Pizza dough only requires a few simple ingredients, flour, water, yeast, and salt, but the variation of them, particularly water, has a large impact on your final product.
Dough hydration refers to the amount of water relative to the amount of flour in the dough. For example, if a recipe calls for 100 grams of flour, adding 70 grams of water would make a dough with 70% hydration. Varying the levels of dough hydration directly affects the qualities of a finished crust. Too little hydration and the crust will be dense and dry.
A 70% hydration dough is much easier to handle and form into dough balls compared to the 60% hydration dough and both will easily work with dough press machines. Most pizza presses only require pizza dough with at least 50% water content.
A low-absorption flour will require less water than all-purpose flour to create the same consistency. The right hydration is based on the style of pizza you want to achieve. You can see what works best for you through testing.
Tips For Optimum Hydration:
- Don’t add oil too early – it will coat the flour and prevent water from hydrating it properly. Always add the oil at the end of mixing.
- Don’t add too much flour on the work bench when you are mixing and shaping. It can interfere with your percentages. Or use some olive oil.