I just finished watching the episode about Nancy Silverton on Netflix’s Chef’s Table. I was blown away at how much time and effort she has put into making bread and pizza dough and perfecting it. I challenged myself to attempt to make her pizza dough. I won't lie, the directions looked long and intimidating. I won't say I nailed it but it came out fairly fantastic and I know the next time will work out even better.
If you read through the directions a couple of times before you get started and check out the video I included, it will be much more understandable.
You will need to have purchased a few things that may not be in everyone's pantry. Bread flour, dark rye flour, wheat germ and barley malt, which can be substituted with honey.
I will definitely be using this recipe as my go-to pizza dough. Just make sure you start it early enough in the day. It does take quite a few hours. Oh, and make sure you have a pizza stone, a pizza peel and most importantly a food scale! These measurements are exact.
1. To make the sponge, put 15 ounces of the water and the yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add 13 ounces of the bread flour, the rye flour, and the wheat germ. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. Wrap the bowl tightly in plastic wrap and tightly wrap the perimeter of the bowl with kitchen twine or another piece of plastic wrap to further seal the bowl. Set the dough aside at room temperature (ideally 68 to 70°F) for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Uncover the bowl and add the remaining 7 ounces of water, the remaining 13 ounces of bread flour, and the barley malt. Fit the mixer with a dough hook, place the bowl on the mixer stand, and mix the dough on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the salt and mix on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Note that the dough will not pull so much that it completely cleans the bowl, but if the dough is too sticky and is not pulling away from the sides at all, throw a small handful of flour into the bowl to make it less sticky. While the dough is mixing, lightly grease with olive oil a bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. Turn the dough out of the mixer into the oiled bowl. Wrap the bowl as before. Set the dough aside at room temperature for 45 minutes. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Acting as if the round has four sides, fold the edges of the dough toward the center. Turn the dough over and return it, folded side down, to the bowl. Cover the bowl again with plastic wrap and set it aside for 45 minutes.
3. Dust your work surface again lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Divide the dough into six equal segments, each weighing approximately 7 ounces. Gently tuck the edges of each round of dough under itself. Cover the dough rounds with a clean dishtowel and let them rest for 5 minutes.
4. Lightly flour your hands and use both hands to gather each round of dough into a taut ball. Dust a baking sheet generously with flour and place the dough rounds on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with the dishtowel and set them again at room temperature for 1 hour to proof the dough. (Or leave the dough on the counter to proof instead.)
Below is a great tutorial of just how to make this pizza.