The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza dough help

mroberts2404's picture
mroberts2404

Pizza dough help

Hello. Glad to be part of your forum. I'm looking for some help with making pizza dough. I finally have a good recipe that produces the desired taste and texture for the crust. However, the dough at the stage when I'm ready to shape the pies - is difficult to work with. Specifically, if I lift one end, the weight of the remaining dough pulls and stretches very quickly - it's too elastic. Ultimately, it's difficult to transfer to the peel, but once there is easy to shape and bakes nicely.

I initially mix the dough by hand (stirring until I can't any longer, about 5 or 6 minutes) until it's sticky (I'll be getting a KA or Electrolux mixer once the economy improves). I transfer it to floured surface and cover it w/ a bowl, letting it rest for about 20 minutes. I then add/knead in the remaining cup of flour for another 7 or 8 minutes and cut it into smaller pieces/balls which I then refrigerate in containers for a day or two. I remove them about 2 hours before I'm ready to make the pies. The resulting dough tastes great but seems fairly loose. Is that the tradeoff for working with moist doughs?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! And good holidays!


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Seems like you've mostly solved this your self. The step before it becomes too difficult to handle is when it can be placed on the well floured peel.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

sounds like the dough is very slack, possibly somewhere in the 70+% water/flour range. until recently, i worked with 75% hydration dough and had the same problem. i've since reduced my water content to around 60% and the difference has been dramatic -- much easier shaping, more cooperative dough, with no loss of crust quality (in fact, it's gotten better, since the relative stiffness of the dough lets me get the crust as thin as before or thinner, without the risk of tearing)


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

mroberts2404's picture
mroberts2404

Stan: I'll try using more flour. I live/bake in Arizona which is typically dry and a friend suggested that I compensate for my dry tasteless crust by using more water and adding the 20 minute resting period. I'll try your suggestion in a few days and will let you know how this works out. Thanks.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

which is every bit as dry; the climate doesn't make that big a difference, i don't think, if you're taking care not to let the surface of the dough dry out. the 20-minute rest is important to relax the gluten so you can stretch the crust as thin as you want.


good luck, looking forward to your results.


Stan

mroberts2404's picture
mroberts2404

Is lightly dusting with flour before putting in containers for refrigerator storage/resting sufficient to prevent drying...or are you a fan of adding a light layer of oil to the dough? Thanks BTW for the help.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

generally, i retard/freeze my dough in out -of-the plastic sandwich bags with as much of the air taken out as possible. when i worked with stickier doughs, i generally either (a) gave the inside of the bags a quick spray of PAM, or (b) rolled the dough balls around in a small bowl containing about 1tsp of oil (replenishing as needed).