This straightforward, light and crispy, homemade pizza dough is so easy to make, you'll steer away from take out.
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It's actually the resting period in the freezer that relaxes the dough's gluten for easier rolling. Perhaps the freezing itself does the same. When it comes to the question of texture, that may be a matter of opinion.
In either case, pizza dough does freeze quite well, and always good to have a few freeze-well ingredients or preparaions at hand.
Making pizza dough with whey or milk produces a dough with a different texture (softer) and one that browns faster (because of the milk solids). Again, this is also a matter of taste.
We tried making dough last night for tonight's dinner. When I took it out of the fridge 24 hours later, it had risen but there were areas that were bright white in color and the dough had a slight beer-like smell.
Did we hold the dough for too long in the fridge? Is this dough unsafe for consumption?
I could not find semolina in our local Sobey's - in fact, I have never heard of semolina flour - on your video it look like corn flour? I made the dough with Robin Hood flour for bread. The pizza dough came out just fine and we bought a pizza stone to make the pizza - the results were quite delicious - I loved the thin crisp crust.
I followed the recipe exactly (using volume measurements though) and the dough came out very brittle; it has NO elasticity at all, if I try to stretch it it breaks. What could be wrong? I used bread flour (graded 650, I don't know if that makes sense to you as I'm not in the US, but it's the flour I use very succesfully for no-knead bread). Thanks.
Me again. I've researched this a bit and it seems that there are two different things out there: semolina and semolina flour. In italian, they are called "farina din grano duro" or "semola di grano duro" for the flour and semolino, for the other thing. I am pretty sure I used semolina and this is why it came out so brittle. Also, in more than one hour it didn't rise AT ALL. Can you maybe clarify the difference between the two, if ther is one? Thanks.
All bread flour can be used in this recipe with great results (I often do this without using any semolina). The bread flour you used has a high protein content, which is fine. The semolina provides a different texture to the dough.
Perhaps your flour is very dry or too much might have been packed into your measuring cups. I would also test your yeast to see if it is active - sounds funny that you wouldn't get any rise.
The next time you try this (if you don't have a scale) add only half to three-quarters the amount of flour to the water mixture and bring the dough together. If you are not weighing ingredients, don't feel obligated to use ALL of the flour. Commit to the liquid ingredients, yeast, sugar and salt. Then just keep adding flour until you get a soft (but still a tiny bit tacky) dough and you should be fine.
I just found a link that has good information about Italian Flours. Don't be afraid to try it again. Hope this helps!
When I couldn't find Semonlina, I used Robin Hood best for bread flour - Homestyle White. Since I live in Ontario, all our flour is Canadian and probably comes from Durham or hard wheat. I usually use All Purpose Flour but wanted the pizza dough to come out, so bough the Bread flour - it came out fine.
If anyone lives near Ann Arbor, MI...Zingerman's Bake Shop sells semolina flour. Also, check with any restaurant that makes their own pasta or an Italian bakery. They should be willing to sell you a pound or two...or at least tell you where they purchase it.
Kimberly, thanks a lot for the answer. I reached the same conclusion as you: the yeast must have been quite old. It took the dough half a day to even smell like dough, and no rise at all! It was indeed 2 years past its expiration date... I had bought a lot of yeast two years ago when I started to bake no-knead bread. I guess I have to make a trip to the store and get a kitchen scale while I'm there; it was on the list anyway. Regarding semolina vs. semolina flour, I'm pretty sure I used semolina, which is just a flour with a coarser ground after all, but I don't think that would have been a problem if the yeast was good.
I'm happy to report that the yeast was not totally dead though ; I made pan-fried indian breads from this dough, to serve with the almond-coriander chicken curry (loved the recipe!) and they were excellent, (brushed with a little ghee)!
Thanks a lot for the great videos and a great website. I am already learning a lot. I can't wait for more stuff on baking as this where I am the weakest.
Good to hear you found out what the culprit was. Sounds like a good idea to stock up on some new yeast (try to buy small amounts if you don't use it that often). You won't regret buying a kitchen scale either...it will help with many baking recipes down the road. Cheers!
Thing is that I've been using it all this time with good results; I baked a no-knead bread just a couple of weeks ago and it was fine; probably the long fermentation time made up for the weak yeast. I came to this "belief" that yeast actually never expires ;) which is obviously wrong. I will definitely buy a scale too, I think it is one of this things that takes you to the next level.
