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Pizza Bases

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JustMeHere:
Quick homemade thin pizza crust (30 minutes + baking time):

Use 00 flour (or bread flour, or even white flour)  you want to mix it at about 60%.  When baking flour we use WEIGHT and not VOLUME. 

165 grams of flour
100 grams of water

5 grams of yeast
5 grams of sugar

5 grams of salt
5 grams of olive oil

The yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil are probably not necessary, but I use them anyway.

Prep your toppins (not in the scope of this post) and start preheating your oven to its max temp.  Shred your cheese now.
You will need a good sized round pizza baking sheet,  I don't use a stone.  I still get good results.  It doesn't really need to be round, but it needs one "flat" surface.

1) Weigh the water out into a bowl.  Use a scale and measure weight.  You want 100g.  Be accurate with this measurement.
2) Add the sugar.  About 5 grams.  Stir the water gently until all sugar is dissolved.
3) Add the yeast.  About 5 grams again.  Also stir this gently.  Wait about 5 minutes for yeast to activate.
4) Add the olive oil.  About 5 grams.  This is for flavor only.  It can make it harder for the next step.
5) Add the flour and  knead it for about 7 minutes in a stand mixer (or by hand, but I can't help you there.  Get the cheap stand mixer).

The dough at this point should have a very smooth surface and be fairly "thick"  It should want to stick to itself more than anything else.

Form up a dough ball.  Be sure to close the bottom off well by a squeezing twisting motion.  Allow the dough ball to rest for about 10 minutes.  It should be covered with plastic, an inverted bowl, or something.

Take your cookie sheet and flip it over.  You will be cooking your pizza on the "bottom of the cookie sheet".   Put a light coat of olive oil on the surface you will use for baking.
Using a dusting of flour, take a rolling pin and roll the flour out into about 12 inches.  The reason you want flip over the cookie sheet is it makes it much easier to roll the dough with the rolling pin.  The dough should be about 1/8th inch thick.

You oven should be just about ready. 

Put your sauce on the dough.  Don't add toppings or cheese yet. 

If you're using an analogue oven, turn the dial just enough to get the oven to "cycle."  If using a digital oven, maybe start it at 455F and bump it to 500F just before this step.  The idea is to get the element to turn on.

(This step should happen right around the 30 minute mark)

Put the pizza dough on the bottom shelf of your oven as close to the bottom element as possible.  Heat the pizza for 5-7 minutes.  You're just trying to get the crust to cook and trying to cook off some of the extra moisture from the sauce.

Remove from the oven, and add the rest of your toppings.  Make sure to have them ready before this step.  (You should not be shedding your cheese now, because you should have done it earlier.)  You want to get this step one in a minute or two. 

Put the pizza back into the oven.  This time put it on the middle rack.  Another 5-7 minutes should do the trick (maybe 10 minutes sometimes).  Watch the cheese.  When it starts to boil in the middle, it's ready.  Be careful not to burn the crust.  A good wide spatula is recommended for scraping the pizza crust from the cookie sheet.

I like to use this page for the ratio calculation.  It also lets you calculate the poolish (or starter, called sourdough on the page):  https://thebaker.science/en/hydration-calculator/

Halcyon:

--- Quote from: Psi on May 24, 2022, 08:45:50 am ---I've been using a pizza steel instead of a stone.  the main thing it seems to do is make the bottom of the pizza crisper faster.

--- End quote ---

Where did you buy yours from? Dedicated pizza steels are expensive, because of the hipster value, even though the actual materials are cheap.

Psi:
I didn't actually buy it myself, I asked someone to get me one for xmas/bday.

beanflying:
I have a stone base but for domestic ovens I prefer the non stick Plates with holes in them for ease of use and cleanup. Not a totally uniform crunchy base but just a better compromise for me at least.

Psi:
The pizza stone, and especially the pizza steel, fix a problem I tend to get if I don't use them.
When the pizza base is perfectly cooked it's not strong enough to pickup a slice without it bending over and toppings falling off.  But if i cook the pizza longer or higher temp and make it strong enough to hold a slice then it's overcooked inside.

Using the pizza steel cooks the surface touching it a lot faster and forms a nice crust that holds it all together.

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