pizza, with crackly crust

Past couple weeks we've had the occasion to eat pizza at Tommy's Pizza and Subs on OSU's campus.  It's an interesting pizza, super thin crackly crust with layers of crackly goodness.  I think it's similar to Rubino's and Clintonville Pizza (some time ago, recently CP changed and their pizza is awful).  We observed, in the basement of Tommy's is a sheeter, I've also seen one in Cville Pizza, so I figured this had something to do with the texture of the crust.

If one searches for this crust style using terms like "thin," "crackly," etc. results are filled with various dough formulations that fall short.  There's more to it than thin.  I can roll a dough extremely thin, but then there's no life to it, it turns into a soft dead crust, no bubbles, no nothing.  There's crispiness and sometimes layers of crispiness.  Recalling my experience with dough for biscuits, if I fold it a couple times and bake I get a pretty good set of layers and some crispiness.  In an unlikely attempt, I tossed together a quick dough from quick rise flour, leavening from baking powder only - no yeast, tried to fold it, rolled it out thin - very hard to work with, it produced a terrible kind of cookie pizza crust.  It was pretty disgusting.

When I incorporated the word laminated into my search, several posts from pizzamaking.org popped up and the problem had been addressed.  Little did I know that laminating was not only a technique for croissants, but for lean doughs as well.  I recently read of a lamination procedure used on a relatively lean dough when reading about paratha vs naan, so it's definitely nothing new, but it was to me.  And what a great application of a powerful technique!

I happened to have some dough in the fridge, 2 days old.  I made it for my crusty mini banh mi rolls.  The dough consists of Gold Medal unbleached white flour 250 g, water 150 g, Fleischmann's instant active yeast 3g, salt 4g, crisco 4 g, just mix and knead and toss in fridge.
 Started with 124 g.

Rolled it out to a rectangle of about 12" x 9" and folded it in thirds.  This is a pretty dry dough and rolls easily.  I kept dusting it with flour.

Rolled it out thin and folded it into thirds again.  If this were croissants, this would be called the second turn.

Then I rolled it to a 10" x 10" square, the thickness can then be given by a density: 1.25 g dough/sq inch.  This derived quantity is a better way to accurately describe thickness than trying to describe the actual thickness of the dough.  This compares to my usual of 220 g per 90 sq in round pie (11" diameter) or 2.4 g dough/sq in.

When I get a pizza idea but have no tomatoes on hand, I often just make a mush of olive oil and tomato paste and use that for my first coat, it's pretty nice.  Then I added mozz, oregano, olive oil, salt and coarse pepper.  The black enamel on steel sheet was coated with some oil and placed in a 500F oven, slightly above half way in the oven, to bake for about 15 minutes.  I did NOT dock the surface as is normally done with cracker crusts, I prefer the bubbles.

Boom! Lots of bubbles, super thin crisp crust.  As it cooled it became a little more crisp.

Appetizer time!