I Might Be Biased. For many years, flour has been the predominant factor in my work life: sponges and doughs, mixing, kneading, shaping; flour, flour, flour. After all this, it doesn’t seem odd to me that I think pizza is mostly about the crust. Well-made toppings are easy enough to make (as long as the more-is-better philosophy doesn’t result in a mass of lavalike cheese in a molten, tongue-searing puddle). Fresh ingredients for the top, and not too many of them, a hot, hot oven, and a quick and lively bake— these are all important. (The best pizza I have ever eaten was baked in a wood-fired Québec-style clay oven in Norwich, Vermont. A Bosnian immigrant named Milos built and tended the fire, made the toppings for a dozen pizzas, and handled the bake—about 2 minutes per pizza. My meager contributions consisted of making the dough for the crusts and helping as much as I possibly could with the eating!) It’s the crust that is most often elusive. Just as it is really no secret that the best pizzas bake in just a few minutes, it is also no secret that the best pizza dough is one that has all the benefits of slow fermentation and enough moisture so that the baked crust is crisp and brown, with a light, open-textured chewiness. One common technique used to lengthen and slow down fermentation is to retard the dough (many pizza makers divide the dough into pizza-sized weights and retard them that way). A second method, and the one employed in the present formula, is to make a biga the day before the final dough is mixed. The biga then injects the final dough with all the fragrance and flavors of its gentle fermentation.