It was a mini project I involved myself in yesterday, combined with a craving for some pizza. Anyway, I wanted to see if it was possible to make a decent, flavorful dough for the same evening, using a starter. To my surprise, the dough and the end result turned out quite good, actually.
I made three pies last night and saved one for today. All four dough balls had a weight of 300 gr. for a 14” skin. The rest of the dough (128 gr.) went into a clean container for further fermentation and to use as a base for a new biga. The flour was 100% KABF, which I haven’t use on its own in a long time. Usually I use some sort of flour mix or 100% Caputo Pizzeria. As a matter of fact, another batch I made on Tuesday with 100% Caputo is still on a cold rise in my fridge.
The dough felt very wet, even at only a 60% hydration and a 5-hour counter rise. Its manageability was very good though. No tearing and it were easily shaped into three 14” skins. However, during the counter-rise the dough had to be punched down twice because it expanded far beyond the bowl’s limits. I’m sure some of you cringed at the thought of punching down the dough. It’s not what I usually do but the dough reminded me of the creature in the classic movie “The Blob”. It was a traumatizing and frightening experience!
Well, with the LBE up to 685 F I slid the first pizza in, an all veggie pie, which one of my neighbors requested. It was topped with spinach, mushrooms & black olives. The sauce was a 50/50 mix between 6 in 1 and hand-crushed San Marzanos (seeds left in), enhanced with a minimal amount of dried, hand-crushed basil and oregano, a dash of onion and garlic powder and some kosher salt. The cheese was a Precious brand fresh, whole-milk mozzarella. I tore the cheese apart into smaller pieces, lined a bowl with a paper towel and let it sit for at least an hour to drain excess moisture.
The second one was a Pizza Tonno w/mushrooms. As you can see, the LBE got a little too hot – it went up to 750 F while I was prepping the skin - and burned the rim a bit too much for my taste, even though I turned the pizza three times. I’m still trying to balance baking times and temperatures ever since I replaced the grilling grate in the LBE with a solid metal plate.
For the third, a spinach/ham combo, I reduced the temp back down 700 F and it turned out nicely, although the rim’s still a bit too charred, I think.
On all three pizze, the oven spring was surprisingly good, the crust had a nice texture and balance between being crunchy and chewy and the flavor was slightly on the sour side without being overpowering. In the photos it might look like I was going nuts with the toppings but all three pies were topped lightly and dusted with some aged Pecorino Romano cheese.
Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the texture, flavor and consistency of the crust albeit it was only a 6-hour dough. I think the formula is worth experimenting with, especially when there’s a need for an “emergency” dough. I’m also wondering how it would turn out when baked in a real WFO.
771 gr. KABF (100%)
463 gr. Water (60%)
18 gr. Kosher salt (2.33%)
8 gr. Olive oil (1.03%)
2 gr. ADY (.25%)
66 gr. Starter (8.5%)
Pics are not the best but give you an idea of the outcome…