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Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

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  • Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight

    We have been experimenting with this for some time, and I think we are ready to offer a standard "by weight" recipe for Pizza Napoletana dough. One thing that is remarkable is how simple it is -- if you start with the right ingredients and use a digital scale, it can be easy and fast. This is an olive oil-free recipe, but in order for it to work, you need to use real Italian Tipo 00 pizza flour.

    How to Read an Italian Flour Label - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

    I have started working in grams, as the baker's percent is easy to calculate digitally. If you don't have a digital scale, think about getting one. They aren't expensive (you can on in the FB Store for $40), and a scale will definitely improve you baking. If you don't want to go digital, you can find our Pizza Napoletana recipe (in cups) here:

    http://www.fornobravo.com/PDF/Using-caputo-tipo00.pdf

    That said, I have enjoyed moving from volume (cups) to weight (grams). It is more accurate and it's fast. It can also be consistently replicated -- which unlike most home recipes, it very important.

    Here goes:

    500 grams Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour
    325 grams water (65% hydration)
    10 grams salt
    3 grams active dry yeast

    First, mix the flour and water, and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Using a stand mixer set a low speed (use #2 for a minute or two, go to #4, then back to #2 with a KitchenAid mixer), blend the water and flour until you have reached a dough ball. It should take a couple of minutes. Once you have incorporated all of the flour, stop, and let everything rest for 20 minutes. This period will allow the flour to fully absorb the water.

    Next, add the salt and yeast, and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

    Then, make a large dough ball, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 90 minutes. It should have doubled.

    Then, cut the dough into four balls (about 215g each). Shape the pizza balls, and set them on a floured surface to rest for at least 30 minutes. If you start in the morning or the night before, make your dough balls in advance and put them in the refrigerator.

    If you use Caputo Tipo 00 flour and the moist (65% hydrated) recipe, and you handle your dough gently, you will reward you with a supple, silkly pizza base that is easy to shape, springs in the oven, and tastes great.
    James
    Last edited by james; 06-02-2009, 05:38 PM.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    James,

    Thanks so much for your experimentaion on this. Ever since posting the first weight vs volume question months ago, I am convinced that weight is the only way to go. Provides for consistency, easily scaled using %, with flour being 100%.

    Thanks again for your efforts. You are more than just a great moderator for this forum

    Comment


    • #3
      VPN Pizza Dough

      Hi All - here is the recipe for VPN pizza dough that I made in the class a while back...it is for a massive amount of dough (55-60 9.5 oz dough balls). I am going to attempt to cut it down this weekend to make 5-6 doughballs at a time so I will also post those results:

      - 22 lbs Caputo Flour
      - 1.5 oz active FRESH yeast (fleischman's has fresh yeast in stores like Central Market and Whole Foods in the refrigerated section near the pillsbury rolls in cans)
      - 7 oz table salt
      - 6 litres water at room temperature (79 degrees)

      Measure out all ingredients separately
      Add salt to bowl
      Add water to bowl and mix with hand to dissolve salt
      Add yeast to water/salt and mix with hand to dissolve!! (I've never done this as I was always told to keep salt and yeast separate)
      Turn mixer on low speed only (we were using a hobart 30 qt floor mixer - but I will try with a kitchenaid)
      Add flour bit by bit until you've got it all in
      Mix on low speed for about 7-8 minutes
      Dough is in good shape if clears the sides but still sicks to the bottom
      Remove dough from bowl and cover with wet cloth napkins/towel and let sit for 45 mins to 1 hr
      After that time, cut dough into 9.5oz balls for 11 in pies, 5 oz balls if you want "lunch" size (too small for my taste!)
      Roll into balls and place on plastic sheeted tray and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap.
      Put in fridge for 24 hours

      This dough really came out well...very light, spring in the oven, held up to substantial toppings...I will let you know how it goes to reduce it.

      I am also picking up 10lbs of mozzarella curd from a local cheese shop on monday - so I'll also give you the story on that too.

      Jay
      www.texaspizzaoven.com

      Comment


      • #4
        The Best Pizza Ever!

        Today was a great day...everything came together! I made fresh mozzarella yesterday, scaled down the VPN dough recipe to a manageable size, and broke out the San Marzano tomatoes from FB.

        The pizzas came out perfect - exactly like I made them at Antica Pizzeria in California...crisp bottom, a little chew to the crust, nice browning on the edges. Everyone agreed this was the best batch after cooking in the oven for almost a year and a half.

        We made margerhita, sausage and pepper, and carcerone (margerhita with a little ricotta hidden in one part of the crust).

        Here is the perfect dough recipe...the numbers are a little funny because I was using a formula to convert ounces to grams...


