Project Description

Click here for a version of Craig’s pizza/ciabatta dough recipe for home use, in case you want to try it and don’t have a large Hobart mixer or a LOT of friends to invite over! The dough produced with the technique below will be less firm and a little trickier to shape than the version for home use, but equally delicious.

This dough uses the poolish method and requires a LOT of water.  In the video above, master baker Craig Ponsford demonstrates the folding method mentioned and demonstrates how this dough takes on water over time.

The following version will make 30 ounces of dough (or 852 grams) or enough for three 10-ounce (284 grams) pizzas.  Recipe indicates both ounce and grams.

**If you would like to add olive oil (as Craig does in the video) reduce the water by 5% (or 1/3 cup) and add 5% (or 1/3 cup) olive oil.


For the poolish:

For the dough:

To finish:

  • Water  (75 degrees)- 9.4 ounces- 266 grams
  • Instant yeast #2- 1/2 tsp- 1.4 grams

Baking Directions

  1. Make the poolish. Check water temperature with thermometer. Pour water into a bowl. Add the flour and yeast and mix with your hands, working out any clumps with your fingers.  Set aside at room temperature for 7 hours.
  2. Measure out the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. After 7 hours, scrape the poolish into the bowl of the mixer.  Pour the second measurement of water into the bowl that the poolish was in, and mix to include any residual poolish left in the bowl.  Pour into the bowl of your mixer, along with the second measurement of yeast, and the dry ingredients.  Mix on low for about a minute.  Then stop the machine and with a rubber spatula or dough scraper, scrape well along the sides and bottom of bowl.  Then mix on low for 3 minutes.  Increase to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Dough will be very wet.
  4. Scoop dough into a sprayed or lightly oiled rectangular or square container. Now do an envelope fold: fold bottom third of the dough up, then the top third down, then the left and right, like an envelope. Then place your hands beneath the dough and flip it over, so that the folds are underneath. Let it rest, covered with a lid, for 45 min at room temperature.
  5. Give another set of folds, let rest for 45 minutes, and then give a final set of folds.
  6. If you want to use the dough right away for pizza, let rest for about 15-20 minutes before dividing into 10 ounce or 284 gram pieces. Round pieces by tucking sides of dough under and let rest again before gently rolling out for pizza. Bake on a baking stone for 10-15 minutes in a 500 degree oven (or as hot as you can make it) on a baking stone, until the crust is brown and crispy.
  7. For ciabatta, boule your dough by shaping it into a sealed ball, then chill in fridge for 1 hour (or overnight). If the dough weeps water, reincorporate the water back into the dough by kneading a little (do not add flour). Let bake for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees F on a baking stone, until the crust is brown and crispy.