Author Topic: Easiest dough for a noob  (Read 4765 times)

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Offline zappcatt

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Easiest dough for a noob
« on: September 18, 2005, 01:04:59 AM »
What dough(and recipe please) do you think would be the EASIEST for a new pizza cook?

I enjoy many styles of pizza, so would be willing to try any.

I tried a cracker crust and blew it... ;-) Part of the problem might have been to wet a sauce which caused the crust to not bake correctly.
I also have not been able to nail naan either.

Thanks,
Zack


Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 10:26:49 AM »
The easiest for me is as follows:

3 cups bread flour (says bread flour on bag - what's ever on sale)
1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast (the kind that comes three packs together)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or a little honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
8-9 oz cold water out of my water cooler

I put everything in the bread making machine and start the cycle (just dough cycle, no heat)
when it looks like all the ingredients are mixed I slowly add the water.
When the water is all in I let the machine knead for about 8-9 minutes with the lid open.
Take the dough out, form a ball, put in a zip-lock bag and put in the refrigerator overnight.
Pull the dough out, let it come to room temp (say) 2 hours and put it in a pan.

I can't seem to screw this recipe up† :)  Now if I could find a sauce recipe I liked, I'd be in business


Richard
« Last Edit: September 18, 2005, 10:28:59 AM by Rkos »

Offline TimEggers

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 01:57:25 PM »
Timís Pizza Recipe v5.0

Ingredients:
(Amount) (Name) (Bakerís Percent)

Dry Ingredients:
16oz (454g) King Arthurís Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour, sifted (100%)
1/2 TBSP Fleischmannís Rapid Rise Yeast (1%)
1 tsp Cane sugar (0.89%)
2 tsp Salt (2.46%)
   
Wet Ingredients:
286g Water (room temperature tap, approx. 75F) (62.9%)
1/2 TBSP Clover Honey (2.3%)
1 TBSP Bertolli Classico Olive Oil (3.1%)

Tools:
Kitchen Aid Mixer with dough hook
Bowl
Whisk
Crisco EVOO Cooking Spray

Procedure:

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl (NOT mixer bowl) and whisk to combine.

Put water and honey into mixer bowl then stir to combine.

Turn mixer on to setting 2, start timer and begin to slowly add dry ingredient mixture.† This should take 1-2 minutes.

At 4 minutes add the olive oil.† †

Knead until timer reads 8 to 9 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly flour dusted counter and roll into a ball.† Clean mixer bowl and towel dry.† Lightly mist mixer bowl with EVOO cooking spray, add dough ball, then mist dough ball.† Cover with plastic wrap (then aluminum foil if you wish) then chill in refrigerator.

The results...
« Last Edit: September 18, 2005, 01:59:38 PM by TimEggers »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2005, 03:29:16 PM »
Zack,

Here are my top choices for the easiest doughs for a beginning pizza maker to make, together with the reasons for my selections:

1) Buzz’s basic deep-dish dough recipe
2) Randy’s American style dough recipe
3) Pftaylor’s Raquel dough recipe

I like Buzz’s basic deep-dish dough recipe for several reasons: 1) It uses all-purpose flour, which is available just about everywhere; 2) the dough can be mixed and kneaded entirely by hand, within a total of no more than 2 minutes; 3) the dough can be used the same day, typically after an 8-hour room temperature fermentation--although it will tolerate refrigeration if desired; and 4) only a standard deep-dish or cake pan is required to bake the pizza, without a need for a pizza stone, tiles, etc.—only a standard preheated home oven. Buzz’s recipe can be found at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1712.0.html. I made a pizza based on this recipe recently, and described my results and posted photos at Reply # 31 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.20.html. I still haven’t gotten the baker’s percents right yet, but the dough is a very forgiving one and difficult to harm. The crust and pizza will be first rate.

If you would prefer an alternative deep-dish recipe, one including cornmeal, I highly recommend DKM’s recipe at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dkm_chicago.php. This recipe also uses all-purpose flour. However, you will need a stand mixer for best results—which are excellent. The dough and pizza are easy to make. If you need help with ingredient quantities for either Buzz’s or DKM’s recipe for a particular pan size (diameter) and pan depth, send me a private message and I should be able to help you.

