We, along with the rest of the world, are on lock down – which means restaurants are closed and there’s no going out for a pizza on Friday night. Even the wonderful pizza truck in the village is off limits. As I was scrolling through instagram drooling over food that was out of reach and craving Mozza pizza I saw a post by Richard Bertinet using a Roccbox and I decided right there and then that this was the answer and ordered one.
The pizza oven arrived today and I’ve yet to open the box, it’s still in quarantine in the porch and I have to find a gas canister. So in the meantime I made up a batch of pizza dough ready for when the oven is ready to fire up.
During this trip down memory lane I looked a photos from the pizza making party I organized at Mozza for a few celebrities and I watched the video of Minty and Rémy cooking pizza on the grill back in 2015 in LA – so many good memories. I will post how we get on with the Roccbox but in the meantime I thought it important to share my go to pizza dough recipe.
Makes 3 300-gram dough balls, each of which will yield one thin-crust pizza about 12 inches in diameter.
This pizza dough recipe is adapted from Ken Forkish’s recipe – I’ve halved his recipe but am forever grateful to him for all his expertise. The best way to use this recipe is to make the day before and refrigerate the dough balls over night for pizza the next day. However if you want to make in the morning for a pizza the same day this works.
I try to use soft white 00 flour. But currently it’s hard to find any flour especially 00 flour, so use the best-quality plain white flour you can obtain. I used fifty/fifty bread flour and plain flour but all plain flour works just as well.
1g instant dried yeast
500g white flour
10g fine sea salt
• Hydrate the yeast. Measure 350 grams of water at 90 to 95 F into a container. Put the yeast in a ramekin and add 2 tablespoons of the water to the yeast and set aside.
• Autolyse. Combine the 500 grams of flour and the remaining water in a large bowl or 12-quart round tub. Mix by hand just until incorporated. Cover with cling film or a lid and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Mix. Sprinkle the 10 grams of salt over the top of the dough. Stir the yeast mixture with your finger; then pour it over the dough. Use a small piece of the autolysed mixture to wipe the remaining yeast goop from its container, then throw it back in the tub.
• Mix by hand, wetting your working hand before mixing so the dough doesn’t stick to you. (It’s fine to rewet your hand three or four times while you mix.)
• Reach underneath the dough and grab about one-quarter of it. Gently stretch this section of dough and fold it over the top of the other side of the dough. Repeat three more times with the remaining dough, until the salt and yeast are fully enclosed.
• Use the pincer method (Using a pincer like grip with your thumb and forefinger, squeeze big chunks of dough and then tighten your grip to cut through the dough. Do this repeatedly, working through the entire mass of dough. With your other hand, turn the tub while you’re mixing to give your active hand a good angle of attack), alternating with folding the dough to fully integrate the ingredients. Cut and fold, cut and fold. The target dough temperature at the end of the mix is 77 to 78 degrees.
• Fold. This dough needs one fold. It’s best to apply the fold 30 to 60 minutes after mixing. After folding, lightly coat the dough and the bottom of the tub with olive oil to help prevent sticking.
When the dough is about double its original volume, about 6 hours after mixing, it’s ready to be divided.
• Divide. Moderately flour a work surface about 2 feet wide. With floured hands, gently ease the dough out of the tub. With your hands still floured, pick up the dough and ease it back down onto the work surface in a somewhat even shape. Dust the entire top of the dough with flour, then cut it into 3 equal-size pieces with a dough knife or plastic dough scraper. Each piece should weigh about 300 grams; you can eyeball it or use a scale.
• Shape the dough into balls. Shape each piece of dough into a medium-tight round, working gently and being careful not to degas the dough.
• Refrigerate. Put the dough balls on a lightly floured baking sheet, leaving space between them to allow for expansion. Lightly oil the tops, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to make the dough easier to shape.
• Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator, put it on the floured work surface, and gently pat it down a bit to coat the bottom with flour. Leaving about 1 inch of the outer rim undeflated, punch down the middle, then flip the dough over and repeat.
• Using both hands, grab the rim and lift so the dough hangs down vertically. Let gravity pull the rest of the dough down and stretch it. Run the rim between your hands, working all the way around the circumference of the dough several times.
• Next, make two fists and position them just inside the rim, with the dough still hanging vertically. Gently stretch and turn the dough repeatedly, still letting the bottom of the dough pull down, expanding the surface. Keep a close eye on the thickness of the dough. You want it thin, but you don’t want it to tear or develop holes. If you end up with a small tear, don’t panic – it’s OK to patch it.
• Spread the dough on the floured peel and run your hands around the perimeter to shape it into a round and work out the kinks.
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