Recipe Pizza dough

Peregrino

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Hi everyone, my first tentative venture into posting on the forum, so please be gentle on me!!
Pizza dough seems to be a never ending circle of different ingredients, quantities, techniques, and sometimes myths that seem to take on an aura of the mysterious.

I certainly do not profess to be an expert on the subject myself, but I have a treasured note book that has lots of hand written recipes that my late mother wrote during her lifetime in the UK, and given that she first arrived here in 1947, rationing somewhat created problems for her cooking skills, but certainly not to be beaten, improvisation with what ingredients were available became her speciality.

This leads me on to the pizza dough recipe, where the flour she used throughout her life, was cheap plain flour, not even bread making flour, being unable to source Italian flour, (not even heard of in the UK until the late 50's) this was what she used, the yeast she obtained from a small corner bakery who would give her a small crumbling of granules in a cup for a half penny! This was later substituted for the granular dried yeast.

So after the history comes the recipe, but before I begin can I please emphasise that the ingredients as shown must me strictly adhered to on your first attempt, if afterwards you decide to tweak the ingredients to your own taste that is fine, but please give my mum's recipe a try first.

INGREDIENTS:
180 grams warm water.
340 grams plain white flour (I use Aldi or Lidl).
1 Teaspoon dried yeast granules.
1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar.
1 Teaspoon salt, any fine salt is okay.
1 Tablespoon Olive oil, preferably extra virgin.

METHOD:
[1] In a deep mixing bowl add the yeast, sugar and all the water, and about 1 quarter to a third of the flour, and whisk to a creamy texture, cover and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until it begins to bubble and froth.
[3] Once the froth is evident add the remainder of the flour, the salt and olive oil, mix together and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about ten minutes (do not be tempted to add any more flour).
[4] Form the dough into a ball and rub with olive oil and place back into the bowl, cover and rest in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
[5] After the dough has doubled in size remove from the bowl and gently knock down and shape into a ball and divide this into two portions, each will make a ten inch pizza base.
[6] Lightly brush olive oil on two pizza trays, or just flat trays and roll out each portion of dough to the approximate ten inch circle, and lay these on the tray's, then allow them to rest for an hour to allow a very gentle second rise.
[7] Top dress the pizza's with a tomato salsa of your choice, then add the cheese, mushrooms, peppers, onion and any pre cooked meat of choice and finally a sprinkling of oregano and a very light drizzle of olive oil and the pizza's are ready for cooking.

NOTE:
With the mushrooms, onion and peppers, these are best gently pre fried in olive oil to remove the excess water that they contain, this will stop the pizza base from becomes wet.
Should you prefer to use a stand mixer with a dough hook then step one and two will utilise the mixing bowl, however when you start the mixing process only allow the stand mixer to knead the formed ball of dough for 5 minutes.

COOKING:
This is where my mothers improvisation came in, she had a large unglazed quarry tile on the top shelf of the oven, this was pre heated to 220c. The technique she adopted was to slide the pizza on its tray on to the tile for about 5 to 7 minutes, then she would open the oven and slide the pizza from its metal tray directly on to the quarry tile, then continue cooking, opening the oven every minute or so to lift the pizza to check on the base and turning the pizza, as in a traditional wood oven until she was satisfied that the pizza was cooked, and believe me they were always delicious.

OBSERVATIONS:
Today I use a 14 inch square unglazed ceramic tile to the same purpose, these can be purchased from any tile stockist, I bought 12 of these that were old stock for about £5.00 some years ago, and my original tile from this batch though almost three years old is still doing good service, so please do not buy a pizza stone at extortionate prices that will do no better a job than a 50p unglazed ceramic tile!!
Apologies for the history lesson and the long winded recipe, it is my hope that some forum members may try out the above, and from the many hundreds of people that I have passed this recipe to down the years, I have never heard a complaint yet.
I am attaching some photographs that I took recently of my converted 3 burner BBQ into a pizza oven that has led so many of my friends to follow suit, that they have been pestering me to create a photographic presentation showing the step by step process outlining the art of the of pizza making on a gas BBQ.
I hope you all find the thread of interest.
Ciao

STEP 53.jpg


STEP 51.jpg


STEP 50.jpg





STEP 52.jpg
 
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morning glory

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Impressive @Peregrino! Your pizza looks excellent. I'm assuming that your pizza wasn't cooked in that fantastic oven! I would love to have a real pizza oven. I reckon its difficult to obtain the right results otherwise since ovens domestic ovens can't reach the high heat required.

