Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help

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Gumbo191
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Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Tue, 03/29/11 12:39 PM
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We make pizza occasionally and have had some success but the last 2 attempts ended with me running down to the pizza parlor and buying a large dough ball for $4. Aside from the issue of dough not rising when I do make a good dough I end up rolling it out flat becuase my hand stretching ends up with a focaccia style pizza. I like a NY style crust chewy with plenty of air pockets. Any suggestions on dough prep and stretching would be appreciated!

mar52
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Tue, 03/29/11 1:20 PM
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This is what I've done.  I also make enough to have it for a few more at a later date.  I grill pizzas but it would probably work.
 
I stretch and roll the dough and have a horrible time making them round.
 
I use a Kitchenaid mixer fitted with the dough hook.
 
Grilled Pizza Dough
 
5 Cups All Purpose or Bread Flour
2 T Salt
1-3/4 Cups Warm Water (Around 110 degrees)
1 T Sugar
1 T Yeast (or 1 package)
5 T Olive Oil ( 2 in the recipe. 3 to drizzle on the dough)
1-1/2 T Honey
2 Cloves Garlic, minced  (optional)
 
In a bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar. Set aside until bubbly.
 
In the mixer bowl, add the flour, salt, honey, olive oil and garlic. Then, add the yeast mixture.
 
Fit mixer with the dough hook, then mix on low speed (1 or 2) for 4 minutes. Add more water if necessary a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be smooth.
 
Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
 
Continue mixing for about 4 minutes.
 
Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
 
Transfer to counter. Lightly flour if necessary. Knead the dough and form into round ball. Divide the dough into 8 equal six-ounce pieces.
 
Place each ball inside a ziploc bag. Drizzle each ball with the remaining olive oil (about 1 tsp each).
 
Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate the dough overnight. Dough can be kept in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Put dough in freezer next day and freeze for up to 3 months.
 
Thaw dough in refrigerator overnight. Let rest at room temperature for 2 hours before you plan to roll.
 
 
 

Davydd
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Tue, 03/29/11 2:24 PM
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It is all a matter of getting the dough right and technique. Practice, practice, practice.
 
Trader Joe's sells dough balls for 99 cents and they work well if you want a shortcut.
 
My dough is nothing but filtered water, yeast, pinch of salt and all-purpose unbleached flour. I hand mix and hand knead. I seek about 65% hydration and I do everything by dough feel after starting out with the basic recipe. I used to be more complex but simplified.
 
If you must seek a perfect round non-focaccia looking crust then by all means use a roller and then lay a pizza tin over and take a knife and trim it round.
 
If your dough does not rise properly try two things. First, test your yeast in the water for 10 minutes to make sure it is active before mixing. You can do that with IDY even if a recipe says to mix it dry with the flour. Secondly, your water could have too much chlorine killing the yeast. If that is the case then use filtered water or let your water sit to gas off the chlorine. That's the same recommendation for watering house plants. I get a difference between the water straight from my tap and the water drawn from the refrigerator door filler after going through a filter. I just warm up the cold water from the refrigerator in the microwave.
 
Here is my inspiration thread on Roadfood.com here: Another Saturday, Another Pizza
<message edited by Davydd on Tue, 03/29/11 2:27 PM>

mar52
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Tue, 03/29/11 3:02 PM
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David,  if you have a Trader Joe's close by...
 
Try their jarred bruschetta sauce on the pizza instead of tomato sauce.  It's tasty!

Gumbo191
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Wed, 03/30/11 10:22 AM
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We are on a well so the Chlorine could be the issue. Did you add sugar to the warm yeast water?

WarToad
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Wed, 03/30/11 10:54 AM
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Gumbo - I always add a little honey, malt syrup, or sugar to the water.  You're not just rehydrating them, you have to give the yeast a little food to get them replicating too for a starter that's ready for action.

Gumbo191
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Re:Fool Proof Pizza Dough? - I have tried everything but need help - Wed, 03/30/11 1:51 PM
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I guess its bad when the yeast expired in 2009?