The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Time for pizza

L_M's picture

Time for pizza

Hi Mariana, and of course to anyone else that wants to join in…the more the merrier!

I must say that I've tried many pizza dough recipes in the past but I think I've finished looking for the best – I found it. Again Rose shines, and it is her " Perfect pizza dough" recipe on pg 189 in the Bread Bible. I used to get left over crusts all the time, but not any more. The all purpose flour and light handed mixing keep it very tender, and also very easy to make. The kids sometimes eat it cold and they still finish the crusts.

I always let the dough rest overnight in the fridge, and since it is so hot in the summer I put it straight away in the fridge right after mixing without waiting the 30 min. as per instructions.

As for tinkering…the first time I made it as written and hubby said he thought it was a bit too salty, so I cut that a bit, then I figured I could cut the sugar as well, and in the summer I cut down on the yeast too. Sometimes I use wwflour in place of a portion of the all purpose. So in the end this is quite a deviation from the original but as I said before I really think the tender texture comes from the AP flour and very little mixing, and doesn't really have so much to do with the exact recipe. For this to feed 6 people, and some of us have a big pizza appetite, I multiply the recipe by 5.

Instead of measuring the oil, I just coat the inside of the rising container with olive oil making sure to cover the dough as well.

When it has risen I divide the dough and round each piece coating slightly with the oil and put them straight away on baking parchment. Now I know it's not professional, but I roll out the dough – the flinging in the air stuff doesn't work for me, and just flattening out with my hands makes the crust too thick, so I roll, rest, roll, rest, roll etc on the paper, until it is thin enough, . Then let the dough rise until it is puffy. In winter it takes about 45 min- 1 hr, in summer about 30 min.

Then go on the sauce and toppings and cheese. Everyone has their favourites but I don't cook the tomato sauce and most of the toppings (like onions, mushrooms) are raw, but sliced very thinly.

Now for the interesting part – the oven. I really love my oven (Scholtes – it's a French make). I got it a few years ago because it had a special program for baking yeast dough that keeps the oven very moist, and uses more bottom heat than top to allow the dough to continue rising during oven spring. There are also many automatic programs and one of them is for pizza. So here goes : this gives me a fully baked large pizza in 4 minutes. With a bit of monitoring I'm sure it can be done with most modern ovens. First of all preheat the pizza / baking stone on the rack on the second to the highest position in your oven. Since this is an automatic program, the oven doesn't state the temp but I'm sure it's very hot. Then slide the pizza with the baking paper onto the stone and bake for 3 min. (After the first 1 - 2 min. you can remove the paper if you like.) Then switch the oven setting to "broil" and stay close by, as this will take only about 1 min before it's ready. After removing the pizza, give the oven a few minutes to reheat before baking the next one. The timing works out well, so we usually just finish eating one by the time the next one is ready.

So that's my pizza story. Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear. Enjoy your pizzas everyone!

Please excuse my computer...I wrote this in 'word' and then copied and pasted it here, but obviously the hebrew default setting is effecting the way it comes out and everything is lined up on the wrong side. Sorry about that -hope you can still understand it. (ed. note: I fixed it for you)

mariana's picture


Oh, L_M, this is so great! Thank you so much! You are a genius. Look how well you write, an amazing essay about perfect pizza. I will bake them your way this weekend, yessss. I sense that you will eventually make me bake every recipe from Rose's books, LOL. OK, if they are that good. I agree.


 My question is about salt. If you multiply the recipe by 6, it will have a generous 1Tbsp of salt according to Rose's instructions. How much would you add, instead? I don't want salty dough, no way. With cheese being salty and salami and olives, it would be too much.


 Yeast in the recipe does look like a huge amount. How much would you recommend?


I have never tried the stone up there, near the broil. But I will. My oven also preheats baking stone so hot, that a pizza is charred in 5 min if it has sugar and fat in the dough. Which model of the oven do you have? I looked up Scholtes and they make about 27 different kinds of oven. Does yours introduce steam as well??? Wow.


Now, unbleached AP flour is the only kind I don't have in my pantry. I'll have to get it tomorrow. I will also ask in Italian restaurant nearby about Italian style flour, they might have it or order it for me. In Canada, softer flours are difficult to find. In contrast, your flour is just right for that kind of pizza.


OK, wish me luck! I will report about my results here.


Thank you.



