Lou T's Pizza Recipe

[Photograph: Lou T]

Yesterday, Lou T pretty much created a feature on Slice called My Pie Monday when he sent in the photo above. Today, we featured him as this week's Slice Pizza Obsessive subject. In that interview, he promised us his recipe. Whoomp, here it is. —The Mgmt.

Notes

1. I recommend using King Arthur All Purpose flour, but bread flour can be used for a little bit more color and a slightly chewier texture. Feel free to go half and half if you're feeling creative.

2. Get a $10 digital scale. It's worth it, I promise.

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Lou T's Pizza Recipe

About This Recipe

Yield:Two 240-gram dough balls (each stretches to about 12 inches)
Special equipment:Pizza stone, A few sealable Glad containers, Pizza peel, Spatula

Ingredients

  • Flour (100%): 294.41 grams
  • Water (62%): 182.53 grams
  • Instant dry yeast (0.17%): 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Salt (2.5%): 7.36 grams

Procedures

  1. 1

    Day 1, Preferment

    Flour: 147.21 grams

    Water: 147.21 grams

    Instant dry yeast: Half of the 1/4 teaspoon

  2. 2

    Take one of your glad containers, tare it on the digital scale, and measure out (as closely as possible,) 147.21 grams of distilled water.

  3. 3

    In a separate container or bowl, measure out 147.21 grams of flour.

  4. 4

    Add instant dry yeast (IDY, half of 1/4 of a teaspoon) to flour and mix to disperse.

  5. 5

    Add flour and IDY mixture to water in increments, stirring with spatula.

  6. 6

    Once water and flour mixture have been evenly combined into a thick batter with spatula, get as much of what's stuck on the spatula into the container, cover, and let sit on counter for 3 to 4 hours until the mixture begins to lightly bubble.

  7. 7

    Place container in refrigerator until your ready to make the final dough. This will probably keep about 3 days.

  8. 8

    Day 2: Final Dough (added to preferment)

    Flour: 147.21 grams

    Water: 35.32 grams

    Instant dry yeast: Half of the 1/4 teaspoon

    Salt: 7.36 grams

  9. 9

    Remove preferment from refrigerator 2 hours before you intend to use it. It must come to room temp.

  10. 10

    Measure out your ingredients.

  11. 11

    Combine the flour and IDY again

  12. 12

    Dissolve salt in the water.

  13. 13

    Take a bowl, put some olive oil on a paper towel, and wipe around the bottom and sides. Set aside...it's important for later.

  14. 14

    Take two Glad containers, and do the same thing.

  15. 15

    Take a bowl, and put some of the measured flour and IDY mixture in the bottom and on the sides. The preferment will absorb this and it will help prevent sticking to the bottom.

  16. 16

    With a spatula, scrape and empty the preferment into the bowl on top of the flour.

  17. 17

    Add in all of the water mixture (It doesn't look like a lot, but trust me, it's the right amount.)

  18. 18

    Add about half the remaining and mix (do not knead.)

  19. 19

    Let this sit for 10 to 20 minutes. The flour needs to hydrate or it will not mix well.

  20. 20

    Begin adding flour in increments and stirring/kneading.

  21. 21

    If it begins feeling overly dry, let it rest for 5 minutes.

  22. 22

    Continue until all of the flour mixture is added. It's going to look like there's way too much flour. It will feel dry, and you might even feel like you messed up the dough. Keep kneading, and you will see the dough start to come together. It will get a little stickier, begin forming more of a ball, and take in the rest of the flour. Basically, it will look slightly moist. It's easier in a Kitchen Aid mixer, but you'll see it if kneading by hand as well.

  23. 23

    Take the giant dough ball, put it in the lightly oiled bowl, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

  24. 24

    While this is resting, very lightly flour your counter or a plate and get your glad containers ready.

  25. 25

    Put the rested ball on the counter, take a knife, and press it through right in the middle and give it a little tilt sideways to cut the dough into even portions without slicing through it

  26. 26

    Take each piece, ball the dough, and place it in the sealable plastic containers and cover.

  27. 27

    Place the plastic containers in the refrigerator until the next day.

  28. 28

    Day 3: Making the Pizza

  29. 29

    Remove the dough 2 hours prior to when you intend to make the pizza. For example, if you want to make the pizza at 5, take it out of the refrigerator at 3.

  30. 30

    Place your stone on the lowest rack in your oven. Optional, place a rack in the upper-middle position of the oven.

  31. 31

    Preheat for an hour at 550 degrees. This means once the oven has hit 550, let it heat for an hour...not an hour from turning it to the 550 setting.

  32. 32

    While the oven preheats, get your sauce and toppings ready.

  33. 33

    When you're ready to cook, stretch the dough to 12" and top on the pizza peel.

  34. 34

    Open the oven door quickly, slide your pizza on the stone, and close as soon as possible.

  35. 35

    Let it cook, without turning, for about 7 minutes. Turning is not necessary, and repeatedly opening the oven door will suck out heat.

  36. 36

    Optional Method: Turn on the broiler about 3-4 minutes into cooking. The pizza will have been cooking on the stone for about 5-6 minutes by the time the broiler is preheated. Place the pizza on the upper middle rack and let the broiler heat brown the top for 1 to 2 minutes if you need more color. The rack will be far enough from the broiler so the cheese will not be nuked or burned.

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