The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Focaccia pizza

filmisdead@gmail.com's picture
filmisdead@gmail.com

Focaccia pizza

Hello friends,

 

I'm making a focaccia based pizza this evening and want to ask for your advice on the issue of par baking the crust. I've watched a lot of ameteur videos and the vast majority do not par bake. There are more professionally produced demos that basically just have you bake the focaccia and pull it 10 minutes before it's done, dress it and return to the oven till ready.

My focaccia is 80% hydration, but I'm willing to drop it down somewhat if necessary. 

 

I'd appreciate the input. TIA

 

Lou

arthurprs's picture
arthurprs

Some ingredients, notably cheese, benefit from a short bake. I would recommend doing a 2 step bake.

I think the single bake has a lot do do with "less hassle".

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

While I’m partial to fresh-baked-from-dough pizza, I find that keeping a couple of gently pre-baked pizza crusts in the freezer makes for a painless quick meal. Even when baking fresh dough, especially ciabatta with its crazy oven spring, a brief bake, allows some poof management before fully dressing the pie. My ciabatta dough is based on Jason’s Coccodrillo dough and darn near 100% hydration. Makes great pizza, too, FWIW.

Cheers,

Phil

deblacksmith's picture
deblacksmith

We make almost 100 percent of our pizza with a par-bake with a Focaccia type dough.  Then freeze so we have 4 to 6 pre-baked crusts in the freezer.  I make the crusts and my wife does the pizza almost every Saturday.  My hydration is not quite that high more like 75 percent.  I bake on a pizza screen doing two at a time and change racks half way through at 4 and 1/2 minuets  for a total time of 9.  Temperature 425 F.

Our son and his family do something similar but make it all on the same day with a par bake of only about 5 minuets on a screen followed by a final bake on the stone which is in the oven the whole time.  

We like it both ways.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The KAF people suggest a par bake of about 5-7 minutes with a light sprinkle of grated parmesan across the the top of the dough when preparing a fresh baked pizza. The idea behind this is to prevent slippage of the toppings. The idea does work to a degree as long as you're not trying to make an all the toppings in the world with extra cheese pie. A light hand with the toppings works out just as well.

filmisdead@gmail.com's picture
filmisdead@gmail.com

Thank you all for your responses. I ended up par baking it for 20 minutes until it was almost done and by then top was browning nicely, but still not done. I used light toppings, sauce, torn basil and finely shredded mozzarella. My guests said it was excellent and I had to agree it was pretty good. My only issue was that in spite of heavily oiling the bottom of the pan, the pizza would not release from the pan. We cut it in the pan and the slices came out nicely, but there was still 'evidence' that it wasn't a clean release. One of the guest's birthday is tomorrow and she asked me to make it again. I will repeat the procedure, but this time I will use parchment paper under the whole shebang.

Here is my recipe if you are interested.

  • 1 kilo bread flour
  • 800 grams warm water
  • 20 grams salt
  • 15 grams instant yeast
  • 35 grams olive oil

Here are the baker's percentages

  • Flour 100%
  • Water 80%
  • Salt 2%
  • Yeast 1.5%
  • Olive oil 3.5%

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix by hand (I use a Danish dough whisk) until all incorporated but shaggy.

Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.

Now, do one complete stretch and fold all the way around and invert the dough. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The dough can now be 'poured' onto your well-oiled baking pan and gently patted/stretched/degassed to fit into the corners. Dip your fingers into the oil and dimple the top. Moisten the top with more olive oil and whatever sparse toppings you want. IMHO, it's hard to beat rosemary.

Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in the baking pan for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour. After about half this time (20 to 30 minutes) I preheat my oven to 220°C (425° F)

Bake for 25 minutes or so reversing the pan after 12-15 minutes. It should be nice and brown on the bottom. If it isn't, try to remove it from the pan and place it directly on the oven rack for about 4 more minutes.

Enjoy!!