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Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland

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My pizza! [Apr. 25th, 2007|12:39 pm]
Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland


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[mood |busybusy]

I admit it.  I'm terribly lazy.
Actually that's not quite right, I'm terribly busy with too many projects on too many burners.  Therefore I've been neglecting my bread baking duties and restaurant reviews both of which I now intend to remedy.

Pizza, what can be said about that glorious food which can be so easily made inedible by so many in countless hole-in-the-wall shops around the city.  Not that I'd even begin to contemplate setting foot in any of these establishments --- the high dirt/bacteria factor under the counter staffs' fingernails as they rake the greasy curtain of hair from their eyes is enough to put me off without having to look at the greasy specimens glistening sweatily under the heat lamps.

No, far better to search the city for places like Lombardo's  or The Firewood Cafe.

There are times though when the urge to create and get down and dirty with flour takes over and in the interests of that I offer the following in round 2 of pizza dough at lotuslandeating.

As you can see in comparison from aseret_black's earlier photograph the consistency of the second dough was much different.  This was not a mistake due to poor measuring.  The dough was definitely wet, although by no means sloppy.  Over the course of the three days it was in the fridge I did punch it back a couple of times to keep it under control.  I had to.  I had mis-measured the yeast.  There, I admitted to it.  It still worked out.

Click here for recipe and more pictures!

The original recipe from A Year In Bread follows along with my own pictures.  I left the edges of the crust slightly thicker than the rest of the dough and it had a lovely chewy, bready quality that differed from the crisp bottom.

Pizza dough #2


kitchenMage's Overnight Pizza Crust
ice water 1 1/2 c | 355 ml | 12 oz | 340 g
bread flour 4 c | 0.95 l | 18 oz | 500 g
instant yeast 1 tsp | 11 ml | 1/8 oz | 3+ g
olive oil 2 tablespoons | 30 ml | 1 oz | 28 g
salt 1 tsp | 5 ml | 1/4 oz | 8 g

(These directions are for mixing by wand, err, I mean hand. Parenthetical directions are for those of you who are using a stand mixer.)

Mixing the dough

Important: Water temperature matters—the colder, the better. About 15 minutes before starting, combine 1 1/2 cups of water and add a handful of ice cubes. By the time you are ready for it, there will be very cold ice water waiting. Remember to remove any remaining ice before measuring. If you have room in the freezer, you can put the measured flour in it to chill for that same 15 minutes.

In mixing bowl, stir flour and yeast together just to distribute yeast. Add ice water and mix to combine into wet dough, about 1 minute. (mixer: use paddle attachment on low for 30-60 seconds) It will look like sort of like thick, lumpy pancake batter. Cover and stick back in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator, drizzle oil on one corner of dough, drop salt on top of the oil, and stir to combine. Turn dough out on well-floured counter and knead for a couple of minutes. (You can add more flour if you need, or want a substantially thicker crust—I do at times—but this is better with less so give it a shot.) Place dough in clean bowl, cover and return to refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours, preferably overnight. (The dough can stay refrigerated for up to 3 days.)



(My dough on day 3.  Note the structure and apparent "slackness" of the dough.  Very different from any other dough I've worked with in the past.  I loved the fact that I could prepare this days ahead and have on hand to be used all most at whim.)

Baking the pizza

When you get home from work, turn on the oven as high as it goes to get the stone really hot. Make sure the stone is in the oven (or is that just me who forgets?) It takes about an hour to thoroughly heat the stone. Fortunately, this is about the same amount of time it takes to finish preparing the crust, toppings and assembling the pizza—even allowing for interruptions from the small people. You can even toss a salad together.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out on floured counter. Divide dough in half (or thirds for smaller pizzas) and refrigerate the portion you will not be using.

With well-floured hands, shape each portion of dough into a flat disc as large as possible without tearing the dough. When the dough starts to shrink back immediately after stretching, let it rest on counter for five minutes before continuing with shaping it.

With a bit of tweaking, this is a fairly versatile crust. If you like cracker-thin pizza, use less dough and stretch it thinner. (Amusingly enough, this is one of the few doughs I make that I can get a good windowpane from.) For thicker, breadier pizza, use a little more dough and stretch it less. (If you like your crust even thicker, go ahead and use more flour, starting with an extra 1/4 cup.)

When the crust is about the right size, place it on a parchment sheet, cover and let rise until you are ready to top it. If you turned on the oven when you took the dough out of the refrigerator, this should be another 30-45 minutes. It will not rise substantially, but it should warm to room temp and poof just a bit in spots.



(I didn't use parchment when I used my pizza pan.  I divided the dough in half and created one pizza, fully topped, which I then froze for a later date.)

A simple topping of pesto and sun dried tomato (BC...before cheese)

And the final product.  Note the crust!


[User Picture]From: molasses
2008-05-20 06:17 am (UTC)
this is just beautiful.
i want to try it. i have a gramma-cookbook recipe for refrigerator risen bread dough, and i use it often, but this is lovely.
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[User Picture]From: _gryffinnoir_
2008-05-21 01:35 am (UTC)

Definitely give it a try!

I really loved this dough. It was so forgiving and made such a delicious thin crust. I found the first dough that we tried was more cracker-like in taste and texture. This may have been due to the amount of olive oil in the recipe.

But thanks for finding us amongst all the communities! It reminds me that I'm long overdue for a recipe post and with bbq season looming there will be some hot weather recipes available in the near future.
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