Same Day Pizza
When given a choice, I would always make pizza with dough leavened with sourdough. This could be a sourdough made with a three day lead time (See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/34452/pizza-bliss) or even dough made with sourdough “discard.” (See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/37179/pizza-made-sourdough-starter-discard) But, you know, sometimes I decide I want pizza for dinner tonight, not two or three days from now. I have found that the “Same-Day Straight Pizza Dough” formula from Ken Forkish's “Flour Water Salt Yeast” makes darn good pizza.
You do have to decide on pizza for dinner tonight by 8 or 9 am in order to get the dough made and ready for a 7 or 8 pm dinner. I usually plan for it before I go to bed the night before.
Note on quantities: These amounts of ingredients are for about 5 medium-sized pizzas. I usually scale the ingredients for 4 pizzas and actually make two pizzas and a quarter sheet pan of focaccia.
Note on flours: This formula works well with a variety of flour blends. You can use AP or Bread Flour entirely. You can substitute whole wheat for some of the white flour. I have made this dough with Bread Flour and 00. I found the crust less crispy and more chewy than I prefer. I have made it with all 00 flour. The flavor was wonderful, but 00 is milled to work best in a real pizza oven that heats to 700ºF or even hotter. In my home electric convection oven, the best I can do is 500ºF convection bake. Pizza dough made with 100% Italian 00 flour does not brown well. So, a mix of AP and 00 flours is the best I have found to date, giving me great flavor and beautiful performance. Well, a little whole wheat flour doesn't hurt a bit.
All purpose flour
Caputo 00 flour
Measure the yeast into a small bowl. Mix it with a couple tablespoons of the heated water and put it aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flours. Add the rest of the heated water and mix to fully hydrate the flours. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. (Autolyse)
Sprinkle the salt over the dough and scrape the dissolved yeast over the dough. Mix thoroughly. (I start by folding the dough over itself repeatedly with a silicon spatula, rotating the bowl 30º or so after each fold. I then squeeze the dough repeatedly with one hand, alternating squeezes with a series of stretch and folds. This both distributes the salt and yeast more evenly and develops the gluten further.)
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl. Allow the dough to ferment until almost double in volume (6-8 hours, depending on ambient temperature.) Do not under-ferment the dough. In this case, a bit over-fermented is better than under-fermented.
- Do a stretch and fold after one hour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into pieces – 350g for 10inch pizzas; 700g or more for focaccia; etc.
Form each piece into a tight ball. Flour lightly or oil lightly and refrigerate well-covered until 1-2 hours before use. They can be refrigerated until the next day, if desired. (Note: What I generally do is use a 1-quart Ziploc bag for each dough ball and spread a tablespoon or so of olive over the interior surfaces. Then I put a dough ball in each bag and refrigerate them, ideally for at least a couple of hours.)
An hour or two before use, take the dough balls out of the refrigerator.
Form each ball into a pizza shell by your method of choice. Top as desired and bake. (Note: I bake pizza on a pizza steel, preheated at 500ºF Convection for an hour. These pizzas baked in 8 minutes. Your time may vary depending on your oven.)
Pizza shaped, topped and ready to bake
Right out of the oven