Better Then NY – Sourdough Pizza
Do you long for the thin, chewy, wonderful goodness that is New York style pizza dough? Well, too bad, because most of us do not live in New York. However, that does not mean that you can not make a comparable and even "gasp" better pizza dough. The key to good dough is trial and error, mixed with a little knowledge, careful measurement and careful records of the steps taken.
Assuming that you already have a vibrant sour-dough starter, your first step is to get it activated by feeding it.
Once your sourdough is ready, take about 75% of your flour and mix it with your water and sourdough starter and let it sit for about 20-25 minutes. This pre-hydration process is called autolysis and it allows for better links between gluten and starches and results in shorter mix times and improvedough extensibility. In practical terms, it makes for chewier dough.
After 20 minutes, you can add the salt, other ingredients and the rest of your flour. As you mix these ingredients, a dough ball should begin to form. Kneed this ball for about 15 minutes by hand or until you are tired. Alternately, throw this in the good old standing mixer for about 5 minutes and you're done.
Once the dough is done, you need to let it rise. I generally use a small amount of olive oil to coat a bowl and then cover loosely with cling-wrap. Some are opposed to using a lot of olive oil, but I am not trying to win a contest here, just trying to keep my dough from sticking to the bowl. The amount of time you let your dough rise will depend upon your kitchen's temperature. I usually let my dough rise until it is double in size or about 3 hours.
When making pizza dough, my best advice is to experiment and record the results. Once you have a dough that you like, replicate it and keep experimenting. For ideas on dough recipes, check out our dessert recipes. Bon Appetite !!!