I am attaching some photographs that I took recently of my converted 3 burner BBQ into a pizza oven that has led so many of my friends to follow suit, that they have been pestering me to create a photographic presentation showing the step by step process outlining the art of the of pizza making on a gas BBQ.
I wasn't sure you had included these photos... was the pizza cooked on your converted BBQ?
 

Peregrino

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Hi,
Yes the pizza was cooked on the gas BBQ, it is still a BBQ for normal use but my conversion is just for pizza's, and all it takes to make, is 4 empty Heinz beans tins and the unglazed ceramic tile that I mention in the recipe.

The benefit of the 3 burner BBQ is that you set up the pizza tile and then fire up the BBQ on full heat, close the lid until the temperature rockets in my case well above 240c, then turn off the middle burner that is under the tile, lift the BBQ lid place the pizza in its tin on to the tile and give it five to seven minutes until the dough begins to bake, using a wide burger peel and wearing gauntlets (welders are a good option) remove the pizza from the tin leaving it centrally on the tile, then close the lid and every two minutes lift the lid, check the base by lifting with the wide burger peel, and turn the pizza round just like in a wood pizza oven, the first pizza takes about 15 minutes after which it runs at about 10 to 12 minutes per pizza.

The principle is exactly as a wood pizza oven where the heat comes from underneath the tile, (simulating the floor of the pizza oven) and the heat from the side burners (simulating the wood in the pizza oven) generates heat that rises and is forced down on to the pizza toppings from the BBQ lid (simulating the roof of the pizza oven).

So in essence apart from the fragrance of the wood on the baked dough you have a pizza oven as well as a BBQ, if anyone is interested I could post the full photographically illustrated sequence of steps for the making and cooking of the pizza's using this method, but am unsure as a newcomer if I would be allowed to upload the full 50 steps, and would not want to blot my copybook with the administrators. Hope the explanation goes some way to answering you question in a little more depth.

The oven in the photograph is still used today mainly for the daily bread making, and I can assure you that other than the fragrance of smoke the BBQ version is just as good as those that are cooked in the little oven in Molassa.

Ciao
 
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morning glory

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So in essence apart from the fragrance of the wood on the baked dough you have a pizza oven as well as a BBQ, if anyone is interested I could post the full photographically illustrated sequence of steps for the making and cooking of the pizza's using this method, but am unsure as a newcomer if I would be allowed to upload the full 50 steps, and would not want to blot my copybook with the administrators. Hope the explanation goes some way to answering you question in a little more depth.
I think 50 steps in one post would be a bit much for us to accept from any member (nothing to do with you being a new member!). Lets see if folks here would like to know more... then perhaps we can find a way to present your project here.

I do think the pizza looks great!
 

Peregrino

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That is fine by me, maybe about three photograph's of the BBQ set up may be the way to go, as a picture tells it so much better that a written description, but then I leave that decision to you, thanks for the comment, regards
 

Francesca

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Firstly, thank you for posting such an extraordinary traditional family récipe and amazing photographs.

I shall give your recipe and instructions to one of my daughter in laws who has a tiny Crepèrie on the Northern Empordà, Costa Brava, close to the French border dividing Cataluna and France .. She is always updating her Pizzas and Crepès ..

I am a grand fan of Focaccia but do not care much for Pizza outside of Italia .. My fave pizza, when in Italy is simply Fresh tomato, Mozzarella di Bufala and Evoo (extra virgin olive oil) and fresh Genovese Basil ..

Quattro Stagione with anchovies, artichokes, black olives, Proscuitto and Mozzarella di Bufala, Basil with Evoo and fresh tomato is quite wonderful too ..

When I come back my pending trip, I shall give your pizza dough a try and I have several unglazed tiles (Spain is notorious for "Barro" or Clay unglazed Terracotta) .. I will shoot a photo or 2 ..

Thanks for posting .. and thanks for the suggestion about sautéing the veggies and ham etc. first to eliminate their liquids ..
 

