Other Cooking Tips

Baked pizza: dough and seasoning

If we wanted to subdivide pizza lovers into two categories, we could use as a discriminating factor the moment when we are no longer satisfied with just an honest homemade quick pizza, but we go in search of a different product that is similar to that of pizzerias .

This contamination, which I myself have been experiencing for some years, is the next step in the search for a good recipe for baking pizza, or an excellent pizza cooked in the home oven. Many now have a planetary machine in their home and many others choose pizzas with alternative bases.

The Pizza Dough: Hydration And Flour

Let’s pretend that this is not the case and let’s think only about hand kneading, an essential prerogative to prepare an excellent pizza in a pan that, thanks to the rest in the refrigerator, is light and easily digestible. In leavened doughs we talk about the quantity of water – hydration – always referring to the dose of water in relation to the kilogram of flour. So, as in this recipe, to hydrate at 70% you have to use 700 g of water on 1kg of flour. The choice of flour is personal and based on personal tastes, my advice is to start off simply with a basic flour (“type 00” or “0”) that has a good gluten to support both the quantities of water and the long rest in the refrigerator. If you don’t have specific flours, take a look at the supermarket shelves and choose those that have at least 12% protein (the protein content is shown in the nutritional table).

Keep in mind that using semi-wholemeal flour water absorption increases up to 80%.

Which Tile To Use

You may be wondering: which pan should I use? Buy pizza pans in blue iron or aluminum and use them only to cook pizza. Alternatively, use the baking tray. For a 40 x 30 cm pan the rule on the ratio between the quantity of dough and the surface of the pan is: area of ​​the pan divided by 2, with a possible addition of 10%. In this case we will therefore use 600 g of dough, or a little more.

PIZZA PREPARATION ON THE TILE: DOUGH AND SEASONING

  1. Put the yeast in a large bowl and melt it with water. Stir in 2/3 of the flour and knead the dough with a ladle (in this way we will avoid having the dough completely attached to the hands). Also add the last part of flour, salt and extra virgin olive oil. When the mass has no more lumps and starts to be smooth, even if it is still sticky, work it with one hand (the other will be used to hold the bowl). Cover the dough with plastic wrap or with a cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes. At this stage, the protein lattice that constitutes the structure of the dough (gluten) begins to form while the mass dries resulting less sticky.
  1. After resting, you will transfer the mass to the work surface or work surface and start working with the classic pleated movement: iron the dough slightly with your wrist and then fold it over on itself. Continue with the same movement and proceed with repetition. Work this way for 4-5 minutes to make the dough even smoother. At this point, 1 or 2 breaks of 15 minutes (to rest the mass) are necessary, interspersed with the folding process of 4-5 minutes each (much depends on the skill in kneading and the flour used). At the end the dough should be compact and not sticky.
  1. Form a ball and transfer it to a slightly greased container of extra virgin olive oil, cover with cling film or an airtight cap and let it rest in the coldest part of the refrigerator for an entire night. Once the leavening is finished, the dough must be leavened, compact and relaxed (in the picture you can see a comparison of the dough before and after resting in the refrigerator).
  1. Resume the dough and bring it back into shape with a simple 3-fold, as in the puff pastry, seal slightly to give it a rectangular shape and place it in the greased container with extra virgin olive oil with the back, the smooth part facing upwards. Let stand for another 3 hours. Meanwhile cut the mozzarella into cubes and let it drain for at least 3 hours (squeeze it with your hands if necessary).
  1. After the time has elapsed, turn the dough over the floured work surface, with milled semolina or 00 flour, and spread it gently with fingertips, starting from the edges and moving inwards. Enlarged slowly and with extreme care to preserve the leavening gases formed inside, the dough must be spread without crushing and breaking the bubbles (this care is fundamental to the development of a good honeycomb in the crumb once the pizza is cooked) . If the dough is too elastic and difficult to spread, wait 5 minutes for the gluten to relax and then start rolling again. Preheat the oven at maximum temperature for at least 30 minutes and grease the pan with extra virgin olive oil.
  1. Take the mixture on the back of your hand and shake it to remove excess flour. Put the pizza on the pan trying to match it with the edges. Proceed gently and spread the dough with your fingertips. Season the tomato with salt and extra virgin olive oil and arrange it on the pizza until you reach the edges.
  1. Set up by placing the pan on the bottom of the oven for 10-15 minutes and bake in a static oven. To understand if it is ready, check by lifting one of the edges with a spatula: if it is damp and too soft, it should be cooked further if it is crunchy and cooked. At this point, when the pizza is cooked on the bottom, add the diced and drained mozzarella. Once the mozzarella has been added, move the pan and place it at the top in the oven (at a height of) and finish cooking for 3-4 minutes (until the mozzarella is melted).

If you want, sprinkle with a little oregano before serving.

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