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Homemade Pizza Dough Problems - Recipe or Method?


bwarbiany
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So I've been a little less lazy on my pizza dough lately, and thus I've actually been making my own dough.

 

I use Alton Brown's recipe. Previously, when I've done pizza using store-bought, I typically use Trader Joe's

 

I've generally been running the grill at 650-700 degrees, letting the grill and the pizza stone heat soak a good 30+ minutes at that temp before. I'll make a roughly 13" round pizza (my stone is only 14.5", so I can't go too big), load it up with toppings, and get it on the grill.

 

What I've found, however, is that I tend to get a nicer browning, a more crisp bottom, and in general a tastier dough using Trader Joe's store-bought stuff than I get from Alton Brown. WIth Alton Brown's dough, I found that the toppings were starting to get a bit overcooked while the bottom was just slightly browning, and so I had to take the pizza off, and I frankly think the dough was a little underdone.

 

Two times ago when I did it, I thought maybe I made the dough too thick. I used half the ingredients in Alton's recipe, which should make 3 pizza doughs, for one pizza. So it was 1.5 times his normal recipe. But the last time I scaled it so I used 2/3 the ingredients and made two pizzas, and the crust was very thin, but it just didn't brown and crisp up enough. I just used standard flour, not "00" flour. Oh, and apropos of the metric thread in The Cooler, yes I'm certain that I properly measured everything in grams ;-)

 

So here's what I'm looking for:

 

1) Can some of you pizza experts take a look at Alton's recipe and let me know if there's something strange there? I.e. too much or not enough of any specific ingredients?

2) In addition, if some of you happen to have dough recipes that are wonderful at getting a little more brown and crisp, let me know.

 

 

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OK, first things first.  Sorry but as the metric goes I do not so I am not going to take time to convert his recipe and offer much of an opinion except to say that the ingredient list looks "OK" :)

 

I do think it is odd that your toppings cook faster than the dough.  Try this one, it will crisp to the point that you can hear it when you cut it....  ssshhcccck!  I usually role this out thin.

 

http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/2274-bread-machine-yeast-pizza-dough/

 

Allow it to rise for a few hours.

 

IMG_20141115_204909_634_zpsu0pyid8t.jpg

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I use a receipe S60 posted about a year or so ago. The Caputo flour she refers to is a "00" flour. Here it is:

 

I mixed up a batch of this dough (based upon the recipe from the Caputo flour company, adjusted for home use).

a - 1000 grams Flour
b - 600 grams Water, room temp
c - 30 grams Salt (equals 5 teaspoons sea salt or 6 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher)
d - 1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast

Total weight is 1,630 grams. This will make 4 balls around 400 grams each.

1. Mix yeast and half water in mixer bowl.
2. Add flour into mixer, begin mixing on slowest speed.
3. Dissolve the salt in the remaining water, then pour into mixer.
4. Mix for 5 minutes on slowest speed (dough should be incorporated at this point).
5. Rest dough for 15 minutes leaving dough in mixer.
6. Mix dough for 10 more minutes on slowest speed.
7. Leave dough in bowl on counter covered for 40 minutes.
8. Cut and shape into dough balls and let balls rest covered on counter for 4 hours.
9. Refrigerate balls for use the next day.
10. When ready to use, place on counter covered for 2 hours minimum, 5 hours max, to come to room temperature.

Based upon the appearance of the dough after 1 day, I adjusted the yeast up from 1/4 teaspoon to
1/2 teaspoon. Also, I used an American flour rather than an Italian 00 flour. 
Although the flour was not malted, it did contain an enzyme additive that has the same impact as
malting.  For the high temp cooks, I am going to try Italian flour designed for high temp cooks that
has no malt and no enzymes.

I cooked two pizzas, one at the lowest setting on the Blackstone and one at a high setting. 
I thought the one cooked at the lowest setting, with the bottom stone between 500-525f, turned out
better than the one cooked with the bottom stone at 850f.  I attribute that to the flour I was using.
  The crust on the low temp cook was very tender yet chewy.  The crust on the high temp cook was
slightly tough.  The low temp pizza cooked for 4 minutes.  The high temp cook was 90 seconds.

