Pizza Making Vs. Bread Making

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Here’s a true theory of bread making and pizza making. Those who make pizza can make bread. Those who make bread can make pizza. The fact of the matter is that these two skills are almost synonymous and just about interchangeable.

My pizza making has led me on the path of making some wonderful bread. Once you have worked dough a few times and are comfortable with it, there is no reason you cannot be making incredible bread as well.

For this bread adventure I decided to use the one of the bread recipes found in Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Everyday. This volume is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to journey into the world of bread baking. This book not only contains recipes but instructs you on the finer techniques to take your bread making skills to a higher level.

As Peter explained to me, one of the best tricks to making bread (or pizza dough) is to make your dough the night before. The reason for this is the dough will have a chance to fully develop flavor which greatly improves the final outcome.

The recipe I used was for Classic French Bread (pg. 49):

  • 5 1/3 Cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (I used Hawaiian Salt)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
  • 2 cups water

I did a variation of the recipe contained in the book. I used the autolyse method while making the dough. This very simple method can have very dramatic results. The method is so easy it almost seems counter intuitive. All that you do is to start by mixing the flour and water together. Wait about 30 to 40 minutes before you add the other ingredients. That’s it: simple easy!

After I mixed all the dough ingredients together, I immediately put the dough in the fridge to allow it to do a cold ferment over night. This is another simple step which will greatly improve the flavor of your bread.

Shaped dough resting.

Shaped dough resting.

After a 24 four cold ferment in the fridge, the dough was almost ready for baking. You need to allow the dough to warm up to room temperature before you can bake the dough.

I decided to make several small baguettes, dinner rolls as well as a little left over for a special project. The shaping process is explained by Peter in his book.

dinner rolls

dinner rolls

I baked the bread and rolls on a preheated pizza stone at about 500+ F. The rolls and bread were small and they cooked up rather quickly (6-10 minutes)

baguettes

baguettes

I sprayed the baguettes lightly with olive oil before I put them in the oven. The taste was simply outstanding. there is nothing quite as good as hot bread coming right out of the oven.

I think allowing the dough to proof overnight in the fridge was the key. This is basically the same process I use when I make pizza.

So remember if you make pizza you can make great bread and if you make bread you can certainly make great pizza! As a great blues philosopher once said: “When I make bread and pizza, I got my mojo working..”  😉

Go out and create your own magic, by making bread!

Claim a copy of Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day right here.

 

And I also recommend: what I consider the Bible of Bread: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

11 Responses so far.

  1. David says:

    Good Job on the bread!
    Peter’s two books are already on my book shelf and showing signs of being well used.
    You might also like to look at the two books by Michael Kalanty, he adds another dimension to bread making. I also found that Zachary Golper’s Bien Cuit had some interesting concepts, Especially his sour dough bagels, they have become a favorite in our house hold.
    I have really enjoyed all of your articles, and your Pizza book recommendations which get used weekly!
    When the flour comes out, my good wife asks, it pizza, bread or bagels tonight.

  2. Michael A. Berkowitz says:

    Not really true that the dough has to warm before baking. I’ve been using the Ken Forkish method for several years. He uses an autolyse also, then mixing, then stretching rather than kneading before a six hour rise (sourdough with a tiny bit of yeast.) Then the dough is put in a basket to rise overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning it gets put in a preheated, covered Dutch oven to get a steam rise for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 20 minutes to harden the crust.. I highly recommend his books; the newest covers every imaginable variety of pizza.

  3. pizzatherapy says:

    Michael, thanks so much for your insights on making bread. I still consider myself somewhat of a novice when making bread. I look forward to learning all I can from bread experts such as yourself.

    Ken’s book sounds incredible. are you referring to the book: Flour, Salt, Water Yeast, that is found on this page?
    http://pizzatherapy.com/pizzabooks/

    Again thanks so much for your great comments and your continued support of the core mission of Pizza Therapy…

    pizza forever!

  4. Sonny says:

    What gives a pizza dough a buttery taste?

    • pizzatherapy says:

      Sonny, I do not know. My pizza dough does not have a buttery taste. I would imagine adding butter to the pizza dough would help with that. I’ll keep looking for an answer. Thanks for the question.

  5. Clinton ferrara says:

    Good read. I started with Peters book crust and crumb trying to make bread like I had eaten in Italy. I then discovered his pizza quest which lead me to San Francisco and Tony who was very nice to me and gave me the tour and some valuable pointers. Then he published his pizza bible and my baking life was complete. I now have developed the same recipe for bread and pizza. The pizza has olive oil and the bread doe not.
    What kind of flour do you use for pizza?

    • pizzatherapy says:

      I have spoken to Tony a number of times and he told me he put everything he knows about pizza in The Pizza Bible.
      I am pleased you were able to meet him yourself. He is great!

      I generally use Gold Medal Better for Bread or King Arthur Flour. I would love to try the new flour Antimo Caputo 00 Americana Pizza Flour.

      What kind of flour do you use?

      • Clinton ferrara says:

        King Arthur or Central Milling. Sometimes bread flour and sometimes AP. I always add starter that I feed with whole wheat flour. Tony gave me a pizza to try that had 20% whole wheat. It was great. Instead of adding whole wheat flour I add whole wheat starter. The pizza dough works fine for pizza and focaccia. The bread is a little dense with small holes but it is tasty and well liked by family and friends.
        Does the 00 flour work in a home kitchen? I’ve read that it doesn’t get properly mixed and hydrated without the big guns of a commercial setup.

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