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Jim Lahey pizza dough recipe: Could use a little advice

laceyvail 6A, WV
6 years ago

I've made this recipe several times and it makes a great pizza crust, but I always have the same problems:

7 1/2 C, all purpose flour (1000 grams)

4 tsp. fine salt

1/2 tsp dry yeast

3 c. water

Mix dry ingredients, add water, form into rough ball and allow to sit at room temp for 18 hours. Shape into rough rectangle, divide into 6 parts and gather corners underneath to make ball.

Here's where my problems start. (First of all, I make a 1/2 recipe--not the problem, and I do weigh the flour).

Since it's an 18 hour rise, the timing is always a problem for me. I usually make it around 6 P.M. for the following day, and around noon shape the balls. Lahey says at this point that they can be wrapped in plastic, refrigerated and held for 3 days. But, they always continue to rise in the fridge, and bulge out of ball shape and sometimes out of the wrap, even if I'm going to complete the recipe for dinner, so it's really impossible to keep them for 3 days. I usually make a pizza out of one, and prebake and freeze the other two.

Would love some advice on holding the balls of dough, and also perhaps on how to get them all about the same size. I've considered weighing each ball, but that would require a lot more handling of the dough--adding and subtracting dough from balls and reshaping--and I think that lots of handling is not advised.

Thanks in advance.

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