Peregrino

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Thank you for the kind comments Francesca, I have to admit that pizza outside of Italy just does not cut it with me either, and that is why I make my own, and though not quite as authentic as that which is available in the many small pizzeria's that exist in the small towns and villages of the region in which my family now live, it is certainly better than some of the cardboard looking versions I have seen people consuming in fast food outlets, however if you have never eaten an authentic wood oven pizza, then you have no benchmark to govern your tastes and so my latter comments are no criticism of the people who do frequent these establishments, as until you have enjoyed the real thing, it is probably more than acceptable as a meal.
I have no particular favourite topping, as I just make the pizzas and use whatever the mood dictates at the time, though my wife, like you prefers a simple pizza with just tomato and cheese.
Yes I know Spain is famous for its terracotta. like Italy, having walked across the whole of Northern Spain from the French Pyrenees to Galicia on the Atlantic side I saw very much the work of the artisan ceramic maker that can be purchased and much was really beautiful, added to that the regional food was quite something else, especially the pulpo served in the pulperias in Melide, and the to die for cheeses in Arzua, a culinary adventure extraordinaire, luckily because I was walking the weight gain was minimal!
 

Francesca

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Thank you for the kind comments Francesca, I have to admit that pizza outside of Italy just does not cut it with me either, and that is why I make my own, and though not quite as authentic as that which is available in the many small pizzeria's that exist in the small towns and villages of the region in which my family now live, it is certainly better than some of the cardboard looking versions I have seen people consuming in fast food outlets, however if you have never eaten an authentic wood oven pizza, then you have no benchmark to govern your tastes and so my latter comments are no criticism of the people who do frequent these establishments, as until you have enjoyed the real thing, it is probably more than acceptable as a meal.
I have no particular favourite topping, as I just make the pizzas and use whatever the mood dictates at the time, though my wife, like you prefers a simple pizza with just tomato and cheese.
Yes I know Spain is famous for its terracotta. like Italy, having walked across the whole of Northern Spain from the French Pyrenees to Galicia on the Atlantic side I saw very much the work of the artisan ceramic maker that can be purchased and much was really beautiful, added to that the regional food was quite something else, especially the pulpo served in the pulperias in Melide, and the to die for cheeses in Arzua, a culinary adventure extraordinaire, luckily because I was walking the weight gain was minimal!
@Peregrino

I do agree Galicia is a sanctuary of amazingly incredible octopus amongst other shellfish, fish and "forest" foraged delectables. Of course, the Basque Country and Navarra are breathtakingly beautiful and the "gastro" haven of some of Spain´s finest cuisine.

The ancient art of clay and tile artisans are in Andalusia .. Their unglazed and glazed tiles are extraordinary ..

We had lived in Italy for 2 years many years ago and have travelled there consistently every year ( January 1st we have a booked trip ) and have combed the cities, the towns, and the rural villages .. We have dear Italian Friends in several distinct parts of Itay. I have written a couple of short recommendations on a post I created, on "dream trips" or gastro dream trips .. Do not recall as I have quite a number of posts ..

I do not eat industrialised .. Very into Bio Ecological grown foods and grazed animals and no farmed fish .. We are in the Travel Tourism Sector and my parents have a stable successful viable business in the Hospitality Sector so we are very much aware of the poisons and chemicals, Gmos and transgentic krap that is put in the world´s food supply. Monsanto Bayer is into "genocide of the human race and the world of our wild life". Excluding a few countries who said, No F------ Way, and No Thank you like Russia for example.

Have a lovely weekend ..
 
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oddduck

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My local deli sells pizza dough. They used to have a choice of whole wheat or white dough and i loved the whole wheat version but sadly it did not sell as well as the white version and they stopped carrying it. I made do with the white til a few months ago when they changed something and now i can't get it to rise like it used to so now it is just a boring flat mess instead of the airy crust it used to be. The big puffy air bubbles in the dough were the best part of the pizza. I have switched to making my pizza on naan bread...bought at the same deli.
 

oddduck

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Maybe you should try making your own. Its not very difficult.
But time...i need more time. As it is i end up eating at midnight. I got a book about making bread and i thought about trying to make my own naan bread but there is that time problem again.
 

medtran49

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You can make the dough for pizza and naan (and a lot of other breads) the night before and refrigerate it. The long slow rise is actually good for flavor.
 
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