Friday, March 25, 2011

Pizza Dough - from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

I have found that the Ratio cookbook's recipe is the best for me.  It requires a scale to make it as that is the whole point of the cookbook.  I would like to make it more multigrain but that will be a future project.

Ingredients:
20 ounces bread flour
12 ounces water
1 ounce olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon active or instant yeast

Instructions:
Set your mixing bowl on a scale, zero the scale and pour the flour in.  Zero the scale again and add the water.  Zero the scale again and add the oil.  Add the salt.  Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water to allow it to dissolve. Fit the bowl into the mixer and, using the dough hook, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together.  Continue mixing until your dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  To test your dough, pull off a chunk and stretch it into a square.  If it's elastic enough to sallow you to achieve a translucent sheet of dough, it's ready.  If it tears before you can do this, continue mixing, either in the mixer or by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Remove the mixing bowl from the machine, cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise to twice its size.  Push a finger into the dough.  The dough should give some resistance, but not spring back.  If it springs back, let it rest longer.  If you let your dough rise for too long, it will feel flabby and loose when you press a finger into it and will be less eager to rise when you bake it.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it to expel excess gas and redistribute the yeast.  Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.  Shape the dough into a square for cutting into small pieces (see below for more information).  Cover the dough with a dish towel and allow to rise, or proof, for about an hour.  Or cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day; allow the bread to rise at room temperature for at least 1 1/2 hours before baking.

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