These forums have always been invaluable to me in the past so I thought I would throw my latest problem out there and see if anyone can help. I would also like to point out that I have done much searching on the internet and have found many conflicting opinions regarding pizza dough/bases.
I suppose the real basic problem is that I cannot get my pizza dough really thin and crispy. I try and try to stretch it but it always springs back. (FYI, I have a pizza stone and a paddle. I cook the pizza on baking paper on the stone and I remove the paper a couple of minutes after cooking.)
I have taken to rolling the dough out on baking paper which definitely helps but I still get very thick edges and it is always shrinking back. Then of course it all puffs up in the oven. It tastes great, my wife loves it but it is far too bready for me. You get full quickly.
I have used three different recipes, one was from Jamie Oliver's Italian book using strong white bread flour, another was from the same book using just '00' flour and the third was from Bertinet's 'Crust' or 'Dough' - I forget which. They all give me the same problem so I am reluctant to believe it is a recipe problem.
Where I think I am going wrong: - many people say you must rest the dough if it is shrinking back etc. Unfortunately we don't always have a lot of time as either my wife or I are going back out again for the evening so time is sometimes quite short.
Once my batch of dough is made, I separate it into balls and freeze it. On the day of baking I take the dough out of the freezer in the morning and leave it on the kitchen side all day. When I get home from work it has puffed up a lot. I deflate it and start the painful process of getting it thin. I tend to think it has all day resting and so I just get on with it - perhaps this is where I am going wrong. I have also tried defrosting it in the fridge but of course it is very cold when I get home and I just don't have an hour or so to get it to room temperature.
I have never tried making the pizzas as soon as the dough is ready - it always get frozen - could this be my first problem?
My dough is NEVER like the dough on youtube where they just hand stretch it to super transparency. Mine fights me.
Base rising in oven:
There are a few recipes online for no-rise pizza dough. like here and here. You make the dough, stretch it and bake it. This appeals to me as I am low on time. Is the rising period just for developing flavour? Can you skip this part and still get a decent pizza base? Would the fact that there is no initial rise keep it thinner in the oven and stop it puffing up quite so much?
So to simplify - 1.I have never been able to produce a thin pizza base with my hands or a rolling pin - they defy me every time.
2. Even when I get the base as thin as I can manage it rises in the oven and becomes quite bready (more like a deep pan I suppose). This could be because it wasn't thin enough to start with. See problem 1.
Any help appreciated, many thanks.