Individual Ferments make the Perfect Personal Pizza

Making pizza from focaccia dough is nothing new for me, but consistency in size and shaping have not been great. Once I started separating the dough into small containers for the ferment, things have been much better. Hence the post.

The dough is a normal batch with 50g White Whole Wheat, 75g Bread Flour, and 125g AP. 80% hydration with a 20% inoculation. I mixed and treated the dough normally. After 4 stretch and folds, I portioned it into separate containers for fermentation. If my measures are correct, I have a 500g mass which gives me 4 dough balls of 125g each. After the appropriate rising time, they went into the fridge for an overnight retard.

I had flatbread pizza twice yesterday. First, for breakfast, I made a Toum, salami, and moz with some cubed canned tomatoes. 14 minutes at 450° fan. Topped with some Parm, it was not the correct thing to eat in the morning, but I thought, fresh bread, cured meat, cheese, and garlic can’t be that bad right?

Then, for dinner, Toum, shredded pork, caramelized onions, and whole milk mozzarella did the trick once more. A sprinkle of grated Parm again finished the pie. The smell in the house as the Toum released it’s fragrant garlic scent was amazing. A few extra minutes in the heat gave me better crust.

It was my second pizza of the day and one more was made before I was through. This is a high hydration focaccia dough so shaping is a delicate thing. The third one was the best as far as the shaping. I remembered to dimple it into a round just on the edges first leaving a thicker portion in the center for the stretch. The first two were too thin in the middle and thick at the edges. Practice definitely counts here. BTW, the last pizza was not for me, two in one day was more than enough.

One of the good things about making one personal size pizza at a time is that there is no more to gorge on. On the other hand, making one personal pizza at a time means there is no next piece even if it tastes great. Portion control is a good thing.

I have been making flatbread pizza from my focaccia dough for some time but only recently have I fermented individual dough balls. It was not hard to cut off a piece of dough for a pizza, but the rest of the dough in the container suffered a bit for the next bake. I bought a set of Anchor Hocking 2 cup, 473ml, glass lidded containers just for smaller dough projects. 4 containers works perfectly for my small batch of dough.

My typical dough is just over 500 grams so each ball is between 125 and 130g, just the right size for a small pie. As I showed above, anything can go on these, no need to make pizza sauce although that is an extremely easy thing to do.

Toum, or Lebanese garlic sauce, is perfect for a tomato-less pizza. It has a nice garlic bite and is simple to make plus it holds nicely in the fridge. Just baste it on the flattened dough, top with your meats plus cheeses of choice and bake until done.

I do not have a pizza peel or a baking stone. The dough is tipped out onto a floured sheet of parchment right on top of the 10 inch pizza pan. Flour the top and turn it over. With the finger tips, dimple the dough around the outside while turning the dough until a nice rough round is made. Then, with gentle fingers, lift the dough and let gravity do the work while using your grip to turn the dough until it almost fills the pan. Slather on the Toum, any kind of chopped meat, onions, cheese, and anything else you feel like shoving into your pie hole.

Slide it into a 450° oven for 14-16 minutes and have a fresh slice. There is little that satisfies like fresh pizza and with ready dough, you can have it whenever you please faster than delivery.

For my last piece of dough, I decide that with some whole milk Riccotta I would forgo the meat. Toum on the dough topped with caremelized onions and mozzarella. With 6 minutes to go, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan and once browned to perfection, finished with dollops of the Ricotta. A lovely lunch indeed. Perhaps I need to back off on the pizza for a day or two.

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