that in mind I went on a little shopping spree for toppings, and I'm ashamed to admit I went a little overboard - about $50 overboard! - on toppings and exotic cheeses, but trust me when I say it was totally worth it!


For me this pizza has the perfect balance of smokey, spicy, sweet, and savory all on a crisp and chewy crust. The secret of this pizza is not loading it down with toppings and cheese. Each topping packs a lot of flavor so a little goes a long way. My rule of thumb is to add enough so each slice gets a little of the love! This is also a good place to break out some good cheeses, none of that ready-shredded business. Last, and by no means least, is the crust. My crust is made with a Texas beer, Shiner Bock. A lot of pizza recipes have you proof your crust for a day or two in the fridge to develop flavor. Using eer rather than water gives you that long proofed flavor with out the actual long proof.


Sweet, Smoky, and Spicy Pizza on a Bock Beer Crust Yield 4 medium or 2 large pizzas


For the Bock Beer Crust:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons instant yeast)
1 1/2 cups Shiner Bock, or any bock, beer
1/4 cup water
Olive oil for brushing


For the herb sprinkle:
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme


For the cheese blend:
2 - 6 ounce Fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
1 cup smoked young cacioavallo, or smoked provolone, grated
1 cup fontina fontal, grated
1/2 cup grana padano stravecchio, or Parmesan


For the toppings:her
2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe here)
1/2 cup caramelized onions
4 strips Candied Bacon, cut into 1″ pieces (recipe here)
3 ounces hard Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced and browned
4 - 1/2″ slices of fresh pineapple, grilled and cut into 1″ pieces
Fresh basil for garnish



In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment, combine the flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt.


In a small bowl proof the yeast, if using active dry, in 1/2 cup of beer. Once foamy, about ten minutes, add it to the dry mixture along with the remaining cup of beer and the olive oil.


Mix on low speed for three minutes. The dough should be fairly sticky but form a smooth ball. If the dough seems dry add the water one tablespoon at a time until no dry flour remains. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.


Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth ball. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.


Heat the oven to 500 F with a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven for thirty minutes before you are ready to bake.


Once fermented turn the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board. Gently press the dough to degas then divide into four equal pieces. Round the pieces and let rest, covered, for ten minutes. (You can place any dough you don't need in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months at this time.)


Once rested form the pizza crust to your desired size and thickness by picking up the dough and gently stretching in a circle. Transfer the dough round on a semolina dusted square of parchment on a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with the herb mixture.


Bake for two minutes, then remove the crust from the oven, discard the parchment.



Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of tomato sauce evenly over the pizza, then spread 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions over the sauce. Add 4 or 5 slices of the fresh mozzarella, 1/4 cup each browned mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grilled pineapple chunks. Next add 1/4 cup each of the smoked young cacioavallo and fontina fontal. Add 5 or 6 pieces each of the chorizo and candied bacon. Finish with freshly grated grana padano stravecchio.


Bake the pizza for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is crust is brown. Garnish with fresh torn basil, if desired.



Enjoy!


 

espinocm's picture
espinocm

Over the past few years I have tried countless pizza dough recipes on my quest for what I consider the perfect pizza crust. Two weeks ago I tried yet another recipe and although it was the closest one so far, it still was not "the one.” Being that close only encouraged me more to continue my search which led me to The Fresh Loaf and more specifically to SylviaH, where I found a picture of exactly what I had in mind, her “Thin Crispy Crust on pizza.” Interestingly enough, that particular pizza was made using the same recipe I used that got me the closest but the way I got to Sylvia's pizza was by googling, "bubbly thin crisp pizza crust" so I decided it was the meant to be recipe; however, I needed to perfect it. Since some of the ingredients in the recipe have different options (table salt or kosher salt; bread, all-purpose or high-gluten flour; sugar or honey; etc.), I wrote Sylvia to ask her which ingredients she used to make this particular crust. She promptly wrote me back and provided me with the information I wanted and so this past weekend I made pizzas and I finally got exactly what I have wanted!


These two pizza crusts were made using Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough recipe from PR American Pie book with the following ingredients: KAAP, clover honey, fine sea salt, IADY, olive oil and spring water. I mixed the dough by hand; however, during the second mix, I had to mix a little longer than 2 to 3 minutes as stated in the recipe directions. I mixed the dough until it passed the windowpane test. I immediately divided the dough into four balls, let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes and then put two in the refrigerator and two in the freezer. The next day, I removed the dough from the refrigerator 2 hours before I planned on using it, heated oven to 550F and heated stone on the bottom rack for 1 hour. Rubbed the pizza peel with flour, shaped the dough as Sylvia stated in one of her posts, “…shaped between my two palms and flipped back and forth over my wrists and gently stretched in my hands…,” placed dough on peel, topped, baked for 6 minutes, as suggested by Sylvia, placed them on cardboard when they were done and I also brushed the crowns with a little olive oil.


Pizza 1: brushed dough with garlic infused olive oil and topped with Italian blend cheese, provolone, parmesan, feta and pesto sauce. The Italian blend had provolone and parmesan but I had some extra so I put it on the pizza.


