Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pizza pie

I have a migraine this morning, fortunately took ibu quick and it's not that bad. But I feel like making pizza. My buddy Mike from Cleveland gave me his pizza recipe a few years back, and it was pretty good. When we had it at Rashied's house, Mike made some and it was very good: crust was chewy and crisp, nice mild flavor.

Decided to do some research and came across a pizza recipe of a guy trying to emulate Papa John's pizza. Looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here goes:

3 cups flour (I used 2.5 cups unbleached AP and .5 cup Bob's red mill semolina; original calls for King Arthur bread flour, or another high(er) gluten flour)
1 cup + 2 tbsp water
1/8 teaspoon instant dry yeast
3 tsp kosher salt
3tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
2tbsp + 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella, frozen a tiny bit and diced in food processor into small dice/pellets
About 40 pepperonis
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix with wooden spoon, then hands to combine, so there are no crumbs floating around at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Let rest for 20 minutes in a covered plastic tub on the counter.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes on lowest setting with dough hook on stand mixer
  4. Form into round, cover and refrigerate in plastic tub. It should stay there at least 3 days, (5 days is better) and can stay up to 8 days.
  5. Remove from fridge, and let rest on the counter for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees
  6. Using a HEAVILY floured board (preferably a combo of semolina and unbleached AP), push down & stretch for form a 10" disc.
  7. Dock whe whole thing using a dough docker (preferred), fork, or other homemade implement
  8. Stretch to shape over a 14" pizza screen.
  9. Sauce the pizza: start in the middle, and use a ladle to spiral outward.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese: start around the outside edge, going in a circle. Continue to sprinkle in concentric rings, going inward.
  11. Bake on the pizza disk in 500degree oven for about 8-9 minutes, watching carefully starting at 6 minutes.
Compare to Wolfgang Puck's pizza dough recipe from the Food NEtwork site:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
Less sugar (honey instead), less oil, different oil (olive vs. vegetable), and much more yeast. That makes sense, though, because his is meant to rise in 2 hours!

Compare that to Jamie Oliver's "Jamie At Home" pizza recipe (halved):
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1.5 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1.25 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
  • 3.5 cups flour (2.5c high-gluten or 00 flour, 1.5c semolina)
  • 1.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Jamie uses more oil, more sugar, more salt, and a tiny bit more flour. Same amount of yeast, similar rise times to the Wolfgang Puck recipe. Probably similar level of hydration. The PJ recipe has more hydration, which should lead to bigger holes. Lower yeast and longer ferment; I have found that it usually results in better flavor!

Incidentally, here's the breakdown of the PJ recipe by weight:

Flour (100%)
Water (56.5%)
Yeast, instant dry (0.14%)
Salt (1.75%)
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (7.3%)
Sugar (4.8%)

We'll see how all this end up soon! :)

ED NOTE: After a rise time of about 5 days, it was barely risen, but it was soft. Did not brown very well; flavor was OK. Was not very chewy (need to add gluten and/or use high-gluten flour) and not much hole/porous structure. What I did learn is that adding a lot of sugar and oil to the dough really helps with the flavor of pizza crust.

Using a quick recipe (3 cups AP flour, 3 tbsp gluten, 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, 2 tsp instant yeast, 2 tsp kosher salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey) yielded much better results with a less than 2 hour rise time. I think the biggest trick is using a rimless cookie sheet, parchment paper, and sliding the parchment + pizza direct onto pizza stone on lowest rack.

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