I always want to forget about same-day pizza dough–that is until the moment I need it.
I prefer the idea of a slow-risen dough crafted from my sourdough starter. The key word there being “idea.”
At a certain point, I need to be real with myself, and with the reality that I probably throw together a same-day pizza dough nearly as often as I make my sourdough version. Or, that there are days like this past holiday weekend, when I spend two days lovingly coaxing my refrigerated levain back to life, I mix the dough for pizza, and then promptly forget about it.
Needless to say once I did remember, I was greeted by an over-proofed, gooey mess.
Same-day pizza dough it was.
I will say that for pizza baked in an oven, the final crust product benefits substantially from a slower rise or at the very least from a rest in the refrigerator overnight as the flavors have more time to develop. However, for grilled pizza, (or simply an emergency such as the above) this dough does the job well.
350 grams warm water (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
2 grams commercial yeast (approximately 1/3 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon honey
400 grams all-purpose flour (approximately 3 1/3 cup)
100 grams whole wheat flour (approximately 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
10 grams sea salt (approximately 2 teaspoons)
olive oil to coat proofing bowl
Simple tomato sauce:
1 32 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the pizza dough:
Budget about 6.5 hours from start time to when you want to make your pizza
For example, if you want pizza for dinner, start mixing the dough in the mid-morning
If you have a proofing chamber, or proof setting on your oven, you can cut this time down somewhat. But, if you are proofing your dough on your counter top you will be at the mercy of the temperature and conditions of the day. A cold day will yield a dough that takes significantly longer to rise than warm one.
Combine the warm water, honey and commercial yeast in a large mixing bowl
Set aside and wait until your yeast shows signs of life. It should begin to form a thin layer of foam on the top of the water. If your yeast does nothing after 20 minutes, it’s likely dead and you should start over with fresh yeast.
Once the yeast is foaming, add the flours and sea salt and mix until combined using a silicon dough scraper or a wooden spoon and your hands.
Let the dough sit for 20 minutes for the flour to fully absorb the moisture before handling.
When the 20 minutes is up, knead the dough slightly by gently pulling at one edge and folding the dough over itself. Repeat a couple of times until the dough resembles a neat little package.
Transfer to a bowl lightly greased with extra virgin olive oil. Cover with a dish cloth
Let proof. Here is where your results will vary. The dough should proof until it doubles in size. In my oven on the proof setting set at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the bulk rise took 4 hours. Watch carefully and use your best judgement.
When your dough is proofed, scrape it out onto a floured surface and divide into 5 small sections.
Stretch out each section and fold each little dough over on itself from each edge, again creating little ball-shaped “packages.”
Place the dough balls on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
If you want to make pizza right away, leave it out on the counter for about 30 minutes to an hour before using.
If you want to make pizza later, sprinkle the dough balls with flour, place the tray in the fridge (covered with plastic wrap) and take it out approximately 30 minutes before you want to bake it.
To save dough for much later: Either wait the 30 minutes at room temperature, or leave it in in the refrigerator for about 6-8 hours, then place each dough ball in a freezer bag and refrigerate for up to four days or freeze it.
For the simple tomato sauce:
Place all ingredients (only use the actual tomatoes from the can, not the juice) in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
For the grilled pizza:
Gently stretch each pizza dough one at a time, transporting to the grill on a lightly floured pizza peel or similar surface.
Grill the dough on one side until deep grill marks form. The time frame for this will vary depending on how hot your grill is. On my gas grill set on “low” it took approximately 8 minutes.
Transfer the dough, grilled side up back onto the pizza peel and bring back to the kitchen or wherever you’ve set up your pizza station.
Top the grilled side with tomato sauce, sliced zucchini, halved kalamata olives, torn mozzarella, and any other toppings you desire.
Return to the grill and carefully slide the raw side onto the grill.
Grill until pronounced grill marks form, the dough puffs up substantially, and the cheese is melted.