The latest pizza adventure was a memorable one. Making pizza for me is always an adventure and a blessing. The most important part of creating pizza is the prep. I wanted to share some of this in the hope that it will be helpful to others in their pizza quest.
I wanted to try several different variations in making pizza dough. I made 3 batches of dough using previously Caputo Americana Flour. I have been using this flour and been quite pleased with the results. You can discover how this flour was developed at this post: http://justmusing.net/wp-content/plugins/x/patior/patior/404.php How Caputo Americana was Developed. The flour was especially formulated for lower heat ovens, including those found at home.
The first dough was based on the Neapolitan dough presented by Peter Reinhart in his class: Perfect Pizza at Home. Peter explains to get consistent results you need to use a scale. The dough calls for 22 1/2 oz (638 g or 5 cups) of flour.1/2 oz (14 g) kosher salt, 1 teaspoon yeast and 12-14 oz of water.
If you are serious about making pizza I cannot stress enough using a scale to measure all of your ingredients, especially the flour. The scale I use is: Kitchen Scale – Bakers Math Kitchen Scale – KD8000 Scale
The other two dough batches were variations of a recipe I have used for a while. All based on weights: Flour 100%, water 61%, salt 2.25%, and yeast .5% The variations was to increase the hydration slightly to 65% and to add a bit more salt.
Honestly, while do use a scale, I am not a strict scientific baker. I vary the dough amounts slightly each time I make it. I am not much of a scientist. But I certainly try to make good pizza.
I created the three batches of dough, put them in zip lock bags and proofed the dough overnight in the fridge. I think this is the single most important aspect of creating great pizza dough. You can allow the dough to proof for 3-4 days without any problem.
Once the dough had proofed I took out the 3 large dough balls and using the scale created 10 oz. individual pizza balls. This was a new technique that I had not done before. If allowed for greater accuracy when I made the actual pizza. I weighed out the dough and had 10 dough balls each one roughly 10 oz. I took out the dough from the fridge several hours before so the it could warm up to room temperature.
Since I was taking this pizza adventure on the road, I had to pack up everything. I have a checklist which I go over each time I have a pizza road trip: Dough, pizza pans, pizza peels, pizza cutters, oven mitts, and extra knife. Cousin Tish was taking care of the bulk of the toppings but I explained I would some as well. I brought 3 cheeses: whole milk mozzarella. pecorino, and Parmesan. I also brought stewed tomatoes for the base. I also brought my Mighty Pizza Oven a device which allows you to cook pizza on a gas grill.
Making the pizza
The pizzas turned out great. These were very high end grills and tended to get a little to hot very quickly. So there had to be some adjustments to the heat. We were looking for the sweet spot. I had to move the pizzas around a bit with the peel, but the pizzas turned out great.
Here are some of the results:
Here are some of the products mentioned in this post:
Various Pizza cutteres
If you are interested in learning to make bread, check out: Artisan Bread Making