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Pizza dough

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this should go under 'Recipes', since it could be my technique, but I'm sure the mods will move me if it's appropriate ;)

I've been trying different recipies for pizza dough over the last few years. My favorite overall so far has been one that Wolfgang Puck used to make salmon covered pie. It's tasty, and handles quite well (my wife loves tossing the dough around and getting it stuck on shelves).


My favorite in the flavor category was the dough from Bread Baker's Apprentice. The overnight ferment gave it a great depth of flavor. The problem was the dough was very hard to handle. It seemed way too slack compared to the dough I've seen used in pizzerias. It did, however, match the description in the text. I'm going to try making it a bit stiffer next time and see how it holds up.

Has anyone had experience with this formula, or have their own personal favorite I should try?


post #2 of 17 check the forums here.I'm not sure of the style your trying to approximate--but these people are obsessive(in a good way) and helpful.You should get the help you need.
post #3 of 17
The secret to better dough is to use a better flour. King Arthur's Bread Flour is garbage. I know, a lot of people gush about it. You know what, they're wrong :) Get your hands on some bread flour from a local bakery. A world of difference. Handling problems will be a thing of the past.
post #4 of 17
Everything you ever wanted or needed to know about pizza, pizza dough, and pizza sauce, from a commercial pizza perspective. I've tried a few of the sauce recipes and they rival anything I've eaten from pizza joints!

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
KA is what I had been using :) I've recently been using Gold Medal.

Should I just ask the local bakery what they use, or try to buy flour from them? I'm not sure how that would work :) Any suggestions on brands or types I could look for?

post #6 of 17
Hey Joe,
How are you?
I was curious what type of KA you were using? I got to tell ya, if your looking for a recipe that you want to make over and over again, I wouldn't blow off flours like KA so fast. I have found their product to be the most consistant around.I have heard a couple of negetives on their products on this board but have'nt really gotten any explanations why,
Please don't be mislead by thinking that all bakeries have and use good flours. In fact most are not using a consistant product and relying on conditioners for help. Depending on the area your are in your bakeries flours might be seasonal going from winter to spring. These days bakeries are haveing to shot out vendor bids to recieve a cost efficient product. They are not always reliable. I'm switching frequently on some flour used for certain items. I use 2 KA products in some formulas like fangiapan filling because I'm not going to mix up 200 dollars of imported almond paste and not use a consistant flour. I did not look at the recipes you linked but I'm wondering if you are using a mix, like bread-durum? You can always change up by changing the amount of protien. I know KA's APF are pretty high on protien/gluten. If your tight then go to a softer flour, heck a lot of imported pizza flours are more like cake flour then bread. They are usually mixed with durum and maybe a little semolina, but they are slack and baked on such a high temp they provide a rich, tender, crust. gosh, I'm gonna have to make some.
Just some thoughts.
gp to a [pzza joint you like and see if you can see the bags. If your north it's probably a patent.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey Panini, thanks for the advice. For the Wolfgang Puck recipe, I used KA unbleached AP flour. The Baker's Apprentice uses a mix of bread and AP flour. I've recently started using Gold Medal flour, which purports to be lower protein. I haven't made pizza with it yet, but have been very happy with the breads that came from it.

post #8 of 17
Joe, ideally, you'll have a bakery in your vicinity that makes great bread. If they make great bread, chances are they'll have good bread flour. Call them up and ask them if they'd be willing to sell you a pound or two of flour. I have yet to find a bakery that wasn't willing to sell me flour.

My favorite flour is Spring King Flour. This flour makes unbelievable pizza. Not only does the pizza taste great, the act of making the pizza is pure bliss. I have many ingredients in my kitchen that I love working with, but none more than this flour.

The type of flour is dependent on the style of pizza you're striving to produce. I'm a NY style thin crust kind of guy. If thin crust is your goal as well, then you definitely need a high protein flour. When you go very thin with a low protein dough, it becomes very difficult to pull thin without tearing.

