Pizza Night – Adding Bread Flour to the Mix

Last night I tried my third pizza dough recipe.

I normally use the dough recipe from Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes in the World” (BRW). I have also tried the one from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Bread Bible” (TBB) which has a different approach but I found too greasy. However, I am a fan of the potato flatbread pizza from the same book and it is one my newer go-to recipes for guests.

The BRW recipe is a standard dough recipe with: flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and water; which is kneaded together. TBB uses the same ingredients – in different proportions – with the addition of some sugar, the olive oil is not actually added into the dough, and the dough is mixed briefly rather than kneaded.

Last night I was going to try another pizza from Cuisine at Home (Issue 17, Oct 2009) using garlic hummus instead of tomato sauce, but instead I just used up ingredients already in the fridge. The dough recipe used the same ingredients as BRW, but in slightly different proportions with the addition of some bread flour (the same total amount of flour).

The addition of the bread flour added slightly to the flavor of the crust. It also needed more water than what the recipe called for (although I think my yeast was not as active as it could have been) and had to be worked more than usual. The dough was also not as elastic (this might have been a hydration issue) and I divided the recipe into 3 rather than the usual 4 pieces for making thin crust pizza. As usual, I rolled out my dough with a roller rather than relying on hand forming.

Pizza #1 (before baking):

A improvisation inspired by the potato flatbread pizza using marscapone cheese topped with wilted spinach, mushrooms and onions.

Pizza #2:

Spaghetti sauce and fresh mozzarella. For some reason, this one had the most interesting topographical landscape of little air hills.

Pizza #3:

Same as #2 with the remainder of the fresh mozzarella and using shredded mozzarella for the rest. Only recently did I make our first pizza with fresh mozzarella instead of shredded mozzarella. We definitely prefer it and I will be keeping fresh mozzarella in the fridge at all times in addition to the shredded one.

Here’s an interesting thread on the Fresh Loaf on using all-purpose flour versus bread flour in making pizzas.

I haven’t tried the slow ferment yet, but I think that it may be next. I also need to start adding more moisture to my pizza dough. Previously, I was also always cautious about adding too much water, however after reading the thread listed above it looks as though it better to have a wetter dough.

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