The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I am lazy sometimes. Well, most of the time in the last few weeks. Family still has to eat, though, and after fajitas were a hit last night, I threw the rest on a basic 75% hydration pizza dough thusly:

Yay for chicken, bell peppers, onions, and cheddar pizza. :D

dabrownman's picture

There is no question my apprentice likes to retard her pizza dough overnight but, sometimes you just don’t have that much time when the pizza urge hits you.  No worries!  We managed a very nice pizza in 8 hours starting at 10 AM yesterday.


We started the combo YW and Desem WW levain build and cut the 3 stage build from 3 to 2.  Two hours for the first stage and 3 hours for the second.  It had doubled in 5 hours.  For the last 3 hours of the levain build we autolysed the flour, dried rosemary, olive oil, Moho de Ajo, (2) malts, sun dried tomato oil, salt and the dough water.


We always try to have around 30% whole grains in our formulas if possible and this time it was a mix of whole wheat and soft white wheat that we ground at home.  So Desem WW starter was in order and we wanted the boost that YW gives to speed things along some due to the shot amount of time we had to get this dough ready.


5 hours in; 3 PM, we mixed the autolyse and the levains in the KA for 6 min on KA 2 and 2 minutes on KA 3.  Then we let it rest for 10 minutes.  We then did 3 sets of S & F’s, 10 minutes apart on a lightly oiled counter, starting with 20 stretches and ¼ turns and reducing the stretches by 5 each set – a total of 45 stretches.

The dough was ready to go after 2 hours and 15 minutes of resting and fermenting in a plastic covered oiled bowl.  At 5:15 PM we fired Old Betsy; Big GE oven too 500 F no steam.  These 2 pizzas were fully peel size and there was no way these were going to fit in the mini oven without some serious magic or ‘Honey I shrunk the pizza’ going on.

We also had the baking stone in there too since we never take it out of the oven except to move it to the grill for pizza there - like last time. Thankfully, after yesterday’s torrential rain it never got over 92 F so a little more heat in the house was not a big deal if you are used to 115 F for the last who knows how long.

After dividing the dough in half, we hand stretched it out to peel size, brushed a layer of some more Mojo de Ajo on, docked it  and put it in the oven to par bake for 3 minutes.  Then we removed it and then piled on the toppings of our choice, kalamata olives, hatch green chilies, red peppers, caramelized onions, re-hydrated dried shitake mushrooms, home made Italian sausage, pepperoni; parmesan, Colby and mozzarella cheeses  and some fresh basil for a garnish after it came out of the oven.

Then back into the oven for another 7 minutes or so to get nice and brown  - since, as Anne Burrell says “brown food tastes good’ and Brownmen agree with her.


Friday night grilled shrimp kabobs with Mexican Green Dirty Rice.  We are thinking beer can chicken for tonight.

The crust came out picture perfect thin and crisp, nicely browned on the bottom and tasted good.  After cutting, the slices were flat out rigid when held up, even with all the toppings and didn’t go limp, like NY Pizza, until the left over slices were being wrapped for freezing.

Sorry the photos are so bad this time but at night with indoor lighting it is the best my apprentice could manage.  They are still better then the ones my phone takes!  Formula follows at the end.

Soft White Wheat, WWSD YW Combo Pizza Dough










Starter Build

Build 1

Build 2



Desem  Starter





Yeast Water





Soft White






























Combo YW SD Starter















Starter Hydration





Levain % of Total










Dough Flour





Soft White Wheat










Bread Flour










Total Dough Flour















Dough Hydration










Add - Ins





Dried Rosemary





Red Rye Malt





White Rye Malt





EVOO 10, SD Tom. 10, MdA 5















Total Flour w/ Starter





Total Water w/ Starter





Tot. Hydration  w/ Starter





Hydration w/ Adds





Total Weight





% Whole Grain








isand66's picture

There are not too many things I like more than a pastrami sandwich, so when my wife suggested I try using some left over pastrami on a pizza I figured it was worth a shot.  I also had some left over smoked pulled pork in the refrigerator so I figured I would make a barbecued pulled pork pizza as well

I recently was gifted a cool item called the "Kettle Pizza" attachment.  This item fits on top of an existing Weber kettle style grill and allows you to get your grill over 700 degrees which is ideal for pizza.  I have used this a  few times with some great success and was looking forward to trying it again.    I have been reading many posts about using 00 style flour and how it really only works best when you can get your heat source over 700 degrees so while I could have used a 100% "00" flour pizza I still decided to do a 50-50 blend with bread flour.  If you don't have any "00" flour you can use 100% bread flour or another low protein flour.  The "00" flour does require less water so if you use it make sure to watch your hydration.  I suggest you add 50% of the water in the recipe before adding more and adjust as needed.

