October 20, 2016 at 12:10 pm #5186
I was looking at Jim Leahy’s no-knead pizza dough and he does a very short rise of a couple of hours. Has anyone ever tried his recipe and used a long, slow rise?
Our pizza dough typically sits in the refrigerator for as long as 72 hours (this is based on a cooking class I took in Italy many years ago).
I am giving a pizza talk in November and want to give people several different ways of making dough including a no knead so they know that a stand mixer or 10 minutes of kneading dough is not required. I want to lower the barrier to entry.
On a tangent, I usually add some sugar to feed the yeast – usually a teaspoon or so. Would I be better off dropping that for my slow rise?
I use close to 3 cups of water and about 6-7 cups of flour. I use a mix of white whole wheat and cake flour with some flax meal thrown in.
ThanksOctober 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm #5188
Sometimes I wonder if recipes that call for a small amount of sugar are holdovers from the 50’s, when active dry yeast still needed a boost.
Have you tried a teaspoon of vinegar in your 72 hour recipe? That helps break up the complex starches, which should make sugar less necessary.October 21, 2016 at 6:22 am #5195
Thanks. I have not tried vinegar instead of sugar. I have to make some dough tonight so maybe I’ll try it with this batch and let you know. I’m also going to make some no knead too. I’ll let my family decide what they like better.
I know that Leahy uses sugars in some of his doughs but not in pizza. I haven’t read enough of the book yet to understand why he does when he does.
Also, you pointed me to some recipes for different Chicago pizzas in the past but I lost them. Would you mind pointing me to them again?
ThanksOctober 21, 2016 at 9:07 am #5197
The best book on Chicago pizza is probably the Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook. I believe it is available through Amazon, though I think I bought it in a gift shop at O’Hare Airport. It has a number of different dough recipes (over a dozen, I think) plus a number of sauce recipes.
The pizza dough recipe I have posted here is my variant on one from that book. (I tinkered with the ratios slightly and added semolina.)
There are a number of pizza websites, including Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Quest site. I don’t recall if Peter has any Chicago-style dough recipes, but as I said in another thread, I’m not convinced he really ‘got’ what Chicago pizza was about.
I’m a big fan of both deep dish and stuffed, but I really liked thin-crust, which was one of the five distinct styles of Chicago Pizza that Chicago Magazine identified in an article in the mid 1970’s, though it seems to have largely disappeared in Chicago these days.
The five styles, and some of the places that specialized in them, at least 40 years ago, were: deep dish, stuffed, thick crust, ultra thin crust and pizza bread. Deep dish originated on the south side (Giordano’s), stuffed on the west side (Nancy’s), thick crust was near-north (Pizzeria Uno), thin crust was north side (My Pie, Gulliver’s, Pizza Oven, Rick’s) and pizza bread was common in several areas, though Gulliver’s had the best at the time. (When new owners came in at Gulliver’s, the story was that they changed the recipe to save on costs, and I’m told the quality suffered badly.)
When I was at Northwestern, there was a pizza place on Central (The Inferno) that made double-dough pizzas where the dough must have been 2 inches thick. I thought they were awful, but for college students on a budget they were cheap and filling.
The two best thin-crust recipes I’ve found were the ‘Roman’ dough in Peter Reinhart’s book, American Pie, and this one: Thin Crust Dough Recipe. When I say ‘thin crust’, I mean REALLY thin, you should be able to read newsprint through the dough after it’s rolled out! This requires a dough with a lot of extensibility in it, though I can’t remember which of the two gluten proteins that is.October 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm #5205
Aaron, another interesting site I have been following (although I haven’t been making much pizza lately) is the Baking Steel site http://www.bakingsteel.com/pizza-blog/
They have posts from Peter Reinhart and Kenji Lopez-Alt as well as a variation on the no-knead I want to try. Obviously, the purpose is to sell baking steels, but it’s still very interesting.October 22, 2016 at 11:21 pm #5215
Our current favorite is the Ultra Thin Crust Pizza from KAF. However, the crust is not as thin as Mike was discussing.
When I made it this time, I mixed everything together except for the olive oil, then I dribbled it in with the mixer running and ran the mixer with paddle on speed 2 for 4 minutes. It was the best crust I’ve ever made. The crust seemed lighter and chewier. I’ll use this technique from now on.October 24, 2016 at 11:24 am #5224
Thanks everyone. Some day I’ll write my dough recipe down and post it. I actually need to write it up before I do my talk…
I’ll look at the recipes you all suggest.
This weekend in addition to my normal pizza I made a Jim Leahy no-knead pizza dough. Leahy, in his My Bread book says this should be ultra thin and almost cracker-like. I could not stretch it this thin and it was actually pretty thick and bready. I should have put it aside and let it rest but I was feeding people. I still have a half recipe left so I’ll try it again some time under less urgent circumstances.
I really want a go to no-knead recipe for people who do not have a stand mixer and do not want to knead it by hand.
The other new thing I tried with my own crusts was to bake it part way with just crust and sauce then pull it from the oven and put cheese and other toppings on it. This was to try and make the crust crisper and it definitely worked. Normally the outside edge is cracker crisp and the pizza become softer the closer I move to the center. With these pizzas the pizza was crisp from the outer edge to the middle even with extra sauce and lots of veggies.
But my family did not like it this way so I won’t do it again as it’s more labor intensive.
October 24, 2016 at 1:21 pm #5227
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by aaronatthedoublef.
If you’re having trouble getting a thin crust pizza dough stretched out really thin, it’s probably due to your flour. You need less elasticity (glutenin) and more plasticity (gliadin.) Mind you, I know of no flours available in stores that will tell you what the breakdown of gluten proteins is.
