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Old 01-17-2016, 05:24 AM   #1
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Why can't I work with pizza dough like they do on tv?

So every time I watch a chef on tv demonstrating pizza dough they always say don't over flour it otherwise it will become too dry and break up when kneading it or rolling out.

So last night I tried to keep it a bit more moist and it literally just stuck to everything. I could not knead it.mwhen I pushed forward it just stuck to the surface then I had to peel it off. It also stuck to my hands in a horrible mess. I added a bit more flour to try and make it easier to work with and it became too dry and was difficult to knead without it breaking and I could see by looking at it it was too dry as well. So I added a little more moisture and it was back to square one. It stuck to everything that it touched.

Anyone got any advice on finding the sweet spot where it's not too moist that it sticks to everything, not too dry that it breaks up, but is still something you can actually work with?

Thanks!

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Old 01-17-2016, 05:35 AM   #2
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Question

Do you use the correct flour? I see that strong bread flour is used for pizza making.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
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Hi, yes it's strong bread flour that I've been using.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:21 AM   #4
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You need to flour your kneading surface, the dough will pick up the right amount of flour for a nice soft dough.

Basic Pizza Dough - By Hand Method Recipe : Emeril Lagasse : Food Network

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Old 01-17-2016, 06:28 AM   #5
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I did that, then after a mintute of kneading it starting sticking again, so I floured the surface again and then the dough became too dry!
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:33 AM   #6
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I had another question regarding pizza. I don't have a pizza stone at the moment, and often I find that that cheese is starting to go brown on top so I take it out, but then find the base is soggy in the middle. Without a pizza stone how do you get all the elements of the pizza to cook correctly?
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
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There are pans specifically made for pizza. They are readily available in the US and most likely in the UK. A google search will show you what they look like. Do you have an out door grill? We will pre-grill our pizza crusts slightly right on the grill grate, top them and finish them on the grill.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:54 AM   #8
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Pizza dough

This is my friend Lorenzo's recipe for pizza dough. He's a professional chef here in Italy.

The type of flour that's used is not strong flour for ordinary bread, but specific pizza flour, that you should be able to get in the US:

Pizza Flour - 1KG
tepid water - 500ml
olive oil 30/35 grams
Beer yeast - 3.5 to 4 grams no more than that

For the basic topping

Chopped best quality tinned tomatoes
Origano to taste
salt and a little sugar
Mozzarelle for pizza (not the wet mozzarella that comes in packs with liquid)

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix around, make a well inn the centre and put the tepid water in. Now start drawing the flour into the water, and mix with the other hand as you do so. Work the dough for 15 minutes, no more. Put the dough back into the bowl, put in a warm place and allow to prove for 20 - 30 minutes. When the dough is ready, pull off pieces of dough, approx 225 - 235 grams each. roll into circles. Allow to rise again.

I don't have a pizza stone, so I use the loose bottoms of two cake tins to put each pizza on. Put on the ingredients of your choice and put in the oven to cook. I find it works very well with the oven at 250C.

Auguri!

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Old 01-17-2016, 08:58 AM   #9
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I posted this on another thread:
The one critical thing I didn't mention was to make sure to use about 1/3 'high gluten' flour. It will make the dough much stretchier.

1 large bottle of Original V8 juice.
Into pot. Medium heat. 1 large T of dried oregano. 1/2 t of fish sauce or anchovy paste.
1T sugar. 1T dried basil. 2 cloves crushed garlic. 1 fine chopped small sweet onion. Simmer for an hour over very low heat to reduce.
Personally I never used pizza sauce on any pizza.
The above recipe is my 'base' for anything calling for a 'tomato sauce' so it will work as a pizza topping.
How many posters here have bought/made a pizza and all the topping want to slide off the crust. Everyone.
This is how I build every pizza no matter what the ingredients because I prefer to keep the toppings from sliding off:
I bake the shells on the pizza stone in the medium hot, that's right not screaming hot oven, I bake one side. The top forms large air pockets which I push down using an oven mitt. Then I flip the shell over and bake the other side. When the shell is just turning brown at the edges I remove the shell and put it on a cutting board to cool. Sometimes I'll prebake a dozen regular size shells this way depending on how many are invited for my famous pizza-party.
Now the 'build'. I have maybe two dozen toppings in bowls for the guests to custom build their own pizzas.
The first part is CRITICAL! #1 Take a shell and brush a liberal coating of olive oil on it. #2 Sprinkle on a thin layer of fine grafted fresh mozza. cheese. #3 From this point on it doesn't matter what toppings you put on....except pizza sauce. I like to put caramelized onions on the mozza cheese and then pretty much anything goes.
If you want to put pizza sauce on just put it on last. I use thin sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh fine chopped basil as a topping if I want that flavor.
Believe me. Follow this method and you'll never end up with a sloppy mass of pizza toppings on your lap again.
When the pizzas are built and ready for the oven I turn up the heat to about 400F. I want all the ingredients to get bubbly hot. If I have the heat up too high the top toppings will get hot too fast before the topping closer to the shell get bubbly hot. And the bottom of the shell may burn.
Years ago I started leaving the pizza stone in the oven on the bottom rack. When I use it I put it on the middle rack. The stone now looks like shiny black glass.
Years ago I got a piece of heavy stiff cardboard from a packing box. I cut a circle a little bigger than a regular pizza. When a pizza is built and ready for the oven I carefully slide it onto the cardboard the carefully slide the built pizza off the cardboard onto the pizza stone.
I'd be happy to hear from anyone who gives this method a try.
I learned this method from Italian resturant in San Remo.
Cheers!
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:13 AM   #10
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I use plain old AP flour. When kneading the dough I find a bench scraper comes in handy until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky, it also helps to oil or butter your hands until you get the hang of it. I make a wet dough and don't use flour or a rolling pin when shaping the pizza. I plop the dough onto a greased pan and spread the dough with my hands. I also find that using an older batch of dough that has been in the refrigerator for 3 days is easier to work with than a freshly made dough.

When I put the toppings on the pizza I start with the tenderest items and finish with the longer cooking raw items, it all seems to cook just fine. I bake the pizza, on a pan, in a 475F preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes depending on the thickness and amount of toppings, I let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

I use this very thick pizza sauce to help eliminate the possibility of a soggy crust.

Pizza Sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- cup water
2 cloves minced garlic
1T Oregano
1T Basil
Mix well. This makes enough for 2 sheet pizzas. I make one and freeze the remainder for the next pizza.


The important thing it to keep practicing and adjusting your process until it becomes second nature, good luck!
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