I joined the forum a few days ago and have been furiously reading everything I can about dough, cheese, sauce and everything else that goes into a quality pie.
This was my first attempt with my newly obtained knowledge and it turned out incredible. I was literally dancing around my kitchen island in glee. I'd finally made a decent pie!
I apologize ahead of time for my lack of baking percentages and weights, I'm still learning that.
I decided to experiment a bit with the amount of water that I used in my dough as well as sugar substitutes and different yeast variations.
*note* I used the Peter Reinhart sauce recipe with a 5lb can of escalon crushed tomatoes.
3 cups KABF
(1) .6 oz package of Fleischmann's cake yeast (these are usually found in the dairy aisle so as to keep cool)
2 tblspn Olive Oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 cup warm water
I started off by mixing the brown sugar and honey into the warm water until dissolved. I then added the flour and salt into my mixer and combined them with the paddle attachment. Once that was incorporated, I crumbled the yeast in the dry ingredients, added the olive oil then the water mixture and used the dough hook to mix all the ingredients together. I let the machine knead the dough for about 5 minutes before turning it out on my counter top. It came out with a fairly wet consistency, which is what I was after. So far, so good. I rolled it into a tight ball and set it into a lightly oiled Pyrex container and covered with plastic wrap. I let it rise at room temp (about 75 in my house) for about 2 hours. I then divided it into two balls and gave them a second 2 hours rise.
Once the dough was ready, I preheated my oven to 425 and started to stretch out my skins. I used a 60/40 blend of bread flour and corn meal as a dusting agent. I wanted some semolina but my grocery store doesn't carry any. They were surprisingly easy to manipulate compared to other doughs that I had tried and I pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to get that windowpane type consistency that I'm always after. Once I had the skins stretched out and on my pan, I added the sauce (that reinhart recipe is something else, wow.) and used a blend of Parmesan, provelone and skim mozzarella. Into the oven it went. It had a really nice oven spring and once I saw the edges starting to brown, I slipped the pizza out of the pan and onto the lower rack to make sure I had a nice, crisp bottom.
After the cheese had started to brown, I popped it out and let it cool for three minutes before cutting.
Ok, ok, ok. I actually waited all of about 30 seconds before cutting into it. I could barely even wait to start eating it before I thought to take a picture. Sorry if that grosses anyone out, it was just really really good.
The results were fantastic. The best I've personally ever made. The crust had a really nice crunch to it when I cut into it and reminded me a lot of Dewey's crust as far as the texture and taste go. I do want to experiment with a 24 - 48 hour cold fermentation time and I also want to try whole milk mozz. I will be decreasing the amount of garlic powder in the sauce. It tastes amazing on a plain cheese pizza, but it was so garlic-y on my second pie, I couldn't have told you by tasting it that there was any pepperoni on it.