I apologize if this is long-winded, but I'm aiming to document my process as clearly as possible. I'm very new to pizza making (and baking, in general) and would like to produce a reasonable Neapolitan style pizza. Based on what I've been reading over the past week, I know it's going to be difficult due to some limitations, the main one being the home oven with a max temp of 500°F. Regardless, I'd like to do the best with what I have available.
Right now I'm focusing on the dough, so I'm not too worried about the quality of toppings until I get the dough right (or close enough). Here's my dough recipe that I started with (making two 260g dough balls):
|Caputo "00" pizza flour|| 100%|
|Warm water|| 60%|
|Sea salt|| 1.5%|
|Active dry yeast|| 1%|
I'm not sure if I fully understand proofing, but I added the ADY and sugar to the warm water, added a pinch of flour, and let it sit for 10 minutes until it was frothy (so I think it worked alright). I've since read to use less water (5x the weight of ADY), so I may try that next time.
I mixed the salt and remaining flour together, and then added the "proof" to it. I mixed and kneaded by hand for 10 minutes and then let the dough sit at room temperature for an hour. I kneaded again for 10 minutes, split it into two dough balls, sealed them in plastic containers and let them ferment in the refrigerator.
I decided to try two different cold fermentation times: 3 hours and 36 hours. The 3 hour dough expanded a little, while the 36 hour one almost doubled in size. With both, I took them out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for an hour while the over preheated. When I formed the pizza, the elasticity of the 3 hour dough made it difficult to hold its shape, and it also tore a bit in the centre. The 36 hour dough was really nice to work with and maintained its shape quite well.
I cooked both pizzas the same way: floured pizza peeler, ~500°F oven, broiler 4" above the pizza, rotated after 90 and 180 seconds, 4 minutes total time in the oven.
The "36 hour rise" pizza turned out better, the crust was a bit softer and more flavourful. The cornicione was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, though I feel like it could be a bit bubblier. The bottom of the pizza barely browned at all, possibly due to too much flour on the peeler or the stone was not hot enough.
Overall I'm reasonably pleased with my first attempt (attached photos are of the "36 hour rise" pizza) but I know there are areas of improvement. I'm thinking of playing around with the hydration, kneading times, and maybe trying a room temperature fermentation instead of the fridge. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!