Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Artisan Breads Every Day - Pizza Dough

Working through Peter Reinhart's bread book one recipe at a time!

I think it would be accurate to say that Peter Reinhart knows something about good pizza. He has written a whole book on the subject.

His latest book contains four pizza dough recipes, Neo-Neopolitan, Sourdough, 50% Whole Grain, and 100% Whole Grain.

I have tried all of them, and each one is terrific. They all utilize the cold overnight fermentation to develop the flavors. Since we love pizza, I mixed up several batches of dough and froze in freezer bags. As long as I remembered to pull out a bag of dough the day before, we enjoyed some wonderful for pizza with very little preparation.
The Neo-Neopolitian dough was the easiest to work with. It was very stretchy with lots of good gluten development. I am not good at pizza tossing but even I could get a good stretch with this dough.

The Sourdough pizza version was our favorite for flavor. I replaced 2 cups of white flour with whole wheat and added 1 T of vital gluten. It had a good stretch though not quite as good as the Neo-Neopolitian.

The 50% Whole Grain was delicious. A little harder to stretch but I think the addition of a little vital gluten could help.
We like to eat whole grains so the 100% Whole Grain pizza dough really interested me. This pizza dough was the softest. I was able to smooch it into the pan but it would have been impossible to toss. We really liked the flavor of this dough. It did not have the bitter flavor that some whole grain doughs have.

All these doughs were baked at the highest heat my oven could give, 550 degrees. The edges puffed up dramatically but the dough was quite thin in the middle. Since my husband prefers a thicker crust. I experimented with using more dough and not rolling as thin. Some of my attempts were underdone in the middle. My best results were with rolling it on a silicone mat and adding toppings. I preheated my oven and pan then placed the silicone mat with the assembled pizza on the pan. This yielded a pizza that was cooked to the center but still with a slightly thicker crust that my husband prefers.
Only one problem with these pizza dough recipes. Once you learn to make a really great pizza dough, most other pizza you eat will seem sadly lacking. On a recent visit to a good pizza shop in our area, my husband's opinion was that the topping were good but their dough had no flavor. Have you seen the ad stating "no one eats pizza for the crust"? Make one of these recipes and you will be fighting over the crust!

2 comments :

  1. Oh my those look delicious! I'm gonna have to check out that book for sure:) Going to check out the rest of your blog....

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  2. Great post as always Gina. I was looking to pre-make some pizza doughs for my freezer so I came to your blog first as I know you love to make pizza. Lots of inspiration here and I have the 2 books Bread in Five Minutes a Day & Healthy Breads in Five. I'll explore both for these recipes :)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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