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Who doesn’t love a good homemade pizza? The crispy crust, gooey cheese, and delicious toppings – it’s a mouthwatering delight. But if you’ve ever tried making your own pizza dough, you know it can be a bit tricky. That’s why we’re here to help you master the art of homemade pizza with our ultimate pizza dough guide.
Understanding Pizza Dough Theory
Before we dive into the endless ways to manipulate flour, water, salt, and yeast into pizza dough, let’s talk about some key elements of pizza dough theory. First up, hydration. Different styles of pizza dough require different levels of hydration. Most pizza doughs fall between 60% and 70% hydration, meaning the amount of water in the dough is 60% to 70% of the weight of the flour. Higher hydration doughs give you a softer and more open crumb, but they can be more difficult to handle. So depending on the style of pizza you want to make, you’ll need to adjust the hydration accordingly.
Next, let’s talk about gluten formation. Gluten is essential for pizza dough because it gives the crust structure and chewiness. There are several ways to develop gluten, including kneading by hand, using a stand mixer, or even a food processor. Each method has its advantages and produces slightly different results. So choose the method that works best for you and your dough.
Neapolitan Style Pizza Dough
We’ll start with the classic Neapolitan style pizza. This style calls for a chewy and toothsome crust. To make the dough, you’ll need bread flour, instant yeast, water, and salt. We recommend kneading the dough by hand to honor the authentic Neapolitan tradition. Once the dough is kneaded and the gluten is developed, it needs time to rise and ferment. You can choose to let it rest at room temperature for a few hours or, for an even better texture and flavor, cold ferment it in the fridge for a few days.
After the fermentation period, divide the dough into equal pieces, shape them into balls, and let them proof for an hour or two. When it’s time to bake, pat out the dough into a thin circle and top it with your favorite Neapolitan-style toppings, like San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Bake it in a high-temperature oven or an Ooni pizza oven for a true Neapolitan experience.
Deep Dish Pan Pizza Dough
If you’re in the mood for a thicker, Chicago-style deep dish pan pizza, we’ve got you covered. This dough requires a higher hydration and needs to be enriched with olive oil. Mix the bread flour, instant yeast, water, and salt until combined, and then let it rest and ferment overnight in the fridge. The next day, shape the dough into a disk and press it into a well-oiled cast iron skillet. Let it proof for a while, and then it’s time to top it with your favorite ingredients.
Spread a layer of San Marzano tomato sauce and a generous amount of low moisture mozzarella cheese. Add your desired toppings, like pepperoni or veggies. Bake the pizza in a preheated oven or an Ooni pizza oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing into it, and get ready to enjoy a slice of deep dish heaven.
New York Style Pizza Dough
Last but not least, let’s talk about New York style pizza dough. This style is a fusion of Italian and American pizza traditions. The dough is enriched with sugar and olive oil and has a lower hydration compared to Neapolitan dough. To make this dough, you can use a food processor for kneading. Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and water in the food processor and process until a smooth and supple dough forms. Let it rest, and then knead it until it becomes soft and cohesive.
After the dough has risen and proofed, shape it into rounds and let it proof again. When you’re ready to bake, stretch the dough into a thin circle and add your favorite New York style toppings, like San Marzano tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake it at a high temperature in an oven or an Ooni pizza oven until the crust is crisp and golden brown.
Embrace Your Inner Pizzaiolo with Ooni
To truly elevate your homemade pizza game, we recommend using an Ooni pizza oven. These portable and high-temperature ovens allow you to achieve the perfect pizza crust at home. With temperatures reaching up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, you can achieve that crispy and charred crust that you typically find in your favorite pizzerias. Whether you prefer the authentic Neapolitan style, the deep-dish perfection of Chicago, or the classic New York style, the Ooni pizza oven will help you achieve delicious results.
So why not celebrate National Pizza Month by investing in an Ooni pizza oven? Head to the El Reno Ok website to find out how you can get your very own Ooni oven and start delighting your friends and family with the best homemade pizza they’ve ever tasted.
In conclusion, making your own pizza dough doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a little understanding of dough theory and the right techniques, you can create mouthwatering pizzas in the comfort of your own kitchen. So grab your ingredients, embrace your inner pizzaiolo, and get ready to enjoy the perfect slice of homemade pizza.