The Brian Loo Cookbook… Brian Loo pizza dough
by Kurt True

My pizza dough recipe and overall pizza technique:

Kurt on Pizza Night.

My Pizza Night Game Face, Pink House, El Cerrito.

Kurt on Pizza Night.
My Pizza Night Game Face, Pink House, El Cerrito.

Before bed: take 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sourdough starter out of the fridge. Mix with 3/4 cup room temp water and 1 cup of bread flour or pizza flour. That's your overnight sponge. Cover it, and leave it overnight at room temp.

In the morning: add 3/4 cup warm water to your overnight sponge. Stir in 3 to 4 more cups of bread/pizza flour half a cup at a time. After the first 2 or 3 cups of flour, throw in 2-4 tbsp of salt, and 1/8 to 1/4 cup of olive oil. For a more foccaccia texture substitute a cup of semolina flour for the bread/pizza flour.

Let your dough rest for half an hour. Then knead it for 10 minutes.

Form your dough into a ball, coat it with olive oil, dust it, cover it and let it rise at room temperature 8-10 hours. (It should double.)

Roll out pizza dough. You'll probably have to dust your dough and rolling pin. Let rolled out dough rise for 20-30 minutes on a dusting of polenta, add toppings.

A thin crust on a pizza stone at 550 should take about 9 minutes. Thick crust can take 15-17. A deep dish in a cast iron skillet might take 20-22 minutes.

Helpful hints: if you let your rolled out dough rise on parchment paper, you can just slide the parchment paper right onto the pizza stone. Start drinking red wine while the oven is preheating, because you're probably going to burn your fingers, and, you know, anti-inflammatory.

Yes, eggplant. Brian loves eggplant, if you know how to make it right. You have to soak it in saltwater to get the bitter oil out.

Also, I sauté just about any produce that's going on my pizza. That's because you want to get some of the fluid out. If you put raw spinach, say, on your pizza, it'll release moisture as it's cooking, and your dough might get soggy.

But potato I cut up as if I were going to make potato chips out of it, and then I soak it in a bowl of saltwater for half an hour to an hour and then I put it in a colander and let it dry out a little bit.

Or if you don't have time for that, just use tater tots.

Poblano I put in boiling water for a couple minutes so I can take the skin off of it, but that's just because the skin is kind of tough. Brian won't die if you feed him poblano skin.

A note on garlic: an hour to 24 hours before I put my pizza in the oven, I chop up a a few bulbs worth of garlic, and then I soak my chopped garlic in olive oil with some oregano. Fresh oregano or dried, whatever you have on hand. Then, after I roll out my pizza dough, and before adding any toppings, I spread the oil-soaked garlic and oregano all over rolled out dough. I usually use a soup spoon for that, but you could always use something fancy you bought at one of those stores with the butcher block everywhere and twelve different kinds of egg whisk. Whatever works for you.

I rarely put tomato sauce on my pizza, but when I do, I cook it down into a pasty consistency. I never use sauce from a jar. That stuff is nothing but added sugar and preservatives. You might as well put a Twinkie in the blender with some food coloring.

Which I've actually done a few times. What can I say? The Eighties were a pretty wild time for me.

Kurt True
23 apr 2018