        - 2.2 lbs Caputo flour (around 998 grams or a kilo is close enough)
        - 600 ml room temp water (around 79 degrees)
        - 19.8 grams salt (if you can measure that close, 20 won't kill you)
        - 4.25 grams ACTIVE FRESH yeast (hard to find, but they have it at specialty grocers...I paid $0.79 for a little cube)

        Add water to mixing bowl, stir in salt to dissolve.
        Mix in yeast with your hands and swirl to dissolve.
        Start mixer on low speed
        Add flour
        Mix for about 8 minutes on low
        Check the dough during mixing to make sure it is clearing the sides but sticking to the bottom - add water or flour to get it there if necessary.
        Remove the dough from the bowl and cover with a wet, warm dish towel for 45 mins - 1 hr (I set mine on a granite counter)
        After resting, cut the dough into 9.5 oz (269 gram) dough balls - you should get about 6.
        Place dough balls on cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap on top and bottom.
        Refrigerate 1-2 days and use

        This dough was really easy to stretch and handle. no tears or holes and I could stretch it to thin 11 inch pies or so. I find it easier to use the dough right out of the fridge...so I didn't let it warm up to room temp.

        I also really fired my oven good because I wanted it HOT. I also used my FB log holder and that seemed to let me keep a nice flame going.

        If you try the recipe above, let me know how it goes. I'll try to post some pics at www.texaspizzaoven.com

        Jay

        Comment


        • #5
          EVOO anyone?

          I have always used an EVOO rich focaccia recipe for my pizza dough, does this mean there is no oil in a traditional dough? Hmmm OK
          Also, what is the proper amount of dough to use for an 8 inch personal size pizza?
          Last edited by janprimus; 08-31-2006, 10:33 AM. Reason: QC
          Renaissance Man
          Wholly Man

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeast & Salt

            James, a little correction, please? Perhaps you neglected to mention when to add yeast and salt. Even with autolyse, ya gotta put it somewhere! And on another subject, I'm going to see if the wonderful fromagiere at Oliver's in Santa Rosa will get us mozzarella curds.

            Originally posted by james
            We have been experimenting with this for some time, and I think we are ready to offer a standard "by weight" recipe for Pizza Napoletana dough. One thing that is remarkable is how simple it is -- if you start with the right ingredients and use a digital scale, it can be easy and fast. This is an olive oil-free recipe, but in order for it to work, you need to use real Italian Tipo 00 pizza flour.

            http://fornobravo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=675

            I have started working in grams, as the baker's percent is easy to calculate digitally. If you don't have a digital scale, think about getting one. They aren't expensive (I bought my scale at Walmart for $25), and a scale will definitely improve you baking. If you don't want to go digital, you can find our Pizza Napoletana recipe (in cups) here:

            http://www.fornobravo.com/PDF/Using-caputo-tipo00.pdf

            That said, I have enjoyed moving from volume (cups) to weight (grams). It is more accurate and it's fast. It can also be consistently replicated -- which unlike most home recipes, it very important.

            Here goes:

            500 grams Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour
            325 grams water (65% hydration)
            2 tsp salt
            2 tsp active dry yeast

            Using a stand mixer set a low speed (use #2 for a minute or two, go to #4, then back to #2 with a KitchenAid mixer), blend the water and flour until you have reached a dough ball. It should take a couple of minutes. Once you have incorporated all of the flour, stop, and let everything rest for 10 minutes. This period will allow the flour to fully absorb the water.

            Then mix the dough for 10 mintues.

            Let the dough rest at room temperature for 90 minutes. It should have doubled.

            Then, cut the dough into four balls (125g each). Shape the pizza balls, and set them on a floured surface to rest for at least 30 minutes. If you start in the morning or the night before, make your dough balls in advance and put them in the refrigerator.

            If you use Caputo Tipo 00 flour, the moist (65% hydrated) recipe and you handle your dough gently, you will reward you with a supple, silkly pizza base that is easy to shape, springs in the oven, and tastes great.
            James

            Comment


            • #7
              Does it burn

              Janprimus, my usual pizza recipe has a little olive oil, but with the higher heat of the pizza recipe I've dropped the olive oil to slow down the browning so the crust doesn't burn prior to the toppings browning. Have you used your EVOO recipe in your pizza oven? There's strict VPN pizza dough and then there's personal taste. I have not tried caputo flour yet though, so I'm not strictly traditional either. I've usually used a cup of flour (or a little less) per pizza, but I roll it out to about 16 inches.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ooops.

                Hey di Segni,

                Pretty funny. You'd end up with some pretty odd dough without the yeast and salt.

                I'll fix that. While I'm at it, I will add the dough by volume measurements to the Caputo pdf file and post that to the site.

