Pizza Dough (Metric Edition)
September 27, 2011
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A couple of weeks ago, on September 5, I published blog post on the benefits of cooking by weight rather than by volume. By coincidence, the New York Times published a similar article just over a week later that included recommendations of inexpensive digital kitchen scales. I assume that by now you, my loyal readers, have seen the light and rushed out to procure such a scale. (Mine is a Slater that I bought for under $30 several years ago. I have seen it online for as little as $16.) Now I would like to demonstrate the further benefit of adopting the metric system in your cooking. (You will not be alone if you make the switch, every country except the US, Liberia, and Myanmar uses the metric system. Ironically, the metric system has been legal for trade in the US since 1866.) Many cookbooks today list both English and metric units. The digital scale you bought can be converted by the press of a button and nearly all measuring cups sold in the US are calibrated in both systems. To convert this recipe from the traditional one in the cookbook that came with my KitchenAid® mixer I simply measured ingredients out the usual way but weighed them before addition. You can also find a useful tool for converting units online at traditionaloven.com.
Yield: one 14-inch pizza crust, enough to serve four
- Warm water (100°F)———– 250 milliliters
- Active dry yeast—————— 12 grams
- Bread flour———————— 350 to 450 grams
- Olive oil————————— 10 grams
- Salt——————————— 5 grams
- Cornmeal————————– as needed
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the mixer bowl, if using the mixer, or in a large bowl otherwise. Measure out 350 grams of the flour. Add about ¼ of it to the bowl along with the olive oil and salt. Stir with a large spoon to combine.
If using the mixer fit the dough hook and start to knead on the recommended speed setting (2 on a KitchenAid®). Add the flour a bit at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If making by hand, stir the flour in a bit at a time until you can no longer stir the dough, then turn it out onto a floured counter and knead well between additions of flour. Continue until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. Form into to a ball.
Warm a large glass or ceramic bowl with hot water and dry thoroughly. Pour a bit of olive oil into in it and add the dough, turning to coat it evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to proof until doubled in bulk, about one hour.
If using a peel, place your pizza stone in the oven. Preheat to 450°F (230°C). Lightly coat a pizza pan or a peel with cornmeal. On a floured counter, stretch or roll (or toss if you are brave) the dough into the desired size pizza crust. Place in the pan or on the peel. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.