Sunday, October 17, 2010

Caputo and Salt Pizza Secrets from Mitch

Mitch writes:

Hello Albert.

I'd like to say thank you for hosting a great website and providing TONS of useful information. (Here's the link: Pizza Therapy)

I am at sea at the moment, but as soon as I return home, I'll be giving your dough a try.

The dough recipe that I have been using is this:

2 cups flour (either high gluten or Caputo "00")
3/4 cup warm water
1 package active yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

I would also add some KAF Pizza dough flavor or grated Parmesan cheese.

The most frequent problem I would have is the dough would just not rise.

I tried everything. 105-110 deg. water by thermometer. Using more sugar, adding all the dry ingredients to the flour first. It was maddening.

Finally, I stumbled on the solution to my problem in a book called "The Bread Builders." It was the salt. The salt retards/controls the action of the yeast. Well too much salt stops the yeast completely. Adding the pizza dough flavor or cheese and the regular salt, was just too much.

As soon as I reduced the salt, the dough started rising wonderfully.

As for the flour, high gluten works really well. It makes a dough that even I can toss in the air and not rip. The Caputa "00" flour is also nice because it makes a very light and crunchy crust. The disadvantage to the Caputo is that it's so light the dough will tear easily.

Sometimes I'll add some vital wheat gluten to help build the gluten strands.

I love to experiment with my pizzas and my small group of friends really enjoys being guinea pigs.

I love making pizza so much that I'm planning on building a large outdoor wood fired oven. I may even start selling them.

Well, thanks again Albert and I'll let you know how things turn out.


My response:

Thanks, Mitch. I look forward to hearing about your pizza adventures.
Here is Mitch's favorite book:  The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

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