Cold Fermented Natural Levain Dough
You can easily make two or even four smaller pizzas with this amount of dough (about two pounds of dough). Once you finish pulling out the dough, the gluten is somewhat tightened so you need to place the dough onto a baking parchment paper or some foil at this time. If you wait to move your dough until later, it will relax and, being high hydration dough, it will be very hard to move. Spray yourdough with oil, cover with some plastic wrap and allow it to set for two to three more hours. It will not look very bubbly, but cold fermented dough is like that and will surprise you once it comes into contact with the intense heat of the baking stone. When your dough is ready and your oven/baking stone are preheated for an hour as high as it will go (550F for my oven), spread on your sauce and toppings ( I used basil sauce, chicken, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese) and then using your pizza peel, transfer the pizza to the hot baking stone. Bake until done about 10 – 12 minutes.
For dough that is cold fermented, using a similar technique Peter Reinhart made famous with his Pain a la ‘Ancienne bread (Bread Baker’s Apprentice), the Co2 is absorbed into the cell structure of the dough and does not always show large bubbles in the dough while it is rising. However, once the dough is subjected to intense heat, the Co2 is liberated and forms many bubbles as it expands. So don’t be surprised if your dough, which can seem a bit inactive, looks great once it exits the oven. This long fermented dough probably isn’t practical for many folks, but for those that like to have fermenting natural levain dough setting around in their refrigerator anyway, it is a versatile way of using up the extra bread dough. I would recommend adding an ounce of oil to the formula if you know you are going to use it for pizza dough.
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