I was very intrigued by the LONG mixing time for Sunset Magazine’s “Pizzetta 211” pizza dough, so I did some testing and here’s what I found so far (the dough is still rising, so not finished results yet) Following the instructions, I first bloomed the yeast. As a side note, many chefs today do not believe that this step is necessary any longer. It used to be that dried yeast came to us in such a poor state that it needed this short developmental period to reactivate (and so you could tell if you had just purchased dead yeast or not.) These days, it is perfectly safe to skip this step – especially when you are planning on a long, cool rise time. Anyways, I did it despite my modern learnin’. Then I started the mixer in to its half an hour long trek – stopping once to snap a photo at five minutes. As you can see below, the difference between 5 minutes of mixing and 30 was pretty dramatic. As the dough came out of the bowl after thirty minutes, it was very soft and very smooth. I placed it directly in the fridge where I plan to rest it for the afternoon before pulling it out, resting it on the counter for an hour or so, and then tossing it up.
After a few hours in the fridge, and then one more on the counter, the dough had risen substantially. What I had thought would make just one pizza turned out to be two sizable pies. The dough was extremely elastic and spread very evenly and nicely. I baked a pizza both on a baking stone as well as in my normal pan and each of them came out very nicely. Overall, I felt the recipe was a bit too salty, and the yeast was a bit too active if I wanted to give it a 3 day rest in the fridge. I am going to experiment with using less yeast and less salt and see if I can hone in on the flavor I prefer. As for texture, this was tried by my testing staff (alicia) and was deemed “the best crust yet” by a mouth that knows Once I get the salt/yeast thing figured out, and try it out with a nice long rest, this dough just replace Tony’s dough that I have sworn by for the better part of 2009.
I’ll keep you posted.