If you are planning to make pizza at home, making the dough would obviously be the first step. You can get carried away while thinking about the toppings and other things, but it is mostly the crust you taste when you eat pizza. The pizza’s crust is its foundation and also its essence. A remarkably simple formula is used for making pizza dough, for all its complexity. You use flour, salt, water, and yeast for making a classic Neapolitan pizza. The properties of flours may vary, depending on the one you use, but it is the yeast that’s primarily responsible for the flavor of the dough.
As per Ido Fishman, this is due to the fermentation process that occurs when the dough undergoes its rise. Of course, every recipe is different and you need to let the dough rest according to the time suggested. Some essential tips are shared by Ido Fishman to help you in making the perfect dough:
- Know the flours
As mentioned earlier, you need to follow the recipe and the type of flour to be used may be specifically mentioned. Whether it is stated or not, you should understand the difference because this will allow you to select the recipe that can give the kind of crust you are after. You can get a chewier interior and crunchier exterior with bread flour because of its high gluten content. Ido Fishman recommends all-purpose flour if you like a softer crust. Some recipes also have 00 flour, but this is mostly suitable for wood-fired ovens. Bread flour is best for home ovens.
- Understand the difference between rich and lean doughs
The amount of fat in the mixture determines the difference between lean and rich doughs. There is no oil or fat in a classic Neapolitan pizza, which makes it very lean. Some recipes ask for a little bit of oil, and while it contributes moisture and flavor, it can interfere with how gluten molecules develop during resting and mixing. To put it simply, Ido Fishman says that you can get a chewier and more elastic crust with leaner dough. The crust will be fragile, even crumbly, because of richer dough. Hence, look for a recipe without oil if you want a chewy and strong crust.
- Allow the dough to come to room temperature
Most recipes for pizza dough involve mixing the ingredients for forming it, shaping it into a ball and allowing it to rest in the fridge for some time. According to Chef Ido Fishman, the most important step you need to follow here is to allow the dough to come at room temperature before you start working it. Stretching cooler dough is a lot more difficult, and it is likely to tear as well. In addition, more fermentation happens during this time, which means flavor development. Allowing the dough to come to room temperature will help your pizza taste better.
- Stretch rather than rolling
Hopefully, the recipe you have chosen doesn’t involve a rolling pin. A rolling pin will flatten a ball of dough, rather than stretching it. You don’t want to increase the diameter; you want to stretch the dough because it works the glutens in ways that rolling simply cannot. Also, Ido Fishman says that gluten development leads to chewiness and crunch. Therefore, stretch the dough gently with your hands instead of rolling it.
- Be mindful of the shape
Who says pizza dough needs to be perfectly round? One of the charms of homemade pizza is its shape. Bear in mind that the original dough ball will determine the shape of the pizza. Sure, you can stretch and shape it to some extent, but most of the final shape will depend on its initial shape. Hence, form a round ball for a round pizza, oblong ball for an oblong pizza and so on.
With these essential tips by Ido Fishman, you can make pizza dough at home without making any major blunders.