Introduction: The Epoxy Method Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

A light dough using whole wheat flour?

A while back I was watching this TED talk about bread where Peter Reinhart talks about how to make a light dough using whole wheat. He calls his method: the Epoxy Method. Because you do 2 batches of goo and mix them together, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I must say I obsessed about it, and after a few tries I was able to make a pizza dough using the Epoxy Method.

After a few tries I was able to get there

Baker's percentage primer:

Assume that 100% means the the total percentage of flour by weight

Every other ingredient weight is measured in percentages of total

Ingredients:

For this pizza dough I'm using

60% bread flour
40% whole wheat flour (fine ground)
80% water
2% salt

Don't be afraid of the 182%, it is in baker's percentage (see comment for more info)

Instant yeast (reasonable amount)

So assume that you plan to use 1000g (1kg) of flour (combined bread and whole wheat)

You would have:

600g bread flour
400g whole wheat flour
800g of water  (or 800 ml as water has 1:1 ratio volume to mass)
and 20 g of salt 

All that and 2 packs of instant yeast for that amount.

And that is all that you need for this. 

Step 1: The Morning Before Pizza Time

Making the first goo: The Soaker

Lets assume that you are using my 1kg as the full weight of flour.

In one bow add all the whole wheat flour and the same weight of water (400g)

Important: No yeast on this bowl, only water and flour. 

Cover and reserve.

This mix will soak water but not grow, so there's no need for a huge bowl.

The second goo: Biga

Now, here you need a large bowl.  

Add the same weight of flour and water and one pack of instant yeast, mix with a fork and leave covered in a warm place.

This is called biga in bread making in Italy or (Tuscany at least)

Keyword: large. This biga will grow and might overspill 

Let both bowls rest until the afternoon when we make the dough

But why?

The idea is autolyse. That happens when the enzymes alter the proteins of the flour and specially of the bran. 

Autolyse releases flavor and also make the water be better absorbed.

The resulting dough very  relaxed, pliable and elastic.


Step 2: Mid Afternoon: Dough Time

Mix in a bowl the rest of the flour (200g) the salt and an extra pack of instant yeast.

On a working surface add the whole wheat goo(soaker) and the yeast and grown goo (biga).

Work them together just like epoxy until you have a single textured mass.

Word of cauton: that mix will be sticky. If you are mixing by hand use only one hand.

Cover the dough with the dry mix and work a little the dough. Repeat.

Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes incorporating the dry flour mixture or until it is very elastic

Resting time

Divide into four parts, roll each part into a ball, dust with flour and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour (two would be best)

There's no way to say that without sounding dirty, but: if your warm place is to windy or too dry cover the dough balls with a teacloth.

Step 3: Contemplating the Toppings and Sauce and Shaping

You have now about 2 hours of waiting, so get your ingredients for the toppings and you might.

For the sauce I just pulse 3 tomatos 2 cloves of garlic and one can of canned tomatoes in the food processor. Salt and oregano to taste.

After 2 hours it is time to shape the pizza.

Create a small mound of flour and move one dough ball on top of it.

Very gently enlarge the disk, Try hard to not smash the bubbles inside the dough.
 

Step 4: Bake It and Enjoy!

I've baked this recipe both in wood burning ovens and kitchen ovens and the results seems always nice.

Hope you have fun trying it and enjoy!

Comments

author
Cerasus (author)2011-10-18

Any idea on how mych yeast I need if I would use the fresh kind? I live in Sweden and here almost noone uses dry yeast, and instant is not even available as far as I know. fresh yeast on the other hand is in every food store and cost next to nothing.

author
frac (author)Cerasus2011-10-18

I use fresh sometimes. I use a tablet 17g I think. As we are making a biga you don't need to "wake" it just melt it with the flour and water.

author
John L. (author)2010-09-26

Looks beautiful and delicious, I'll have to try this.

author
WastedOne (author)2010-09-18

Made this. Was gooood. Also though I made mine stuffed crust. Was also gooood

author
frac (author)WastedOne2010-09-21

Glad you liked it! :)

author
gummypaul (author)2010-08-29

182 %

author
frac (author)gummypaul2010-08-29

Sorry I wasn't clear. I am using baker's percentage I posted more detailed explanations on my blog here: http://sfp.adrianopetrich.com/post/epoxy-method-pizza-dough

I copy now from there:

Working with Baker’s Percentages
From a physicist point of view a baker’s world is a very odd one percentage wise.

It is a place where a recipe can be made with 70% of this plus 50% of that and 120% of another that; and all seems normal. But there’s a trick to it: Bakers bake; More to the point bakers bake flour with stuff.

All comes down to flour in a baker centric view. In any recipe the weight of the other ingredients must be comparable to the amount of flour. So for the sake of sanity someone decided that total weight of flour is always 100%.

A regular bread is 100% flour, 60 to 70% water, 2% salt and some yeast(yeast is a cheater). Do that with 1kg of flour or 10kg the ratio keeps the same.

This dough is somewhat wet. we are doing 60% bread flour, 40% whole wheat flour (hence the 100%) and 80% water (which normally would be a lot), 2% salt and 2 doses or packs of instant yeast.

author
kenbob (author)2010-08-23

Great instructable! clear pictures and directions. Now I am hungry.

author
frac (author)kenbob2010-08-24

Glad you liked it! I hope you enjoy it.. the end result is very tasty.

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