An unusual way to make pizza dough was the cover article in the Sept.-Oct. issue of Milk Street Magazine, and I made it to general acclaim for a family dinner last night. It combined a very light crumb with a crunchy bottom surface. This is an unusually high hydration dough, which requires some changes in handling and topping, but is not hard to make. I made a 1-1/2 recipes (a half sheet and a quarter sheet) for 6 people. Whether or not it is ultimately precisely necessary, the recipe has a number of timed rises and rest periods, so there is a need to use a timer. I have summarized the key steps in the following table:
Here are the quantities for a half sheet pan (4 servings)
400 g. bread flour (also worked well with 200 g. Flourish high fiber AP flour and 200 g. KAF high gluten flour)
2 tsp. sugar
1.5 Tbs. yeast (2 packets)
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1.5 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided (plus more to grease hands
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
6 oz. whole milk mozzarella, grated
1 tsp. dried oregano
Pepperoni or other low moisture toppings
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour sugar and yeast. Add the water and using the dough hook on low speed mix the dough for 5 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated. Add the kosher salt, and mix with the dough hook on medium speed another 5 minutes. Coat a large bowl with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and mist a spatula with cooking spray. Put the dough in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 4-5 hours on the countertop. The dough will rise, fall, and rise again during this time.
Mist a half sheet pan (13 inch x 18 inch) with cooking spray and then put a Tbs. of olive oil in the center. Gently scrape the dough onto the half sheet pan on top of the olive oil. Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters (depending on their size), and mash them a bit with a potato masher. Put them in a colander to drain. The object is to reduce the moisture of the tomatoes. When done, toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbs. of olive oil.
Oil your hands, and gently spread the dough to cover the pan. It is OK if the pan is not completely covered. Gently spread the drained tomatoes on the dough and rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven (including a baking stone or steel) to 500 degrees.
Add the grated mozzarella and then the dried oregano. Top with pepperoni or other low moisture topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.