Hi, I have live in San Diego. I have been trying to perfect my pizza dough for about a year now. I make and bake samples at least once a week. I am getting frustrated after reading thousands of blogs, articles, watching videos, reading books. I seem to be stuck in a rut. Several months ago I decided that I would focus on a very specific portion of ingredients only varying slightly each test. I figured this would produce my eventual perfect dough. I was wrong. I am beginning to think my sourdough starters (I use four different in my tests) just don't form enough gluten. Here is the good and the bad and my current recipe. If any has any tips so I can resolve my issues and improve my dough I welcome the help sooo sooo much!
The good: I love the feel of my dough when working with it before the first rise. Sometimes, but not always, I get an outer crust that resembles the crumb in my sourdough breads with those pockets glistening and the bottom is thin and crispy. This is what I think is my perfect dough.
1. very little flavor considering the flavor I get from two of my three wild yeas starters when making bread.
2. dough always tears when I am stretching it, even when I get a window pane before my rise (I never get a really strong pane but I would not expect that with my flour ratios).
3. dough doesn't always give me the nice crumb that I expect around the edge, only on occasion and the dough felt right when working it
4. along with the tears the dough gets so thin right away in the middle unless i roll it and I don't want to roll it. I watch countless hours on you tube of people stretching Neapolitan dough but I cannot seem to do this without thin spots and tears
1 cup wild yeast starter (I use one of three I have from sourdough.com plus a fourth I have made from combining two of them.) I try to keep a 100% hydration by using equal weight (in grams) when I add my water and flour. All the starters seem active when working with them and all rise well in bread when I use to test the rise in various recipes in Ed Woods book.
390 g Caputo 00 flour (sometimes use Giusto 00)
100 g KA Bread flour
300 ml water (from Brita)
3/4 t salt
-I mix about 300 g of my flour with my starter and all of my water. I let sit for 30 min.
- I sprinkle my salt in and then slowly add/stir in rest of flour. I always use all my flour and some days I add more when I don't get the consistency I am used to getting. I let it rest for about 15 min after I mix everthing in and before I knead.
- I always mix my hand I don't own a mixer. I knead with the technique I learned on you tube for wet doughs (I think it is the French technique?) where I scoop and slap down, turn, scoop, repeat. As the dough firms up I get gentle with it and begin stretching and turning.
- My first knead is about 3 min and then I rest again for 10-15 min
- I knead again until I get a window pane. I never get a great one, it always tears a little around the edge but I make sure I can stretch at least the apprx 2inch window before it tears.
- I let set in my bowl, covered, until I see about a 1.5 increase. This is usually about 3 hours for me but sometimes it doubles in this time.
- I take out of the bowl with my scraper (gently as I think I should do). I press the gas out with my palm and form a ball and let rest 30 min.
- I divide in three balls and shape again then put in my glad containers.
- I start testing my dough at 48 hours and then two more days. I get identical results at 2, 3, 4 days (same tearing, thin in middle, very little flavor).
So I will gladly accept help and apply them systematically to improve my dough. Thank you and I look forward to having fun here!