If anyone is interested in following this blog or trying to make their own pizzas at home, I will try to share what I have learned so far in trying to make a decent pizza. It isn’t necessary to have a digital scale, but your results could be better if you have access to a digital scale. This is especially important when weighing the flour and water. A digital scale isn’t that expensive and I bought mine for about 30.00. I first started out not using a digital scale and quickly learned if I want to produce a better pizza, a digital scale is very helpful. A pizza stone is also very helpful, if you want to produce a NY style pie. I will blog more about types pizza stones later. You don’t need any kind of mixer, if you don’t have one. I had mixed all of my pizza doughs at home by hand for a many months, until I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer. Mixing dough by hand is fairly easy. There are many kinds of yeast to use in pizza dough. I mostly use IDY (instant dry yeast) in pizza doughs. It can be found at your local grocery store. When using ADY (active dry yeast), it is helpful if it is hydrated into warmer water before using it with the flour, but I haven’t always hydrated the ADY with water. Basically I just mix the IDY into the flour, blend the flour (can have the salt added to the flour also) with water. If I use oil (vegetable, olive oil, or other oils, usually they are saved until the last ingredient to be added. First add salt and IDY on separate sides on the flour, then add the water, continue mixing until dough is mixed together and looks kind of shaggy or somewhat like a cottage cheese appearance, then add the oil. This will make the dough mixture a little sticky at first, but it will then come together after mixing for a little while. Then form a ball. Make sure to pinch the bottom of the dough ball together. Failing to do this, can make the bottom of the crust have weak spots. If you let your dough ball sit at room temperatures for a little while, the dough will become more relaxed. At this point you can reball the dough ball and place it into the refrigerator for a day or longer, all depending how much yeast you have added to your dough. When the dough ball has at least doubled in size, it can then be ready to make a pizza. Another thing to look for in the dough ball is bubbles on the bottom of the container you stored the dough ball in. Bubbles tell you how the dough is fermenting. I usually use plastic food containesr at home, that you can see though, to monitor the dough. Be sure to have a snap-on lid. If you don’t use some kind of covered container, the dough ball can dry out.
I will blog more later about opening a dough ball, flouring the peel, (used to slide the pizza skin into the oven) and using different rack positions and different temperatures in your oven).
There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.
Adventure in Pizza Making
There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.