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Making Dough Like Gusto

So, we heard you asking: How do you make your dough so darn delicious?!


Well, there’s no secret. It’s just time and effort, and quality ingredients, and love, and passion. Also, there’s a healthy amount of patience, experience and skill. Don’t forget to include a high quality oven, high temperature and did I mention skill? 


The dough is arguably the most important part of our preparation process. Sure, you can’t get anywhere without some quality ingredients and you absolutely need to have your oven game on point, but we have found that more people are impressed by our dough than anything else. I’m confident that we have done a good job of making delicious dough, while keeping it low-prep. 


Look, some people say that it’s silly to give away all of our secrets online, but I think that it’s difficult enough to make one or two woodfired pizzas on your own, and it’s even more difficult to make 120 of them for a large party! Because of that, it’s still worth the money to have us cater your event, or just buy it from us at a market. If, however, you are like me, and you just like to make food to prove to yourself that you could, then here - this is for you. Take it. It’s free, the only thing you have to pay for is the internet bill and the electricity. If you print all this out, you’ll pay for the paper, and the ink, but then other than that, it’s absolutely free. Please, take it.


Our first Secret - We use High quality, local flour that is carefully grown and milled right next door in the Skagit Valley. We use a high-protein blend of flour from Cairnspring Mills. If you're looking to learn about Cairnspring, you should watch this video - it should help you understand why we pay a premium for their flour. We use their Glacier Peak flour, which comes from hard red spring wheat. High in gluten, very good for stretch. Here’s the thing about gluten: for those of us who can have it, it’s a wonderful thing. It helps contain little pockets of air which expand to create that airy, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and chewy all at once texture which generates those comments you hear about the superiority of glutenous foods versus their gluten-free competitors.

Flour is the most influential ingredient in your pizza dough, so I recommend going with quality, rather than just any old grocery store flour. If you don't have access, or funds for Cairnspring, you have to find something with a high gluten content. Pizza flour will do it, and bread flour will as well. Look, we get some delicious gluten free dough from a place called Shambala Bakery, and let me tell you, it’s amazing! However, nothing I’ve had can come close to the texture and quality of wheat products, and that’s because of that oh-so-miraculous gluten molecule. Don't skimp on the gluten!


Our Second Secret - We use quite a bit of salt for our flour. I like a salty crust, and the salt doesn’t cause a problem for us, because we cold-ferment our dough for over 24 hours - usually 48 or so. Salt slows the fermentation process, so if you’re trying to do a 2 hour dough, you should hold up on the NaCl, but if you’re like us, more salt = more better. 


Here’s our Secret Recipe:


100% Flour

67% Water

1% (or less) dry yeast 

5% salt

Traditional Neapolitan Dough tops out at less than 4% salt content, so you do what you want with that information, but I think that we have a good dough, so we like to keep it where it is.


Now, if you’re asking: what’s the best pizza around? The answer is, it’s ours. If you’re actually asking: now what? Well, the answer is: mix it in your stand mixer with a dough hook on low for about 9 minutes, let it rest for about 3 minutes, then mix it again for about 4 minutes. Then, take the ball of dough out, portion it into ~250g balls, and refrigerate for a day, or up to 5 days. It is probably best at 2-3 days old, but it’s still really good when it’s 5 days old, trust me, I’ve tried it!


Then… You cook it! In order to get pizza like ours, you NEED high heat. Our oven heats up to around 900 Fahrenheit, and you should attempt to do the same. One good way to do that at home is to use an Ooni Oven. There’s a whole set of skills to put your pizza in and cook in one of these ovens, but that’s for another time. For now, I’ll tell you to stretch, top and cook your pizza in a hot oven and enjoy our dough!


If you don’t have a hot oven, you can preheat a cast iron skillet in your oven as high as it goes without using the broil setting for about 45 minutes, then slap a pizza in there, sauce it, top it, and cook for as long as it takes to look great. It usually takes me about 12 minutes, but don’t take my word for it. Experiment for yourself.

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I have placed relevant advertisements below. The products you see are there because I have used them, and believe in their quality - If you trust my judgement and feel like you could use these types of items, feel free to follow these links, and I should get credit (money) from any purchases you make. At least, that's how these things are supposed to work. 

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