Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pizza Dough and Toppings - Daring Bakers October

This month's Daring Baker challenge comes to us from Rosa of Rosa's Ymmy Yums . The challenge is to make and toss your own pizza dough (I don't think I'll be applying as a pizza tosser any time soon) and then top with your toppings of choice. This month's was a really fun challenge - not too complicated and highly satisfying. It's actually rare for me to eat pizza and I tend to stick to the traditional type toppings. This dough was really wonderful and gets two thumbs up.


Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.


8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.


10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.


11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.


12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.


13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving. StumbleUpon


RecipeGirl said...

Great job! Looks so delicious :)

Anonymous said...

your pepperoni has that little crisp on the outside that I love. looks great.

kat said...

Yeah, I don't think we'll be getting jobs at the local pizza place anytime soon either! Your classic pizza looks wonderful!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Got to love the chili peppers ladies. Excellent job!!

Ivy said...

They look gorgeous. Really tempting! You did a great job here!

Ben said...

I think we DB are all shy! LOL Great job on the pizzas :D

Mary said...

Your pizza looks great! How did you get it so nice and thick?

giz said...

Mary - the trick to thick pizza dough is don't toss the dough properly, get frustrated and say the heck with it and voila it comes out thick... magic no?

glamah16 said...

Wonderful. Your dough balls look excellent. I love my peppeoroni.

Anonymous said...

I love the dough thickness and the toppsings...yum.

Alexa said...

It was a fun challenge. I enjoyed it too. Yours came out beautiful!

Patsyk said...

Your pizza looks great!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Great job on the challenge!!! Your pizza looks great!

Lori Lynn said...

Isn't it fun to make pizza? Yours looks so rustic. I'm a fan of pepperoni pizza too. We like to pair pepperoni with black olives.

Melissa said...

Good work Giz! I have three people I visit who do the DB things, so I get to see different takes. Very cool.

Thanks so much for being really specific about the dough, with tips and comments. I have failed at making pizza dough twice now and can use the help.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of chili peppers! So I love your pizza right from the beginning. Great job!

Lori said...

Gets two thumbs up from us as well. I like the texture and I liked it tossing it, would love to be able to really toss it and have it come out perfect!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks great! Homemade pizza dough is the *best*

Anonymous said...

You "rarely" eat pizza? Seriously? I wish. It's nearly a once a week occasion around here. The menfolk just love it. Your classic sauce is looking tasty!

Cakespy said...

Bitchin' in the kitchen! If you decided that you'd like to ship some to Seattle, we'd be happy to accept some. We realize that this would be prohibitively expensive and probably un-delicious by the time it arrived...but still, we can dream, can't we???

Deeba PAB said...

I suspect they won't ever ask me to be a pizza tosser...Nah!! Love your pizza & the toppings. Fell like diving in. Thanks again for the event & sauce! Cheers

Miss Ifi said...

mmm yummy pizza!!!

I can come over and toss your pizza ^_^

Meg said...

Amazing job! The crust looks perfect! Fabulous pizza!

OhioMom said...

I can come over and eat your pizza :)

grace said...

i used to eat at pizza hut all the time, and my favorite part was the little jar of red pepper flakes. i guess my love of setting my mouth on fire started early. :)
your pizza looks great, of course. nicely done.

priscilla joy said...

super job on these! they are so good looking. everyone's pizza's are amazing me!

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great! Such a great job here!


Bunny said...

I didn't get to do this one , but I think I'll make it anyway because it just looks so good and easy!!

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Wonderful recipe! So detailed, that must have taken you forever to write it up! I gotta work on a peanut butter pizza crust...

giz said...

Peanut Butter Boy - wish I could take credit for the detailed post -all I can take credit for is cut and paste :)

That Girl said...

I love the little indy pizzas!

Hopie said...

Mmmm, looks yummy. Nothing wrong with being traditional about pizza toppings when they're so good! :-)

Adam said...

Great job on the pizzas Giz! It kinda makes you appreciate the whole tossing technique a bit, doesn't it?

I've seen quite the crazy pizza toppings lately, but sometimes you just have to go back to the classics. Sweet deal on that :)

Deborah said...

It looks delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Yummy. This month's challenge was so much fun, wasn't it?