For the Pastrami pizza I used a simple fresh tomato sauce consisting of 1 can of diced tomatoes with red peppers, salt, freshly ground pepper, oregano, basil, 1/2 of a lemon and a dash of red wine vinegar. I also used fresh mozzarella along with some Munster cheese and Pastrami for the topping.

For the Pulled Pork pizza I used my home-made barbecue sauce along with fresh mozzarella.

I adapted a recipe from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Baking Everyday for the basic dough.  I have made this recipe several times and it is very simple and comes out great.

If you want to make this in your oven you certainly get great results as well.

I have tried the method suggested by  Steve B. at where he suggested to put your pizza stone on the highest shelf of your oven and set your oven to broil.  The purpose of this is to get as much heat as possible to be retained by the stone.  I have to say it worked perfectly in the past for me so give it a try!

If you don't have the Kettle Pizza attachment for your grill you can still put a pizza stone on your grill and end up with a successful pizza.  The biggest issue is trying to get the desired char effect on the crust.

I have to say both pizzas came out great and I would definitely try both of these combinations again.  Maybe next time I would put some carmelized onions on the Pulled Pork version.


340 grams, 12 ounces Italian Style (00) Flour

340 grams, 12 ounces Bread Flour

14 grams, .5 ounces, or 2 teaspoons salt (sea salt or table salt)

3 grams, .11 ounces or 1 teaspoon instant yeast

28.5 grams, 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons sugar

428 grams, 17 ounces water (90 degrees)  (I suggest you decrease this amount if using "00" flour)

28.5 grams, 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons olive oil


Combine all the ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1 minute.  The dough should be rough and a little sticky.  Let it rest for 5 minutes so the flour gets fully hydrated.

Knead the dough on medium low-speed (or by hand) for 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is smoother.  Next put some olive oil on your work surface and your hands and transfer the dough to your work area.  Do a stretch and fold and form the dough into a ball.  Divide the dough into 5 pieces weighing about 8 ounces each and form into balls.  Spray the inside of a mini plastic storage bag with oil and seal each dough ball in the bags.  Put them in your refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.  You can freeze them also for several months if desired.

About 90 minutes before you are ready to bake your pizzas take how many dough balls you plan on using out of the fridge and put them on your lightly oiled work surface.  Stretch the dough balls and reshape them into a tight ball.  Cover the dough balls with either plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray or a clean lint free kitchen towel sprayed with some water and let them rest until you are ready to bake.

One hour before you are ready to bake pre-heat your oven or grill  to the highest temperature and put your pizza stone on the highest shelf possible in your oven.

Prepare your favorite sauce and get your cheese and toppings ready.  Remember, that more is less.  Don't use too much cheese or sauce or you will end up with a soggy mess.

Put some bench flour in a bowl and dip each dough ball in the flour as well as your hands.  Flatten the ball of dough on the work surface with your hands first and if desired either use a rolling-pin or pick the dough ball up and using both hands start stretching it out using your thumbs and the back of your knuckles.   Your thumbs should actually be doing all the stretching and not your knuckles.  you want dough to be fairly thin, but not too thin or it will end up ripping.

If cooking on the Kettle Grill set-up be sure to have your pizzas ready to go as you want to get your additional pizzas in as soon as possible after the first one is done.  In order to get the heat so high you must use a bed of coals with wood chunks or small logs and you want to cook your pizza before the temperature gets too low.

If using your oven, turn your oven on broil 10 minutes before you are ready to bake your pizza and get the stone as hot as possible.  Assemble your pie and brush some olive oil on the crust if desired.  You can either sprinkle corn meal or flour on your bakers peel and place the pizza on your peel before putting the topping on it. Alternatively you can put your pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper and slide the peel underneath when ready to put in the oven.  The worse thing that can happen is for your dough to get stuck on your peel and make a mess in your oven, not to mention ruin all your good efforts.

Make sure you turn the oven off broil before you put the pie inside and turn it back to your highest setting.  Let the pizza cook until the crust is blistering and the bottom is nice and brown.

If using the Kettle Grill attachment, you want to bake the pizza turning it a couple of times with your peel until the bottom and top crust is nice and charred.

I hope you give this recipe a try yourselves.  It is actually fun to make and relatively easy.

Feel free to visit my website at for some of my older posts or search the TFL site.

Pastrami Pizza

dabrownman's picture

With the 110 F days of summer upon us, all baking and most cooking is done out doors on the grill or in the mini oven moved outside.  It has been a while since we did pizza on the grill so out went the stone to preheat at 650 F.

The Semolina and Durum Atta really made this dough stand out.  My wife said it was the best pizza dough we have ever made at home.  The starter was a Yeast Water and SD combination starter that was added to the autolysed dough with the salt, rosemary. grated pecorino cheese and garlic.  The hydration was 72%.