Panini, I don't like King Arthur's bread flour for two reasons. Taste and manageabiility. If you're not working with other flours, the KA doesn't taste that bad, but when you have bread made from other flours next to a bread make with KA, the KA loaf has a noticeable chemical taste. As much as I dislike the taste, though, I have far stronger feelings regarding the manageability. Doughs made with KA bread flour are sticky/hard to work with, even at low levels of hydration. In order to be able to work with the dough you have to cut back on the water considerably. Without enough water, though, the dough isn't extensible enough, the bread doesn't rise as much as it should and you end up with a dense loaf.

This lack of extensibility makes pizza dough pulling a miserable experience. Since I do a long cool overnight rise with my pizza doughs, you can imagine my consternation when I'm pulling the dough and a tear develops. That's 24 hours down the drain. KA bread flour dough tears on me about 70% of the time. For the longest time I kept telling myself that I hadn't mastered the act of stretching and that once I became a better pizzaiolo, the tearing would end. This went on for months. Finally I said, hey let's try another flour. Since I've started working with Spring King flour, do you know how many torn doughs I've gotten? None. Absolutely none. The problem wasn't me, it was the flour.

I'm not anti-KA flour, just anti-KA bread flour. I haven't bought it in a while, but KA's parent company, Sands & Taylor, makes a phenomenal commercial pastry flour called Purity. I'm also not anti-supermarket flour either. Heckers makes a great tasting all-purpose flour. When I first started baking, I only used Heckers. I still use it for a couple of things. Once I really got into it, though, I learned that all purpose is suited for very few applications- that either strong or soft wheat are usually ideal, not a mixture of the two. Once I got my hands on a good pastry flour and a good bread flour, it was, for the most part, bye bye Heckers.
post #9 of 17
Scott,I understand and that was not directed towards you, I have heard this here before. I was actually looking for a responce form anyone. I'd like to know.
I'm not familiar with the spring king, but like i said it's probably a spring patent.
Most of your bakeries up there will be using a spring patent. I mentioned the quality issue for a couple of reasons. I have access to hard red winter wheat here. Not a bad product, but I certainly refer a red spring if available. It was hard to get and costly.
Over the last couple of years our red winter has gone up in price and the reason is that a lot of it is going up north for economic reasons. I can now get a spring but have a hard time with consistancy. It comes here after it sits up there.
I mentioned KA only for the fact that the product is consistant. Something that someone who bakes for income is always monitoring.
The taste of springs vary . That is what I like about it. I understand your reasoning for not liking the KA. If you don't like the taste, it's probably not going to change. I did want to add that the KA bread, I think, I don't use it, is pretty high in protien, no? I'm not so sure that you could'nt have worked out the manageability problem. It sounds like you might not have brought out enough gluten. Some times a different retarding process is necessary. A lot of sprins nap differently. It may have rested to long or not at the right temp.
I have adjusted some of our recipes with the KA pastry flour to increase paddle time so the end product is not to soft. Lets take our fangiapan tortes. We do these with fresh poached pears halved. If we don't mix the frang. enough, the mix will rise up and over the tops of the pears. Not good. We like to have the pears partially exposed for look and especially to identify them. I hope this makes sense.
Anyway, I'm not as intense with the pizza doughs as you guys. I find it fascinating. I'm partial to slack doughs because I'm such a heat freak. Man the hotter the fire the happier I am. I some times do pizza on my smoker. I get that wood crankin! I have broken pieces of an old deck oven and I use those. I'm gonna guess 3-4 min. tops
keep baking pan
post #10 of 17

NY Style Pizza by the slice...

Does that use a typical hi-pro flour? I mean duh, but Durim wheat? I can't find a definition in my Thesaurus...

I like Wheat Montana. It's a high quality consistent flour.

I know it's not local...but...?

post #11 of 17
most NY pizzarias will use a spring patent flour salt yeast and water.
Most of the hard red springs are from the Dakotas , Montana, Minn.
Durum is one of the hardest and is grown in these areas also. Durum is milled into semoline. Durum is used for pastas. I don't think Durum has a winter or spring sew. It's probably both maybe.
The further North like Canada the flours get softer. I'm pretty sure we import a lot of cake flour from Canada. Winter wheats are in my section or a little north.
This doesn't answer your question, does it?
post #12 of 17
Panini, the spring king is, indeed, a spring patent. I have been using it for a few years now and haven't noticed any problems with consistency. It's available through Cargill, so it's definitely not a regional phenomenon. It may be a little on the costly side, I'm not sure. I highly recommend looking into it, though, if you're looking for a good consistent spring flour.

