Author Topic: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust  (Read 846 times)

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Offline Janemarten

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How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« on: June 15, 2011, 10:07:21 AM »
Hello pizza bakers, can anyone please help me. I have tried many dough recipes, albeit very tasty ones but I just can't find the one I want. I'm looking for the sort of pizza crust that Pizza Expess make, thin, soft and authentic Italiain style. All the recipes I have tried are mostly bread dough types which I find to filling as opposed to the thin and chewy ones. The desired effect I'm looking for is almost like a middle eastern flatbread. I am using a pizza stone for the oven. I would appreciate your help on this one.

Kind regards 


Offline Steve

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 10:38:31 AM »
Please post an introduction... then ask questions!  ;)
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Offline scott123

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 03:06:03 PM »
Jane, there's huge players in the thin and soft world, one obvious, one not so much.

The obvious player is how much dough is used and how far it's stretched.  On this forum, we talk about something called 'thickness factor.'  As you dial back the quantity of dough and stretch it the same number of inches, the thickness factor decreases. The forum has a dough calculator in the tools area that will help you in modifying a recipe for a smaller thickness factor.  For a flatbread type of thickness, I would shoot for somewhere around .075.

The less obvious player is heat.  Less heat = less oven spring = increased breadiness. This means either pushing your oven to higher temps than it was made to do, or... buying a better, thicker, more conductive stone. 

Offline pocodot

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 09:53:58 AM »
Jane, there's huge players in the thin and soft world, one obvious, one not so much.

The obvious player is how much dough is used and how far it's stretched.  On this forum, we talk about something called 'thickness factor.'  As you dial back the quantity of dough and stretch it the same number of inches, the thickness factor decreases. The forum has a dough calculator in the tools area that will help you in modifying a recipe for a smaller thickness factor.  For a flatbread type of thickness, I would shoot for somewhere around .075.

The less obvious player is heat.  Less heat = less oven spring = increased breadiness. This means either pushing your oven to higher temps than it was made to do, or... buying a better, thicker, more conductive stone. 

Now this kind of wisdom is why I joined this forum!! Thank you. :) People in the pizza biz have told me to aim for 650 degrees in my oven.

Offline pocodot

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 09:58:43 AM »
Sorry about the big duck. I guess I should re read how to post pics :)
Also sorry if I offended anyone by using the chefs graphic... I didn't mean to imply that I'm any kind of expert. I just love cooking!
And yes I stuffed cooked and ate him. :0)

Offline scott123

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 02:40:24 PM »
People in the pizza biz have told me to aim for 650 degrees in my oven.

Pocodot, it really all boils down to the material you're baking with.  500 degrees will bake a beautiful 4 minute pizza on 1/2" steel plate while 600 should do that same 4 minute pizza on cordierite. Firebrick or quarry tiles might need 650 to achieve the same effect, but as you can see, you really don't have to push your oven to it's limits if you've got the right stone- and steel is cheap, easy to track down and will produce excellent results in even the most anemic of home ovens.

Offline pocodot

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 03:23:00 AM »
Hello Mr. Scott,
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
    I want to build my own covered-outdoor oven on our land. It will be an all purpose oven used not only for pizza, but also our daily bread. I hope also to make it as efficient as possible. We will most likely build our oven with concrete, red clay brick, some steel, and use wood for fuel.
    Now, all that having been said, my friend in the pizza business has said that I should aim for an oven that can obtain and hold a temperature of 650 degrees (345 degrees Celsius). That's not written in stone :0) he just said it is the target I should aim for. Any help and suggestions as to design, capacity, and material, your own past experiences, etc. will all be greatly appreciated.

Offline scott123

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Re: How to get a soft flat floury pizza dough crust
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 03:20:29 PM »
Pocodot,

My example before was the different temperatures that can be used for NY style pizza.  That's just one style.  If you get into other styles, pizza can be baked at anywhere from 450 to 900.

Now I'm guessing that your friend implied that to make 'his' pizza, you'd need 650 deg. But that's only with his oven, not your oven.  With the right oven setup, you bake his pizza at as low as 525. That's the magic of materials science.  You can take a home oven that may only go to 550 and bake the exact same pizza that a pro is baking at 650.

Don't get too caught up with 'target temps.' It's all very relative. Also, this may not be the reason you're deciding to build a wood fired oven (WFO), but, just in case it is, don't buy into the concept that, in order to make great pizza, you have to own a WFO.  WFOs are great for entertaining and for making one particular style of pizza (Neapolitan) at high temperatures (850ish hearth, 1000ish ceiling), but for other styles, they're not essential.  The favorite pizzerias in your profile produce a pizza that's very achievable in most home ovens with the right set up.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to dissuade you from building a WFO- it's a great idea.  It's just that if you think you have to wait to make pizza until you've built it, especially the kind of pizza you enjoy, you don't.  In theory, with a little homework and stone shopping, you could be making those pizzas (and better) within the week.

As far as help building your WFO, we have some members here who have built their own WFO and may answer questions that you pose, but if you really want to go where the experts are, I suggest taking a look at www.fornobravo.com. Their forum has a vast amount of information- and, for building a WFO, you need all the info you can get.

But, in the meantime, let's get you making pizza. Tell me about your home oven. Peak temp?  What kind of flours do you have access to? Do you have high gluten bread flour at your disposal?