 

Regarding the dough, it was very extendable and easy to open by hand to 12 inches.  I dipped both
sides in flour and I had no sticking issues on the peel.  I have a few extra dough balls that I am
going to keep in the frig and test out later in the week.

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First my thoughts on temperature and time. When I bake thick pizzas with lots of toppings like the 2 I posted today, I bake at about 400 degrees on the dome, with stone heated at least 45 minutes. Bake time is around 15 minutes. When I do thin crusts, I keep toppings to a minimum, a d bake at 650 plus dome. These are done in about 90 seconds - any longer will burn the botObviously adjust salt to your tasted the top.

l generally use a 65%hydration for my dough. It is sticky, but gets nice large holes and good rise. If you don't want to do bakers percentage, try 3 to one volume flour to water.

I always make a sponge with all of the water, half the flour and half the yeast stirred together. Cover and rest about 4 hours. Then add remaing flour, yeast and salt, knead and rise another 2 or so hours. Never use warm water-room temp is fine. Keep yeast to a minimum -1/2 teaspoon is plenty for 1 cup of water and 3 cups water. Perhaps 1 1/2 teaspoons salt for this amount also. Obviously adjust salt to your taste. Experiment and have fun!

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I have a couple suggestions that work for me...

1) sourdough starter.  if you need some, let me know

2) overnight rise

3) 60-65% hydration for a lean dough

4) 30% whole wheat flour.

5) no-knead methods work pretty well too...

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One thing I didn't do with this was let it rise overnight in the fridge. I did leave it in the fridge a good 6 or 7 hours before using it the first time, and probably 9+ hours the second time, but not 18-24. Any idea whether that's an issue. (Also note I tend to keep my fridges especially cold, if that matters for yeast activity).

 

I do think it is odd that your toppings cook faster than the dough.  Try this one, it will crisp to the point that you can hear it when you cut it....  ssshhcccck!  I usually role this out thin.

 

http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/2274-bread-machine-yeast-pizza-dough/

 

 

 

Looks from that thread like everyone's had some good luck with it... I'll give it a shot.

 

I use a receipe S60 posted about a year or so ago. The Caputo flour she refers to is a "00" flour. Here it is:

 

 

 

Sounds good. No sugar or oil in there? 

 

Altons recipe has sugar and oil so it should brown nicely at 700f.


My dough balls are 230 grams each and I cook at 700f-800f wood oven.

 

Wow, that looks awesome... I think I'll have to give that a try.

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I agree with wick lower your Temps my pizzas turn out great with my dough recipe 15 grams of oil seems a bit odd for that amount of flour I think it's close to 1and a bit tablespoons 14 grams to the tablespoon 2 makes 28 grams with is an Oz . 500grams is half a kilo which is close to a pound so for 690 grams I would be putting more oil into that recipe for sure I use 2 tablespoons in 2 and a 1/4 cups of flour which is around 280 grams

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I have been making my own Dough for years, way before I got my Kamado. Having said that I am by no means an expert on pizzas but I have made a lot of them. I use to try all different receipes and add things etc etc but this is my go to pizza dough now.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14433/pizza+dough

I also agree with wicked and joe, I like to cook mine at a lower temp, around 550. I like a lot of toppings so this gives the toppings time to cook and all the cheese time to melt while giving me a crispy crust without out burning the base. Good luck!

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I use a receipe S60 posted about a year or so ago. The Caputo flour she refers to is a "00" flour. Here it is:

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sounds good. No sugar or oil in there? 

==========================================================================

Not a drop of oil or an pinch of sugar. The 00 flour is more $ than normal flour though but it makes a great airey crust. This dough is designed for the Neapolitan style pie. Extremely thin, minimal toppings and cooked at extremely high temps. We do ours on the BS patio pizza oven at 800-900F and they are great.

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