Old 08-24-2009, 07:10 PM
egalecki's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,049
Default Re: Folding dough

I always let pizza dough rise before I shape it, no matter what kind of flour I use, and I try to let it retard in the fridge at least 4 hours, preferably overnight or all day. I have better luck with the 00 flour all around, I haven't tried AP flour for pizza. Bread flour is usually a little on the chewy side, but my kids like it that way.

I haven't tried dipping it in flour yet like you had suggested- but I really wonder about the way my dough sort of drapes- I do pat it, pulling back just behind the edge to get the flying saucer shape, and then I put it over my fists and start pulling. It just seems as though the dough doesn't WANT to pull round- it wants to go triangular, or square, or Texas. Like I'm asking it to go in a shape that isn't natural for it. Would pushing the ball "through the hole" like I've seen in the videos help the gluten be more willing to go round?

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Old 08-25-2009, 06:48 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Folding dough

Hi Elizabeth!

With the "lots of flour" shaping on the bench (no or minimal shaping over hands) I find I can make quite round pizzas consistently. You do raise an intersting issue, however. I do make my balls from more troublesome flours before the retard. They will be quite relaxed when you form the pies. When formed after retarding I find them less cooperative, more "springy" and more difficult to form which is why I have gone to the "early ball" approach. With AP I think it needs the late "work" to have enough substance to work well.

In American Pie Reinhart uses AP in his Neopolitan dough with after retard ball forming and bread flour in his Neo-neopolitan dough with pre-retard ball formation which is where I found the clue. (The only bread flour dough he post-retard balls is the prebaked freezer dough and I have no clue why!) It looks like he is coming to San Antonio this fall and I will try to remember to ask him!)

As you know the retard makes a big difference in dough taste. I have an exta refrigerator which gives me room for a sheet pan with dough balls or bags of dough balls. If one has only one refrigerator then the extra space of individual balls could easily be an issue and bulk retard would have advantages. I use all three main flours (AP, 00, and bread) fairly routinely for I like their unique properties with my all around fav being 00.

However, AP makes lovely soft dough that makes light, delicate pies. It's biggest limitation is lack of stren gth IMO which makes late balling actually advantageous for it tightens everything up a bit - then a two hour rest relaxes it (and two hours is not enough IMO for 00 or bread flour).

With nice, soft dough of any kind round pies aren't so hard to make. One issue with the AP is it can be so soft it just droops and can easily get misshapen. But it is lovely and I recommend trying it sometime. (maybe make a small batch for a comparison!).

Good Luck!
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