Four Cheese Pesto Pizza


Pizza 2: a little tomato sauce and topped with sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, black olives and Italian blend cheese.


Supreme Pizza


Thank you TFL and Sylvia for helping me achieve my goal of finding the perfect pizza dough recipe! And just in time! Now I can make and store dough in the freezer and concentrate my efforts on other things I usually make around this time of year such as tamales which can take most of a weekend and on some other breads I want to try.


Christi - Oklahoma City, Ok

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Posted on EvilShenanigans.com on 6/12/09


I have been on something of a pizza kick lately, and not those commercially prepared pies with flavorless cheese and mushy veggies.


DSCF2897


I can directly pin-point when this all started.  It began at the Mushroom Council lunch when Chef Kent Rathburn made us a grilled mushroom pizza.  I knew in that moment that I would be making a pizza with grilled mushrooms.  This is the result.


DSCF2890


I used mushrooms that were available at the grocery store, portobello and white button, and added some red pepper for extra flavor.  I will say this, grilling mushrooms is an easy way to add a soft smoky flavor and meaty texture to a pizza, and it may be the only way I do it from now on!


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I decided that instead of sauce I would just put diced tomato on my pizza, and along with some lovely fresh mozzarella cheese I would add some creamy ricotta.  Of course, I added some pepperoni.  It is my favorite topping.  I'm not ashamed to admit it either.


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The crust is homemade, and I decided almost at the last minute to add about 1/4 cup of my sourdough starter to it.  The starter added a nice tangy bite to the crust, which has a crisp exterior and a soft interior.  If you do not have any starter do not fear.  It is entirely optional, and the crust is still beautiful with out it.


Grilled Mushroom and Ricotta Pizza on Sourdough Wheat Crust   Serves 4-6


Sourdough Wheat Crust:
1 cup water heated to 95F
2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup sourdough starter, optional
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white bread flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the bowl
1 teaspoon salt


Grilled Mushrooms and Peppers:
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper


Other Toppings:
Ricotta cheese
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Diced tomatoes
Pepperoni
Fresh oregano, minced
Fresh Basil


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Prepare a sponge by combining the water, yeast, starter, sugar, honey, and what flour in a bowl.  Stir to combine and allow to sit covered, at room temperature, for ten minutes.  The sponge may not be terribly foamy or bubbly.


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To the sponge add the remaining ingredients and mix with the dough hook on low speed for 3 minutes. Adjust the hydration as needed (the dough should be tacky but not cling too much to your fingers).  Increase the speed to medium and mix for 8 minutes.   Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a ball on a lightly floured surface.


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Transfer to a bowl coated with olive oil, turn once to coat, and proof for two hours, covered, at room temperature.  After the initial proof, degas the dough and store, covered well, in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or up to three days. 


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Pull the dough an hour before you are ready to bake it.  While the dough warms up prepare your toppings and heat your oven to 500F with a pizza stone on the bottom rack, if you have one.  


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With the flat of a knife crush two large garlic cloves.  Mix them with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Add the sliced mushrooms and bell pepper strips and allow sit five minutes.


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Transfer to a perforated grill pan and cook, over a very hot grill, until starting to soften, about five to ten minutes.  Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.


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Divide the dough into two large or four small balls and, using your hands, stretch it into a thin circle.  


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Transfer the dough to a pizza peel that has been dusted generously with corn meal.  Top the pizza with a thin layer of ricotta, diced tomatoes, oregano, mozzarella, pepperoni, and the grilled mushrooms and peppers.


DSCF2891 


Cook the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and brown and the cheese has melted and begun to brown as well.


DSCF2899 


Allow the pizza to rest for five minutes before slicing.  Top with torn fresh basil.


DSCF2898


Enjoy!

tgw1962_slo's picture

high gluten flour

January 8, 2009 - 6:53pm -- tgw1962_slo

Hello,


I recently read that using a high-gluten flour (KAF's Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten, or Giusto's "Ultimate Performer") is better for making pizza crust than an AP or bread flour as it produces a chewier or firmer crust.


Anyone here ever use high-gluten flour for pizza crust? What was your experience? Did you like it more or less than using AP or Bread flour?  


I also understand that High-gluten absorbs more moisture, so you supposedly need to add a small amount more of water than if you used AP or bread flour? 


 

Eli's picture
Eli

This week I am going to be a baking fool! I have some time and I have been behind so I am going ro catch up granted,nothing earth shattering should appear as usual. I wanted to start out the week with some pizza dough from Crust & Crumb and I am leaning towards Pizza II. I will say it is better with about 72 hours in the fridge utillizing a slow rise. PR says it should hold about 48 hours but mine is doing well after 72 hours (much more taste and great texture). My fresh ingredients are slowing down in  the garden but I still have plenty herbs. Today the list is Pepperoni (not from the garden), Mr. Stripey Tomato slices, Better Boy Red Tomato puree, Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Fresh Mozeralla, Calamata Olives, Fresh Thyme, Oregano, Vidalia Onion and my favorite, Honey Roasted Garlic. Turned out quite nice and the crust was delicious!

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