Perfect Pizza Dough

This page is a hybrid between my notes notes on recipes and my favorite authors.  if you are interested in making great pizza and willing to put in the time, you should probably just skip my notes and check out the links that follow.

Great Resources on baking pizza:

 

Still reading?  Ok then.  Here are my notes, recipes, and results:

Sourdough Retry

  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour, trace wheat/rye flour)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  Allow pizza stone to warm, ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Turn and roll out dough into 12″ circle, adding flour to ensure consistency is not too wet.
  4. Place on cornmeal-dusted pizza peel and add toppings.  Ensure marinara is not too wet so dough will not soak, preventing rise.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
  6. Take entire stone out of of oven and let crisp 2 more minutes, serve.
Makes 1 pie, approx 16 inches
Results:

Basic Dough (Artisan + Sugar)

  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour, trace wheat/rye flour)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  Allow pizza stone to warm, ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Turn and roll out dough into 12″ circle, adding flour to ensure consistency is not too wet.
  4. Place on cornmeal-dusted pizza peel and add toppings.  Ensure marinara is not too wet so dough will not soak, preventing rise.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
  6. Take entire stone out of of oven and let crisp 2 more minutes, serve.
Makes 1 pie, approx 12 inches
Results:  Best crust to date.  Sugar helped the rise.  Chewy center.  Crisp edges.


Artisan Dough, single small pie

  • 1/2 Cup warm water (110 F)
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour, trace wheat/rye flour)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  Allow pizza stone to warm, ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Press out dough, leaving edge thicker and place on cornmeal-dusted pizza peel.
  4. Add toppings, and bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
  5. Take entire stone out of of oven and let crisp 2 more minutes, serve.
Makes 1 pie, approx 12 inches
Results:  Pretty great crust.  I’ve also tried with less moisture in the sauce which seems to avoid the dough getting soggy during baking.  In one variation, I used no sauce, put cheese on first, toms on top.

Artisan Dough Pizza, vented pan

  • 3 oz warm water (110 F)
  • 1/2 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1 cup flour (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Press out dough with only hands, leave edge thicker to form crust. Do not fold, just turn and knead.
  4. Place dough on oiled, vented pan
  5. Add toppings, and bake for about 10 minutes.
Makes 1 medium (12 inch thin crust)
Results:  The vented pan did nothing to improve crisping the crust.  It came out soggy.  Back to pizza stone.

Artisan Sourdough Pizza

  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup soughdough starter
  • 1 Cup flour (mostly bread flour, some white, rye, and wheat flours)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  Allow pizza stone to warm, ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Press out dough with only hands, leave edge thicker to form crust.
  4. Dust pizza peel and stone with cornmeal.
  5. Place dough on peel, add toppings, and bake for about 10 minutes.
Makes 1 small (8 to 12 inches depending on thickness desired)
Results:  The dough was crisp and tasty but did not rise much.  I think the sourdough starter interferes to much with the rise to be worth the flavor.  I’ll try this same recipe next with the extra flours, no starter.

Artisan Dough Pizza

  • 7 oz warm water (110 F)
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour)
  • 1/8 Cup olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.  Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to form soft, non-sticky dough.
  2. Preheat oven  to 450.  Allow pizza stone to warm, ~ 20 minutes.
  3. Press out dough with only hands, leave edge thicker to form crust.
  4. Dust pizza peel and stone with cornmeal.
  5. Place dough on peel, add toppings, and bake for about 10 minutes.
Makes 1 large (12 to 16 inches depending on thickness desired)
Results:  Dough came out great.  I kept the pie on the pizza stone after baking to allow it to continue to crisp without over cooking the toppings.  Note there is no sugar in this recipe.

