Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Pizza Dough

This was my first challenge as a member of The Daring Bakersand I enjoyed every moment of it.  The challenge this month was to make real pizzaria style pizzas by tossing the dough and everything.  What an experience!  I definitely don't see tossing pizzas in a pizzeria in my future but I sure did have a lot of fun. 

The hosts of the challenge for this month were supposed to be: Rosa of Rosas Yummy Yumms, Sher of What Did You Eat?, and Glenna of  A Fridge Full of Food.  Glenna had a little too much going on so she decided to pull out of the Daring Bakers so she ended up not being a host this month.  Sherry (Sher) suddenly past away in July of this year but before she did she had shared her idea of the pizza challenge with Rosa.  In honor of Sher, Rosa decided to keep the pizzaria pizza as the challenge.  I'm sure Sherry would have had a wonderful time doing this challenge, but in honor and as a tribute tons of pizza doughs were flying through the air in October for her.  Thanks to Sherry for finding this challenge and recipe and sharing it wil Rosa and thank you Rosa for honoring Sherry through this challenge.

I have made a few different types of pizza dough but none of the doughs I've made have been a 2 day process.  When I first read this challenge and saw the dough was going to take two days to prepare I was kind of leary.  I knew it would be better to do this challenge on a weekend so I could take my time with everything and make sure I did everything as the directions read.  This dough turned out incredible; the flavor was so light and fresh and it goes with basically any type of recipe you can create.  This recipe makes quite a bit of dough, so it's one that could be made then frozen in individual bags or containers in the freezer.  I will definitely be using this recipe again, it was awesome.   

The only guidelines to this challenge were to follow the recipe and toss it like in a pizzeria.  This challenge turned us loose in the kitchen.  As far as toppings and sauces, that was entirely up to the creator of the pizza.  I decided since I was breaking out for this challenge I would get creative with the toppings as well and try a type of pizza and sauce that I hadn't tried before.  This got the creative juices flowing and I thought of multiple other recipes that sounded so good, so stay tuned for those!  I decided to do a chipotle ranch chicken.  I know that doesn't sound as adventurous as some things but the way I went about seasoning the chicken and making the sauce was not typical.  All the flavors combined in this recipe were fabulous and everything blended well.   

So, on to the fun stuff...the actual recipe!!!


Basic Pizza Dough

From: "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart



4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled

1 3/4 Tsp Salt
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

Day 1:

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.

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.



  Day 2:

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.


 NOTE:Make only one pizza at a time.
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.

NOTE: 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. 

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

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.


Here are a few pictures of the tossing process for your laughing pleasure!!!




Here's a picture of theChipotle Ranch Pizza



1 comment:

John (Eat4fun) said...

Congratulations on completing your first DB Challenge!
Chipotle sounds like a tasty addition to any pizza.
Very nice pictures and good tossing! :)

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