Seeing an excess of extensibility, I recently lowered the hydration of my dough from 81% to 78%. As expected, the dough was more easily handled, but required more patience to stretch. On the third try, I got the most rise ever, including a little more rise under the toppings. I’m not sure why. It might be the pan rise temp, which I don’t carefully control. The slice photo doesn’t do it justice. Here’s the recipe:
80% whole hard white winter wheat (home milled)
20% all-purpose flour
30% prefermented flour (mostly whole wheat)
The night before, mix the levain. (Starter is about 15% of levain.) With the remaining flour and all the salt, mix the soaker. Let sit at room temp overnight.
In the morning, cut the levain and soaker into pieces and place in the mixing bowl along with the oil. I’m using an old KA with a C-hook. Mix a minute at speed 1, a minute at speed 2, and 1.5 minutes at speed 4. On floured board, knead until tight. Rest for 45 minutes. Execute a stretch-and-fold, round, put in a greased bowl, and refrigerate.
Remove from cooler about 3 – 3.5 hours before baking. An hour before baking, stretch dough onto perforated pan. Let rise in a warm, moist oven for 45 minutes. Remove and top. Bake at 450°.
This crust is very flavorful, has moderate chew, and a slightly crisp exterior.