The Quest for the Perfect Pizza Dough Ball
Babadoh is the brain child of two brothers and avid pizza enthusiasts who have spent time learning the craft of making the perfect neapolitan pizza. It's a simple enough dish; flour, yeast, water, salt, topped with tomato, cheese and basil. But this simple dish hides complexity only those seeking perfection will recognise.
"Which flour?", "what level of hydration?", "which yeast?", "how long do I bulk ferment for?", "when do I ball?"
It's this level of detail that makes home pizza making so rewarding and something that we became obsessed with.
Our first home made pizzas
In the early years, our first pizzas were baked on a stone in the oven. We were basic beginners who didn't know their Caputo Blue from their Caputo Red or their 60% hydration from their 70%.
The pizza bug takes hold
Then, the home pizza bug began to well and truly grip us. Stepping up our game, we got all the gear. Ooni and Gozney empowered us to feel like professionals with their great outdoor pizza ovens. We discovered pizza enthusiast communities sharing the highs and lows of making pizza. The highs being the fun and buzz of mastering pizzas for friends and family; the lows of dough balls stuck together in the proofing tray.
This one step in the process was underserved and something we and many others seemed to struggle to master.
Perfecting our pizza dough
Anyone who's read this far will recognise the struggle. You form a beautifully round, tight dough ball and place it in a proofing tray, alongside five other beautifully formed dough balls, and you leave them to proof. You return some hours later, to find six plump and curvaceous dough balls. But, they're all stuck together.
Using your hands, and maybe a scraper, you work a gap between the dough balls, gently tickling the dough from the base of the tray. you lift, not realising it's also stuck to the side of the tray. So you gently release it from the side and finally lift the dough from its bed and onto the freshly floured work surface. You look at it; no longer plump and curvaceous, more like a sorry pancake. Yet, you stretch and form the dough into a pizza base, top it, cook it and celebrate success. Deep down though, you know it could have been so much better.
Over time, we lost count of all the makeshift plastic containers we experimented with to retain that perfectly formed dough ball.
Unlike our sexy new Ooni pizza oven and Gozney accessories, the containers just weren't the best tools for the job. The plastic parade of containers was now firmly out of instagram shot, not to mention the fact that they were fragile and broke easily. We also knew they weren’t eco-friendly.
After countless google searches for "dough proofing container", "dough ball tray", "dough ball solutions" and still no fix, enough was enough. We decided to stop grumbling and create our own solution. What else was there to do in the middle of a global pandemic anyway?
...and that's where the story of babadoh really begins. We set about planning how to resolve this problem and improve the lives of pizza enthusiasts the world over.