After mixing with the KA on speed 2 for 8 minutes the dough was rested for 15 minutes and then 5 S & F's were done on an oiled surface and rested for 10 minutes in a plastic covered bowl in between.  The last S&F was done on a floured surface and then the dough was rested for 1 1/2 hours on the counter before being refrigerated for 4 hours.

2 1/2 hours before bake and pizza time, the dough was removed from the fridge and divided into one piece 400 grams (for 2 pizzas) and one 800 gram piece for the bread.  The bread was pre-shaped into a batard and then final shaped 10 minutes later an places into a rice floured cloth lined basket to proof. 

When ready to bake the bread was up ended onto parchment and the top of the broiler pan that came with it  It was then baked in the mini oven at 500 F with Sylvia's steaming method for it for 4 minutes and then the oven was turned down to 450 F for another 8 minutes.  At the 12 minute mark the steam was removed the bread rotated 180 degrees and then baked at 400 F convection this time.  Every 5 minutes the bread was rotated until done and the internal temperature was 205 F  - about 32 minutes total. 

It thought the pizza was terrific and I ate a whole one by myself - no problem and I never do that.  The crust was the difference. We had grilled some; eggplant and Mexican grey squash, some poblano / red peppers and yellow onions.  Other toppings included; sliced green martini olives, reconstituted shitake mushrooms, green onions,  pepperoni, basil  and home made hot Italian sausage.   Cheeses included mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and pepper jack.  The sauce was homemade and spicy just the way we like it.

The pizza dough was par baked for 3 minutes and then removed from the grill for a coating of Mojo de Ajo and the toppings befopre being placed back on the stone for 3 more minutes.  The crust came out thin and very, very crisp. 

The pizza was so good it overshadowed the bread which oddly tasted just like the pizza dough -  which was fantastic :-)  I see some nice sandwiches in the future and some fine tasting garlic bread that, when toasted, will be perfect for bruschetta.   Some lunch with this Italian bread salami, guacamole, chips, pico, carrot, celery, cherries, cantaloupe, corn, radish, pickle and tomato.  The formula follows the cheesecake photo that jumped in there again.

Semolina Bread & Pizza Dough    
SD & YW C ombo StarterBuild 1Build 2Total%
SD Starter150153.00%
Yeast Water 50, Water9009018.00%
Total Starter1954524048.00%
Levain % of Total27.00%   
Dough Flour %  
Dark Rye102.00%  
Whole Wheat153.00%  
Durum Atta7515.00%  
Soft White Wheat10020.00%  
Dough Flour500100.00%  
Dough Hydration74.00%   
Total Flour642.5   
T. Dough Hydration72.76%   
Whole Grain %48.25%   
Hydration w/ Adds71.53%   
Total Weight1,185   
Add - Ins %  
VW Gluten51.00%  
1 Clove of Garlic, 1 tsp Dried Rosemary,    

1 T Mojo de Ajo, 1 T Sundried Tomato

1/2 C grated Pecorin Cheese



dabrownman's picture

We took 100 g of our last bake:  The SD / YW Chacon Revisited – 90% Whole Grain, Multigrain Sprouts, Walnut and Sage Paste, and Pumpkin Seeds and used that as the starter for the pizza and pide dough.  It was weird having nuts, seeds and sprouts in the final dough but sure made forming the crusts fun and interesting with these add-ins tearing holes when ever they were encountered :-)

To this starter we added 100 g of whole soft white wheat we ground in the Krups grinder and 150 g of AP flour with 180 g of water.  The hydration ended up being around 75% since the starter was at 90% hydration.

We ground up some dried rosemary from the back yard and added this to the pizza dough after it was formed into a pie and the Mojo de Ajo brushed on the top.  The pies and pide were pre-baked a 500 F on a stone for 3 minutes before the rest of the toppings were added.  Instead of rosemary, the pide was sprinkled with dried Greek oregano after the  Mojo de Ajo was brushed on. 


My daughter said is was the best pizza to date even through she and my wife preferred our standard Focaccia Romana with garlic, fresh rosemary and sun dried tomatoes in the dough.  I'm not sure how this squares with being the best?

The pizzas had the usual toppings, home made Italian sausage, pepperoni, 5 peppers; red, green, poblano, Serrano and jalapeno peppers, caramelized onion and mushrooms,  3 cheeses; mozzarella, pecorino and Parmesan with fresh basil and garlic chives for garnish - after they came out of the oven.

Since this dough didn't have any olive oil in it, it baked up thin and very crisp and stayed that way even when wrapped up for the freezer an hour later.  It didn't bend even when loaded with all the toppings. A crunchy delight that wasn't too much because it was so thin. Very tasty too.

