Ingredients (Makes one 14-inch pie; 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick)
King Arthur Bread Flour or equivalent
Vital Wheat Gluten
Diastatic malt was used in the original recipe. The malt enzymes build the gluten structure.
Direct addition of Vital Wheat Gluten is a more controllable means to this end.
Sea Salt or your choice
Adjust by +/- 5 grams; 215 grams mid-late summer;
225 grams mid-late winter (see Tip #1)
Instant Dry Yeast
LeSaffre Saf-Instant (Red Label) preferred; if using Active Dry Yeast
it may require slightly more
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Liquid measure is easier; equivalent to approximately 6 grams.
Directions (Takes about 30 minutes)
Click Images To Enlarge
Thoroughly mix bread flour, salt, and vital wheat gluten in
the stand mixer bowl.
In a separate, microwavable bowl weigh out the water. Microwave the
water for 25-30 seconds; i.e. just enough to make it warm, not hot. Add the yeast to the
water and stir to completely dissolve. Allow yeast to activate for 5-10 minutes.
Add dissolved yeast to the dry ingredients and start mixing on low with the mixer
dough hook. Be patient and DO NOT attempt to "adjust" the mix with more flour or water.
The flour will slowly hydrate or mix with the water. As it mixes the dough ball will start
to form and the flour on the outside of the bowl will dampen. When all the flour is damp, but
still stringy and clumpy, stop the mixer.
Scrape the sides of the bowl down to the bottom. Add one teaspoon EVOO (the olive oil).
Restart the mixer working up to medium speed. Continue mixing until the dough becomes a single ball
and clears the sides of the bowl. About 5 minutes.
Stop the mixer and remove the dough from the dough hook. Hand knead for a minute or two.
Do the kneading on a clean, dry surface without additional flour. The dough ball at this point
should be uniform, elastic, and slightly sticky. (see Tip #2)
Form the dough into a smooth, uniform ball pinching any folds together. Flatten slightly
and place the ball into an oiled (i.e. spray with PAM) sealable container. This is your dough bucket
(see the Equipment page). Refrigerate (38 degrees F) for 3 days.
Tips & Tricks
Flour is hygroscopic which is a fancy way of saying it can absorb water. Thus, in mid to
late summer flour has a tiny bit more water absorbed in it compared to flour in January or February. I make
a small compensation for this during the year as humidity changes (see Tip #2). Bear in mind this is a perfectionist's
point of view, the adjustment isn't absolutely critical to the outcome.
Pizza dough is a slightly "slack" dough. This means it has a high water to flour ratio. But, it is
not as slack as, for example, a ciabatta bread. The normal baker's ratio for pizza dough of this
type is 62-65% with flour represented as 100%. Weird, but that is how it's calculated.
The important point is whether your dough has the right "hydration" level. And, that is evident by how
sticky your dough is. Thus, to test the dough, stick your finger into the ball. If a small
residue separates from ball when you pull your finger out, that's good. If the dough ball itself is so
sticky it clings to your hands just handling it, that's bad. The perfect hydration level is when the ball
feels sticky but doesn't cling to your hands and does cling when you do the finger poke test.
For those of you familiar with recipes expressed in Baker's Percent, here are the ratios. Very handy to scale the recipe...