Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fan Mail: A Softer Dough

From the EWM mail bag, a reader writes:

My friend,

I tried the pizza crust you gushed about last month in your entry titled, "The Dough Is Now Ready." How can I put this? It was absolute crapola! Too hard! I nearly broke my tooth (although I was good humored enough to enjoy a chuckle at the thought that you put up a hoax crust recipe on your blog and I fell for it). Seriously, I thought I was eating the pizza stone--munching away on ham-n-mushroom smothered rocks. You should have said "The Dough Is Now Ready to Repave a Chuckhole" or something.

Never again,

Gullible in San Diego, Calif.

Wow. I feel terrible. So I have responded (most EWM mail goes directly to recycling or goes the way of DEL).

Dear G.,

Another month of experimenting with the dough has, in fact, revealed to me that I was cooking it for too long. Nearly 10 minutes too long! The amended recipe is below (a variation on this). And I have enclosed a pack of Trident to relieve your ailing mouth parts.

2 tsp. sugar
2 packets of yeast
1 1/2 cups water (warm to touch; appr. 100-110 F)

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 c. olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Add spices, if you want to: garlic powder or whatever.

Pour half of the water into a glass or bowl with the sugar and yeast. Stir. Allow the yeast five minutes to activate. The yeast-sugar mixture should be foamy when you combine it with all of the other ingredients in a food processor. Mix all ingredients for a couple of minutes in the food processor. Everything should gather together in this process, forming a mass. Remove the mass (i.e. dough ball) from the processor and knead it by hand 20-30 times. Put it into a bowl, coat the ball with olive oil, cover the bowl with a towel. After one hour, punch it down. After a second hour (or 45 mins), it's ready to roll out. Makes two pizzas.

Heat the oven to 450F. Split the dough ball into equal parts and roll flat (always rolling from the center, unless your skilled with the toss). Dust the sheet or stone with corn flour to prevent sticking, then place the rolled/tossed dough. Cover with toppings. Cook for 17 minutes (split this time evenly if you are reversing the rack positions of the two pizzas).

This will give you a softer dough.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at May 24, 2007 7:40 PM to Gobstuff