I was surprised to learn that you don’t need to to autolyse your pizza dough. In fact, it may be detrimental. All the artisan bread recipes say you need a rest period, typically called autolyse (AUTO-leese) after the initial mix. That it is critical to let the dough rest and for the gluten chains to form. If it is so critical to good, well developed artisanal bread, then why is the step often lacking in pizza dough recipes?
It’s actually not that hard to make good pizza at home. It takes a little time, a little patience, and a little practice. But how do you make great pizza? That takes more practice and experience plus good quality ingredients. No matter what type of pizza is your favorite, all great pizza starts at the bottom with the crust.
I’m going to assume you’re already doing the basics like starting with good ingredients and measuring by weight, not volume. Here are three often overlooked details that can take your pizza crust from merely good to great.
With just a little effort, the home cook can really up their pizza game. Ten years ago, I moved to the suburbs and immediately realized all the pizza was mediocre at best and if I wanted to once again have pizza anywhere near as good as a place in the city (even a city like Boston with an Ok but not stellar pizza rep) I was going to have to make it myself.
Since then, I’ve tried many different flours, recipes, toppings, and dough. Top it with whatever you want, what will really elevate a pizza is a great dough.
Plain, all-purpose white flour is a great place to start when making your own pizza dough. It has plenty of protein, strength and flexibility, making it very easy and forgiving to work with when trying to stretch it out. The downside is that all-purpose, white dough tends to lack any flavor as it’s been processed to remove the bran and germ. So if you want to take your dough to the next level and really add a dynamic shot of flavor, try adding some whole grain, which includes all three parts of the grain – bran, germ, and endosperm.