The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza 85% hydration

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza 85% hydration

Another great baking day. The crust was crunchy, crisp, and super flavorful. Too many good bakes in a row, I am due for a disaster :-)

We were having a friend over and decided we wanted to make pizza. We are making pizza at least twice a month now, but usually we throw the pizza together at the last minute, which enables a tasty pizza but just not as good as one where the dough is started the day before.

But, this time, I had enough fore warning and I had a guest to cater to, so I got to put in the extra effort. I really wanted to use commercial flour, but unfortunately, all we had were unground white and red hard wheat berries. Which I knew were not ideal for making pizza dough. However, my wife loves anytime I can make whole wheat work and I enjoy the challenge.

I went on the hunt for an (a) overnight, (b) 100% whole wheat, (c) high hydration, and (d) sourdough pizza dough recipe. I couldn't find any recipes that had all 4 desired traits, so I ended up combing 2 recipes and 1 youtube video into my own recipe.

My biggest concerns for this bake were:

  • The whole wheat dough breaking down during the night in the fridge.
  • Getting the timing wrong with regards to warming up the dough early enough to get a good rise by bake time
  • Getting the hydration wrong, I didn't want dense and chewy dough

I had no issues with the dough, except for the hydration. I should have increased it even more. I chose 80% hydration based on this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTas4Fn9xk4

But, Mr. Iacopelli was using refined and fine flour. So, I realized pretty early on that I should have chosen a hydration between 90% and 110% for my freshly milled hard white wheat. I was able to improve the situation substantially by adding water while working the dough during bulk ferment, but I probably only upped the hydration to 85%. In the end, the crust was fantastic, but shaping the pies was difficult and I think the crust could have been much more supple and easier to shape had I had a higher hydration.

The other two recipes I consulted in coming up with my recipe were:

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/whole-wheat-pizza-dough/
https://www.thursdaynightpizza.com/no-yeast-sourdough-pizza-dough/

Recipe:

  • 6% starter (50:50 hard red wheat:water) (100g)
  • Hard White Wheat (I chose white because it has a milder flavor than red) (1500g)
  • 80% Water (1200g)
  • 2% salt (30g)
  • 2% oil (30g)
  • 2% molasses (any sugar would suffice) (30g)
  • 5% Ooopsie Water (trying to correct for less than ideal hydration level) (75g)

Process:

  • 9p night before: By hand, mix all ingredients except for the oopsie water into a shaggy mess. The goal here is to get the flour to absorb the water for 15 minutes before spending too much time trying to build any gluten.
  • 9:15p: Knead dough by hand for about 5 minutes, basically to get the ingredients to be evenly distributed and start some gluten developing. I really didn't work the dough very hard, just folded it over about 10 to 20 times until the the dark molasses spots in the dough disappeared. In hindsight, I should have mixed the salt, water, and molasses together first, before added it to the rest of the ingredients. No negative side effects to the end product, it only meant I had to work a bit harder to evenly distribute everything.
  • 9:20p: When done kneading, transfer to a clean container, cover and throw in fridge.
  • 9a next morning: Pull dough out of fridge and set on counter to slowly warm up and let the sourdough start to do its job. At this point, the top of the dough was kind of dried out from being in the fridge. The top of my plastic container wasn't tightly sealed enough. I added about 10g of oopsie water at this point and worked it into the dough. Did about 5 folds.
  • 10a: Added another 20g of water, folded about 10 more times to work the water in. Dough was still cold at this point and the sourdough hadn't really done anything.
  • 11a: Added another 20g of water, folded about 10 more times. Dough was almost room temp, no signs of sourdough activity yet.
  • 12a: Added rest of oopsie water (25g), folded about 10 more time. Dough might have been showing signs of life, but nothing terribly noticable.
  • 4p: Dough had more than doubled and looked good. Using a scale, I divided the dough into 9 equally weighted pieces. Did my best to preshape  into a ball, but the dough was  a bit hard to work with because of the low hydration, so I did my best. Let the preshaped balls rest or 15 minutes.
  • 4:15p: Put preshaped balls on to pizza peal sized sheets of parchment paper. Tried to shape the dough into pizza pies. The gluten was strong with this dough, the dough kept trying to go back to its original form. I overworked the first pie by forcing it into shape... I was too firm with my insistent pushing a prodding. That pie didn't come out as beautifully as the other. For the rest, I decided to shape the dough in two steps. The end result needed to be a pie with a 14" diameter, so for the first step I gently worked the dough into a 9" diameter pie, then let it rest for 10 minutes. In the second step, after the gluten had relaxed, I worked the dough the rest of the way to 14". This worked well.
  • 4:30p: gently worked dough a second time to get it to 14". (If anyone other than me actually reads this, when I write gently worked dough, I mean, gently pull and push the dough in your hands, never nearing the point of tearing the dough or squishing the life out of it, and absolutely never use a rolling pin. If you overwork the dough, you will squish out all of the air bubbles and won't get a nice airy crust.)
  • 4:30p: Preheat oven to convection 550dF. The hotter the better, 500dF is as high as my oven goes.
  • 5:00p: One at a time cook pies on pizza stone. 4 minutes, then rotate 180 degrees and cook another 3 minutes.

Toppings:

  • Pizza sauce: Crushed tomatoes (uncooked) mixed with olive oil, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh minced garlic, and salt
  • Ground pork mixed with dried oregano, thyme, basil, and salt
  • pickled jalapenos
  • mozzarella cheese 
  • Take it easy on the cheese and sauce, too much and it will make the dough soggy.

