It was a warm sunny evening in late August. We were talking and laughing, a typical family pizza party. I had ground the wheat and begun the build on the dough three days before. The feta had been in the brine for over a month but I had milked the goats to make mozzarella and ricotta one day prior. The herbs and vegetables were just picked that morning. That night as we enjoyed our meal, my little son said, "You know what would be good on this pizza, olives! We should plant an olive tree." It was in that moment I felt like he had truly connected with the joy of artisan farmstead living. I live for moments like that.
This is my true artisan style pizza crust. You can make it with 100% freshly ground wheat, a high quality unbleached bread flour, or any combination of the two. The long, slow, cold ferment builds flavor and develops a crisp crust with a large open crumb.
Artisan Style Pizza Dough
This recipe makes 4 pounds of dough that can be baked over a two week period, or all at once if needed
3 Cups Lukewarm Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Instant Yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
6 1/2 Cups Flour
Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F. Add the yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl. Mix in the flour, no kneading is necessary. Add all of the flour at once, mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough is evenly moist. It should look a bit shaggy, not too wet.
Lightly cover the container with plastic wrap and allow the mixture to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before you try making the pizza. Refrigerate the unused dough in a lidded container for up to two weeks.