L_M's picture

First of all thank you to the good fairy that came in the middle of the night to fix up my computer's mess...was that you Floyd?

Hi Mariana,

I guess I should have just written out the recipe as I make it and that would have made it easier for you, sorry I didn't think of it... so here it is - 5 times the original recipe :

560 gm AP flour  (optional, but I usually use 100 -160 gm wwflour as part of the total)

1 1/2 - 2 teasp instant yeast (summer - winter)

1 1/2 teasp sugar

2 scant teasp salt (1 teasp of my salt weighs 6 gm)

400 gm water 

When I was back in Canada several months ago my Mom got some AP flour for me to bake with. I think it was Red Roses or some other very ordinary brand. The protein is listed a bit different but I think it worked out to something like 11.3%. Anyhow, yes, finally the flour here is perfect for something!!

My oven model is FX 66 , and boy do I wish it had some sort of steam injection...but it doesn't. On pg 85 Rose suggests covering up the vents of an electric oven for the first 10 min of baking. I do this all the time and it makes a big difference. The oven window gets completely steamed up, so much that I can't see what is going on inside. BUT, BUT, BUT, beware because some people have had major oven troubles after doing this. When my oven gets too steamed up it starts the emergency fan to blow out all the steam, and there is no way to stop it, so that's when I almost start to cry :-( By now I've learned just how much to leave the front vents open ( I stuff them up with pot holders) so that everything goes according to plan.

Time to go start rolling out my pizzas...

Good luck with yours - waiting to hear the results


L_M's picture


I'm far from an expert, but maybe a few questions will help you come up with something.

Did you use this yeast lately for something else?

Is your room temp quite chilly?

How cold/warm was the water you used?

I think if you noticed some rise then it is working, so maybe just allow more time on the counter for it to warm up and rise before you start to roll it out, and also take into account that it will also need more time to puff up after you roll.

I must have monster yeast, cause I made the dough at about 12 midnight, put it straight away in the fridge, and this morning it had almost tripled - that's why I always have to cut down on the yeast.

Hope it works out for you. Maybe someone else has other ideas.


L_M's picture


Hope it's not too late for an answer, but no I don't cover it during the final proof.  When I roll out the dough I use the leftover oil from the container to lightly but generously coat the rolling pin. That way it doesn't stick to the dough and also serves as a coating to protect the dough from drying out. Another benefit is that the sauce doesn't soak into the dough, but it isn't really that much oil, so the whole topping doesn't slide off like I've seen happen sometimes with pizzas.

So...did it rise in the end?? Any difference in flavour from your usual short order method?

Mariana, the flour I meant is called five roses, not red roses ...oops.

Last night I checked my oven thermometer while baking the pizzas, and I saw that when I started baking the first pizza it read 275C and by the time the last pizza came out it was 290C. I have no idea the temp of the baking stone but the oven was certainly hot!


L_M's picture

OGB that is such great news! I'm so happy you both liked it. Now that you know how long it took to rise, you can adjust the amount of yeast according to your schedule.


browndog's picture

L_M, a very interesting write-up. Amazing but true--there's always something new to say about pizza.

How much if any kneading?

Toasting the pizza under the broiler sounds intriguing and scary. This is just to finish it off?

L_M's picture

Browndog, I find this whole world of breadmaking fascinating - always something new to learn!

So ... NO kneading at all - just very light mixing with a spoon/spatula.

In my oven the automatic setting goes for 3 minutes with convection heat and then it switches to broil, and here I have to decide for how long, but for us 60 seconds is just right, so yes it is just to finish it off.

Good luck if you try it!


mariana's picture


L_M, I owe you one now. This is without a shadow of a doubt the best pizza ever. Unbelievably good: crispy and tender. Flaky bottom crust and the tastiest crumb, O.M.G.! I had to use a cup of cake and pastry flour in the dough, to make it tender. It worked! I was very hesitant to subject it to 20 sec kneading, felt strange to treat pizza dough as if it was a muffin batter. : ) I used even less yeast than in your recipe: I added just 1 tsp of fresh yeast, since it was sitting for 24 hours waiting to be baked. The dough quadrupled in volume in refrigerator. 

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



L_M's picture

Mariana, your pictures are amazing - I can almost taste them! I'm thrilled that it lived up to my/your expectations. Like you, I was very hesitant in the begining to leave the dough as it was, but as you see it comes out so unbelievably crisp and tender. I wonder how Rose ever came up with the idea of making it this way. Your mixture of flours sounds like it was just right for making this tender crumb.

