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Pizza dough problem

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Pizza dough problem

hilltowner | Mar 31, 2008 08:14 PM

I made a batch of Peter Reinhart's Napoletana pizza dough recipe yesterday, from the Bread Bakers Apprentice. In short, it is a wet dough, made with instant yeast, and calls for a long rise,(at least a day), in the refrigerator. I took out the first dough ball today to make into pizza. The first thing I noticed was that it did not seem to have risen very much, but as it was free form, I didn't really worry too much. The second thing I noticed was that it did not seem to have too much structure. It had no stretchiness, just flattened out easily. When I tried to move it from the peel to the stone, it broke in the middle, though this could have been due to a lack of corn meal on the bottom. Lastly, it cooked up pretty flat. The edges puffed up very little.

My thoughts, as a not terribly experienced baker are that these issues could be due to one of 3 things:

1) Too much water. I did add more water than the recipe called for. According to the instructions, it seemed that I needed to. Perhaps I overdid it. If so, would it work to knead more flour into the remaining balls?

2) No long enough in the refrigerator. Perhaps the gluten has not developed enough or it needs more of a rise.

3) The yeast was bad. The yeast in question was pretty close to the expiration date, but I have never had a problem in the past and it WAS stored in the refrigerator.

Do any of you more experienced bakers have any insight or words of wisdom for me? Thanks in advance.

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