Since Iíve recently realized much of what Iíve shared throughout this thread is pretty confusing, and since most of the information has become essentially useless (due to my recent giant steps forward with this style of pizza), I've decided to create a thorough list of instructions for how Iíve made my Tommyís style pizzas lately (which have been phenomenal). I realize my posts throughout this thread tend to be very wordy, difficult to follow, and even contradictory, so Iíve tried very hard to simplify everything here, but without sacrificing important information.
Considering Tim is the only person who has tried to replicate my results, Iíve kind of personalized some of the details below to suit what seems to be his inclinations. For example, I calculated a recipe that makes just enough dough for two 15Ē pizzas. My recipe and prep instructions already account for scrap dough, so you wonít have to worry about figuring that stuff out on your own. If anyone would like me to share a recipe scaled for just enough dough to make any number of other sized pizzas (or anything that would need to be individualized using my spreadsheet), just let me know. Iíll happily share the information. In fact, Iíd probably also be willing to share the spreadsheet, although Iím a little hesitant because it seems most people find the spreadsheet confusing (even though it's freaking awesome).Attention
: Rolling this dough takes a lot of hard work. Iím not gonna try to make you think this is remotely easy, because it's not. I think I said recently that it takes about 15 times as much work as it would take with a sheeter. Well, I want to change that to 30 times as much time/work, because it takes me at least half an hour to roll and trim each 15" Tommy's style skin, which is something I think would take about a minute with a sheeter.
So hereís my current best-yet dough formula:
100% Pillsbury AP flour
To make 44 oz (1,247 g) of dough, which is enough for two 15Ē pizzas (and will leave you with about 12 oz of scrap dough), use:
28.95 oz Pillsbury AP flour
12.45 oz Water
0.43 oz ADY (4.34 tsp)
0.43 oz Salt (2.52 tsp)
1.45 oz Shortening
0.29 oz Sugar (2.37 tsp)
821 g Pillsbury AP flour
353 g Water
12 g ADY
12 g Salt
41 g Shortening
8 g Sugar
Also, you'll be shooting for a thickness (or TF) of 0.09 oz of dough per square inch. For a 15" pizza, that means your target skin weight will be 15.9 oz (451 g).
DO NOT ADD EXTRA WATER TO THE DOUGH. For the laminated texture of the crust to turn out right, this dough needs to be very stiff; stiffer than the dough appears in Timís pics. The dough will seem noticeably softer after it ferments, but it will still be very stiff. As long as itís not hard on your mixer, give your mixer plenty of time to mix the dough. That is, mix it until all the flour is picked up. With the common (tilting head) model of KitchenAid mixer, I donít know what to expect (because I have a bigger model with a bowl lift and spiral dough hook). If this dough is too hard on your mixer, then I guess you need to get creative and find some kind of mixing trick. (If a dry climate really does make a noticeable difference in the stiffness of the dough, the formula should be adjusted to account for that, rather than adding spoonfuls of extra water to the dough while it's mixing. I feel pretty confident speculating that a dry climate should not necessitate any greater than a 2% hydration increase.)
Iím still working on figuring out the best way to do a lot of the following stuff because I know thereís a better way than how Iíve been doing it. But hereís how Iíve been doing it lately.Part I: Making the Dough
Part II: Managing and Prepping the Dough
- Measure the ADY and put it in a custard dish.
- Measure the water (100-110 degrees), then pour about 1.5 oz of it into the custard dish.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the yeast water and stir well.
- Measure the flour and add it to your mixing bowl.
- Measure the salt and add it to the mixing bowl.
- Measure the sugar and add it to the mixing bowl.
- Stir the flour/salt/sugar mixture.
- Measure the shortening and add it to the mixing bowl.
- When the yeast water is foamy, add it to the mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the water to the mixing bowl.
- Mix with a dough hook until there is no loose flour.
- Set aside mixer bowl and cover it.
- Let the dough bulk ferment for about four hours at room temperature.
- Punch down the dough.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.
- Remove the dough from fridge several hours before you intend to make pizza.
- If youíll be making 15Ē pizzas, divide the dough into four relatively square 11 oz pieces. (Do not knead, agitate, or round the dough.)
- For each pizza you intend to make today, set aside two pieces of dough and cover. (If you only intend to make one pizza, bag and refrigerate all but two of the dough pieces.)
- Allow the covered dough to warm up for an hour or two.
To avoid confusion, Iíll word the remainder of the instructions as if youíll only be making one pizza. If you plan to make more than one pizza, I think you know how to translate.
- Use your fist to flatten one of the two dough pieces.
- Dredge this piece of dough in flour, covering the entire surface of the dough.
- Begin rolling the piece of dough, trying to keep it relatively square. (I find that itís easiest to do this by orienting the dough at a 45-degree angle, like a baseball diamond, so itís easy to roll the dough equally in every direction.)
- When the dough begins sticking to the counter enough that it becomes difficult to roll, add a small amount of bench flour to the top of the dough and spread it around with your hand until the dough does not feel sticky.
- Flip the dough over and repeat the previous step.
- Continue rolling, as before.
- Repeat steps 4-6 until the dough is as thin as you can roll it. Itís very important that you roll it until it is as thin as you can possibly roll it. Try to use only as much bench flour as it takes to keep the dough from being sticky. The dough should end up in the neighborhood of 20Ē x 20Ē, if not a little larger.
