Thanks to my lovely wife, I have a new addition to my bread / dough making arsenal – a kitchen scale! When I first got into breads, I saw so many measurements in weights, not volume. So it’s now time I can make dough the way it was meant to be – by weight!
First dough – a cold fermented pizza dough. I’ve made this once before and it turned out really well. Now was time to do it without conversions. By cold fermented, I mean it doesn’t rise quickly (2-3 hours) like most bread doughs. Rather you put the dough in the refrigerator and let it ferment and rise over multiple days. This slower process creates more flavor in the dough and will resemble the pizza crust you’ll find at some of the top pizzerias serving New York style pizza.
Like all my doughs, I use a stand mixer for this recipe.
20 ounces (4 cups) bread flour, plus extra for dusting dough
0.3 ounces (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) salt
0.2 ounces (about 2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
0.2 ounces (about 2 teaspoons) sugar
12 ounces warm water (1.5 cups)
- Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Attach the dough hook.
- Mix the dry ingredients with the dough hook till well combined.
- Keeping the mixer running, slowly pour in the water.
- Knead on low until the mixture comes together and all of the flour has become absorbed.
- Turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Knead the dough on the low speed of the stand mixer for 10 minutes.
- The dough ball shouldn’t stick much to the bowl – possibly a bit on the bottom. If it is very sticky, add more flour (a tablespoon at a time) until it comes together a bit more and doesn’t stick to the bowl.
- Place the dough ball in a covered bowl (preferably a bowl with a plastic lid, else cling-wrap with a good tight seal)
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, up to a maximum of 5 days. Past 5 days the flavor starts to change.
— 1 to 5 Days pass —
- Place the dough on a floured surface and using a dough scraper, cut the dough ball into your desired number of crusts. I’ll typically divide it in two for two medium pizzas, or two-thirds and one-third for one large pizza and some cheese bread to accompany dinner with. Flour your hands and shape the dough into balls.
- Place the balls in bowls coated with olive oil – one dough ball per bowl. Cover the bowls with lids or plastic wrap.
- The dough should rise for about 2 hours, in which time two things should happen: the dough should come to room temperature, and it will rise to about double the volume.
— 2 Hours pass —
- Dust a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet (no edges to allow for sliding the crust off of) with corn mean for stretching the crust. Cornmeal adds a nice texture to the pizza crust. You could use flour as well.
- Work each of the dough balls into a pizza crust (or desired garlic bread shape you prefer) on a floured surface with floured hands. Press the dough ball to flatten it a bit, and then begin working from the center outward to make the flat disc. Leave a thicker outside edge for the crust (or leave it thin and flat for a flat crust).
- Top the pizza with sauce, toppings, and cheese as desired.
- Transfer from the pizza peel or cookie sheet to a hot pizza stone that was warmed to about 400°F. With a good swift motion, you should be able to slide the pizza from the peel / cookie sheet to the hot stone provided it was well coated with corn meal or flour before hand.
- Cook in an oven or grill at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Turns to Pizza and Garlic Toast