Over the weekend, I made an all-purpose flour version of a De Lorenzo’s clone dough, in this case using the Pillsbury Best unbleached all-purpose flour. Apart from this change, I made some minor changes to the last dough formulation, including lowering the hydration slightly to compensate for the lower absorption rate of the all-purpose flour, increasing the yeast quantity, and lowering the amount of oil. The final dough formulation, for a 14” pizza, was as follows:
|163.55 g | 5.77 oz | 0.36 lbs|
93.23 g | 3.29 oz | 0.21 lbs
0.82 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.27 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
2.45 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.44 tsp | 0.15 tbsp
2.45 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.55 tsp | 0.18 tbsp
3.27 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.82 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
265.78 g | 9.37 oz | 0.59 lbs | TF = 0.0609
(Note: The thickness factor used in the dough calculating tool was 0.06; the water temperature was 83° F; the bowl residue compensation factor was 1.5%; the finished dough weight was 9.35 ounces, which was trimmed to 9.23 ounces, and the finished dough temperature was 82° F)
The latest dough was prepared and managed in the same way as the last one (including use of the alternative KitchenAid dough making method), except that the dough was in the refrigerator for about 2 1/4 days before I removed it to make the pizza. Also, this time I slightly modified the dough shaping and dressing and baking. More specifically, I opened up the dough as soon as possible after coming out of the refrigerator, to 14”, and I allowed both the top and bottom of the dough to be exposed to the air to dry the dough out (by flipping the skin over part way through the warm-up period). The dough handled very well, although it was not as high a quality as the last dough that used high-gluten flour. However, the relatively low hydration of the dough, 57%, insured that the dough skin would not stick to anything. I used semolina flour on the wood peel, but in retrospect I found that the dough skin was dry enough that I didn’t really need the semolina flour, or just a very small amount for insurance purposes.
In dressing the stretched out dough skin (14”), I started by brushing a blend of olive oil and canola oil over the skin. I did this to serve as a barrier to the sauce so that it wouldn’t migrate into the dough. I then distributed shredded mozzarella cheese (a blend of Precious and Best Choice brands), followed by dollops of sauce. The sauce itself was a combination of 6-in-1 and hand crushed and drained whole tomatoes that, according to the label (Best Choice), were ostensibly the same as the RedPack whole tomatoes. I also added some sugar to the point where I could detect its sweetness.
After putting down the sauce, I then baked the pizza on a pizza stone that I had placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at about 500-550° F. As soon as I deposited the pizza onto the stone, I lowered the oven temperature to about 450° F so that the pizza would bake for a longer time and help dry out the crust and make it crispier. The pizza was on the stone for about 7 minutes. I then removed the pizza from the oven and topped it with raw pieces of sausage, some thick slices of Hormel pepperoni from a stick, sauteed slices of green and red peppers and mushrooms, and some more of the shredded mozzarella cheese blend. I then returned the pizza to the oven, to the second-from-the-top rack oven position, and let the pizza finish baking there to heat up/cook the toppings while increasing the browning of the crust. The additional baking time was about 3 minutes.
The photos below show the finished product. In pretty much all respects, the pizza was like the preceding ones that included all of the abovementioned toppings. The decision to use a lot of toppings in the last few pizzas, including several wet toppings, was intentional all along. I specifically wanted to see if it would be possible to make a De Lorenzo’s clone pizza in my unmodified home oven that could tolerate all of those toppings yet remain crispy pretty much throughout. I did not succeed in that respect. Maybe I would need to prebake the skin. However, that is not to detract from the overall quality and taste of the pizza. It was delicious. I personally preferred the texture and taste of the high-gluten crust over the all-purpose crust, but I don’t think that the differences were really all that major. I believe that one can safely use all-purpose flour, bread flour or high-gluten flour and achieve satisfactory results. Of course, I would be curious as to which flour De Lorenzo’s actually uses.
I am not sure where to proceed from here. In retrospect, I have pretty much come full circle—starting with a natural starter culture, to using the natural old dough method, and finally to using commercial yeast and all-purpose flour. All work well, although clearly using commercial yeast and any one of the three types of flour mentioned above will be the easiest and most convenient approach to use.