Pizza dough might be consider akin to scripture in Italy, especially within what's known as Napoletanismo culture. I've spent a long time playing with such scriptures, exploring a range of pizza doughs whenever opportunities arise. And when he's visiting New York from Italy, I often discuss this with my friend, pizzaiolo Domenico Bianco.
According to Domenico, there is a typical sort of ratio and percents to usage of salt, water and flour to most typical Napoletano pizza doughs. Fermentation is quite low, and you can also use natural wild yeast, (lievito naturale). Some people say "00" flour is key, but then there isn't a perfect formula. Rather, the difference is in the character of the individul style and mix. These days, I find myself repeatedly testing out pizza dough in search of one that really captures something special; the texture, airy and crisp crust with the signature "cornicione". Here are some I've played with recently!
- Texture, tough and not exactly extensible
- Flour not great, seems bleached
- flavor, one dimensional, even with sourdough
- No oven spring even after long bulk proof and retard, with 2 hours of ambient warming before bake
I also made some no knead pizza dough at work, where there's a broiler oven that rocks a mean 900 F degrees!
- Dough was left to proof overnight about 18-20 hours
- Balled and left over the weekend till I finally got to make pizza, about 48 hours total!
- Wonderful extensibility.
- Beautiful crust, light airy cornicione.
- No sour flavor, wheaty and sweet.
- Antonino's dough has more salt, but I mixed roughly and allowed some autolyse.
- Salt added, the dough was more alive then with Caputo flour, I used Bob Red's Mill.
- I proofed both doughs for approximately four hours, and both showed definite signs of life and so were balled and retarded.
- Next morning, dough was pretty stiff in refrigerator, best to let proof for 2 or 3 hours at ambient temperature.
- But still, the crust was too crisp for me, and I wonder if pure sourdough doesn't make the structure and extensibility difficult for timing? Though the cornicione was there.
Maybe also hybridizing can give that extra boost, as Domenico told me? And the flour is key as is the hydration amongst all the other mysteries of pizza, the verdict, keep testing!