The second part of Valoriani tips on how to prepare a great pizza dough. For those who missed the last February event, here the questions most frequently asked about the ingredients, the rising and preparing to get a real tasty and fragrant pizza.
- Which are the golden rules to make a perfect dough?
The making process of the dough is quite of an exact science. The ingredients (liquids included) need to be weighten before starting and not added roughly, and a proper process needs to be followed. The proper flour needs to be chosen and the dough temperature needs to be around 24 °C, on this basis it is important to regulate the water temperature. Moreover, the right amount of salt needs to be added, as it controls the leavening and works on the gluten shield toughness, thus helping to strengthen the dough. Usually, the medium water quantity is 60 gr per litre, but it can go from 50 to 65 gr. No sugars have to be added and the oil is not fundamental.
- How to proceed with leavening?
The dough needs to rest for about half an hour on the worktop, afterwards you make some balls that will stay at room temperature until the leavening begins. The balls (around 200 gr each) have to be maximum 8-12 per tray, far between. At this point the balls are put into the fridge at 1-2 °C, and usually in 3-4 hours the dough reaches 2 °C. This is when the leavening stops because the yeast is inhibited, but the maturation goes on: the proper acidity level is developed for the product to be digestible. The more the dough is mature, the harder it is to handle it, but the result is an intense and authentic taste and smell.
- What is the proper ratio water – flour?
According to the kind of flour, the water is absorbed differently. For example, the stronger flours absorb more water. The range goes from 550 gr of water per 1 Kg of flour for the weaker flours, to 600 gr of water per 1 Kg for the stronger ones. In theory, you can add up to 1 Kg of water per 1 Kg of flour but, the more the dough is hydrated, the harder it is to handle. The result is a pizza which is lighter and voluminous.
- Which one is the order to follow in adding ingredients?
The order depends on the making process, since there are many different methods. Generally, there are two mistakes that is important to avoid: to leave the salt reacting with the yeast, and to add oil before water. In the dough machine everything might be added together.
- Is the oil fundamental? Which one gives the best results?
The oil is not a fundamental ingredient, but it helps to reach a higher volume during the baking, even though it is important to be careful not to bake at too high temperatures. In fact, the oil does not evaporate like the water does, therefore it stays in the dough and hydrates it. For example, the oil is recommended to let the pizza by the slice soft for longer, thus making it last a little bit more. Moreover, it is important for the oil to have a high smoke temperature, to defy the heat and not to contain allergens (like peanut oil). Oilseed is recommended to obtain a certain crispiness, olive oil to give the dough a good smell and friability; both kinds of oil can also be mixed. Also lard or other fats might be added, but they always need to be declared to the client. These fats are not fundamental ingredients of the dough, actually sometimes they are not recommended. For example in the making process of Neapolitan pizza they should not be used, since the baking happens at really high temperature in a really short time, therefore the risk for the oil is to burn.
Read here the first part of the tips for a great pizza dough.