Recently, I have been experimenting with making “thin” versions of Randy’s American style pizza. The reason I have been doing this is because Randy’s basic recipe makes more dough than I am able to conveniently use. By my estimation, the recipe makes a bit over 28 ounces of dough, enough for a hefty 16-inch pizza or two 12-inch pizzas (Randy’s recommendations). I have also calculated that the thickness factor for the 16-inch is around 0.14; for the 12-inch, it is 0.126. What I was interested in was a 14-inch pizza with a thickness factor of around 0.105-0.11, which is more like a NY style crust thickness (but somewhat thicker).
In order to determine how much of each ingredient in Randy’s recipe I would need to make the “thinner” 14-in pizza, I first had to convert Randy’s recipe to baker’s percents. The recipe I used for this purpose is one that Randy had posted elsewhere on the forum, but essentially as reproduced below. Using the weight measurements provided by Randy, and using measurement data taken from the labels on bottles of honey, packages of raw sugar, from the Classico olive oil bottle, and from a box of salt, I came up with the following formulation, including baker’s percents:Randy’s American Style Pizza Dough Recipe
100%, High-gluten flour, 16 oz. (1 lb.)
60%, Water (120 degrees F), 9.6 oz. (about 1 1/4 c.)
5.3%, Raw sugar, 0.85 oz. (2 T.)
4.5%, Honey (clover or orange), 0.74 oz. (1 T.)
2.8%, Classico olive oil, 0.45 oz. (1 T.)
3.3%, Salt, 0.53 oz. (2 t.)
1.6%, SAF Perfect Rise or Gourmet yeast, 0.25 oz.
Finished dough weight = 28.42 oz.
Thickness factor (16-inch) = 0.141
Thickness factor (12-inch) = 0.126
Unless I made errors in the calculations, the baker’s percents as recited above can now be used to make any size or thickness of Randy’s American style pizza. For the 14-inch pizza, the formulation I ended up with was as follows:14-inch Version of Randy’s American Style Pizza Dough Recipe
100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 9.54 oz. (2 c. plus 3 T. plus 1/2 t.)
60%, Water (120 degrees F), 5.72 oz. (between 2/3 and 3/4 c.)
5.3%, Raw sugar, 0.51 oz. (a bit over 3 1/2 t.)
4.5%, Honey (clover or orange), 0.43 oz. (1 3/4 t.)
2.8%, Classico olive oil, 0.27 oz. (1 3/4 t.)
3.3%, Salt, 0.32 oz. (a bit less than 1 1/4 t.)
1.6%, SAF Perfect Rise or Gourmet yeast, 0.15 oz. (about 1 1/2 t.)
Finished dough weight = 16.93 oz.
Thickness factor = 0.11
In making the dough, I tried to follow Randy’s instructions as closely as possible (Edit: See instructions in Reply 5 below). Apart from the different pizza size and dough thickness, about the only change I made to Randy’s recipe and instructions was to knead the dough for about 6 minutes. I did this since my dough ball size (16.93 oz.) was quite a bit less than Randy’s dough ball size (around 28 oz.) The dough was a dream to make. The ingredient amounts were just about exact and I found almost no need to add either more flour or water. The dough was smooth and supple. After I finished making the dough, I rounded it into a ball, brushed it with a little olive oil, placed it into a covered metal container, and then into the refrigerator. During the time that the dough was in the refrigerator, it rose quite a bit—almost to the point of wanting to push the cover off of the container. I expected this since Randy’s recipe calls for a lot of yeast (many multiples of what I normally use) and the water used was at 120 degrees F, also higher than I normally use for a retarded dough (the finished dough temperature off of the hook was around 90 degrees F).
I took the dough out of the refrigerator about 48 hours later and set it aside, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap, for about 3 hours, as also recommended by Randy in his instructions. The dough was extremely easy to stretch and shape into a 14 inch skin. It was balanced in terms of both extensibility and elasticity. I used a 14-inch screen (no stone). For the sauce, I used Randy’s Penzeys/6-in-1 sauce as set forth at Reply #4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,663.msg6019.html#msg6019
. I even tried to dress the pizza in the manner preferred by Randy, including using hot sausage (with added dried red peppers in my case since I don’t have access to the Tennessee brand of sausage Randy favors), pepperoni, and pineapple (I used both fresh and canned). The pizza was baked on the screen on the lowest oven rack position for about 8 minutes at around 500 degrees F. I even followed the tip recently made by Randy to wait until the oven light comes back on (indicating that the heating element was heating up again) before putting the pizza into the oven. One of the advantages of using Randy’s recipe this time of year is that by using the screen there is no need to heat the oven and a pizza stone for about an hour. I turned on the oven to preheat it as I was shaping and dressing the pizza. By the time I was done dressing the pizza, the oven was ready.
The photos below show the finished product. I have nothing but praise for Randy’s recipe. The pizza was first rate in every way, from beginning to end. I will caution readers, however, that I liked the combination of all the items on the pizza, including the Penzeys/6-in-1 sauce, hot sausage, pepperoni and pineapple. It’s hard for me to imagine that others wouldn’t like the combination, but I appreciate the concept of personal taste. I thought the sauce and toppings were very complementary and harmonious, with pleasing contrasts of sweetness, saltiness, heat and spice. Surprisingly, the dough itself did not strike me as sweet, given the large amounts of sugar and honey used (a total of 9.8% by baker’s percent) and my personal sensitivity to sweetness (which I tend to avoid in pizza doughs). However, it is possible that the sweetness of the dough was masked by all the other flavors. The crust was a nice brown color, and the crumb was soft and tender. Overall, I think the pizza, at least to the extent I downsized it, was one of the best I have tried. I commend it to others looking for a nice departure from the many other pizza styles popularized on this forum.