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Old 01-14-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
Dextersmom
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Default Pizza Dough Struggle

question...i do a lot of cooking and lately i've been wrestling with pizza dough. has anyone here worked at a pizzeria and might be able to offer some recipe tips? My issue here is no matter how i make the dough it never comes out as crispy on the top and chewy on the inside as pizzeria pizza / garlic knots / doughballs.

check out the outer texture on in the picture here



i do realize that pizzerias tend to use different flours than the normal person has access to and uses a hotter oven but if anyone has a work around for these issues and can offer any advice it'd be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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When I want a simple pizza dough I use this recipe. It is easy and doesn't require a lot of preparation time.

The key to good chewy dough is gluten formation. Use a high quality flour, I recommend King Arthur all purpose because it consistently has good gluten levels.

Work the dough well and let it rest to help aid in gluten formation. Try to make sure you can form a windowpane with the dough, this is a sign that there is enough gluten to form the dough properly. Also, never roll out the dough, always stretch, but be careful not to tear it. Rolling out the dough doesn't allow proper gluten alignment.

Lastly, make sure your oven is extremely hot and you are using a pizza stone.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #3
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Your problem is probably the heat of your oven. How hot are you cooking it at? It really needs to be as hot as your oven can possibly go, and even then you're only in the pale shadow of real pizza oven territory.

Also, how thick is your dough when you shape it? If it's too thick, that could cause this, too.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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I base my pizza off Alton Brown's method. Pretty simple.

[youtube]-BhVPgllLW8[/youtube]

[youtube]H_-o0q3a2w4[/youtube]

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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I worked in a pizza place for about 3 years and I have to say that the main key to chewy bread is using high gluten flours. Also we would let it rest at least overnight in a fridge before cooking it on a stone (obviously) and the ovens were always set at 550*. Let me know if there is any other pizza knowledge I can help you with!

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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A pizza stone really helps. Get it nice and hot and then slap your pizza directly on it. Helps crisp up the crust without petrifying it all the way through.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealf View Post
I worked in a pizza place for about 3 years and I have to say that the main key to chewy bread is using high gluten flours.
Yes, the real secret as mentioned earlier .
Quote:
Also we would let it rest at least overnight before cooking it on a stone (obviously) and the ovens were always set at 550*.
The overnight rest can help provide flavor, especially if yeast growth is slowed by refrigeration, but it doesn't hugely aid in the chewy inner texture.

As far as 550 degrees goes that is the minimum temperature I cook at. If I can go hotter I would with 800 degrees most likely being my top point.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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Three things make great pizza dough, and all three of them have already been mentioned in this thread but I am going to reitterate them.

1. Choose the bread flour with the highest protien content you can find, I use the King Arthur in the blue bag and it works great.

2. Get a pizza stone, you will not make good crust without one.

3. Heat. Get your oven as hot as you possibly can. Mine is old and broken and the heat is not very steady, but it makes great pizza because it goes way hotter than it should. I have a thermometer in there that tops out at 600 and it is pinned WAY past that when I have it all the way up. So heat it up for at least a half an hour so that stone is all the way up to temp and slide that dough right off of your peel onto the stone. Close the oven and don't open it for 4 min or so, mine never takes more than 5 min to cook. Cool for a few minuets and eat, everyone who has it is in love with it.

I remember reading on the internet a few years ago about a guy who disabled the latch on his oven so he could open it during the self cleaning cycle...he was cooking his pizzas at like 900F.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonedef131 View Post
3. Heat. Get your oven as hot as you possibly can. Mine is old and broken and the heat is not very steady, but it makes great pizza because it goes way hotter than it should. I have a thermometer in there that tops out at 600 and it is pinned WAY past that when I have it all the way up. So heat it up for at least a half an hour so that stone is all the way up to temp and slide that dough right off of your peel onto the stone. Close the oven and don't open it for 4 min or so, mine never takes more than 5 min to cook. Cool for a few minuets and eat, everyone who has it is in love with it.
I had this same trick as well at my old apartment. 700 degrees when set to max. It was great, then I moved .

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I remember reading on the internet a few years ago about a guy who disabled the latch on his oven so he could open it during the self cleaning cycle...he was cooking his pizzas at like 900F.
I tried this it can be dangerous as a word of warning.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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wow responses like crazy in no time!

ok well one of my big issues here is i usually roll out my dough. next is i don't have a stone. I usually have the oven cranked to 500. This weekend I will try out a higher gluten flour.

also the reason for my rolling out the dough. I usually use a rectangular cookie sheet that has raised edges. In the past i've rolled out and topped the pizza then realized i had to get it in the oven. I don't have a pizza spatula so this was a very taxing endeavor. should i get out and grab a big pizza spatula when i get myself a pizza stone?

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