This recipe is soo worth thinking ahead of time. I am horrible about planning dinner before “dinner time” but this one is worth it. The crust is chewy and gets so crisp when cooked on tiles or a stone as hot as your oven will go. It’s a good replication of a true wood oven cooked pie.
24-hour rise dough
Makes 5 – 12” pizzas
4 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (23 oz by weight)
I like to use whole wheat. Sub half for half or whole wheat completely. Just remember to add approx 3tbs water for each cup of whole wheat flour.
2 cups water at 100º
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup extra flour for benchwork
Olive oil for mixing bowl
6 quarry tiles or a pizza stone
Make the dough: Dry mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bread bowl. Add 1½ cups of the water and, using the handle of a wooden spoon as a stirrer, mix and scrape down the sides toward the center to incorporate. Pour the rest of the water around the sides and over the flour, pull towards the center again with the wooden handle to make a ball. Scrape the bowl with a plastic scraper or spatula to get all the bits.
Knead the dough: Turn the dough ball out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes, using small amounts of flour as needed to keep the ball from sticking. Using the palm of your hand, thrust downward to develop the gluten as you knead.
Long rising: Clean and dry the mixing bowl. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons olive oil into the bowl, put in the doughball an turn to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic and a towel.
Since this dough is going to sit overnight make sure it is somewhere around 40 degree, and more and it will rise too fast and any colder the yeast will totally stop fermenting and won’t do the dough any good.
About 6 hours before dinnertime, take the bowl out of your cold environment and set it somewhere that’s a bit colder than room temperature.
About 3 hours before dinnertime, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes to degas. The dough should feel cold. Return it to the bowl for further proofing.
About 1 hour before you will be baking your pizzas, divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Press lightly to remove some of the gas, and form into balls. Space a few inches apart on a lightly floured surface and cover with a cloth topped with plastic wrap.
Put the pizza stone or the quarry tiles on a center rack and preheat your oven as hot as it will go. mine tops out at 550. let it preheat for about an hour for max heat and heat storage in the tiles or stone.
Take two dough balls out and spread them with your fingers into 6” discs (don’t use a rolling pin for this – it squeezes too much air out of the dough). Sprinkle some flour onto the top and let them rest for a minute or two.
Spread the discs out farther with your fingers. Now, pick each one up and, draping it over your hands, stretch it from the middle and out to the edge. Run the rim through the gap formed by your thumbs. If one spot in the dough becomes translucent, it is getting too thin. You should end up with a ‘pizza blank’ that is about 12 inches.
Make sure your pizza peel or cutting board is well covered in flour, semolina and bread flour work well for this but any is better than none. Make sure that your pizza can be shaken and slide on the peel so when you put it in the oven it slides off your peel.
Add any toppings and in any order you want, just make sure to not overload your pizza with stuff otherwise the crust won’t cook evenly and the middle will be soggy and the outside over done.
Slip one pizza directly onto the quarry tiles or pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the pizza around with a metal spatula, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Baking times vary depending on toppings. Watch the pizza carefully because at this temperature they cook really fast.