The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ok... now what?? (Pizza dough needs perfecting...)

hs4816's picture

Ok... now what?? (Pizza dough needs perfecting...)

Hi people. This is only my second post here, but have received much wisdom from you all thus far. Thanks in advance for putting up with my newbishness ;-)     (I've been working with dough/yeast for about like 6 weeks and am a total beginner).

Am working on my pizza dough. Have gone through about 5 batches so far.

Recipe is:

Bread flour

58% water

2% yeast

2% sugar

6% olive oil

1.25% salt

I use a stand mixer. It gets kneaded somewhere between 10-15 minutes. It does rise #1 in oven then spends 24h in the fridge. Then it gets used up or frozen.

It's fairly easy to work with. stretches out nicely, has decent flavor I think. Holds up without getting soggy. Freezes well.

Overall I'm pretty happy.

Have experimented with different temperatures: 350, 450, 500, 550 and with prebaking vs not (doesnt seem to need it).


What I'd like is for the crust edges to puff up/rise more when baking and also for the texture to be a bit more chewy (it gets quite crunchy and crumbly).  I'd appreciate your opinions and expertise. I'm not sure whether to focus on technique (kneading, proofing, cooking temperature) or the recipe itself (more oil, hydration, etc).




Findtatyana's picture

I'm about to try a recipe that mimics mellow mushroom restaurant pizza dough and the secret ingredient is molasses. 

gerhard's picture

How are you stretching the dough?  I found if you use a rolling pin you are less likely to get the puffy edges.  I flatten the dough with my fist and then use my finger to stretch it round on a floured surface leaving a centimetre or so raised.  Then I let it rest for a minute or so before picking it up and stretching it using the back of my hands.


hs4816's picture

thanks for the comments.

I'm really just stretching it out with my hands. Stretch, flatten, pick it up and let gravity help.... I am not using a rolling pin.

I think it would help if I really understood what makes something rise while cooking. The gases need to form and then escape, so I'm assuming more gas = more rising????  I know an initial high temperature is supposed to help, so I'm trying that. Otherwise I'm not sure if a higher hydration or a different gluten level would make a difference?

sirrith's picture

Crunchy crust is usually a result of too long baking times.  Crumbly might indicate too low a hydration level.  How long does your pie stay in the oven? 

Are you using a baking stone or steel?  How hot is the baking surface at launch? 

I'd recommend dropping the oil to 4%, and upping hydration to 62% (better for oven spring).  Place the baking surface on the highest or 2nd highest shelf, preheat it (get a steel if you haven't got a stone or steel yet) as hot as you can get it in the oven, usually around 500-550F.  After launching the pie, turn on the broiler on maximum setting, and your pizza should be done in well under 5 minutes.  This should give you both better oven spring and a more tender crumb. 

When you stretch your pie, try avoid touching the rim as much as possible, any handling of the rim itself will decrease the puffiness. 

Maeve's picture

and nobody in my family liked it. I get the best results from using a small amount of semolina flour (about 1/5 of the total flour amount) adding some leftover mashed potato (maybe a tablespoon?) some sour dough starter (although I also use instant yeast, the starter just adds some extensibility and flavour) KA bread flour and salt. No oil or extra sugar. I let it rise about 90 minutes, then divide it, ball it up a bit and plop it into oiled containers and into the fridge for several hours. It gets spread out on parchment paper, sauce+cheese+toppings, chucked in a preheated 500F oven, onto a fibrament pizza stone.