Best flour? Something all-purpose and unbleached. Tell me why you would want to eat benzoyl peroxide in bleached flour? You don’t need fancy Italian 00 flour unless you’re making Neapolitan pizza and you want to follow the rules. But Neapolitan pizza has a list of the different required ingredients, how much time you have to let the dough rest and all these things. The 00 flour holds a lot of liquid so Neapolitan-style pizza has a tender crust. But those pizzas bake in 50 seconds with a blast of 800-degree heat, so it helps them maintain their moisture content. But even in that setting, I like the way my all-purpose dough works even better.
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- F&W’s Masters Series: Lessons from Pizza Expert Mark Bello
Secret to kneading? There’s a lot to it. If you under-knead, the glutens don’t hold together and the crust won’t have enough texture. Conversely, if you over-knead you get a sinewy hockey puck that won’t stretch. That’s the complaint I hear about supermarket pizza dough—the person making it doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s not a prescribed amount of time, it’s a visual and tactile thing. You know the texture of memory foam, or Tempur-Pedic? It should feel like that. When you poke your dough and it dents and gently springs back into shape, that’s when it’s done. I have a Tempur-Pedic sample in the classroom that I pull out and show people.