I chose Randy’s American style dough because it is also a very easy one to make and because it produces a high quality dough and pizza. For best results, it is best to use a high-gluten flour, although a bread flour will also work (some members have even made it with all-purpose flour). Ordinary sugar can be substituted for the raw sugar called for in the recipe (it is used mainly for better flavor). The dough making procedures are straightforward and easy to follow, although you will need a mixer for best results. Randy’s basic recipe will produce one very thick 16-inch pizza or two thick 12-inch pizzas. One variation of Randy’s recipe, using bread flour, can be found at Reply # 19 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1698.0.html. I have described his basic recipe in a thread I started to develop thinner versions of Randy’s dough. If that interests you, you may want to go to http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.0.html. If you dress the pizza as I describe in the first post in that thread, including using the pineapple, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Another plus for Randy's recipe is that the dough can be baked entirely on a pizza screen in a preheated oven. This is a benefit during the warm months since it means not having to preheat a pizza stone or tiles (which can also be used) for an hour or more at very high oven temperatures. Tim Eggers apparently agrees with the Randy recipe choice since his recent pizzas are based on Randy’s recipe.

My third choice is pftaylor’s Raquel dough recipe. I have selected this one since it produces one of the finest handling doughs that I have ever made and is instructive to the beginning pizza maker on what a really good dough should look and feel like. However, I will warn you that you should follow the Raquel recipe exactly and not freelance by substituting ingredients or do things to save time or for any other reason. The Raquel dough does especially well when leavened by a starter (preferment). However, there is a version that uses only instant dry yeast (IDY). You will need high-gluten flour for this recipe, and you will need a stand mixer. The basic recipe and instructions can be found at Reply # 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.20.html. The Raquel recipe is exemplary of the NY "elite" style, as popularized by Patsy's in Harlem and other like pizza establishments in and around NYC. If you prefer the NY street style, I can lead you to some recipes for that style.

I think I have given you enough links to recipes and recipe-paths to keep you off of the streets for a while. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get perfect results the first time out of the blocks. It takes time and practice, just like anything else in life that is worth doing. I would like to suggest, however, that you get a good digital scale if you do not already have one, to weigh the flour and water called for in the recipes. This will spare you a lot of trial and error and help you achieve consistent, reproducible results.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2005, 05:35:28 PM »
Zack,

I forgot the naan.

If you go to the Julia Child/PBS link posted below, scroll down the page to the Naan prime video clip, and click on it, you will be able to see how to make naan. You will also see a pulldown menu where you will be able to read a transcript of the dialogue between Julia Child and her two guests/experts on naan.

I have several naan recipes, as well as many other flatbread recipes, which have always interested me since they bear a lot of resemblances to recipes for pizza doughs (but usually using different or no leavenings).

Peter

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2005, 05:54:23 PM »
Excellent!!!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I have a stand mixer(but no bread machine) I have "bread flour(Alberstons generic and King Arthur" but do not think it is high gluten. I have "00" flour, but not Caputtos "00" Pizza flour.

I will try some of these adn get back to you all!!!!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2005, 06:47:48 PM by zappcatt »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 02:20:14 PM »
Zack,

If you bought all your flours at the supermarket, it is very unlikely that you have high-gluten flour since I personally have never seen it at the supermarket. High-gluten flour is almost exclusively within the province of professional bakers who do not buy their high-gluten flour at supermarkets, or pay supermarket prices for their flours. As home pizza makers, we have had to find our own sources, whether from King Arthur, distributors and middlemen, or restaurants and bakers who use high-gluten flours.

I know that Albertson's sells both unbleached and bleached flours at most of its stores, although I don't recall offhand whether the bread flour is unbleached. When I am not using the King Arthur flours (all-purpose or bread), I will use the Albertson's unbleached "equivalent". They have less protein than the KA brands but will work for most recipes.

