Pizza dough comparison

Last month I tried a new pizza dough recipe.  A few months before that, I had read in Men’s Health about an easy pizza dough that did not require hours of preparation (I had been using a no-knead dough recipe that required an 18 hour rise (more details below).  I am always looking for both more efficient and tasty recipes for pizza dough.  My wife enjoys the one I had been making but I am all for tweaking and improving so I decided to try this new (to me) recipe.  I was fairly certain I had left the magazine in a spot in my treadmill room but lo and behold it wasn’t there.  I resorted to trying to google the same recipe and don’t know if it was the exact one I had read about initially but I went with it.

Quicker pizza dough ingredients:

  • 6 cups AP flour
  • 2 1/4 cups room temperature water (recipe called for cold water)
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  1.  Add 3 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp yeast to 2 1/4 cups of water in a large bowl and combine
  2. In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt.
  3. I then added in the flour mix to the flour-water combination (from step 1) and kneaded it within the bowl for about 5 minutes.
  4. I let the dough rest – covered – for 30 minutes.
  5. The dough was separated into 4 (relatively) parts and 3 of them saved in saran wrap and frozen for later use.
  6. I split the dough into 2 balls and made pizzas from them.

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What I liked about this dough recipe is that the dough had developed a decent structure.  It was amenable to the stretching process and I felt like I could manipulate it without it easily tearing.  The downside is that there wasn’t a lot of gluten/gas development within the dough (due to the short time of sitting).  This resulted in a pizza dough that was relatively flat upon baking.  It created a thin crispy crust – kind of like a cracker instead of bread.

Taste-wise the dough was not bad.  It was a decent pizza but the dough didn’t really stand out much.  It was more about the sauce and toppings.

In contrast to the above, the following week I made my more usual recipe for pizza.  This dough involves sitting overnight (more like 18 hours) at room temperature to give the dough time to work on itself.  This is a “no-knead” recipe so there isn’t a ton of work on the dough itself.

No-knead dough recipe

  • 350 g AP flour
  • 245 g warm water
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 12 g salt
  1.  Mix 1 tsp acive dry east in 245 g of warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes
  2.  Combine flour and salt.
  3. Add water mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a cohesive wet dough is formed
  4. Let sit, covered, for 14-18 hours at room temperature
  5. I poured the dough out and made a rectangle and divided this dough into 3 relatively equal size balls.  One ball I wrapped in cling film and froze.  The remaining two I rolled into a ball shape and placed in a bowl and let that raise for 1-2 hours.
  6. I then used each dough and stretched it into pizza shape.

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As you can see from the above pictures, this time the dough’s crust had a decent rise on the outer rim.  The dough also had a more chewy texture compared to the quicker dough.  The flavor profile of the overnight dough also developed more, almost like a sourdough.  You could eat just the dough (without the topping) and it has its own taste (vs the quicker dough).

Verdict: Overnight no-knead dough.

For now I’ll continue with the no-knead dough.  I just need to remember to start it the day before I am going to make pizza.  I’m not always great at pre-planning but that is the goal.

-StewsCat

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