Just wondering - did you have a chance to try out the broiler method?


mariana's picture


L_M, it was a very memorable pizza. My husband said that was the tastiest crust I have ever made. I wasn't able to use broiler, due to somewhat unusual circumstances.


I was planning pizza for evening meal and was baking breads at noon, when I got the short term notice from my boys that they must have pizza for early lunch. OK. I baked them pizzas, using Rose's method of 5+5, i.e. prebaking crust, brushed with olive oil, then arranging toppings on it and finishing baking for 5 more minutes, using 475F convection oven setting and three baking shelves: one with breads baking and 2 with pizzas: one on stone, another above on rack. With breads inside, baking, I couldn't preheat the stone as high as I needed for flash baking of pizzas and I couldn't use broil - it would have burned my breads.


Next time I will not let them twist my arm and will bake pizzas using hot stone+broil method. OK?


Thank you!


L_M's picture

Mariana I always find that pizza brings out the best in people - maybe because it is such a fun and informal meal. Not to mention how easy it is to cater to all the weird and wonderful suggestions for toppings if you have a fussy family to feed. None the less, I'd say "let them twist your arm", I know that with my bunch it make them feel so good when I've changed my plans (and we're takling top priority bread plans!) to suit them. 2 out of my 3 kids don't live at home anymore and my youngest daughter is still in the army, so when we have them all together for a meal, it is treasured time.


ehanner's picture

L_M you got me interested with the raising the stone up in the oven and the simple mixing of ingredients. I started a batch last night before I went to bed and like you popped it right in the cooler. Overnight it doubled and I let it set for the day refrigerated. Around 5 PM I let it come to room temp and divided and reshaped. 

I use a small can (14 oz) of crushed tomatoes and roasted garlic from Red Gold and a little added basil and oregano. Tonight I used a stick blender on the sauce.

I only made a 2 pizza mix for the dough which is enough for the 3 of us. For me that's: 150 G cake flour, 50 G rye, 200 G AP and 281 G of water. I used 8 G salt, 8 G Sugar and 1 teaspoon Instant Yeast. A quick mix to make sure everything was blended and into the fridge.

We don't like a soft mushy crust so I usually pre bake the shell for 3 minute at 500 F and then top and bake for 4 minutes. Tonight I used the broiler to help brown the cheese and it was perfect.

Thanks L_M and Mariana,

Artichoke and Pepper PizzaArtichoke and Pepper Pizza

Ham and Pineapple PizzaHam and Pineapple Pizza

dolfs's picture

Today I was entertaining my 5 year old son Max for dinner (Mom was working). Every once in a while in the past we've made pizza together. Since I was working and picking him up from daycare at about 5:30 on those occasions, and pizza was a last minute after-thought, that meant getting a pre-made pizza dough at Trader Joe's and baking that. Worked, and he liked the "making" part of it, but was never wild about this pizza (although he does like pizza).

Not so today.Max the pizza manMax the pizza man

I mixed the dough (Rose's recipe, 1 lb) this AM and after it started rising refrigerated it until about 1.5 hours before dinner. I substituted 1/3 of the flour with white whole wheat flour (KA). Max climbed on his stool to watch and help as I dumped the dough on my work surface. I did not take the heavy oil approach, but rather dusted with flour, patted into a small circle and then attempted to drape the dough over the top of my hand (pizzeria style) and flip it in the air and spin it. Worked 7 out of 10 times, the other times it flopped onto itself, to great amusement of Max. This was easily fixed however and I pre-baked the pie as suggested. Max said: "Dad, that's not the way to make pizza, you forgot to put toppings on!"
I told him to trust me, I had read this in a book. "OK Dad, sigh!"

Ten minutes later Max got to put on his favorite topping: Hawaiian (ham/pineapple/red bell pepper) (with apologies to those on TFL who don't think that's real pizza :-).  The ham was a little charred, but think of it as Black-forest ham! Did not deter Max, who at half of a 9" pizza! Great taste, great crust: The ham was a little charred, but think of it as Black-forest ham! Did not deter Max, who ate half of a 9" pizza!

"So, how do you like it", I said. "You know Dad, I don't like hard crust and I don't like soft crust, I like it just in between, like this." Could not have said it better myself (crust was crunchy on first bite, but chewy inside). Thanks Rose!   


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