Comments

charbono's picture
charbono

What was the room temperature during fermentation?

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

I don't usually check, but unless it is really cold or really hot outside (it was neither that day), the temp is usually 78dF in our house.

My sourdough starter is quite vivacious. Also, working the room temp oopsie water into the dough a couple of times after pulling the dough out of the fridge, probably helped speed the warming up of the dough. By the time I preshaped the dough, the dough had already more than doubled.

About 9 months ago we significantly improved our sourdough feeding method. Prior to the improvements, my sourdough... was terrible, but I didn't know it, because I had never used a strong and healthy sourdough before. It is hard to know how a strong sourdough starter should behave if you have never had one before, especially since a lot of placing on the internet will incorrectly inform you that 1.5x rises are acceptable. A weak sourdough was the likely cause of many subpar bakes. Back then, I was lucky for 100% whole wheat doughs to double, now, I have consistently had 2.5x rises and have seen the dough rise as much as 3.5x.

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

The water was 80% of the flour, which in reality was 1200g, but I accidentally wrote 1500g, the blog post has been corrected.

Benito's picture
Benito

Awesome pizza, looks delicious.  Thanks for sharing your formula.

Benny

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Thanks for the compliment Benny. Your blog is full of some beautiful bread!

Unfortunately, my 3rd rate cell phone camera does not do the pizza justice. It is funny though, I invariably have ok dough photos and terrible final bake photos because the lighting is usually terrible by the time the food comes out (late in the evening, low light, no natural light) of the oven and I am usually too tired and hungry to put in effort to improve the lighting or the background prior to the money shot :-)

Some of my friends have iphones and it seems like you can't take a bad picture with an iphone even if you tried.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I forget which Community Bake it was, maybe baguettes, or the one before that, where the regulars went into the benefits of nutritional yeast to make dough more extensible.  Extensibility seems to be a desireable trait for pizza dough.

Update: Here's Dan's post that I was thinking of: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64855/extensible-dough-nutritional-yeast-and-fava-beans

--

I'm unclear on whether you par-baked your dough first, or topped and baked raw dough -- as you mentioned baking before you mentioned topping it.

 

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Thanks for the tip regarding the nutritional yeast. I'll keep that in mind if I can't get things worked out simply by increasing the hydration.

"I'm unclear on whether you par-baked your dough first, or topped and baked raw dough -- as you mentioned baking before you mentioned topping it."

I topped the pizzas while the dough was raw. I am not a big fan of par-cooked pizza dough, maybe I have done it wrong in the past, but the crust never tasted right the few times I parbaked the dough. \

In the photos, the dough sort of looks par-cooked, mostly because the dough could use a bit more hydration, the darker color from the whole wheat, and the dough had dried a bit in the open air... When I have 9 pies, it isn't worth the extra effort to try and keep the pizzas covered while rising after shaping. Sometimes I spritz the tops with water when I feel up to the task to keep them from drying out.

Benito's picture
Benito

Nutritional yeast definitely helps with extensibility, however, have your tried spelt yet?  Since you are making a whole grain pizza dough I’d suggest you try a portion of spelt.  Spelt is highly extensible and will make your pizza dough really easy to stretch.  I use some in my sourdough pizza dough however the formula I use is mostly white flour.

Benny

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Thankyou for the suggestion. I ALMOST added Spelt. BUT, I got scared because the only other time I used spelt, I let it ferment overnight and the gluten had no strength the next day. I attributed that to the spelt.

If I am to use spelt in an overnight pizza dough, what do I need to do to ensure the dough doesn't break down? Is it safe overnight or should I wait to add the spelt until the day of the bake?

Here is the post in which I discussed my failed spelt loaf:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64580/help-me-troubleshoot-failed-loaf

Benito's picture
Benito

I use the pizza dough formula that was shared in the Pizza Community Bake.  It uses a very small portion of spelt about 5% and I have found it very easy to stretch even with such a small amount.  It has a short bulk and then it goes into the fridge and I’ve kept it up to 4 days without any harm.  I now give it a 2 hour final room temperature proof before baking.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60568/community-bake-pizza

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Excellent, I am sure that community pizza bake discussion will be very enlightening.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb
  • I find that durum contributes useful inelasticity to our pizza doughs. I use it fresh milled at 40% or more of total flour. 

Tom

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Tom,

Do you have a recipe or a post you can share with your most successful 100% whole wheat pizza that includes the durum? And, do you typically make your pizza dough one or more days ahead of time?

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

We rarely bake bread or pizza with 100% ww anymore.  It's just too intense, even with hard white and/or durum.*  60% ww is our habit for breads, 40% for pizze.  100% for all pastries though, because they're mostly fruit by weight.  We've gone higher ww with pizze but haven't liked or needed it.  Pretty much settled on 40% fresh-milled durum.  Durum idea came from KA if I recall.  We do an overnight CY poolish with most of the AP and a 6 hr 78˚F bulk, then divide and chill before shape, top and bake.  I think the original process came from Ken Forkish but formula has varied considerably.  SD versions have been excellent but we rarely plan ahead well enough to do them. 

Tom

______
* One exception to our not favoring 100% ww hearth breads (pan, yes, hearth no) is Red Hen Bakery's 100% ww SD boules.  They're in Middlesex, VT and sell in the Burlington Co-ops.  The finest 100% ww SD anywhere.  I'm convinced they're not 100% extraction -- have to ask them next time.  Extraordinary bread.  Wish they sold it closer to us here in NH.