This is, without a doubt, the best recipe for pizza dough I’ve ever tried. Chilled flour, ice-cold water, salt, and a small amount of yeast are mixed together and immediately refrigerated in this unique method that draws out the complex flavors locked inside the flour. This delayed fermentation process is arguably the most important, and thankfully, also the easiest, technique in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
When flour is hydrated, starch is slowly broken down into simpler sugars. Since the dough is kept very cold and immediately refrigerated, the yeast falls asleep and doesn’t snack on these carbohydrates until removed from cold storage. Compared to dough developed using conventional methods, the result is a naturally sweeter dough courtesy of the larger reserve of fermentable sugars.
More carbs for the yeast. More carbs for you. Everybody’s happy. Until the yeast meets its end on a 600ºF baking stone, that is.
The Daring Bakers – Pizza Napoletana Dough
hosted by Rosa’s Yummy Yums
pizza dough recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Pizza Napoletana Margherita
Neapolitan-Style Pizza with Buffalo Milk Mozzarella
For the Pizza Dough:
makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams bread flour, chilled 4 1/2 cups 20.25 574 sea salt 1 3/4 tsp .44 12 instant yeast 1 tsp .11 3 water, ice cold 1 3/4 cups 14 399
- You can also substitute all-purpose or high-gluten flour to replace the bread flour. The ideal flour to use is Italian wheat flour type “00″ (doppio zero).
- Here’s a ridiculously detailed specification sheet for making authentic Pizza Napoletana. Very useful if you happen to have a wood-fired brick oven in your backyard.
Pizza Dough Instructions:
Mix Mix all of the pizza dough ingredients until evenly incorporated Knead 6 to 8 minutes Rest 5 to 15 minutes Knead 1 minute to further strengthen the gluten Divide 6 equal pieces Preshape Shape each piece into a loose ball In a sealable container, store the dough in the refrigerator at least overnight, or keep for up to three days.
For the Pizza Margherita Toppings:
approximate amounts for each pizza crust
Because I take homemade pizza way too seriously.
fresh or canned plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, preferably San Marzano varietal
a pinch of sea salt
mozzarella cheese, preferably made with buffalo milk, about 3 to 4 ounces
extra virgin olive oil, about 1 to 2 teaspoons
fresh basil leaves, torn
cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting the pizza peel
- Pizza Napoletana Margherita is traditionally baked with the basil on top, but I prefer to add the torn leaves immediately after pulling from the oven.
- When dusting the pizza peel, use more cornmeal or semolina flour than you think you’ll need. There’s nothing worse than stuck pizza dough.
To Bake and Assemble Pizza Napoletana Margherita:
Remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before baking. Preheat Oven Preheat to the maximum temperature, preferably with a baking stone. You can also use a heavy gauge sheet pan that won't warp at high temperatures. Preshape Preshape the pizza dough into a disk about 4 to 5 inches wide.
Rest About 15 minutes Shape Toss the pizza dough by bouncing it on your fists, until about 9 to 12 inches in diameter. It's a bit harder than it sounds and takes a bit of practice. The edges will be much thicker than the center.
The Tomatoes In a spiraling motion from the center, apply a thin layer of tomatoes. Evenly distribute a pinch of sea salt over the tomatoes.
The Cheese Spread about 3 to 4 ounces of sliced mozzarella over the tomato sauce. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
Shake Before loading the oven, make sure that the pizza is not stuck to the peel. Shake the pizza loose until it slides around freely. Bake Bake until slightly charred on the edges. It takes about 4 to 5 minutes when baked on a screaming hot baking stone in my oven. Your mileage may vary.
A bit overdone, maybe? I was kind of going for this look.
Serve Sprinkle with the torn basil leaves and cut into 6 to 8 pieces using a pizza cutter or large knife. Serve immediately.
Homemade Pizza Napoletana Margherita. Close enough for me.