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Project Breadway: Pizza Chemistry Experimentation


The Great Pizza Work continues.

So last night I had some constraints: I wanted to make pizza, but didn't have 24 hours for a full-on cold ferment of the dough in the fridge. My normal dough uses high-gluten bread flour that slow ferments for a long time and develops into a chewy, occasionally tough dough that you can roll thin as paper without it tearing. The down side to that is it can be a little… tough. I like my crust chewy, but there's a limit.


The other variable is moisture. I have in the past tended towards a fairly dry dough, and I think that's increased the toughness of the final product. Better mixologists than I have suggested that a higher moisture content will lead to a lighter crust.

So I tossed my Peter Reinhardt recipes out the window and flew blind, with only dead reckoning to guide me, using a half-half mix of bread flour and all-purpose flour, with a much wetter, stickier dough. This was the basic recipe:

1 cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoons salt

The dough turned out very wet and sticky, and was hard to knead. I floured it up a bit, kneaded it, then added a little more water back again before I set it down for the first rise.


Two and a half hours of rising later, it was very happy and fluffy.


Rolling it out was another issue. Rolled as thin as I like it, the AP-BF mix tended to tear, leaving holes that I pinched back together. So I was obliged by circumstances to make a slightly thicker-crust version than is my norm.


Laid on the sawrce and chiz.


Added toppings, let rest for fifteen minutes. Into oven!


Finished product.


So the result was really good. Chewy, honestly lighter than previous efforts, maybe just a bit more "bready" than I prefer, though. I may skip that last fifteen-minute rest next time, and just pop it into the oven.

What do our local bakers think about flour mixes and moisture in pizza crust?

ETA: this looked nicely formatted in the Kinja edit window, but then it just stacked up all the photos on the left when I posted it. KINJAAAAA!!!!


ETA2: looks fine on my phone, messed up on my computer.

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