                Nice catch; thanks.
                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Salt

                  James,

                  Don't know what you do, but my approach is always to mix flour, water and yeast for a few minutes, let rest for about 20, then add the salt and knead. This might have to do with the fact that I use a lot of wild yeast starters, and they're more sensitive to direct contact with salt.

                  Jim
                  "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Jim,

                    That is how I do it. I've been meaning to do a couple of experiments side by side to see if I can really tell the difference between the dough texture and flavor and how it rises -- comparing addinge everything (salt and all) at once and letting it rest for 20 minutes, vs. adding the salt right before kneading.

                    What do you think.
                    James
                    Pizza Ovens
                    Outdoor Fireplaces

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      dough balls

                      I have a question about pizza dough handling. Most dough recipes here describe dividing the dough into balls in advance. What advantage does this have vs just dividing the dough as you begin the pizza making? I have always divided the dough just prior to making pizza, but I also have rolled the dough out (with a tapered rolling pin) rather than stretching it. I have fair experience (only for home) baking bread and understand the idea of trying to reduce how much you handle the dough for breads like ciabatta or foccaccia, but it seems pizza dough is a different animal - even if you don't roll it as I do the stretching of the dough by fingers or by throwing the dough will break down most of the captured air bubbles. I plan to have a go at trying dough balls and hand stretching (but I like my crust really thin - can you stretch an 8oz dough ball to 14inches?) but wonder what I should be looking for with the difference.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you like really thin crusts ( a proper pizza in my opinion ) then you should try hand working your dough, yes with a roller you can consistent results but I find working by hand will yield a thinner dough with practice. Also, I can't tell you about the dough balls vs. just dividing, as I have never done that, I always make up dough balls and let them rest.

                        Try the Caputo flour if you like really thin crusts, it does thin crust better than all the flours I have tried. I just think that the 65% hydration recommended here is WAY too much, somewhere between 60% and 62% seems to give me workable dough. The 65% was really tasty but too much work for a quick pizza at lunch time.
                        ...Life without Pizza is no life at all...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          AHHHHHHH. No rolling pins.

                          I guess some folks like the cracker style crust, but it's not for me. Yeah, 65% hydration is extreme. The dough balls are really soupy. 60% is easier, and still a nice dough.
                          James
                          Pizza Ovens
                          Outdoor Fireplaces

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We have also tried to let the mix sit for a time prior to forming the dough balls and we, even as green amatuers, have noticed the difference. 20min to 1/2hr seems to work the best. We are using Caputo and the dough balls form wonderfully after proofing at room temp for 5-6hrs. We are using 275g dough balls for a 12in pizza as that's our peel size. You can stretch that dough paper thin and into a much larger round if you like. As novices we tried a rolling pin for a brief stint and then abandoned it's use after we got proficient at forming by hand. Much better texture doing it by hand also.
                            We are still only using 3g of active yeast per 1780g of Caputo and all the talk I see on this board uses much more than that.
                            We are about ready to try increasing the yeast, per this discussion thread, and wonder what the overall difference will be in proofing, forming taste etc.
                            Any clues or info would be helpful.

                            Thanks guys,

                            Tom in PA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              sorry James

                              I didn't mean to cause you pain with the mention of the rolling pin . Since you have raised that concern twice, I had to revisit what I do. I built my pizza oven to improve on pizza that we have made at home since as long as I can remember. I never questioned my dough or my dough handling. So now I've wandered over to the pizzamaking.com website and have been reading a little. Our usual family dough is lower hydration than the recipe you suggest here. We've always divided it at the time of dough shaping. I tried your higher hydration dough with the same technique (divide at the time of shaping) and it really did not lend itself to hand stretching - this was not with Caputo flour, though. Then I read more at pizzamaking.com and also saw a link someone posted here and ended up following this recipe (as much as I could maintain my attention, it's really long):

                              http://www.sliceny.com/jvpizza.php

                              So, I made a similar high hydration dough with 75% baker's flour and 25% cake flour and then with a wet knead (and the rest of the flour added later per the directions) and dough divided into 180g balls I made 14 pizza last night. With this dough handling, there was just no need for a rolling pin. The weight of the dough was enough to stretch it. It was supple, as you said earlier. This was the best crust I have ever had. It stretched too thin at times (can't really hold up to toppings when you are reading through the dough) and so I'll try larger dough balls next time.

                              Anyhow, thanks for the bonk on the head with a rolling pin. My father was over for the pizza last night and he was ok with the recipe change (and he was raised in Naples). I expect I'll be placing an order for Caputo tomorrow, I just need to make sure my wife is ok with me buying a turning peel after watching the video from Youtube that DMUM posted. Why do you think they raise the pizza to the upper layers of the dome - are they checking the crust or flash browning the top?

                              Comment

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