Pizza Dough on Day 4

I was pleasantly surprised by how this pizza turned out today. I made the dough on May 28 using my standard method as of late, a 66% hydration dough with 2.4% salt, 1.4% oil, and 0.3% instant yeast. The flour for this batch was Caputo Super Nuvola, which I don’t totally love on its own but I have a 25kg bag of it so I tend to use it in most batches. My formula usually works fine after 1 day, better after 2 days, and best on the 3rd day. It really all depends on how long it’s sitting out, and that’s where the drama hit on this particular bake.

I’d left the dough out for a few hours on Sunday, thinking I’d get to bake it along with some 24 hour old dough I was using in one of my online pizza making classes. By the time the class wrapped up, I realized I didn’t have time to bake off the ripe doughs I had on the counter. So I put them into the refrigerator and revisited them the next day. One dough was made with instant yeast and the other was made with active yeast. The dough made with active yeast was really overblown, so I ripped it up and incorporated it into a new batch of dough. The instant yeast dough at least had some of its shape, so I decided to bake it off.

When I removed the dough from its container (one of those Glad round containers you’d use to store leftovers), it felt super soft but not without elasticity. It opened nicely with just a few gentle presses and I didn’t have to do much beyond that. Since I was using the Breville metal peel, I had to build the pie on counter top then slide it onto the peel. That’s usually a pretty terrifying moment and an old dough like this made me extra nervous, but it slid on quite easily!

I went with a topping combination of both fresh and low moisture mozzarella, then added some crushed red pepper flakes and pickled red onions. At first, the pizza looked like it was baking just fine. The edge was still pale after two minutes (I was baking in a Breville Pizzaiolo) but I figured the dough was old enough that the sugars would have all been processed by the yeast. I switched the heat distribution to “crust only” and that got me a really nice and even browning.

After about 30 seconds, the pie was ready to be unleashed. Out of the oven, I added some Mike’s Hot Honey and lime juice. The thing looked gorgeous. I love the contrast between the bright pink onions and the white mozzarella base. And the honey and lime juice were like secret flavor bursts. It was AWESOME!

Moral of the story: just because a dough ball doesn’t look like its in prime shape doesn’t mean it won’t taste incredible.

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