I have been working on this recipe for quite some time. It mixes and matches a few different recipes and a few different techniques - trying to match the crust of my favorite pizza joint. This place, the Mellow Mushroom, has a pretty good cult following in the Atlanta area. They turn out some awesome pies. The technique comes from a variety of sources, but for the most part it is from "Secrets from Inside the Pizzeria" by Bev Collins. I have changed or altered a couple of steps.
1/2 c spring water at 105-110 deg F
1 tsp fast acting yeast
1-1/4 tsp molasses 1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
3/4 c cold spring water
3-1/2 to 3-3/4 c high gluten flour like King Arthur Sir Lancelot
Optional: dried basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, garlic powder
Add the yeast to the hot water, mix thoroughly until yeast is dissolved, then add the molasses and stir again to dissolve the molasses. Allow to bloom for a few minutes. You don't want a full bloom, but allow the beginning bubbles to appear. Add the cold water to bring the temperature down to slow the fermentation process. Spring water is important for proper mineral content, taste, and lack of chlorine. Chlorine is a natural enemy of the yeast and is purported to inhibit the proper rise. Put all the liquid into a mixer bowl. Add the salt and olive oil and using the beater attachment stir to combine. Slowly begin adding flour a tablespoon or two at a time with the beater paddle spinning. The idea is to make something resembling a thick batter and beat for a few minutes. The idea is to fully combine and distribute all the ingredients. Begin adding flour again, slowly, until the batter comes together into a dough ball. Switch to a dough hook and continue adding flour, little by little, until the dough ball is the proper consistency. Knead for 4-5 minutes, turning the dough over at least once during the kneading. Form into two balls of equal sizes. Roll the balls tightly and place seam down on oiled cookie sheet. Lightly spray the balls with cooking spray, cover, and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Longer is better. Once the dough balls have doubled in size they are ready to go. You can expedite this by allowing to rise at room temperature after the 12 hour rest in the fridge. Form your pie and top as desired. Bake at 550* on a well pre-heated pizza stone for 10-12 minutes or until browned and crispy.
|Notes:||Optional: At the end of the kneading process you can add garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, or any other herbs or aromatics you want to enhance the flavor of the dough.
If you want a more yeasty flavor then allow the yeast to bloom more fully before you incorporate the remaining ingredients. If you prefer a softer crust increase the amount of oil in the dough and reduce the water (or increase the flour) to compensate.|