None of the recipes proposed to you thus far in this thread call for 00 flour, but I was wondering what brand of 00 flour you have. That might lead to a 00 dough recipe that might fit your requirement of being easy to make.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 02:25:27 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 04:14:07 PM »
Thanks Pete-zza for the suggestions..and continued guidence.

I bought a small Italbrands "00"flour at Whole Foods while I was there. I recognized the name from one of the tomato threads, so decided to give it a try.

I am lucky to have a wide array of "supermarket" options here in the SF Bay Area(Andronicos, Albertsons, Safeway, PW Market, Trader Joes, Smart and Final, Whole Earth, etc) along with some of the recommeded food service providers.

At this time I am not going to go for the food service option, since my wife does not share my love of pizza. She likes it but is unable to eat it every day for weeks on end..unlike me who has had pizza about 12 times this past week(2 round Table larges, a Toto's extra large, a CPK dough, and my DKM cracker attempt)

On to Naan..Your link for julia child did not seem to come through... My naan recipe is pretty basic, I got it from http://barbeque.allrecipes.com/AZ/Naan.asp

I think it might be a case(in all my bread making) that I overknead the dough.

My setup:
regular electric oven
pizza stone
perforated pizza pan
10 x 2 pizza pan
Hamilton beach stand mixer
regular rolling pin
silpat rolling/cooking mats
wooden pizza peel
tongs to lift leading edge
No talent with dough
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 04:15:41 PM by zappcatt »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 04:43:09 PM »
Zack,

It would have helped had I given you the link on the naan matter. It is http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/eaters/flatbreads.html. I'm sorry for the error.

As far as your setup is concerned, if your budget permits, I might suggest that you invest in a metal pizza peel (it's better and easier than tongs to remove a baked pizza from the oven), a pizza cutter (which you may already have but forgot to mention), and possibly a set of pizza screens to experiment with (they are inexpensive). If your Hamilton Beach stand mixer has a dough hook, it may pass muster, although it is unlikely to do as good a job with dough kneading as a KitchenAid stand mixer. Unfortunately, the best KitchenAid stand mixers, like a Professional 600 series with a special dough hook, are quite expensive. The Electrolux DLX units that several of our members now have are even more expensive. If you decide to upgrade, you might want to check out eBay, where many such units are sold at prices below retail. Even then, your wife may have other ideas as to where your family money should be spent.

Peter

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2005, 02:33:31 AM »
Ok, so I went for the Buzz's recipe and the dough is in the (turned off)oven for its 9+ hour rise.

Pete-zza, when you say that you "combined it by hand", did you mean, fingers or a non-stand mixer tool(spoon, etc)? I used my hands.

Is there a "standard" for covering doughballs to raise? Before this site, I had read about either using saran wrap, or wet towels over the ball. I believe in DKM's recipe, he described it as putting it in a sealed bucket. In your attempts at Buzz' recipe you said that you put yours in a metal container(covered). Is that lightly covered with a towel/saran wrap, tightly sealed with a lid?


p.s. I have a pizza cutter, and also use a good heavy knife when needed.
My stand mixer does have a dough hook. There is no chance to "upgrade" to a more expensive model.
If I ever stumble on a store with pizza screens I will pick a couple up.
If I find a store with a metal peel, I will likely pick one up.
I know that some of this stuff is available online..but have to slow my spending down somehow ;-)


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2005, 10:48:48 AM »
Zack,

With the Buzz deep-dish dough recipe, and especially the most recent one that uses 6 tablespoons of oil for 2 cups of flour, it's just as easy to use the hands, as you did. However, there is no reason why you can't use a spoon for part of the mixing.

There is no "standard" approach for covering a dough. You can just put the dough (lightly oiled so as not to form a skin) in a bowl or other container and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or damp towel (I use freebie hotel shower caps), or you can put the dough in a zip-type storage bag or even in an empty bread bag with the end twisted and folded under. Or you can use a container with its own cover, such as a cookie tin. There might be a little bit of condensation that builds up on the inside of the cover, but for a dough like Buzz's, that's not a real problem since it is quite wet to begin with. In general, I use what is most convenient at the time.