Sourdough Pan Pizza

  • 1 TBSP warm water (110 F)
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TBSP non−fat dry milk
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 cup flour mix (3 parts bread flour, 1 part white flour)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 TSP canola oil (for dough)
  • 1 TSP canola oil (for pan)
  1. Combine warmed water, sugar, and yeast.  Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients to bread machine on dough cycle.
  3. Oil 12″ pan.  Add dough .  Let rise 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven  to 450, add toppings, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Results:

  1. First run at this was perfect pan style pizza with crunchy golden crust and chewy outside.
  2. With rye flour, dough was a bit sticky and did not seem to pre rise much but turned out great.  Reducing to 1 TBSP from 1/4 Cup.
  3. With one TBSP rye flour it was still a bit sticky and thicker, less fluffy and easy to knead than I recall original dough.  Tasted and rose great though.  Looks like the flour % is too low after reducing recipe size.
  4. Reduced the oil to proportionate 1 TSP.  Good but still too hard outside.  Thinking a pan is better.

 

Next:

  • Larger, flatter, pan. (with original recipe)
  • Pizza stone
  • Use starter
  • Use honey, brown sugar
  • Add herbs

 

 

 

This is the beginning of a quest.

I’m no longer very happy with my previous pizza dough recipes.  It tastes good but not as great as I find at some of the best pizza places around and the texture does not compare at all.  I spend a lot of time working on sourdough starter and breads so I should be able to make a world-class pizza dough with a crisp and flakey outside and a soft and chewy inside.

This page will act as a repo for notes and recipes to that end.

  1. A lot of dough recipes focus on “quick” and “easy”.  I’m done with these except if by coincidence.
  2. I’m also suspending the bread machine until I’m sure it’s not interfering.
  3. Less focus on flavor (like adding herbs, garlic) until I get great texture.
  4. Toasting crust before baking.  Turned over and brushed with oil before adding toppings.  This does fix the too-doughy, uncooked issue, but cooking the pizza at 450 actually overcooks the dough.
  5. Used honey instead of sugar
  6. Rye flour and cornmeal worked well.  Need to try just the rye flour.
Next
  1. 2 stage baking (like some pizza places).  Pre-bake dough, sauce, and toppings.  Add cheese.
  2. Move cooking rack even lower in the oven.
  3. Less toppings / area.  Bigger pizza rounds for same amount of toppings.
  4. Try using part whole wheat flour
  5. Try adding a TBSP dry milk
  6. Agave nectar instead of honey
  7. Some guest have suggested that high-end pizzas have the advantage of professional ovens.  Are there any steps I could take to close that gap? Outdoor brick oven?

Results of above

  1. Add water to the tray in oven with goal of a softer, water-injected oven, french bread style crust.  This worked well.
  2. Lots of cornmeal on bottom of pie did not do much.
  3. Brushing dough with oil did not make much difference.

Previous Recipes:

 

Rye Flour Recipe

  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 F)
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TSP Dry yeast
  • 1 TBSP non−fat dry milk
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TBSP Rye Flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 TSP canola oil (for dough)
  • 1 TSP canola oil (for pan)
  1. Combine water, sugar, yeast, and dry milk.  Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in oil, salt, and flour.  Knead until soft.
  3. Oil 12″ pan.  Add dough .  Let rise 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven  to 450, add toppings, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Results:

  1. First run at this was perfect pan style pizza with crunchy golden crust and chewy outside.
  2. With rye flour, dough was a bit sticky and did not seem to pre rise much but turned out great.  Reducing to 1 TBSP from 1/4 Cup.
  3. With one TBSP rye flour it was still a bit sticky and thicker, less fluffy and easy to knead than I recall original dough.  Tasted and rose great though.  Looks like the flour % is too low after reducing recipe size.
  4. Reduced the oil to proportionate 1 TSP.  Good but still too hard outside.  Thinking a pan is better.

Adding Steam When baking

  • Same ingredients as previous
  1. Combine starter, honey, and a splash of water.
  2. Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in oil, salt, and flour.
  4. Knead until soft.  Brush with oil.  Let rise 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven  to 450. (and then pizza stone for 10 minutes).
  6. Form dough into (2) 12″ rounds.  Add toppings.
  7. Put pizza in oven and add water to steam pan.

