American-style Neapolitan Pizza

American-style Neapolitan Pizza

Recipe

American-style “Neapolitan” Pizza Dough and My Favorite Pizza Sauce from Peter Reinhart’s Perfect Pizza at Home class on Craftsy.com

Process notes

Baker’s percentages:

  • Flour: 100% (305 gm hard white wheat after sifting out 14 gm of bran from 319 gm of flour)
  • Water: 91% (289 gm)
  • Salt: 2.3% (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Sugar: 2.2% (7 gm)
  • Olive oil: 2.2% (7 gm)
  • Instant yeast: .8% (1/2 tsp)

Cut Reinhart’s recipe in half, making enough dough for two 300-gram dough balls. One dough ball was enough to make a medium-sized pizza, 6-slices.

10:30 a.m. Day 1: Make dough. 319 g freshly-milled hard white wheat, with 14 g of bran sifted out; 227 g + 62 g tap water; 1/2 tbls olive oil; 1/2 tbls sugar; 1/2 T salt; 1/2 tsp instant yeast. Combined in stand mixer with paddle attachment for 1 minute on low. Rest 5 minutes. Mix 1 minute on medium low.

10:50 a.m.: First stretch & fold. Noticing some lumps of flour, squeezing them out with fingers.

10:55 a.m.: Second stretch & fold.

11:00 a.m.: Third stretch & fold.

11:05 a.m.: Fourth and final stretch & fold. Place dough in oiled bowl (smallest in 3-bowl stainless set), cover with plastic, and refrigerate.

4:45 p.m. Day 2: Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Refrigerate one half and rest the other half on flour-covered bench. Next time divide before chilling. Used processed all-purpose flour on bench. Cover with towel. Prepare sauce and cheeses.

5:30 p.m.: Preheat oven to 550° convection (525°) with baking stone on bottom rack.

6:00 p.m.: Slice onion and saute, wilt spinach in pan off heat. Shape pizza using all-purpose flour and place on floured peel. Added toppings.

6:17 p.m.: Slide pizza onto preheated stone. Attempted to rotate pizza after 1 1/2 minutes, but it was tricky so I stopped and left it alone.

6:22 p.m.: Remove pizza from oven and place on wood block, top with some Parmesan, then slice.

Results

Large irregular holes! I was thrilled to see the crust crisp up and brown in some spots. The baking stone does in fact appear to be the secret to pizzeria-style crust. I was gentle as I shaped the dough, keeping as many of the bubbles around the edge as I could, and it paid off. The crust was nice and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Super, super happy with this dough. The sauce was good as well, although I prefer the simpler flavor of Lidia’s Neapolitan sauce.

I’d like to make this dough again with these adjustments:

  • don’t sift the bran out — keep the whole grain present in the dough so I can compare the two methods (possibly adding in an autolyse step)
  • use freshly-ground wheat to dust on bench and peel instead of the processed all-purpose flour
  • divide the dough into 300-gram balls before chilling
  • bake a little longer to push the browning on the edges of the crust
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