Peter

« Last Edit: September 21, 2005, 11:09:40 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2005, 01:12:01 AM »
Thanks again all for the help.

The final product was not great, but was good enough that my wife went back for seconds....and suggested I make it again. WOOOHOOO.

My rise/fridge/warm up times were nutty. How do you guys hit your target times? Do you all work at home? Are you all retired? ;-)

I typically will be making my doughs between 10pm and 1am...hard to hit specific times for use.

This tme I made my dough at 9pm and was able to let it oven rise for about 9 hours. I put it in the fridge so that I could either use it for lunch or dinner. Pulled it out of the fridge at 10 am thinking I would cook it at 1pm for lunch....decided to hit Round Table for lunch instead.  Decided to wait for dinner and make it then.

When I got ready to work the dough into the pan, it smelled more beer yeastey then bread yeasty(To my newbie nose). It had also "fallen" from it's highest rise.....

Preheated oven(with a stone on a lower rack) for about 30 minutes. Baked the pie for between 35-40 mins. Ate the first piece and was not happy with the crust, so threw it back in for 10 more minutes. It tasted better after the extra 10 minutes. I think I am just going to have to bake my pizzas significantly longer than the recipes state. For my DKM cracker crust, the best pizza was one that I cooked for double as long as he suggested if I remember correctly.

Thanks again for the help/suggestions.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 09:41:45 AM »
Zack,

I think you will get better results next time if you try to stick to the script a little bit better. Doughs can be forgiving, but they have their limits and, in your specific case, it looks like the dough may have overfermented, judging from the odors you detected and the collapsing dough.

Buzz may be a better one to comment on this, but if you have to start the deep-dish dough late at night, you might want to refrigerate the dough once it comes out of the bowl and take it out of the refrigerator the next day to use. Putting the dough into the refrigerator slows down the amount and rate of fermentation. When you are ready to use the dough, you should let the dough sit at room temperature on your countertop for a couple of hours or so before you start to work the dough to fit it into your deep-dish pan. The last time I made Buzz's dough, that is what I did, except that I didn't start it late at night. I have also made Buzz's dough where I let the dough rise at room-temperature for 8 hours (during the day) and then put it into the refrigerator overnight to be used the next day. About two hours before I planned to use the dough, I took it out of the refrigerator and put it on my countertop.

There is also no need to use a pizza stone when making Buzz's dough. If you will go back to my post in which I recommended Buzz's recipe and look at reason number 4 in my discussion of the recipe, you will see that I stated that an advantage of Buzz's recipe is that no stone is needed, just a deep-dish pan and your oven. A pizza stone could be used, but it would have to be preheated for about an hour at around 450 degrees F to get the stone up to proper temperature. If you did not do this, then it would take much longer for the pizza to bake because too much of the oven heat is going to the stone and too little to the pizza pan. When I bake my Buzz deep-dish pies (on the middle oven rack position), I have to watch them very carefully as not to overbake (I use a 9 1/2-in deep-dish pan). In fact, I usually have to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pizza to prevent the exposed crust from browning too much. And that is at a temperature of around 450-475 degrees F. So, next time, ditch the stone. You can always experiment later with a stone once you gain more experience.

Even if you follow all the directions properly, that doesn't necessarily mean you will like the pizza or the crust any better. But it is best to come to those conclusions only after the product has been properly made.

Peter

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Easiest dough for a noob
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2005, 11:53:11 AM »
Thanks again for all the info.
I had not thought about the stone sucking up a significant amount of heat. That very well could have been my major problem with the time. I only had it in there for 30 mins, so it probably was not hot enough.

I actually had planned to hit the times right, but life got in the way. I had pulled it out for a 2-3 hour "warm up" but after our Gymboree class we hit RTP instead of coming home and having to wait an hour to eat. I knew that this would affect the dough...I was just glad that it was still edible with the extra 4 or so hours of ferrmenting


 

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