It was great to find this site and thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge. I have never gone the way of pizza because I always knew that it was science and not something that came in a Domino's box. I just left it to the pro's (which are few and far between in this neck of the woods) and either drove a fair ways to get good pie or not get any it all.
After finding this site I decided that it was time to do some reading, jump in and create some of my favorite food of all time.
A few days ago I followed the recipe below. I used King A. but it was the unbleached bread flour version. I also used Red Star Rapid Rise Yeast @ half a tsp. I fired up my KA high watt mixer and put on the paddle attachment. I followed the recipe to a Tee but when I added the final 1/3 cup of flour it basically brought my machine to its knee's. The dough completely changed with the final amount and seemed the whole chemistry of the dough went south. In fact, if I was to explain what I ended up with I would say that the dough was tough as nails. Forget the part about flouring your finger and testing the dough. This dough was not sticky at all. I almost tossed it but I decided not too. I split it in two, formed the balls, which when forming the skin tore a bit, oiled the bowls and let em sit in the fridge for 3 days. Last night I took them out to see if any transformation took place. After a 3 + hr room temp warm-up, to my surprise, it was manageable and I was able to follow the "Stretching Steps" to make 2 - 15" to 16" pies. I was able to get it very thin and although it did tear a few times it patched easily. I heated my gas over to max temp (which turned out to be 600° f) preheated an aluminum pizza pan with holes in the bottom, tossed some corn meal around the edges and proceeded to make the finest pie I've ever ate. Or I would like to think it was! My Wife and Daughter went nuts and can’t wait for me to make more. When I compared what I made (esthetically) to the pictures I saw on the Raquel thread, I would say that I am very close to the mark.
By the way my 15 yr old ate an entire 16" by herself.
BUT…….What happened over the 3 days to change this dough? It started out looking like nothing I’ve been seeing here?
Tonight, I am going to make another 2 pies and hold back on the last 1/3 cup of flour if it gets as dry as the last one. I can only hope that they will turn out even better.Pizza Raquel - Everything You'd Want
Weight Volume Description Bakers Percent
16 oz/ 456 Grams 3 1/3 cups KASL High Gluten Flour 100%
9.6 oz/ 273 Grams 1 1/8 cups or 9 fluid oz Water 60%
.01 oz/ .285 Grams 1/8 teaspoon (baker's pinch) Instant Dry Yeast .0625%
.32 oz/ 9.1 Grams 2 1/4 teaspoon Sicilian Sea Salt (fine cut) 2%
1.3 oz/ 37 Grams 2 tablespoons (heaping) Preferment (I use Varasano) 8%
Produces two dough balls weighing 13 - 14oz (enough for two 15" - 16" pizzas). If you do not have a preferment simply add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of IDY.
1 - Stir water and salt with spoon/whisk until dissolved in stand mixer bowl.
2 - Add approximately half the flour first, then the yeast. Fit stand mixer with hook attachment.
3 - Mix 30 seconds on stir to incorporate yeast.
4 - Add preferment.
5 - Mix 1 minute on stir to incorporate preferment.
6 - 20 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die painfully).
7 - Mix on stir speed for 5 minutes, adding in remaining flour gradually over the 5 minute mix.
8 - Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes.
9 - Check dough temperature with digital thermometer; it should be 80 degrees at the hook.
10 15 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die really painfully and slowly).
11 Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes on lightly floured prep area.
12 Cut into 2 equal pieces, form into balls, place dough into bowls, cover with shower caps.
13 Place dough in the refrigerator. Ferment for 24+ hours.
14 On the following day(s), remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Note: Do not punch down, reform balls, or do anything to the dough other than let it warm to room temperature.
1 - Place dough ball in flour bowl. Dust both sides well. Dust prep area with flour.
2 - Flatten ball into a thick pancake-like shape with palm of hand, ~ 2" thick. Keep well dusted.
3 - Press fingertips into center and working toward the rim until skin is 10 inches round. Keep well dusted.
4 - Place hands palm down inside rim and stretch outward while turning. Stretch to 12" round.
5 - Place skin over knuckles (1st time dough is lifted off bench) and stretch to 16"+/-
6 - Pat excess flour off skin. Place on floured peel and dress with favorite toppings.
7 - Peel dressed skin into preheated oven (1 hr+ at max temp) outfitted with tiles.
8 - Bake until lightly or heavily charred (more flavor).