I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Making My Doughs Tonight

Tonight I am planning on putting together my doughs. I am planning on pizza on Sunday. I'm on call on Saturday so I won't be able to do anything that day (its call where I have to stay in the hospital for 24 hours). I've decided to try a 72 hour cold fermentation for both pizzas. That is a full 48 hours longer than I have ever done but the guys over at pizzamaking.com have had great results. I love that site because a lot of my trial and error stuff has already been done.

Along those same lines I have discovered a thread over there about dough processing. They worked out a processing protocol over several months of work by multiple different people. They have been getting pretty good results using this protocol:

Preparing the Dough
1 - Stir water and salt with spoon/whisk until dissolved in stand mixer bowl.
2 - Add approximately half the flour first, then the yeast. Fit stand mixer with hook attachment.
3 - Mix 30 seconds on stir to incorporate yeast.
4 - Add preferment.
5 - Mix 1 minute on stir to incorporate preferment.
6 - 20 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die painfully).
7 - Mix on stir speed for 5 minutes, adding in remaining flour gradually over the 5 minute mix.
8 - Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes.
9 - Check dough temperature with digital thermometer; it should be 80 degrees at the hook.
10 15 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die really painfully and slowly).
11 Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes on lightly floured prep area.
12 Cut into 2 equal pieces, form into balls, place dough into bowls, cover with shower caps.
13 Place dough in the refrigerator. Ferment for 24+ hours.
14 On the following day(s), remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Note: Do not punch down, reform balls, or do anything to the dough other than let it warm to room temperature.

Stretching Steps
1 - Place dough ball in flour bowl. Dust both sides well. Dust prep area with flour.
2 - Flatten ball into a thick pancake-like shape with palm of hand, ~ 2" thick. Keep well dusted.
3 - Press fingertips into center and working toward the rim until skin is 10 inches round. Keep well dusted.
4 - Place hands palm down inside rim and stretch outward while turning. Stretch to 12" round.
5 - Place skin over knuckles (1st time dough is lifted off bench) and stretch to 16"+/-
6 - Pat excess flour off skin. Place on floured peel and dress with favorite toppings.
7 - Peel dressed skin into preheated oven (1 hr+ at max temp) outfitted with tiles.
8 - Bake until lightly or heavily charred (more flavor).

Because I have much less experience in working with thin crust pizzas I have decided to incorporate that mixing/shaping protocol for both of my pizzas this weekend. It would literally take me years to arrive at that protocol because I don't make pizza so often. The other thing that is nice about that protocol is that it has been tweaked for a Kitchenaid mixer, which is what I use. I'll post an updated version of my recipes to reflect the new protocols for dough processing.