Pizza perfection

16 May, 2008
Cinnamon Square co-owner Paul Barker says pizzas, served hot or cold, have great profit potential as a food-to-go or eat-in snack. Follow his lead for a crispy crust pizza with great flavour
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If you're not making them already, pizza is an ideal way to add value to your product range.
A great pizza base is made from a yeasted dough with as high a percentage water content as possible, coupled with long fermentation.You should aim to get 75-80% water (on flour weight). Get this right and your pizza will have a wonderful crispy crust, rich golden colour and superb flavour.Rather than making individual round pizzas, at Cinnamon Square, we make an 18" x 30" tray. This tray gives us 10 slices, which can quite easily be sold for between £2.50-£4 each.You only need 1,100g of dough per tray; that's not much more than a large loaf. If you do not get too carried away with the toppings, it's quite easy to see the potential profitability from making this.This recipe makes enough dough for two baking sheets.== Italian Pizza Sponge (24hr) ==Ingredient % gBread Flour 100 265Yeast 1 2.6Salt 1.5 4Water 50 130Total weight 152.5 400== Italian Pizza Dough ==Ingredient % gBread Flour 100 1,000Italian Pizza Sponge (24hr) 40 400Yeast 3 30Salt 2 20Water 75 750 Total weight 220 2,200== Method: ==1. You will need to make the Italian Pizza Sponge 24 hours in advance. Mix ingredients to a smooth dough (image A) and place in a loose-fitting lidded plastic bucket.2. Leave for 24 hours at ambient temperature.3. Mix dough ingredients plus the 24-hour sponge in a spiral mixer for 2 minutes on slow speed.4. Switch to fast speed (B) and mix until the dough reaches a stage where it is clear from the base of the bowl, the dough surface has a sheen and you can hear the dough 'slapping' in the bowl. The dough will be very soft.5. Use wet hands to remove the dough from the bowl. This will prevent the dough from sticking to you.6. Scale at 1,100g and shape into a rectangle (C). Rest the dough for a few minutes.7. Prepare an 18" x 30" tray with a layer of silicone paper, sprinkled with coarse semolina or rice cones (D). A three-sided tray is best suited to the job.8. Pin out the dough and transfer to the prepared baking tray (E). Dock the dough (or fork it), dust with flour and loosely cover with a plastic sheet. Leave to rest for 60 minutes at ambient temperature.9. Pour some Italian passata sauce and olive oil on the dough and spread evenly over the entire surface (F). Then sprinkle on a generous layer of grated mozzarella & cheddar cheese. The pizza is now ready to receive your choice of toppings. The illustrations shows our vegetarian version (G).10. Bake at 220ºC for 10 minutes, then slide the pizza off the tray (still on the silicone paper) and give a further 5 minutes baking (H). You will need to turn the top heat down at this stage to prevent the cheese from burning.11. To remove from the oven, slide the tray under the silicone paper while holding the paper taught. Carry out this manoeuvre slowly to prevent damaging the pizza.12.Transfer the pizza onto a cooling wire by sliding the pizza off both the tray and silicone paper. This will let the air circulate around it helping to retain the crusty base (I).13. When cold, cut into 10 portions. Divide the pizza into two lengthways, then cut both halves into 5 equal portions (5½" wide). We use a metre ruler for consistency.TIP We serve the pizza hot or cold. To reheat, place directly on the oven sole, set at 220ºC, for 3-5 minutes.

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