We go to the Pizzamania in Whittier. We donít go real often since we live so far away, only when visiting relatives in the area. And even though we do love their pizza I would like it better if it had the crunchy crust like the pizza place where we live. Itís that crunch, not cracker crisp break, I am so desperately trying to recreate.
Regarding what Iím doing, here is exactly how Iím making my pizza currently. It has changed somewhat since first starting. I am using a modified Ina Garten recipe. 4 cups bread flour, 2 teaspoons ADY (she uses 4t but I let my dough sit overnight and have read to cut in half if letting sit overnight), 1 tablespoon honey, 1 ľ cup warm water and 2 Ĺ teaspoon salt. I proof the yeast with Ĺ cup water and the honey till bubbly. When proofed I add the oil and mix then add this to 1 cup of the flour in a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer bowl along with the rest of the water. I mix using the whisk attachment till smooth. I remove the whisk and cover and let stand covered for 20 Ė 30 minutes. I put on the dough hook and start adding in most of the flour and salt and mix till it leaves the sides of the mixing bowl but sticking just a little to the bottom. I knead on low for 10 minutes. I then form into a loose ball, cover with a little oil and place in an oiled plastic tub and let sit on the counter for about an hour. I then put in the refrigerator overnight. I take it out about 2 hours before needing, divide into four, ball, place on an oiled sheet pan till needed. I hand roll out about 30 minutes before topping because I read somewhere it will give a little bit more chew to the dough. I bake in an electric home oven, setting the temperature its highest, 500, on unglazed tiles I buy at Lowes on the highest rack. They are probably around an 1 1/2Ē thick. I preheat the oven/stone for an hour. I use a peel to place in the oven but I think Iím going to starting putting on screens because by the time I open the oven, pull the rack out a little and slide the pizza onto the stone I think Iím losing too much heat. I bake around 8 minutes. Iíll still place the screened pizzaís on the stone.
I have read some good things on this site regarding setting the oven on broil the last 10 minutes before placing the pizza in which made me start thinking Iím taking too long with trying to get the pizza in and losing too much heat so I think Iím going to get some screens. I also read somewhere on the site that the oil should be added last but I donít know why. I also read the dough, after kneading, should be around 80 Ė 85 degrees but I have never taken the temperature and have no idea what my doughís temperature is or why it should be that temperature. Iím guessing it has something to do with yeast reaction but I could be wrong, I need to research that more.
As much as I love pizza and have eaten it all my life and now want to make my own I never realized there were so many types, New York, Neapolitan, wood fired, deck oven, etc. so I donít really know the differences between them all, only that I really love the not too thin, not too thick, crunchy crust with a moist soft interior. Thank you for helping.