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Ferl 12-23-2010 09:17 AM

I am new to pizza making and am confused about kneading the dough. I was introduced to stone pizza making when watching a pizza episode on Alton Browns Good Eats. I have made about 50 pizzas using his method and am pleased with the results. Alton has me kneading the the dough for 15 minutes using a dough hook in my kitchen mixer to develop the gluten. The Forno Bravo method in the ebook cautions overworking the dough and involves much less kneading time. I plan on trying the FB method but I would appreciate it of someone could explain the differences in these two approaches. Thanks in advance!

tusr18a 12-23-2010 06:35 PM

Re: Dough
Alton Brown is an excellent master to follow. I remember being new to dough and going through the same questions that you are having. The first thing that I would recommend is to put the Kitchenaid aside. If you really want to learn this art, knead by hand. You will never overmix that way. Here is the recipe that I use:

This dough is based on one from Chris Bianco, chef of Pizzeria Bianco, that ran in our October 1999 issue. It is an accompaniment for Eggplant, Tomato, and Fontina Pizza.

1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and dredging
1 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
1 teaspoon salt

Make dough:
Whisk together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Stir together salt and 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 cup warm water and stir until smooth, then stir in another 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) flour. If dough sticks to your fingers, stir in just enough flour (up to 3/4 cup), a little at a time, to make dough just come away from side of bowl. (This dough may be wetter than other pizza doughs you have made.)
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, lightly reflouring work surface and your hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Cooks' note:
Dough can be allowed to rise slowly, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.

Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas.

When the dough first comes out of the bowl, it is very loose with dry and wet ingredients visible. Set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and start kneading away. By the 10 minute mark, all the dry ingredients will be incorporated in the dough ball and you should have a pretty homogeneous dough. At this point, cover the dough with a damp clothe. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. While the dough rests, gluten will be developing. After the 15 minutes, knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes. The full proof test to ensure that the dough is properly developed is the "window pane" test. Pull a small piece of dough away from your ball. Flatten the dough out between your hands. Then stretch the dough slowly. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it thin enough that you can see light through the dough. If the window pane tears, then you know more kneading is necessary.

dmun 12-23-2010 07:18 PM

Re: Dough

1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and dredging
1 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
1 teaspoon salt
Wow, that's a lot of yeast.

The suggestion to kneed by hand is a good one. An even better one is to realize that with a day or two of cold retardation, your gluten will develop all by it's self. I stir together my ingredients, let rest for twenty minutes, hand kneed for just a minute or so, then bulk rise, divide, ball, into containers, and pop them in the fridge. After a day or three, the dough is as smooth and stretchable as you could want.

Tscarborough 12-23-2010 07:37 PM

Re: Dough
That is almost exactly twice as much yeast as I use.

stonylake 12-29-2010 11:39 AM

Re: Dough
i have a big group coming over for New Years Eve. i plan on making the dough the night before, let it rise, divide, ball, and cover.. put it in the cold garage. the question i have is, when should i bring it in the house to room temp prior to making pizzas?

Tscarborough 12-29-2010 12:35 PM

Re: Dough
Most let it go to room temp, but I use it straight from the fridge.

stonylake 12-29-2010 12:47 PM

Re: Dough
Thanks. by the way, tusr18a, you mention "our October 1999 issue"..which publication are you associated with?

tusr18a 12-29-2010 12:59 PM

Re: Dough
Stoneylake, wish I could say that I was associated w/a publication. The real story is that I copy/pasted the recipe from another source. I think it came from Gourmet Magazine. That dough recipe has never failed me. Gets rave reviews everywhere I go. I would make sure that you give yourself enough time for the dough to come to room temperature. The dough should double in size.

Ferl 12-29-2010 01:51 PM

Re: Dough
Thanks all for the advice. I have tried the FB recipe/method and it turned out OK. I think I need to experiment further as my dough was a bit sticky. Apparently the dough should be sticky but I think I was a bit too sticky.

bigred 01-03-2011 06:04 PM

Re: Dough
has anyone tried going lower with the % water on the forno recipe....I mean down to like 55 56 or 57 %
If so what did you think...I am making a batch right now with 57 % but I do not intend to cook it...just mix it to get the feel,

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