Pizza Techniques from High Gluten Flour

Several months ago I got some high gluten flour from GFS Marketplace. It isn’t the same brand as the one pictured, but I’m not sure if brand matters? I finally got a chance to try it out a week ago. Since I got a 25 pound bag, I have plenty to experiment with, but I haven’t deviated from my original recipe yet. I’m just trying to get a consistent crust.

Cooking Methods

With basic bread flour I’ve tried pizzas on a pizza stone with cornmeal, a deep dish pan with shortening or extra virgin olive oil, and a perforated pan. I can’t seem to get the ones in an oiled pan to be as crispy as I’ve liked, almost like it’s not cooked in the same amount of time. Perhaps the temperature needs to be higher. The texture of the ones cooked in cornmeal seem like the most professional.

High Gluten

The high gluten flour wasn’t much harder to knead than I was used to (I was warned it would be tougher since the gluten strands develop more). It also wasn’t much harder to roll out. I’ve learned to be more patient and let it rest and get up to room temperature after its retardation time in the fridge. I’m now trying to spin the dough to help spread it out, but for some reason it gets oblong shaped and I’m not sure how to correct that except with hand pressing and a rolling pin. I have a nice 2 sided rolling pin that seems to work really well. I’ll blog about that one and my other utensils in a future post.

Pizza Baked on Perforated Pan

I recently bought a perforated pizza pan (Cuisinart Chef’s classic non-stick bakeware – 14″ pizza pan – Heavy gauge aluminized steel. Amazon, $13.95):

perforated pizza pan

You can use a perforated pizza pan whenever you want to allow more air to reach the pizza crust and more moisture removed than with a solid pizza pan. Pans with many small holes are going to let more moisture escape than pans with fewer larger holes. When the moisture is removed, your crust becomes more crispy. Some people prefer a crispy crust. But you need to be careful if you start out with a thin crust that it doesn’t become too dry and hard and is hard to chew or cut. Ever since I got a pizza stone and compared the pizzas cooked on it with those cooked on a solid pan, I’ve preferred the stone because it lets moisture escape while still keeping a chewy crust. I was curious how a perforated pan would cook a pizza, and so I decided to give it a try!

pizza from perforated pan 3

It wasn’t bad, the dough didn’t rise much around the cornicone (outer edge), but that could have been caused by a number of reasons, (e.g. not enough rise time or retardation time). The dough tasted OK, maybe a little dense, soft, and bread-like.

What pans/techniques do you prefer for cooking pizzas?