On New Year's Eve, as part of a pizza party held with friends in Massachusetts, I made four Neapolitan style pizzas based on doughs using the Bel Aria 00 flour. I used essentially the same recipe as set forth in an earlier posting, but modified it to fit the timetable I was presented with. I was also hoping to avoid the types of problems that fellow member JF_Aidan_Pryde experienced recently in his experimentation with 00 flour doughs. The recipe as modified was as follows:
4 c. "00" flour (Farina Tipo 00), Bel Aria brand
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 t. IDY
1 T. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1 t. olive oil, plus olive oil for the bowl
In the above recipe, the sugar and olive oil were added to aid in browning of the pizza crust and also to achieve additional softness of the crumb. The sugar would also serve to feed the yeast and minimize the possibility of overfermentation because of depletion of the natural sugars extracted from the flour during fermentation. IDY was used because of its convenience (it was the only form of yeast my friends had in their home).
In lieu of using a stand mixer as called for in the recipe I posted above, I used a food processor (a variable-speed Braun model). All of the dry ingredients were placed in the bowl of the food processor, and the water (temperature adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of about 80 degrees F) was gradually added while the processor was pulsed. When the dough formed a rough dough ball between the processor blade and the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes), I added the olive oil and pulsed that into the dough for an additional minute or two. The dough was a bit sticky at this point, so I removed it from the bowl and hand kneaded it on a work surface with a little bench flour until the dough was slightly tacky but smooth and elastic. I then divided the kneaded dough into 4 portions of equal weight, coated them lightly with olive oil, and placed them into separate containers (covered with plastic wrap), and then into the refrigerator.
About 3 hours before I needed to shape the dough balls into pizza rounds (the dough balls had been in the refrigerator for about 5 hours by this time), I removed the dough balls from the refrigerator and placed them into a proofing box I had made for my friends to use during my visits to their home. I used the proofing box not to speed up the rising process as I do with my "last minute" pizza doughs (reported elsewhere on this forum) but rather to compensate for the fact that room temperature was only 64 degrees F. By using the proofing box, I was able to achieve an ambient temperature in the proofing box of around 70-75 degrees F--just about ideal. Absent the proofing box, I would have had to extend the time the dough balls were at room temperature.
Once I was ready to make the pizzas, the dough balls were in great shape. They had doubled in volume and were showing no signs of collapsing. And they shaped nicely. Before dressing them, I brushed the rims of the dough rounds (they were about 9 inches in diameter) with a bit of olive oil to facilitate browning. The dressed pizzas were baked directly on a pizza stone that had been preheated for more than an hour at about 500-550 degrees F. All four pizzas turned out very well. The top and bottom crusts were nicely browned, and the crusts were soft and chewy.
One of the nice things about 00 pizza rounds is that they can be easily customized to the individual taste preferences of the eaters, in a single serving size. One of the pizzas I made was a classic Margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese (fior di latte), fresh basil and olive oil. Another had pieces of chicken grilled in olive oil and herbs, marinated artichoke hearts, a San Marzano sauce with chunks of San Marzano tomatoes, a bit of fresh chopped Roma tomatoes, shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. But the star of the show was an andouille sausage pizza with two sunny-side up eggs, a shredded blend of mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and Creole seasoning. When I proposed this pizza and mentioned the word eggs, I was greeted with gasps of horror. When two of the guests worked up the courage to try the pizza, I used two eggs--one for each--and divided the pizza in half. But when the pizza was presented, they all wanted to sample it.