I liked the pide the best because of the toppings.  The oregano and Mojo de Ajo base, green olives stuffed with pimentos cut in half, sun dried tomato and garlic Feta, caramelized onion and mushrooms, the 5 peppers, thinly sliced Swiss chard with a hint of pecorino on top.  The little extra dough on the ends and side was also nice.  I'm sure the next bake will use the standard Focaccia Romana dough but the change this time was nice.  Next time, we have to bake it longer to get those dark, dark spots on the crust that makes Sylvia's look and taste so good.

jamesjr54's picture

My wife got me the Kettle Pizza cooker for my BD (discussed in this thread here). This is the 18.5" model, MSRP $129.95. This is my first try. Not bad, but need to tweak techniques: the timing - how long to heat the stone for ideal crust; how to spin it around; when to yank parchment paper; ideal temp to start cooking, etc. The trick is to balance cooking the crust with the top. I missed it by that much on this go-round. 

I used parchment paper to ease the transfer off the peel. Hardwood added was maple - in abundant supply in my woodpile. (Tried it subsequently with cherry, and it was slower to burn, but reached a much higher temp. In fact, I left the top on after cooking batch #2, and 2 hours later the temp was 400F with the cherry wood.)

The crust was underdone. You can see the thing heats the Weber to 700 easily - took about 12 minutes once the hardwood started burning. Total cooking time was about 6 minutes. Using it again tonight and will report back. Very happy with this, and don't see why this can't be used for loaves of bread.

And call me parochial, but I like it that this is made by a guy about 15 miles from me (in MA). 

Crust was sourdough from KAF's website, minus the yeast. I also did not use the starter straight from the fridge; instead I refreshed it to make a cup, let it ferment 8 hours, made the recipe, and it rose just fine in about 2 hours.


mrosen814's picture

Loving Nancy Silverton's Pizza Recipe

May 15, 2012 - 3:30pm -- mrosen814

I think this is about the 3rd time I've used this pizza dough recipe by Nancy Silverton, and it seems to get better and better each time. 

I modify the recipe slightly, by resting the dough overnight in the fridge, and omitting the wheat germ (I just didn't have it on hand).

This is what I topped the pizza with:

keebs45's picture

NY Sicilian Pizza dough

May 2, 2012 - 12:59pm -- keebs45


Does anyone have a good NY Sicilian style pizza dough recipe?  I've had a craving and living in Boston I've only found a few close substitutes.  I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a shot at home to hold my over until my next trip home.  I know it's all about the dough, it needs to be thick and soft on the inside, a little crispy on the outside and most importantly it has to taste good. 

Thank you in advance!

dmsnyder's picture

Yeah. French makes everything seem fancier. Anyway, today I made three kinds of bread from the San Francisco-style Sourdough dough I've been playing with for the past couple months.

The dough was basically version 6. I put my stock starter through 3 builds of 75% AP and 25% WW at 50% hydration. The builds were fed at approximately 12 hour intervals, and the third build was cold retarded for about 14 hours then fermented at 85 dF for 3 hours before mixing the dough to make 2 kg. After dividing and shaping, all products were cold retarded again before final proofing and baking.


Boule made with 1 kg of SF-style SD dough

Boule crumb 

Boule crumb close-up

Mini-baguettes made with 250 g of SF-style SD dough each.

Baguette crumb

These breads had a very crunchy crust and a complex, moderately sour flavor. The flavor was more like the version 4 bake than the last version 6 bake. It had a distinct milky, lactic acid element as well as the sharper acetic acid tang. Very, very yummy. I am happy that this formula and method are delivering consistant results for me.

The remaining 500 g of dough was divided into two pieces, shaped into balls and put in Ziploc sandwich bags along with a tablespoon of olive oil, then refrigerated for 24 hours.

Mozzarella, tomato, mushroom pizza

Pesto, mozzarella, mushroom pizza

Pesto, mozzarella, mushroom pizza close-up

The pizza was fair. The crust was chewy. My wife liked the flavor of the crust. I prefer a really thin, cracker-crisp crust. However, it's nice to know this dough makes fair pizza crust. If you like chewy rather than crisp, this may be for you.

Happy baking!


copyu's picture

Hi everyone,

It's been a long time since I've been able to contribute anything to the community here at TFL. Clinic and hospital visits (as a patient) most weekends, some overtime work at my main job and a lot of editing work up until the end of the fiscal year here in Japan have kept me too busy to post anything.

I remember cursing my inability, last year, to make a respectable pain au levain without blow-out on the sides and/or the bottom of the loaves. I was really inspired by the wonderful advice that the folks at TFL offered. I did thank them, but never showed them why I was so happy with their excellent guidance. This photo is of my most beautiful P-A-L, which also tasted great. 

Crumb shot follows:



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