Midday Fix: Artisan Pizza and Tips to Make Your Own Frozen Pizza

Midday News

Francisco Migoya author of MODERNIST PIZZA by the Modernist Cuisine team

https://modernistcuisine.com/

MODERNIST PIZZA Cookbook

https://modernistcuisine.com/books/modernist-pizza/

Recipes:

Direct Artisan Pizza Dough

Makes three 14-inch pizzas | Total Time: Active 15–20 minutes / Inactive 6 hours

2 cups water, 70°F

1 tsp instant dry yeast

4 2/3 cups high-gluten bread flour, 13%–14% protein

1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp diastatic malt powder

2 1/4 tsp fine salt

1 Tbsp + 1 1/4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the water and yeast in the mixer’s bowl, and whisk to dissolve the yeast.

2. Add the flour and malt powder, and mix on low speed to a shaggy mass, about 1 minute.

3. Mix on medium speed to low gluten development, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the salt, and mix on medium speed until it is fully incorporated, about 1 minute.

5. Add the oil with the machine running on medium speed, and mix the dough until it reaches full gluten development, about 11 minutes.

6. Perform the windowpane test to assess gluten development. Take a portion of dough in your hands and stretch it: the more the dough can stretch without tearing, the more the gluten has developed. The dough will hold the window for at least 8–10 seconds and it can be stretched to the point that it is nearly see-through when it has reached full gluten development.

7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured worktable. Cover well with plastic wrap.

8. Bench rest for 20 minutes.

9. Divide the dough into three even-sized pieces.

10. To preshape, place each cut square of dough smooth side down. Fold the top one-third of the dough toward the middle, and then fold the bottom one-third toward the middle, overlapping the ends slightly to form an envelope.

11. Rotate the dough 90° and roll the dough up lengthwise.

12. Gently round the dough with both hands, leaving the seam side down, to create a tight, round package.

13. If necessary, pinch the seam shut. This is important to prevent it from ripping when you shape it.

14. Repeat steps 10–13 with the two remaining pieces of dough.

15. Place on a sheet pan. Spray a very light mist of water over the dough.

16. Cover the dough well with plastic wrap.

17. Proof the dough, covered, for 4 1/2–5 1/2 hours at 70°F.

18. Test for proof using the fingertip test. Gently press the exposed surface of the dough for 2 seconds; the pressure should leave a small dent in the dough; it will slowly spring back, but the indentation should remain clearly visible after 1–2 seconds.

19. Shape, assemble, and bake the pizza according to the instructions in the recipe.

Notes

We recommend Giusto’s High Performer High Protein Unbleached Flour.

When you are adding the oil to the mixer, try to pour the oil toward the center of the dough rather than to the outside of the dough. This helps keep it from sloshing around the bowl and makes it easier for the mixer to fully incorporate it into the dough.

We typically use a dough hook to mix all our medium-crust pizza doughs. If the ingredient quantities aren’t large enough for the dough hook to mix them well in a stand mixer, use a paddle attachment initially to mix the ingredients uniformly. Once you have a homogeneous mass (the dough is sticky and wet, and there are no visible clumps or unincorporated water), switch to a hook attachment.

Final mix time at higher speeds may vary from machine to machine. Whatever the model and yield, the goal is to achieve a good mix and full gluten development. Consider our suggested times as guidelines only. Use the windowpane test to help determine the dough’s stage of gluten development.

After preshaping, you can also cold-proof this dough at 39°F for 1–2 days for even better baking and texture results. If you cold-proof the dough, remove the dough from refrigeration 1 1/2–2 hours before shaping so it warms up and is easier to stretch out.

Artisan Pizza

Manchego cheese—goat cheese—prosciutto—fig—balsamic vinegar glaze—arugula—Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Artisan pizza does not have any single style definition. Rather, it is the efforts of innovative pizzaioli to put their own stamp on a pizza that is clearly derived from New York pizza but may include elements of Neapolitan pizza. Some defy categorization, which include both nontraditional ingredients or extensive ingredients that are added after baking, such as this pizza, which has prosciutto, fig, and arugula salad on top. These now-iconic pizzas were inspired by Californian cuisine, Wolfgang Puck at Spago in 1982, and Ed LaDou and Alice Waters, who created some of the first artisan pizzas at Chez Panisse in 1974.

