When it comes to the culinary world of pizza, the dough can be a game-changer. A high hydration dough, for instance, creates a pizza that is a slice of heaven—fluffy, puffy, and pillowy, with an extraordinary texture that seems almost ethereal.

The bite is tender, the crumb airy, and the oven spring spectacular, leading to those coveted pockets in the crust that pizza connoisseurs long for. It’s like a dream on a plate; a piece of art for both the eyes and the taste buds.

However, while high hydration dough may be the epitome of pizza perfection, it’s not without its challenges. The very characteristics that make it so appealing—its moisture and extensibility—also make it a Herculean task to work with, especially when it comes to automation and large-scale production.

The Sticky Side of High Hydration

The primary complication comes in the form of its stickiness. With water content sometimes soaring over 65%, the dough is inherently sticky and temperamental. The higher hydration makes it resilient and often resistant to standard machinery used in dough processing, like mixers and sheeters.

Imagine trying to thread water through a needle; that’s what it’s like attempting to get this gooey, almost viscous, substance to conform to conventional equipment. Even when using tools such as dough dividers or rounders, the dough tends to adhere to surfaces, gum up machinery, and essentially create a logistical nightmare for anyone not prepared for its complexities.

The physical properties of high hydration dough require a unique set of skills for handling. Precision in ingredient measurement, expertise in the fermentation process, and a deft hand in shaping and folding are just some of the talents needed.

A minute error at any stage can turn your potential masterpiece into an unworkable, sticky mess. In this domain, you’re not just a baker; you’re a maestro, conducting an orchestra of flour, water, yeast, and skill.

The Skill of the Craft

The craftsmanship required for high hydration dough production is akin to alchemy. A balance has to be struck between the desire for that perfect, fluffy texture and the need for a dough that can withstand the rigours of production. Mastery of techniques like autolyse, bulk fermentation, and intricate folding is often essential.

Even ambient factors like room temperature and humidity can throw a wrench in the works. All in all, it’s safe to say that the creation of high hydration pizza dough is not for the faint-hearted; it’s a domain reserved for those willing to brave the complications for the promise of pizza nirvana.

The RePizza Solution

Understanding the delicacy and difficulty of this process, RePizza offers a 68% hydration dough ball—a marvel that sits right on the cusp of workable dough and ultimate hydration. Our dough captures the best of both worlds: the texture and flavour of high hydration with the manageability required for efficient production. It’s a sweet spot that has been perfected through rigorous research, trial, and error.

If this intricate balance of science and artistry fascinates you, and you wish to delve deeper into the captivating world of pizza dough formulation, RePizza has the perfect opportunity for you.

We offer dough formulation classes in our development kitchen, where you can learn the art from the masters themselves. This is not just a class; it’s an experience, an adventure into the scientific and culinary depths of what makes pizza, the soul-comforting, universally-loved dish that it is.

In crafting our dough, we have combined the best of science, skill, and technology with a keen eye on quality and functionality. We believe in empowering pizza enthusiasts and professionals alike to master this art, always with the best interests of our clients and the end-consumer in mind.

High hydration pizza dough is a marvellous yet challenging entity. While its unmatched texture and flavour are the stuff of dreams, its production demands a level of skill and understanding that borders on the scientific. But for those willing to take on the challenge, the rewards are boundless—and deliciously so.

Written by Matt Maxted

More by Matt Maxted