After years of being intimidated, I finally bit the bullet and started the adventure of making my own pizza dough. I realized that you actually don’t need too many ingredients to make pizza dough, which prompted me to give it a shot. What could go wrong, right? I went to Whole Foods and grabbed bread flour, active dry yeast, sea salt, & armed myself with Baking Steel’s 72 hour dough recipe.
Above is my first ever batch of 72 hour dough after mixing the ingredients and then kneading for a few minutes. It then went on to bulk ferment at room temperature on my kitchen counter for 24 hours, except for one piece that got made into a pizza right away.
Since I was at work, I wasn’t able to portion out the dough into balls right at the 24 hour mark. Instead, my fiance threw the whole batch into the fridge for me, then I portioned it out 6 hours later in the middle of the night. Since I was kind of in a rush, I’m not sure if I put enough effort into kneading the dough balls. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but something I want to tweak next time.
So, how did the pizzas turn out?
After rising for one hour:
After rising for an hour I threw together a pepperoni pizza and baked it on my baking steel for about 7 and a half minutes. The dough ended up being kind of dense with only a few air bubbles, which weren’t that large. The dough tasted fine but the texture and structure could definitely have been better.
After 24 hours bulk fermentation & 12 hours cold fermentation:
After being portioned out & spending the night cold fermenting in the fridge, the dough looked pretty much the same as the night before. I was starving and feeling inspired so I pulled out the smallest dough ball to make a pizza with after 12 hours of cold fermentation. Not only that, I cooked my own pizza sauce!
This pizza crust was way more airy and crispy than the one hour rise crust was. The huge improvement was super exciting to me because seriously, this pizza was DELICIOUS.
After 72 hours in the fridge:
So, was waiting for an extra 36 hours of cold fermentation worth it? Hell yeah. I could have cooked this pizza a little longer, but it still tasted great. For toppings, I used my quattro formaggi pizza recipe since I had a craving for goat cheese.
I do have a confession to make: I stretched the dough too thin and it ripped a little when I was rotating it. 🙁
After 96 hours in fridge:
You didn’t think I was going to use up all of the dough and not make another pepperoni pizza, did you? Since the pepperoni I used on the first pizza was not good, I made sure to grab Boar’s Head since I love the flavor. The cheese was a blend of mozzarella, asiago, and romano, and I also sprinkled King Arthur Flour pizza seasoning on top.
After baking in my oven on my baking steel for 6 minutes, I held the pizza up towards the broiler for another minute or so until the pepperoni started to burn a little.
Here’s a cross-section of the crust. I definitely think that my kneading technique needs work, especially if my goal is to get some bigger bubbles. As is, the crust was really crispy and delicious. At the 96 hour mark, the flavors really came out and I was literally savoring each last bite of the crust.
I can’t wait to see how my next batch of dough comes out!
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