Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Dough

The dough can be the tricky part of making a good pizza. Today I am making dough for pizza to celebrate my birthday with a pizza party on Friday night. I thought you might enjoy some pictures and some recipes. I like the cold delayed fermentation technique used by Peter Reinhart in his book American Pie. In fact this book is my favorite for learning about pizza and dough.
The cold delayed fermentation technique calls for the dough to be made the day before and allowing the fermentation process to slow down in the refrigerator. There is a lot more chemistry to the process and the book explains it well and makes it interesting. The only thing I really care about is the flavor and the nice golden crust you get by doing this! You could take your favorite dough recipe and put it in the fridge over night and I promise the flavor and the way the crust looks will surprise you. I will also include a great dough recipe that you can mix up and serve in about 30 min. I hope you try the cold fermentation way of making dough, you will find you have a sweeter crisp crust without that yeast taste of the quick dough recipe. I usually make 15 balls of dough and keep a few to use up in a couple days in the fridge and then freeze the rest for another day.
The recipe!
Pizza Americana Dough from Peter Reinhart's book American Pie

5 cups unbleached bread flour
3 TBSP Honey
2 teas kosher salt
2 teas instant yeast (bread machine yeast)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup milk (whole or low fat)
3/4 cup room temperature water (70* f)

combine all ingredients in a electric mixer with a dough hook on low speed for 4 min.
let the dough rest for 5 min.
mix again for an additional 2 min.
divide dough in 4 equal pieces , coat with olive oil and place each ball in it's own zippered freezer bag. Let the dough balls sit at room temp for 15 min. and then place in refrigerator over night.
remove the balls 2 hours before you plan to roll them out. At this time you can freeze any dough balls you wont be using.

The book American Pie has a much more detailed description and tips about the dough. You really should buy the book!

Quick Pizza Dough given to me by my friend Sandy

2 pkgs. dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water

In warm water dissolve yeast, sugar and salt. Let sit 5 min. Add flour and blend into dough ball. Coat with olive oil and let sit another 20 min. roll out dough and add toppings. Bake.

I hope you enjoy the recipes and the pizza. This Friday I am creating a Mediterranean Pizza with spinach, sweet peppers and a balsamic glaze Mmmm....
If it is a success I will share the recipe!

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