Handling and stretching doughs from Pizza Bible

Hi there,

I bought the PB a couple of months back and have so far only tried out the master dough and neapolitan dough (for use with my new wood fired oven :-) ).

Compared to doughs I've tried in the past, these end up needing much more "delicate" handling when I'm stretching out the dough - both need serious care to make sure I don't end up tearing it, and have had a few split in the oven when turning with my peel! Any ideas what I may be doing wrong? Do I just need to get used to being more careful with it?

I find that it is pretty hard to get a nice cornicione sometimes as the dough just stretches so easily, it's hard to actually control it. Basically, if I look at the photos in Tony's masterclass on how tpo stretch out the dough, there is no way I could lift it or stretch it over my knuckles as it would just tear. I dunno, maybe I'm being fussy and have happened upon a good dough, as it does taste good, I just risk it tearing when cooking.

Might be worth saying that I'm not using the exact flours recommended in the PB as I live in the UK and these mostly aren't available, so using substitutes.



Byron Buck
posted over 2 years ago

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Hi Byron,

It's hard to answer your questions without having more info so I have a few questions:

1. What is the protein content of your flour? Is it a good, strong flour or basically an all-purpose one?

2. How do you mix/knead your dough and what are the mixing times?

If you go strictly by Tony's instructions then it should work but there are variables and I found that I had to alter the process to match my mixer, my oven, my fridge etc.

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Mike K.
posted over 2 years ago

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply. TO answer your questions:

1. For the neapolitan, I'm using Molino Grassi 00 pizza flour; the nutritional info on the packet says 12-13g Protein per 100g, which I assume is the same as 12-13% protein (unless it's not that simple to equate?!). Caputo is available here but only in huge bags (unless paying loads!) which I just won't get through.
For the master dough, I've been using strong bread flour of various brands, again with around 13g protein per 100g.

2. I don't own a stand mixer so am doing this by hand. Mostly, I've been making the doughs with starter, follow the PB instructions to mix it all together (in the right order of course) and then knead by hand until the dough seems to have the right texture to it...I can't say I've ever timed myself with this!

I'm having friends round for pizza tomorrow so have experimented a little by making one batch of neapolitan dough as per the recipe, but made another batch that has taken the to hydration to 61% . The intention is to do a test on both handling and taste - I'll post on here with the outcome!

This level of technicality (e.g. starters, hydration levels etc) is all new to me, so I think I just need to experiment a little.

I ought to say that I've been very pleased with the results I've had from the PB recipes, I was just curious as to why my bases seemed quite delicate in comparison to what Tony describes in the book.


Byron Buck
posted over 2 years ago

Came across this one here:


At 14 gr. protein that's as strong as most professional flours.

These are another alternative:



Hope that helps

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Mike K.
posted over 2 years ago

Thanks, those are familiar to me, I think I just need to look a bit harder to find them. I have used a less strong version of the Allinson's, so will see if I can find that version.

Byron Buck
posted over 2 years ago

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