McGee says that one of the ways to add gliadin and increase the plasticity of dough is to add durum wheat, ie, semolina.October 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm #5236
Thanks. I used KAF bread flour so it’s definitely high in protein but it’s no-knead so I didn’t think the gluten would have developed much. I actually followed the recipe exactly and even weighed the ingredients. I needed a bit of extra water as the dough was too dry.
I still have half a recipe left so I’ll play with this. I may try using a rolling pin which is what I normally use. It makes it thinner than I can get hand tossing and I do not have the big crust on the edge.
Thanks for all the help.October 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm #5237
I’m not an expert on no-knead recipes, but I think the gluten develops, just not in as controlled a fashion. Bread flour tends to be high in glutenin, which contributes to elasticity. Although I didn’t know it at the time I started doing it, adding semolina increases gliadin, which contributes to plasticity.
Several of the ‘thin crust’ recipes in the Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook add semolina.
The ‘hand stretch’ fanatics would disown you for using a rolling pin. 🙂October 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm #5249
I know, I know… but, as the Great Chicago Pizza Book points out, most Chicago pizzas are made using a sheeter. I remember watching them at Giordano’s.
The other day we had a dough shortage (we had an extra teenage boy at the last minute!) and I bought some dough at the store. I started to hand stretch it and then, for fun, started to toss it at which point my middle looked at me and said “stop showing off”. 🙂
So I can and have done both. For most nights I prefer my rolling pin as does my family (which is really who this is all for).October 25, 2016 at 4:46 pm #5256
The sheeters are fascinating to watch, throw in a lump of dough and out comes a perfectly round crust.October 25, 2016 at 6:05 pm #5259
Aaron: It’s too bad that the family does not appreciate the floor show!October 26, 2016 at 8:59 am #5264
I worked in the kitchen in college and we had a night time snack bar. Usually I ran the grill while the pizza makers made pizza. We usually started them with a rolling pin and then hand tossed them and the tossing could get quite involved.
Friday night was usually slow (people went off campus) so we would have pizza tossing contests and in addition to seeing how big people could stretch the dough we had people doing 360 degree turns and various other acrobatics while the dough was in the air.
How no one ever crashed into anything and was seriously injured is a minor miracle. 🙂October 28, 2016 at 5:23 pm #5293
When I make pizza I don’t roll it or toss it. I put a hunk of dough on a 14″ pizza pan and stretch it with my hands starting in the center and working outward to cover the pizza pan. It gets nice and thin that way and I don’t have to try to move it. Add sauce and toppings of choice and about 18-20 minutes later fresh, hot pizza.October 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm #5294
I’m also a :put the dough down and stretch it” person. I put mine on a piece of parchment paper and work from the center to get it to 12 inches. Once it is topped, I transfer the finished pizza on the parchment to the baking stone in the oven.
It’s good to see you posting again Rottiedogs.November 1, 2016 at 8:14 am #5325
RottieDog, that is exactly what Jim Leahy recommends in “My Bread”. I tried that a couple weeks ago with no success. It was thick (Mr. Leahy says his is cracker thin) and chewy but tasted good. I kept tearing holes in it and repairing the holes.
Some of this may have been because it needed to rest more after I cut the dough.
This week I took the second half of the dough and used my rolling pin and rolled it out and put it on a half sheet. It was thin. Perhaps it was because the dough was rested or maybe it was just the rolling pin or maybe both.
I can turn pizza on my hands, toss it, or roll it but not stretch it by hand. Maybe I just need to practice more.
My primary purpose is to give people a dough they do not need to knead in a machine or by hand.November 1, 2016 at 9:09 am #5326
Letting the dough age for 12-24 hours seems to make it a lot easier to roll out. I’m told sourdough pizza dough also rolls out easier, but I’ve never made a true sourdough pizza dough. The longer you let it age, the more it is going to start to behave more like a sourdough. (I learned that testing the baguette recipe in Peter Reinhart’s ‘artisan’ book.)
The type of flour you use also affects it, a flour high in glutenin is going to be very elastic and will bounce back, so you need to let it relax frequently. A flour high in gliadin is going to be more plastic and will roll out quicker.November 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm #5329
The first time I make something I try to follow the recipe exactly. For his pizza dough in “My Bread” Leahy says to use 300 grams of bread flour and let it rise for two hours so I did that. I used a little extra water because the dough was too dry and was not coming together.
I then divided it in half per his instructions and tried to stretch it by hand to fit a half sheet. That was where I ran into trouble.
I took the second half and froze it. Then I let it thaw out for about 24 hours in the refrigerator and rolled it with a rolling pin. If I’d really wanted to test this I probably should have tried to hand stretch this but I didn’t.
Now I’ll try some variations on the flour. I know you suggest semolina to lower the gluten but I’ll use cake flour. My family does not like semolina (at least when I use it).
Also, looking up Leahy recipes on the web Mr. Leahy and his acolytes are letting his pizza dough rest for 18-24 hours. I really like longer so I may try that too. But I like to only change one or two things at a time. All this takes time and I only make pizza once a week so it will take a while to sort all this out. I would bet some of this is covered in “My Pizza” but I do not want to shell out another $20+ for it.November 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm #5330
I haven’t made pizza in over a year now, mostly because it’s a hassle with just 2 of us, and with my wife’s low-carb diet she hasn’t been eating much bread, so I’ve cut way back on my baking in general.
Even when I was making it, I seldom decided on pizza far enough ahead to make the dough more than a few hours in advance.
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