Tips before we start making our dough
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
Pizza is a vibrant delicious delicacy loved by folk across the globe. Therefore, type “pizza recipe” in any browser’s search bar and millions of recipes pop up. Since, each recipe distinctly varies from the other, selecting the right pizza recipe can be a tough call! Finding the perfect recipe requires a fair grasp on a few key details- which raw materials to use, how to place all the ingredients together correctly, which type of equipments are needed and how much time is available. Once you acquire all these necessary information, you are ready to bake your very own customized pizza.
We’ll begin with some learning tips on the key ingredients.
1. THE FLOUR
To achieve the perfect result, you will need the appropriate flour. Grabbing any bag of flour from the supermarket won’t work! In the market, you will come across various types of flour such as- Double Zero Flour, Type 0 Flour, Whole Meal Flour, etc. To pick the suitable flour, you need to check the protein content mentioned (in 100 grams of flour) at the back of the flour package. The protein content ranges from 9 - 15 grams in 100 grams of flour.
Weak Flour:If the flour package states 9 grams of protein, then it is weak flour. Weak flours absorb less water into the dough and are suitable for pizza recipes with short leaving time.
Strong Flour:If the flour package states 15 grams of protein, then it’s strong flour. Strong flours tend to absorb more water and are appropriate for pizza recipes with long leaving times.
It is a personal choice whether you opt to use dry yeast (available in the market) or fresh yeast (available at Italian grocery stores & bakeries).The dry yeast tends to be stronger in comparison to the fresh ones. Thus, dry yeast is required in lesser quantity than fresh yeast. If a pizza recipe requires 1gr of dry yeast, then it will require 3gr of fresh yeast.
3. THE WATER
Tap water at ambient temperature (in most places in the world) is fine to use in the pizza recipe.The amount of water to use in the dough depends on-· The type of flour used· The ability to knead and stretch the dough appropriately. More hydration needs more kneading & stretching skills.The water temperature needs to be adjusted with a precise calculation whenthe place where you prepare/store the dough has an ambient cold/hot temperature. This requires an explicit explanation hence I’ll save it for another post.
It is essential to always use fine salt in pizza recipes. The amount of salt to use should be calculated with regards to the amount of flour used. Amount of salt to use per kilogram of flour:-· Minimum- 25gr salt for 1 kg of flour· Maximum- 30gr salt for 1 kg of flourNOTE: Do remember to add salt and fresh yeast separately as the two ingredients do not get along with each other.
5. RISING TIME
There are diverse techniques of making the pizza dough rise. The rising time of the dough differs with different processes. Here are 3 different ways to make the pizza dough rise:- ·
Suitable Temperature:Before baking the pizza,place the dough balls in a tray/glass bowl covered with a breathable lidin ambient temperature. The dough will rise in 4-8 hours. (The time will vary depending on the flour used)·
Refrigerating/Controlled Temperature: Place the dough balls in a tray covered with a lid and leave them in the fridge for 24-48 hours (time varies with flour type). You need to take out the dough balls from the fridge 2 hours prior to cooking the pizza. The 2 hours will allow the cold dough balls to come to room temperature.·
Storing Whole Pizza Dough: In case you refrigerate the entire pizza dough for 24-48 hours, you need to take out the dough, make balls, and leave the balls for 6-8 hours before cooking them.
The oven also plays a significant role. Therefore, the same pizza dough will yield different results when baked in different ovens. This happens because different ovens have a varying heating process. I will cover an elaborate explanation on this in my upcoming posts.
Thus, by now you must have realized that there isn’t a thing called- “The Right Recipe”. In truth, what matters is the in-depth knowledge of the raw materials to use and personalize the ingredients appropriately to your taste preferences. After you are well-furnished with the basics, it won’t matter where we reside or which equipments you use. You will be capable of making your perfect pizza dough resulting in a gorgeous, aromatic, and delicious pizza impressing your friends & family thoroughly.