I usually use one of two recipes when making pizza at home. This Cook’s Illustrated Thin-Crust Pizza dough or The Pizza Lab’s New York–style pizza dough. Both have worked well for me (although I usually go with the Cook’s recipe because it’s a smaller load for my 11-cup food processor, which already strains to mix this amount).
Because they’ve produced New Yorkish–style pizza I’m happy with, I’ve never really had much impetus to move away from these recipes.
But then I got a Baking Steel. And then I started getting curious about some of the rumbling I’ve seen from some of the Pizzamaking.com people who have Venned their way over to Slice.
The main gripes Pizzamaking-dot-commers have had with Kenji’s recipe is that they say it uses a relatively high amount of oil, sugar, and yeast. Why so much? Each for a reason, but with sugar and oil they help with the dough texture and crumb during relatively long home-oven bake times. (See this comment on Pizzamaking.)
But baking on steel accelerates cooking. So, I wondered, could I bump down the percentages of these ingredients in my dough? To try, I used the Lehmann Pizza Dough Calculator over on Pizzamaking.com. It allows you to plug in desired ingredients and amounts and yield (and so much more) and get the ingredient amounts you need in grams, ounces, baker’s percentages, etc.
The tool gives you a recommended range to work with (for salt, say, “1 to 3 percent is recommended”). I dialed down the sugar, yeast, and oil to their smallest recommended amounts but bumped salt up to the highest (3 percent; I like a salty crust, sue me).
I whizzed together two batches of the dough below this morning, anticipating cooking it this Saturday.
Last Saturday I used a similar dough achieving what I thought were great results. (The pizzas pictured here.) With this next batch, I’m going to switch up the position of my steel slabs. We’ll see how that goes.
Building dough, 7:30am, November 14. Makes 2 dough portions:
~602 grams | TF = 0.08