Saturday, January 25, 2014

Four Hour Pizza Dough

Roasted Mushroom and arugula pizza with mozzarella and Fontina Cheese with this great pizza dough

This is a very cool pizza dough, which is once again coming from Richard Miscovich's new book Cooking with Fire. The main cool thing about this dough is that it is a straight dough, meaning that it requires no preferments. The next awesome thing about this particular formula is that there are no folds. Typically with pizza dough I fold at least once time after an hour, but with this dough there is no need to. The other interesting thing about this dough is right after the mixing is complete the dough is divided in to ten balls and allowed to ferment in this way. I not have quite enough room to do this so I bulk fermented the dough for four hours. Quickly divided the dough into 250gram pieces, placed them in ziploc sandwich bags and and placed all but two portions into the freezer. These two pieces were going to be used for dinner. 

Lately, Kelly and I have been eating our pizza with onions and pre-seared button mushrooms. As much as I love the flavor of caramelized onions for pizza I really enjoy the crunch that an uncooked onion can provide. The ten minutes the pie is in the oven is plenty of time to soften up the onion enough. That being said it is very important that you cook the mushrooms, if not they will release quite a bit of water and will tend to over moisturize your pizza. The vegetables that I find can do okay with out pre cooking are onions, peppers, thinly sliced roma tomatoes. Other ingredients should probably be cooked prior to loading the pizza into the oven. 

My pizza sauce is very simply, one large spanish onion two-four pounds of chopped roma tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic sliced thin, two tablespoons of chili oil and kosher salt and freshly course ground black pepper. A little basil can also be added, but add this towards the end of cooking! It is also possible to place coursly ripped basil leaves under the cheese layer of your pizza. 

As most of the breads in Miscovich's book this bread has an autolyse, which is particuallry important as there is no pre-ferment. Miscovich does have a much more labor intensive Pizza dough recipe which I will be making next time I need dough which requires a preferment 4 fold and an autolyse. After the autlyse has autolized for about 30 minutes the yeast and salt are added and the dough is mixed and the fermented in rounds for four hours. THat is all the labor that this dough requires. Now I am going to include an excerpt from Miscoviches book which is taken word for word. As you can tell a lot of thought went into this book so please get yourself a copy!
The production schedule of this dough is flexible-- there are several different ways to have dough ready for a pizza party. Need it this evening? Fine. Would you like to mix the dough today and chill it until tomorrow. Also no problem. The stability of this straight dough means you can use it for several pizza sessions over the course of two to three days. Here's how that can work. Mix a batch of dough around lunchtime. Take half of the dough and place it in a container that has a light coat of pan spray and is big enough to accommodate a volume increase in the dough of about two-thirds. Give than an hour or so at room temperature and then place it in the fridge. This will be the last piece you use. The remaining dough can be divided, shaped and placed in a shallow, covered that have a light coating of pan spray. After another hour, place one of the tubs with divided dough into the fridge. This will be your pizza dough for tomorrow's lunch. The remaining first half of the dough will stay at room temperature until it's time to have a couple of pizzas for dinner than night."  Miscovich R. From the wood-fired oven: new and traditional techniques for cooking and baking with fire.; 2013.
This dough handled well, I am a registered dietitian so I would prefer a dough with at least a third of its flour weight coming from whole grains, but the dough is wonderful and it crisps up perfectly. which is something I am going to sacrifice when adding whole grains to this bread. But I prefer thin crust pizza anyways. In the coming year I will try this bread again but with whole wheat flour. And will publish my changes

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