I have gotten much better results with the pizza dough if I let the yeast, sugar, water combo proof for about 10-15 minutes. Am I just using the wrong type of yeast? BTW, I lived in Italy for 3 years and have missed the pizza of Napoli so much. This is the closest I have come including any/all restaurants that I have tried. Now I just wished I had a true Italian pizza oven
It is fine to proof the yeast for 10 minutes or so - this is very good to do if you are using active dry yeast. Great to hear that you are getting excellent results! I actually love making this pizza on the barbeque with a pizza stone. I get far better results with the crust. I place the cold stone onto the cold grates, close the top and slowly let it heat up. The temperature gets nice and hot (hotter than a regular oven) and the pizzas cook in about 4 minutes - they are fantastic! Happy cooking!
I made pizza last night and, excluding the sticky dough, they were perfectly tasty and crispy! Delicious! I used my new pizza stone and am a fan!
My problem was sticky dough - after proofing for a few hours the dough had risen really well but when I took it out of the bowl it was so sticky I had to use quite a bit of flour to enable me to shape it.
I used all bread flour and weighed the 500g out so I'm guessing that there was too much water (I used the full 300ml). Can I add the water to the flour instead and only use the amount necessary to get the dough to the right consistancy?
If you have scaled properly, the dough shouldn't be extremely wet. It is ok to use flour to SHAPE the dough, just don't work a lot of it INTO the dough. Was the dough difficult to knead? Or was it overly warm?
When I first learned about doughs in pastry school, we were continually reminded that "a sticky dough is a happy dough". Don't be tempted to add too much flour, as this will just create a dry and dense dough. Some doughs are just stickier than others. I would stick with the formula and try it again. The most important thing is that you enjoyed how the pizza baked up. Cheers!
So I get to combine my two favourite things - cooking and reading! In John Irving's latest novel - Last Night in Twisted River - his fictional cook is famous for his pizza - Dominic adds honey to the recipe and he also lets the dough double rise. If I wanted to try this, would I substitute the honey for the sugar? or add it in addition to? Does double rising make a better dough? Also the recipe specifies sea salt - is it really better? Great novel by the way - lots of great Italian recipes described in the novel!
To answer your questions - The honey would be added instead of the sugar. Sugar or honey are often added to doughs, as yeast feeds (and loves) the sugar.
The double rise (or double conditioning) is likely a good step (not sure of the recipe, but here are a few reasons they might do it).
During the fermentation process or the double rise, the yeast releases carbon dioxide, enzymes, alcohol and acids. Theses enzymes strengthens the protein (or gluten), which gives the dough more stability during final rise (or proof).
These enzymes also help to mellow out the dough which can make it more pliable (making it a bit easier to shape). The extra rise can also have a softening effect on the dough, Which can make for a softer dough once baked.
Another reason why the double rise might be used is because it might give the dough more time to rise and the longer rise the more flavor will be developed.
I say give it a try and let us know how it turned out
Yes, sea salt is better than table salt. For more on salts watch the lesson on How to Season with Salt, Topic 2 talks about types of salt.
Thanks for the tip on the novel, I am always a fan of books that somehow incorporate food into them. It has also been years since I read a John Irving novel. Thanks for the recommendation!
Thanks for your comments. When I kneaded the dough it felt fine and was easy to knead. It may have been too warm during the proofing process. It rose a lot during the 2 hours of proofing but when I took the plastic film off the bowl the dough lost all its air and flopped down into the bowl and was very sticky. I did have to add quite a bit of flour in the shaping stage, probably kneaded more into the dough than you advise too! It was sticky enough to cover my hands and make it impossible to touch without being stuck! It couldn't be shaped at all without the addition of flour.
I will try it again but leave it rise overnight in the fridge and see how that turns out.
Thanks for you help.
Just a few more comments. Once the dough has been kneaded, it just needs to rest (covered) in a bowl until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature, this could take anywhere from 30mins to quite a few hours (especially if the dough is in the fridge). The colder the temperature, the slower the rise...but you don't want the temperature to be too much warmer than room temperature. Next time, if proofing the dough at room temperature, don't go by time...just look at the dough to see that it has doubled in volume.
Also, it may have been the type of flour you used. I know you indicated that you used bread flour...is this bleached or unbleached? We much prefer unbleached over bleached (and make sure it has a protein content of at least 12%). Even though you scaled the ingredients, some bleached flours will make the dough wet. Make sure you are not using bread flour designed for bread machines.
We will be releasing a couple of dough/bread making lessons in the near future. Hopefully the information in there will also help you to troubleshoot. Happy baking!