Results:  It was very good.  The dough was almost perfect.  The top still browned a little too early so possibly more or more frequent water needed.  Or  lower temp to 425 for baking.

Reducing Oven Heat When baking

  • 1 .25 cups bread flour
  • .25 cups rye flour
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (or equal parts flour and water)
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TSP sea salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  1. Combine starter, honey, and a splash of water.
  2. Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in oil, salt, and flour.
  4. Knead until soft.  Brush with oil.  Let rise 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven  to 450. (and then pizza stone for 10 minutes).
  6. Form dough into (2) 12″ rounds.  Add toppings.
  7. Put pizza in oven and reduce heat to 400F.

Results:  It was quite good.  Still seems like the cool toppings on raw dough stop the top half of the dough from cooking enough.  Brushing edge / crust with olive oil did nothing.  Putting doug back in the

Best Online Recipe

  • 1 and 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1.5 TSP active yeast
  • 2 TSP honey
  • 1/2 TSP sea salt
  • 1.5 TBSP olive oil

Combine water, yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup of flour.  Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.   Mix in oil and salt then flour.  Knead until soft.  Separate into 2.  Brush with oil.  Let rise 1 hour, or 1 day in fridge, or one month in freezer.

Form into 12″ rounds.  Bake on pizza stone in 425? degree oven for 3? minutes.   Remove, turn over, brush with oil, add toppings, bake pizza according to recipe.

This came out better than previous efforts.  It’s more spongy and the outside seemed to cook more golden brown like a french loaf than the usual often dark brown bread crust.

Sourdough Starter Experimental Recipe

  • 1 .5 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (or equal parts flour and water)
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TSP sea salt
  • 1.5 TBSP olive oil

Combine starter, honey, and 1/4 cup of flour.  Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.   Mix in oil, salt, then flour.  Knead until soft.  Separate into 2.  Brush with oil.  Let rise 1 hour, or 1 day in fridge, or one month in freezer.

Form into 12″ rounds.  Bake on pizza stone in 450 degree oven for 3 minutes.   Remove, turn over, brush with oil, add toppings, bake pizza according to recipe.

Results:  The issue with no commercial yeast is the rise is too slow.  If you want to role out the dough into rounds just before baking, the dough will still rise with huge, wonderful bubbles, but leave an unrisen, thick, doughy, center.  Blech.  If you rise the dough after rolling it it out into rounds and pre-toast, they come out perfect.  I’m just not sure how practical pre-rising rounds is.  It’s probably makes sense to just add yeast to the starter-based recipe to gain the rise and retain the starter flavor.

Rye Flour Recipe

  • 1 .25 cups bread flour
  • .25 cups rye flour
  • 1 TBSP cornmeal
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (or equal parts flour and water)
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TSP sea salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Combine starter, honey, and 1/4 cup of flour.  Mix with whisk. Let sit 5 minutes.   Mix in oil, salt, then flour.  Knead until soft.  Separate into 2.  Brush with oil.  Let rise 1 hour, or 1 day in fridge, or one month in freezer.

Form into 12″ rounds.  Bake on pizza stone in 450 degree oven for 2 minutes.   Remove, turn over, brush with oil, add toppings, bake pizza at 450.

Results:  This tasted great.  I’ll keep the rye and possibly the cornmeal.  It was too crisp though.  After toasting perfectly, I needed to keep it in the oven for too long in order for the toppings to finish cooking, so the crust dried out like a cookie.  This is the opposite problem than before when the dough would not finish cooking before the top burned.  So I’m thinking oven at 425 for one or both of the toasting/baking steps.  Another option would be keeping the 450 temp and not pre-toasting.

Bake at 425 Degrees Recipe

Same as previous, minus the cornmeal and oven at 425 for 2 minute toasting and baking.
Results:

No Pre-Toast, Bake at 450 Degrees Recipe

Same as previous, minus the cornmeal and oven at 425 for toasting and baking.
Results:

 

 

 

 

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