Silver Oak Pizza Dough
Dominic’s favorite recipe
While this dough can be prepared and used on the same day, I recommend refrigerating it overnight or for up to 2 days before using. The extra resting time will allow the dough to ferment slowly and deepen in flavor.
Makes two 10-inch pizzas / Total Time:
Prepare the dough:
- Combine the water, oil, yeast, and honey in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour, wheat bran, and cornmeal and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the salt and continue to mix for 2 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place (70°F to 80°F) for 45 minutes. Punch down the dough and fold in half, flatten, fold again, and then repeat once more. Cover again and let rest for an additional 45 minutes. Proceed to proof and shape the dough for pizza as directed below.
Proof the pizza dough:
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly dust the dough with flour. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Cover with a damp towel and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
- (Alternatively, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 48 hours.Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before shaping.)
Spin and stretch the dough:
- Generously flour a pizza peel (or lay a sheet of parchment paper on a rimless sheet pan). Place a dough ball on the peel, and lightly coat the top with flour and press it into a flat disk. With your left hand, pick up the 12 o’clock edge of the dough and hold it straight up and down so you are looking at the face of the dough. The weight of the dough will cause it to stretch naturally.
- With your right hand, pick up the 1 o’clock edge of the dough, release the grip of your left hand, and let the dough glide between the fingers of your left hand counterclockwise around to the 11 o’clock position. Retighten the grip with your left hand and loosen the grip of your right hand to let the dough hang and stretch out. Repeat this step over and over again until you have traveled the entire way around the rim of the dough. The softer the dough, the quicker you need to move. If you come to spots that are thinner, skip over them. Repeat the full rotation one more time.
- After a couple of times around the dough, lay the dough flat on the peel. If the diameter of the dough is not wide enough, continue stretching. When the size is correct, arrange and stretch the dough on the peel into the traditional round or oval shape. You are now ready to add toppings to your pizza dough.
Wood Oven Lighting Techniques
- To light a wood oven, start a fire in the center of the oven. Within 30 minutes of starting the ceiling inside the oven will become oxidized and black. Leave the fire in the center and continue feeding wood to the fire until the black oxidation on the ceiling burns away and the raw stone is exposed.
- Move the fire to the right side of the oven and push all the wood to the outer edge. Let the fire burn until the sidewalls of the oven have burned all the oxidation off and the raw stone is exposed.
- Now move the fire to the left side and repeat step 2.
- With a laser thermometer check the temperature of the floor and ceiling of the oven. It should be at least 750°F on the floor and over 1000°F on the ceiling. (For my pizzas, I ideally prefer the oven at this temperature.) Sweep the ashes from the bottom of the oven and wipe down with a wet towel.
Home Oven Techniques
- Position a pizza stone in the middle rack position of the oven. Remove all other racks and preheat the oven to its highest setting, preferably 550°F (500°F is adequate). The oven may be hot within 20 minutes however the stone needs at least one hour to reach its full heat temperature.
- Slide the pizza onto the stone. Immediately turn the oven broiler on high and shut the door of the oven. Let the pizza bake for 5-6 minutes, then rotate the pizza around and continue to bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Watch the pizza very closely; the crust will begin to bubble and brown and may become black in some areas.