One of the greatest love stories we all know starts in the kitchen. Amidst the ingredients that go into pizza dough, a magical transaction occurs between flour and yeast. The two become dependent on each other as they are given the power to control the flavor and look of the crust. However, these two must be carefully brought together to ensure the perfect dough.
There are two ways bakers can bring the yeast and flour together. One is with a natural sourdough starter, and the other is with a commercial bread yeast. While the sourdough starter is a great way to easily add flavor to the dough, it asks for a big commitment that the dough might not be ready for. Thus, there is a second way to prepare the dough using a pre-made “starter” known as commercial yeast. This method typically is easier and saves a little more time. Regardless of the way a baker chooses to leaven their dough, the starter is then added to salt, water, and flour. As the ingredients are mixed together, the yeast carefully consumes the sugars from the flour and then releases carbon dioxide and alcohol, allowing the dough to rise and creating a depth of flavor.
Once the dough is properly mixed, it is then weighed, portioned, and divided into dough boxes. Prepped dough boxes are then stacked into fridges and are left alone to ferment for three days before they are ready to use. These boxes become an important part of the dough-making process because they provide a safe place for the yeast and flour to ferment their love.
Before opening each day, we will pull a few of these dough boxes out, and allow them to warm up to room temperature. This is essential because it enables bakers to easily spread the dough without the worry of ripping it. Carefully our bakers begin to stretch the dough by hand until it is a flat circular shape. Then it is sauced up, toppings are added, and the masterpiece is placed into the oven.
In the oven, the fermented dough begins to rise, the crust bakes to a golden brown, and the cheese melts cautiously over the sauce as the pizza pulls itself together in harmony. It is a magical process that lets the pie become rich in delicious flavor. No matter how you prefer your pizza, simply know that it is prepared carefully. Without toppings, a pizza is just bread, and without yeast, there would be no flavor. Pizza relies on a magical balance of ingredients and preparation, and we could not be more thankful for it.
(Although best served fresh, we have a quick tip to maintain your pizza’s flavor for carry-out: Ask us to leave your pie uncut. This will lock all of the flavors in, so that when you get home you can pop it into your oven to reheat without losing any of its rich taste.)