East Coast Style Pizza Dough
East Coast Style Pizza Dough
Yield: Makes 4 ea. 8-oz. dough balls or 2 ea. 16 oz. dough balls
2 Tbsp. or 15 grams vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill is a good source)
1 Tbsp. or 8 grams kosher salt
½ tsp. or 2 grams sugar
½ tsp. or 2 grams instant dry yeast
1 1/3 cups or 310 grams water at room temperature
2 Tbsp. or 25 grams olive oil
4 cups or 575 grams bread flour (Gold Medal Better for Bread in the blue bag is a good choice)
- In a 5 qt. mixer, fitted with the dough hook, dissolve the first 4 ingredients in the water, mixing over low speed for 2 minutes. Add the oil and mix for one more minute.
- Add the flour and mix at low speed for 2 minutes; check the consistency of the dough. It should be releasing from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. If it is too dry and climbing up the dough hook, add a bit more water. Mix for 12 more minutes. Turn up speed to medium and mix for 2 more minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and turn out onto a work surface. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
- Shape it into a thick log; then cut it into 4 pieces (about 8-oz. each). Roll the dough on the work surface in a circular motion with your hands, forming a smooth ball and place the balls on a lightly oiled baking sheet or plastic dough box with a secure top.
- Cover the surface of each ball with a bit of olive oil to prevent the dough from forming a skin. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or with a air tight cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours or for up to 72 hours in the refrigerator.
- Before using the dough, remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour. You can keep the dough at room temperature for up to 3 hours or longer. The dough will continue to get soft as it rests and becomes easier to stretch and more delicate at the same time. The dough is over-proofed when it becomes too soft to work with and bubbles form on the surface.
Opening the dough:
- Flour both sides of the dough ball and using the thumb and pointer finger of both hands, about a 1/4-1/2-in. from the edge of the ball, begin pulling the dough apart, pinching and stretching as you turn the dough like a wheel in your hand. Gravity will help as the dough opens and stretches.
- You can continue to stretch the dough in your hands, forming a round pizza skin as thick or as thin as you want. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a perfect round or get holes in it at first; it’s all about practice!
- Put the skin on a semolina dusted work surface and top with your ingredients. Slip the large pizza peel (with a little semolina on it) under the dough and gently lift the dough with thumb and pointer finger. The motion is: push with the peel and pull with your fingers.
- If you want to freeze the dough balls for later use, let them rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then put them individually into airtight freezer bags. To thaw frozen dough, transfer to the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or up to 12. Bring them to room temperature about an hour before you want to use them.