KA bread flour is, indeed, very high in protein. Believe me, I've tried every possible technique/tweak for trying to improve it's manageability. I tried slacker doughs, tighter doughs, less kneading, more kneading, autolyse/no autolyse, cool rise/warm rise, underfermenting/overfermenting- you name it, I tried it and it didn't work. With the spring king, I can forget steps/alter my technique, and it's always manageable. KA bread flour = headache. Spring King = Joy.

The KA pastry flour is definitely on the soft side. When I use it for pies I have to overwork the dough a little bit or I end up with too fragile of an end product.

Your pizza sounds right up my alley. Slack pizza doughs rule. Intense heat with a slack dough sounds like an extremely light puffy crust. Nice.
post #13 of 17
I posted that thinking that you had probably done all that since you really know your flours. I sometimes add things so other readers might pick up something.
Would like to share a pie one day. Maybe when I come up for the fancy food show. I'm a half and half. I like a simple side that I can enjoy and hold, and I like the other side to have the works and use a knife and fork. This way I don't go too fast and get the proper ratio of beer or wine to each piece.
I bake, cook, and eat with a yin and yang philosophy.
post #14 of 17

Deep Dish doughs

Hey everyone I've been following along with your conversations involving pizza dough and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on making deep dish dough. I've been messing aroung with it for a while but continue to have problems rolling out the dough and putting it in the deep dish pan. Do you know if most deep dish places uses AP flour or something else. Should the dough be harder compared to softer dough? If anyone has any ideas I would totally appreciate it. I use Ap flour some corn meal, eggs, sugar, water, yeast, olive oil. Also my pizzas tend to get really dark around the rim only, would this change in a conveyor oven?
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
If we're talking about Chicago style deep dish, my understanding is it's supposed to be more like a flaky biscuit dough than a gluten-y pizza dough.

I'll have to dig up the recipe I used for this one, but it involved butter, folding and resting, almost like a pie crust. I blind baked the crust, added toppings and baked the whole thing again.

Oh, and it was wonderful :)

post #16 of 17
Don't roll it out. Put your ball of dough in the pan, then stretch and press it out.

Varies. You can use AP, Bread or a mix. Harder flour will give you a more open texture -- not really a big deal in a pizza crust.

By harder/softer do you mean stiffer/softer? Just getting terms straight, "stiffer" means a dough that's on the dry side and not at all sticky. "Softer" means wet and sticky. Deep dish dough should be a little on the dry side, but oily -- at least compared to, say, regular Italian bread.

Don't obsess too much about texture unless you're going for a specific texture. It's bread dough. If it's good bread dough it will make a good pizza. If you're looking for a specific texture, for instance very rich, buttery, sweet you'll need to up the butter and sugar.

If, in fact, you're after a specific type of dough, try and describe it as specifically as possible.

On a related point I've never heard of anyone using the techniques that would make a dough "flaky" (rubbing, cutting in, or turning) for any type of pizza dough. On the contrary, every pizza dough I know of is kneaded. Kneading, of course, destroys the layers that make for "flaky."

That's nice. If you're looking for a Numero Uno type crust, you'll need to add some butter and brown sugar as well. You also need some butter and oil on the bottom of the pan.

Unlikely. Conveyor ovens cook faster, more evenly, and more efficiently. These don't sound like the solution to your problem, unless the unwanted browning is limited to one side. I suspect you're baking your deep dish pizzas at too high a temperature.

post #17 of 17

RE: Deep Dish

thanks for all the advice and sorry for the wait for I have poor access to internet. As for your suggestions, I think I would prefer a little more dry dough but when I put it in the pan I find it difficult to spread or stretch out thin enough on the bottom and it eventually tears before i can get it up the sides. I want a thin sided crust about 1/4" to an 1/8 of an inch and though bottom 1/4 as well. What do you suggest I do to get a dough that workable or pliable. I do the "straight method" for making my dough and mix for about eight minutes and then i cover in a bowl and let rise until it doubles then i cook it at what i see at most deep dish places in CA. 475. let me know what you think.

Thanks, Kev
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