- When you can no longer roll the dough any thinner, dust each side lightly with flour, spreading the flour around with your hand until the dough does not feel sticky.
- Fold the dough in half (so itís a rectangle), then fold it in half the other way, so itís a square with four layers. (This step is just to make the dough easier to pick up and move out of the way so you can roll the second dough piece.)
- Set the folded piece of dough somewhere out of the way and repeat steps 1-8 with the other piece of dough.
Hereís how to turn the dough into a skin.
Part III: Assembing and Baking the Pizza
- Unfold the dough sheet that you had set aside and place it atop the sheet that's already on your work surface, with both dough sheets oriented the same way.
- Fold the stacked sheets of dough in half so the dough takes the form of a rectangle with four layers (like a magazine with a front cover, two pages, and a back cover).
- Fold the dough again, lengthwise, so itís relatively square, with eight layers.
- Use a fist to press the dough as much as possible (sorta like a dough press).
- Start rolling the dough. (Again, orient it like a baseball diamond.)
- As soon as you feel like the eight layers of dough have become what seems to be a single layer of dough, dust each side lightly with flour.
- Continue rolling, trying to keep a relatively square shape. You may want to focus largely on rolling the outer perimeter of the dough. Doing this helps me end up with skins of very consistent thickness. You really want to work the corners, too, redistributing some of the corner dough toward the sides. (I know that's hard to understand. I'll try to share a picture eventually, depicting this step.)
- Try to use as little bench flour as possible. You want the dough to stick to the counter a little bit, but not too much. Whenever the dough becomes sticky enough to cause wrinkling, dust each side of the dough just enough to keep it from feeling sticky, then continue rolling.
- Continue doing this until the dough is larger than a 16Ē screen or pan. (ď16Ē is not a typo. Iíll explain later.)
- When the dough is larger than the pan or screen, use a pizza wheel to trim a 16Ē skin. (Use the pan or screen as a template.)
- Weigh the skin. At this point, the skin will probably be at least a couple ounces heavier than your target skin weight of 15.9 oz (451 g).
- Place the skin back on your work surface. (When you do this, the skinís diameter will probably be at least a few inches smaller than it was when you trimmed it. This is normal, so donít freak out about it.)
- Continue rolling the skin. You probably wonít need to use much (or any) bench flour from this point on.
- When the skin gets larger than 16Ē again, use the pan or screen again as a template to trim the dough.
- Weigh the dough. Again, your target weight is 15.9 oz (451 g).
- If your skin is still too heavy, continue rolling, trimming, and weighing until your skin is an acceptable weight.
- If your skin is within about half an ounce of your target weight, all is good, so put the skin back on your work surface so you can add the final few touches. (The skin probably will have shrunk again, so youíll need to roll it a little more.)
- Without using any bench flour, roll the skin to about 16Ē again. It should be kinda stuck to the counter.
- Leave the slightly oversized 16" skin alone for 5 or 10 minutes, stuck to the counter so it can relax. By doing this, it should only shrink about an inch once you remove it again from your work surface.
- Optional: During the 5 or 10-minute dough rest, dock the skin. (Do not dock the hell out of it. All you want is two side-by-side passes; one just left of center and one just right of center.)
- After the rest period, put your skin on a pan or screen and cover with plastic wrap.
- Immediately put the pan and skin in the fridge, and leave it there for 2-4 hours.
- Preheat your oven at 500 with a stone in its normal position for an hour or so before you intend to bake.
- About 15 minutes before you intend to bake, remove your skin from the fridge.
- Remove plastic wrap from your skin. (You may want to flip the skin upside down on your work surface for about 10 minutes, exposing the bottom side to air, to make it a little drier and easier to peel the topped skin onto your stone.)
- Lightly dust a peel with flour.
- Place your skin on the peel (with docking marks on the top of the skin if you docked the dough).
- Add the amount of sauce that you consider appropriate, distributing the sauce all the way to the edge of the skin. My spreadsheet says to use 9.39 oz (266 g) of sauce, but Iím not sure if thatís very accurate. Itís OK to apply sauce by feel.
- Apply 10.89 oz (309 g) of provolone or mozzarella.
- If youíll be making a pepperoni pizza, try 5.68 oz (161 g) of pep. (Ezzo GiAntonio is ideal.)
- If youíll be using other toppings, use a quantity you deem appropriate.
- Sprinkle some parmesan or romano cheese on top of the pizza. (Regular grated cheese, like Kraft. None of that horrible "fancy" looking shredded stuff. If you use that nasty shredded stuff, I'll kick your ass.)
- Peel onto stone.
- Set a timer for 8 minutes.
- If youíre baking at 500, itíll probably take at least 8 minutes to bake this pizza, but not more than 10 minutes.
- While the pizza is baking, keep a bubble popper handy and keep an eye on the pizza in case you need to use the bubble popper.
- After baking for 8-10 minutes (or however long you deem appropriate, pull the pizza from the oven.
- Cut into squares of about 2Ē. For a 15Ē pizza, youíll probably want to go 4 cuts x 4 cuts, or possibly 5 x 5. (As you should be able to tell from me and briterianís actual Tommyís pics earlier in this thread, the cutting pattern seems to be one of many inconsistencies with Tommyís pizza.)
- Pig out.