Pizza

I had a discussion on the Core Int Slack pizza channel this morning, about an issue I was having with my pizza dough. The way I’ve prepared pizza dough over the past few years was to mix and knead the dough, then let it rise under a dish towel, with a damp paper towel on top to prevent it drying out and becoming crusty. But that leads to a buildup of small mold spots on the towel, that persist after washing. Not great.

Daniel, one of the hosts of the Slack (and the excellent podcast it is based on) suggested I try putting the dough in a sealed container. I had previously thought that the dough would require some air, but I realized that I cover bread dough with plastic cling wrap while it is rising, so that should work for pizza dough too.

So tonight I tried that approach.

I prepared the dough as usual: about 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast, and 3/4 cup of warm water:

Kneading it for a few minutes, and forming a ball:

Then instead of covering with a towel, I put it into a sealed plastic container:

Side view in the container:

After a few hours, it had risen quite a bit:

Top view:

This technique was definitely an improvement; the dough rose just fine, and didn’t develop an unpleasant crust (that makes the pizza lumpy). So I think I’ll definitely continue doing this from now on.

I then continued as usual.

I split the dough into two balls; one of which went in the fridge (in the container), the other remained out for use tonight:

When time to cook, I hand-pressed and stretched out the dough:

For the toppings, I added some olive oil:

My previously-prepared sauce:

Swirled:

Mozzarella cheese:

Pepperoni:

A little more cheese:

Into the oven (that had been pre-heated at the maximum temperature, 550 °F), on the cast iron pan:

Cooked:

Straight out of the oven to rest a moment:

Onto the cutting surface:

Cut:

Nice and crispy:

Pizza toppings

I thought I’d do a little longer post today, showing photos of adding toppings to a recent pizza.

To start off, here’s the dough shaped and ready for toppings. I’ll post about making the dough another time:

I drizzle on a little olive oil; I don’t measure it, but getting the amount right is important; too little and it tastes bland and dry, too much and it tastes greasy:

Then I swirl on a couple of spoonfuls of my pizza sauce (more on that in the future, too, though it’s nothing fancy):

Sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese; I like it fairly thick, but not so thick that it obscures the sauce:

Add the other toppings; in this case big pepperoni slices:

A little more cheese:

Out of the oven, with nice crispy bits and puffy crust:

Sliced and ready to eat: