I took my inspiration for this dough recipe from Nancy Silverton's Mozza cookbook, which can be found at http://www.foodgal.com/2011/09/pure-pizza-dough-heaven-the-recipe-from-pizzeria-mozza/
. She is originally a bread baker so her pizza does have a kind of artisanal bread quality to it. Lots of air holes on the edge of the crust, and a really nice fully fermented flavor.
Starting with the Mozza basic ingredients, I have tweaked the recipe to the point where I feel it is really good, so I am sharing it with the pizzamaking.com community. The changes from the original Mozza recipe are as follows:
1. Instead of using a full tablespoon of yeast in the sponge and allowing it to ferment for 1.5 hours, I use 1/4 tsp. of yeast in the sponge, and leave it on the counter overnight. Then the next morning I mix up the dough and allow it to ferment most of the day. By mid afternoon the dough should have risen sufficiently to make your dough balls.
2. When mixing the dough, I add a small amount of sourdough starter. This adds a certain something to the dough that I really love. It isn't sour at all but the sourdough does contribute a very slight tang, and maybe helps to rise the dough a bit.
3. The Mozza recipe uses an electric mixer to mix the dough. Since this dough is long fermented, it doesn't need to be mixed in a mixer. It is a very extensible dough without any kneading (although you do need to give the dough a few "turns" during the first two hours).
It takes about 18 hours to complete this recipe so you need to plan in advance. Start the sponge the night before you plan to make pizzas. Then the dough can be mixed in the morning and left to rise during the day. It should be ready to go by the late afternoon. If you don't have time for this long-fermented version then try the original Mozza version (see link above) which takes about three hours.
Sorry I don't have any photos of the results of this recipe. They do look nice. Very thin crust with a puffy edge. Next time I make a batch of this dough I will post photos.
OK, here's the recipe: This makes about 6 pizza doughs of approx 8 oz each: Ingredients:
22 oz water
1/4 tsp. yeast
13 oz. bread flour
13 oz. all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 oz. dark or medium rye flour
1.5 tsp wheat germ
1 tbsp sea salt
1.5 tsp barley malt or honey
1 tbsp. active sourdough starterMethod:Make the sponge:
Mix 15 ounces of the water, the bread flour (13 oz.), the rye flour, the wheat germ, and the yeast in a bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for 12 hours. At the end of 12 hours the mixture will be bubbly and will have risen slightly. Make the dough:
In a bowl, combine the remaining water (7 oz.), the sourdough starter, and the barley malt. Mix well to dissolve the barley malt. Add the sponge, the sea salt, and the all-purpose flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy mass. Allow this mass to rest for 15 minutes, then with wet hands, pull it up out of the bowl, stretching it as far as it will go, then fold the dough over itself. Do this twice. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes, followed by two more stretches. Carry out these stretches, (also known as "turns") every 15 minutes for the first two hours the dough ferments. After two hours and eight turns, you should have a very smooth, extensible dough. Let it rise undisturbed for 2 to 3 more hours, (4-5 hours total rising time), or until it has approximately doubled in size. The dough should now be filled with air holes. It will rise slowly since the amount of yeast used is comparatively small. Form the Dough Balls
When the dough is sufficiently risen, turn it out onto a floured surface, and separate it into six pieces of about 8 oz. each. Make six dough balls and place them on a floured cookie pan or other container. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with spray oil and cover the dough balls so they don't dry out. Let the dough balls rise for about 1.5 or 2 hours, until they are well risen. Form the Pizzas
When you form the pizzas, begin flattening the dough ball in the middle of the disc, pressing down and out so as to move the air pockets from the middle of the dough ball to the edge, preserving the cornichon
so that it will puff up dramatically when baked. After you have formed the pizza, lightly salt the the dough, and brush the rim of the dough with olive oil. Then dress the pizza to your taste and bake. In my oven (550 degrees convection) they take about 5-6 minutes to bake.