Over this past weekend, I gave the 50/50 flour mix (bread flour & “00”) a shot. I’ve used 00 before with mediocre results, mainly during stretching the skin. I was never able to get it past 12”, at the most, but wanted to achieve a 14” – 15” pizza.
Pete suggested to try a combo of 50% flour with a higher gluten content and 50 % "00" flour, used in such places as DiFara or at Luzzo’s in NYC. Unfortunately, I have yet to experience their pizzas. Anyway, I went ahead and used Pillsbury’s Best bread flour because I had good results with it before and Italbrand Tipo “00”. For the life of me, I seem unable to find Caputo flour here, even at my local italian specialty store.
On Friday evening I made the poolish:
200 gr. “00” flour
300 gr. bread flour
500 gr. water (appr. 100 – 105 F)
8 gr. ADY
10 gr. sugar
I mixed it all together and let it rest at room temperature for 2 ½ hrs before putting it in the fridge until Saturday evening. I took it out, let it come up to room temperature for about an hour and mixed in the rest of the ingredients:
On Saturday evening I finished the dough by adding:
300 gr. “00” flour
200 gr. bread flour
160 gr. cold water
25 gr. salt
21 gr. olive oil
Then I started hand-kneading it for 30 mins, with a rest time of 5 mins after every 10 mins. I placed in a lightly oiled bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hrs, then the dough went into the fridge for 6 hrs, before I took it out around midnight to let it proof again at room temp for 10 hrs, before dividing it into four 375 gr. balls, with a little scrap dough for a mini pizza. Into two boxes they went for another 8hrs on the counter to proof.
I noticed during stretching that it had more elasticity then the 00 flour alone and I was able to get one skin to 14" and the second one to 15".
Now, my neighbor's a pizza fanatic, so I figured I'd use her as a guinea pig for the first pie and she was completely amazed, telling me that this was my best crust to date and not to mess around with the recipe anymore. Well, when I made the second pie, I wasn't so sure. Yes, the crust was airy & light, but a tad too crispy and too thick. Before it went into the oven, the raw skin was pretty thin but puffed up during the baking, which I wasn't too happy about. I guess the "00" is not really suited for regular home ovens that don't go past 500 F.
I'm also wondering about the sugar content. perhaps a combination of water, yeast, flour & salt might be a solution?
Any comments and suggestions are more than welcome.
Below are some pics of the proofing process and a finished pie with sauce, mozzarella and Italian sausage...