Makes one 14-inch pizza | Total Time: Active 6–8 minutes / Inactive 40 minutes

One ball of Direct Artisan Pizza Dough

25 thin slices Manchego cheese

5 thin slices prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces

2 ripe black mission figs, stemmed and cut into eighths

1 3/4 cups arugula

2/3 cup goat cheese

2 tsp balsamic vinegar glaze

1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Substitutions

You can use pizza cheese (low-moisture mozzarella) or another semihard cheese instead of Manchego. Young Manchego melts well on the pizza while older Manchego can be too dry to melt (and is more expensive).

If black figs are not in season, you can put stone fruit on this pizza; apples, pears, persimmons, and poached quince work well, too. You can put the fruit on top of the arugula when you assemble it but there is a chance that it could roll off.

You can use spinach in place of the arugula.

Grana Padano works well instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

1. Preheat the oven to 550°F for at least 30 minutes with a baking steel or baking stone in the top third of the oven.

2. Generously flour your worktable.

3. Lift the pizza dough from the sheet pan using a narrow, sharp bench knife.

4. Place it on the worktable, seam side up and dust the top with more flour.

5. Press down on the dough with your fingers, leaving a 0.5–1 inch border. You will not need your palms or thumbs yet. Your fingers will arch naturally, so don’t make them too stiff.

6. Rotate the dough 180° and repeat step 5. The point is to create an even disc that is flat in the center and has an even rim.

7. Flip the dough over and flatten the center again, pushing the dough in an outward motion to extend the central part of the dough. It should be 6–8 inches in diameter.

8. Place the dough disc on the backs of your hands so that the smooth side is in contact with your hands.

9. Stretch your hands apart gently, rotating the dough 90° as you stretch farther and farther. Keep stretching the dough until it reaches 14 inches in diameter.

10. Distribute the Manchego evenly inside the rim.

11. Slide the dough onto a peel or slide the peel at about a 5° angle under the dough, using quick, jerking back-and-forth motions, until it is completely on the peel.

12. Load onto the baking steel or baking stone in the oven with a quick pull-away motion.

13. Bake for 8–10 minutes, rotating 180° halfway through baking.

14. Check the doneness of the bottom of the pizza.

15. Remove the pizza and place on a serving tray. Cut into 6–8 triangles.

16. Distribute the prosciutto and figs over the cheese. Cover the pizza with the arugula.

17. Spoon the goat cheese over the arugula. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pizza.

18. Shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pizza using a vegetable peeler or truffle slicer.

Notes

You can purchase balsamic vinegar glaze through online retailers or in some grocery stores. If you’d like to make your own, simply reduce balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until it reaches 230–235°F or is syrupy and the consistency of honey. To test the consistency, place a spoonful of the glaze on a cool plate. Allow the glaze to cool, then run your finger through it. The glaze should hold your finger swipe.

If you’d like to make this pizza vegetarian, simply omit the prosciutto.

These topping amounts are for one 14-inch pizza. You will have enough dough to make three pizzas, so you can multiply these ingredient amounts to accommodate however many pizzas you are making.

If you don’t have a peel, you can use parchment paper to make it easier to load your pizza into the oven. Cut your parchment paper slightly larger than your pizza. For a 14-inch pizza, cut a 15-inch round or square piece. Shape your dough and place it on the parchment paper. Apply the cheese. Transfer the pizza onto the back of an upside-down sheet pan or cookie sheet and slide the pizza into the oven.

Some home ovens will not reach 550°F (in some cases 525°F is the highest they will get). If this is the case, increase the baking time by 1–2 minutes. If you prefer a darker crust, simply bake the pizza for longer, but check it every 30 seconds after the recommended time to ensure it doesn’t burn.

We suggest hand-tearing the prosciutto as it is applied to the pizza instead of ahead of time since the small pieces will stick together otherwise. Placing it directly on the hot pizza will help warm it up before serving the pizza.

Cutting the pizza into slices before you put on all the toppings will make it easier to eat. Cutting the pizza after all the toppings are on it, while not impossible, is a challenge and won’t look as nice.

*“Make your own frozen pizzas” Tips*

1.    As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, place it in a freezer.
2.    Bake the pizza without the cheese. Freeze the cheese separately.
3.    Once the pizza is frozen, apply the frozen cheese on top.
4.    Place the pizza on a cake board the same size as the pizza or slightly larger.
5.    Wrap the pizza tightly with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming. We do not recommend using freezer bags.
6.    Reserve the pizza in a freezer or ideally a deep freezer. Use within 2 years.

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