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I see all kinds of different dough recipes for Pizza. They all contain flour, salt, yeast and water. Some contain olive oil as well. The recipes are not consistent with the order in which ingredients are added to the mixture. So one recipe starts with the water and the yeast until it dissolves, then the flour is added and then salt. Another one starts with flour + yeast, then salt and water. Is there a preferable method? Can you explain to me the different considerations in each path?

Thanks

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I read two or three different questions here:

  1. Should I dissolve yeast in water?
    a. Should I proof yeast?

  2. Should I mix wet ingredients into dry, or dry into wet?

1) You don't need to dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water anymore (if you're using some other kind of yeast, this may not apply).

You may have heard over the past year or so that active dry yeast (ADY) has been reformulated into a smaller particle size, and can now be used without dissolving it first – as had always been the requirement....

You don't need to dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water before using it. (Even though it still says you should dissolve it on the back of the yeast packet, if you buy your yeast in packets.)

"Active Dry Yeast: Do you really need to dissolve it first?" King Arthur Flour

1a) Proofing yeast doesn't improve anything in the dough, it's just a means for you to discover whether your yeast is still active. If you bought it relatively recently, from a relatively busy story, you probably don't need to worry.

Yeast packages often have expiration dates. I've found them to be not all that accurate.

2) Typically we add wet to dry: Order of combining wet and dry ingredients when baking

The gist is, dry powdery substances tend to float on top of water and form a skin. Adding the water to the flour (better) prevents this and tends to allow the wet ingredients to be incorporated more easily.

So, putting that together, you should mix the flour, salt and yeast (unless you think you need to proof it), then mix in the water (and oil, if you're using it).

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    ... unless you're not using active dry yeast. If you're using some other kind of yeast, you'll still want to proof it. – FuzzyChef Sep 21 at 3:07
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I make Neapolitan style pizza often, and I have been making it for years. I've played around with my recipe and process for a long time. My process is to put my mixing bowl on the scale, then add the correct amounts of flour, yeast, salt, and water. I put the bowl in to the mixer, and mix. I understand what you are asking, and have experimented with, for example, first proofing the yeast in the water, then adding flour. Personally, I don't find it to be necessary, and it is just faster to dump all ingredients in and mix. Technically, salt does inhibit yeast growth, but in reality, I haven't had an issue with lack of proofing. So, for me efficiency is preferable, and I mix everything together all at once.

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    I would like that to add that this even works with a block of fresh yeast, not just with the powdered dry variant. This was a little surprising to me and it saves several minutes of time when you don't need to dissolve the yeast in the water first. (and fresh yeast is generally significantly cheaper, not that it adds up to a lot unless you are making a lot of dough) – Nobody Sep 21 at 7:56
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In Naples pizza is made water first. Modernist Bread says it doesn't matter.

I think you'll have a much easier time with water first, plus it opens up resting/autolyze possibilities.

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