Now that I have a beautiful oven, it’s time to make beautiful pizza. I love my dough. Of all my recipes, it’s the one I’ve been making the longest, ever since I became obsessed with flour, water, yeast & salt. It’s versatile and incredibly forgiving. Nevertheless, I wanted to be thorough and make sure I still loved my dough most of all. I dug through countless recipes I’ve acquired over the years. I mixed four different doughs - mine, Jim Lahey’s (Sullivan St & Co.), Jeffery Hammelman’s (King Arthur Flour), and mine with sourdough in place of yeast. They all fermented overnight. The next day, I mixed a batch of my dough to test same day against the overnight fermentation.
It was like a scene from Goldilocks and the Three Bears…Lahey’s was too sweet and too puffy. My sourdough was too thin and too crispy. Hammelman’s was solid. My same day dough was solid. The real stand out was my dough with a 36 hour fermentation cycle. After nearly 20 years, it’s still my favorite. Obviously, as with anything in life, we all have different preferences. There isn’t one perfect pizza for everyone, this one is just perfect for me. It has almost as much to do with the how the dough handles as it does with the flavor. It’s the whole package.
I called my friend, former instructor and forever baking mentor, Nick Greco (Head Baker for Wegman’s) to tell him about my results. He rattled off a few percentages of how he makes his pizza dough. It is exactly the same as mine. I used to marvel at how he was able to recite percentages, fermentation times, mixing times…off the top of his head. Nothing makes me prouder of my accomplishments to be able do the same especially when it is decimal to decimal, minute to minute, the same as his.
Weekly Training Log
Monday: TRX @ Architect Studios
Plan: RUN - 3x1K @ 4:40, 2x300
Reality: 3x1K: 4:18, 4:22, 4:23
After I did the math to figure out how fast this workout would be if I hit the paces, I had just a bit of anxiety. It was the first time I used the 1K loop at Brookdale Park. Shocked I was able to hit the paces, especially after working the 2am doughnut shift before heading to the track.
Plan: SWIM 2,100 yds
Reality: 4x400, nice and easy, felt great
Plan: BIKE 60:00 tempo
Reality: I may have added another 20 minutes
Plan: SWIM 2100 yds
Reality: Forgot my watch but I swear it happened!
Plan: BIKE 60:00, RUN 3 miles
Reality: Done! Tested out my race day ‘outfit,’ all systems go.
Plan: 75:00 Run
Reality: 2am baking shift followed by 80 minutes of running with Anne - ooof! Tough but complete.