Since I had all of the ingredients for Steve’s dough recipe on hand, I decided to give his recipe a try. I have never used 11 ingredients in a pizza dough before, so I was naturally curious to see what the results would be. I decided to make a 16” version, using the dough formulation I posted in my last reply. In my case, I substituted the Hodgston Mills brand of vital wheat gluten and adjusted the amount to use, which was slightly different from the dough formulation quantity for the Bob’s Red Mill brand. I also added a 0.5% bowl residue compensation but it turned out to be unnecessary. I used my Zojirushi bread maker and it apparently does not result in dough losses of any significance during the mixing and kneading processes.
I let my bread maker go through the full cycle for dough, which included a mix/knead period of about 20 minutes and a rise period of about 1 hour. The dough as it came out of the machine was at a temperature of 78 degrees F. I lightly oiled the dough ball, put it into a sealable Pyrex glass container, and put the container in the refrigerator for a bit over 24 hours. At every stage of the dough, from the time it came out of the bread maker to the point where the dressed pizza went into the oven, there was a lot of bubbling activity in the dough. In fact, the first photo below shows some of the initial bubbling activity in the dough as I shaped it into a round ball when it came out of the bread maker.
To bake the pizza, I used a combination of a 16” pizza screen and a pizza stone, which I had placed on the lowermost oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. I used the combination of screen and stone only because my stone cannot itself handle a pizza larger than 14”. The dough itself at the time of shaping and stretching, which took place after about 1 ˝ hours of rest at room temperature, was both extensible and elastic. It was soft and supple yet would spring back a bit as it was stretched out and released. I simply let the dough rest a bit and finished the stretching quite easily. The pizza was dressed with 6-in-1 tomato puree, straight out of the can; shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (a combination of Precious and Best Choice brands); sausage (two links’ worth of Johnsonville hot, slightly precooked); sliced pepperoni (Margarita brand); and thin slices of onion and red and green bell peppers. The pizza was baked at the second-from-the-top oven rack position until the rim of the dough started to rise and to turn light brown, about 4 minutes, and then for an additional 2 minutes on the stone to get increased bottom crust browning. When I saw that the bottom crust was browning too quickly, I moved the pizza back to the upper position for about another minute to finish browning the top of the crust.
The remaining photos show the finished pizza. The pizza, while tasty, was unlike any I have ever made before. There was very good oven spring with a lot of bubbles and there was very good color but the combination of textures was unlike anything I can recall. I fully expected that the crumb would be very soft and tender, because of all of the lard, the oil, the sugar and the dry milk powder, and indeed it was. I also expected to see more of a bread-like crumb. However, it did not have the open structure of voids that are found in a high-hydration dough. Rather, the crumb was fairly tight and, as noted above, very soft and tender. I also expected the bottom crust and the rim to be crispy. In this regard, I was especially interested in seeing what effect the egg whites would have, since egg whites are sometimes used to achieve increased crispiness in the crust. The usual recommended amount is around 2% of the weight of flour, which is considerably less than the 6.6% that I calculated for the combination of King Arthur bread flour, semolina and vital wheat gluten. So, I thought that the crust might be super crispy. Instead, I found the rim to have a thin crispy and crackly veneer, but the bottom crust was more of a tender cracker texture, with little resistance to the tooth. I also thought that using the vital wheat gluten and semolina would provide increased chewiness in the crust, which is why they are often used. However, I did not detect that quality to any significant degree. Rather, the softness and tenderness of the crumb seemed to predominate. I would say that this style of pizza, at least the way it was baked in my oven, will appeal most to those who prefer a very soft and tender crumb and a crispy rim.
I learned a lot from making the above pizza, and thank Steve for posting his recipe and giving me an opportunity to try it. It was easy to make, despite all of the ingredients, although I was sure to line them all up in the correct sequence specified by Steve before putting them into my bread pan.