Weekend Pizza Making

I made a batch of pizza on Friday and it came out great so I thought I’d post some photos and current dough formula for those who are interested in trying it themselves. Here’s the scoop on the dough:

380g warm tap water
595g King Arthur All Purpose flour
20g salt
2g instant dry yeast
100g Ischia starter
splash of olive oil

I started with the water, to which I slowly added the flour as I mixed. About halfway through adding the flour, I tossed in the yeast, salt and oil. When everything was incorporated, I covered the bowl and went out to run some errands. This is the autolyse phase, during which the flour gets hydrated and kneading becomes easier. I usually give about 30 minutes for this but errands took longer than expected so I didn’t get to the kneading phase until 5.75 hours later. By that time, the dough was totally ready to rock! I poured it onto my kneading surface and spent about 5-6 minutes working the batch until it felt done. I just split the mass into four 275g chunks, balled, then stored in oil-lined plastic quart containers in the refrigerator. 

Four days later, I took the dough out of the fridge and gave them about 2 hours to rise (still in their containers). The oven took about 1.5 hours cranked on broil in my basic gas oven (the broiler is on the bottom so I get most of my heat this way). Each pizza spent about 4.5 minutes in the oven before a 180 degree rotation and a final minute to finish. The results were pretty even, although my stretching definitely improved over the course of the night. Here are a couple of the results:

Mozzarella, crushed tomato, basil, sun-dried tomatoes.

Spinach, garlic, mozzarella, crushed tomato, black pepper.

I also conducted a quick, completely non-scientific, experiment using tomatoes left over from the tomato tasting I hosted at the Brooklyn Brainery a couple weeks ago. I tried two different tomatoes, one from Paulie Gee’s secretly sourced stash (Italian) and one from a popular restaurant supplier (California).

Uncrushed Paulie Gee tomatoes (Italian), hand-crushed tomatoes from Stanislaus (CA).

Both were plenty tasty and the pizzas were a bit different so I can’t report any conclusive findings, but the California tomatoes were definitely saltier. As always, use whatever floats your boat.

And finally, for all the pizza nerds who like looking at the details, here are a couple glory shots.

All pies were baked in a quarry tile cave. Check out the video at EconomyBites.


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