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  • Joel Funderburg

Quick(ish) pizza dough

Normally, my go-to pizza dough requires two days: day one is kneading and retardation in the refrigerator and day two is shaping and baking. Although this method creates some really kick ass pizza, it takes time (the long fermentation process gives it all that great flavor). I have been puzzling with how to create the best pizza dough without losing all the great flavors from a good, long fermentation, and I think I finally hit on something.

Here’s what I use:

- 40% whole wheat (King Arthur)

- 80% unbleached bread flour (King Arthur)

- 2.2% salt

- .54% instant yeast

- 72.% water

- 9.9% olive oil

For a family of four, I feel that 400 total grams of flour is sufficient.

Measure out the flour, salt, and yeast, and combine in a large mixing bowl. Then add the water and olive oil. Mix until it forms a lumpy mass.

(I hand knead my dough by hand, so forgive me that I don’t have machine instructions)

Dip your hands into some water, and begin kneading the dough by turning the bowl while using your hands as a kind of dough hook. Do this for 2-3 minutes.

Let the dough hydrate for 5 mins. While it rests, prepare the work surface by sprinkling an 8x8 inch area with bread flour.

After the 5 minutes is up, knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes. It will be sticky and wet. Use a dough scraper to transfer the dough to the floured surface.

Use the pull-and-fold motion on the dough. Spinkle it with flour then transfer it to a clean, greased bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and rest for 30 mins.

After resting, the dough will be more consolidated. Transfer to the working surface and pull-and-fold again. Transfer back to the greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rest for another 30 mins.

Transfer back to the work surface and divide into 2 with a bench scraper (be gentle!). Shape each piece into a ball and tap gently with the palm of your hand to flatten a bit. Sprinkle with flour, spray with oil, and cover with plastic wrap for 2 hours.

30-45 minutes before ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500+ degrees F (or as hot as it will get). Prepare your toppings.

Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal and/or semolina flour. Transfer the dough and stretch it out. Add the toppings.

Here‘s my trick to a good peel-to-oven transfer: use a bench scraper to loosen the dough from the peel then quickly transfer to the baking steel.

In my oven, I bake for 10 minutes total (it only gets to 500 degrees), but keep an eye on it. Once the cheese is bubbly and the crust is a deep brown, it’s ready.

Let it sit for 2 minutes on a wire rack to let the cheese settle. Slice and enjoy!

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