Author Topic: Can great bread lead to great pizza?  (Read 1915 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« on: December 10, 2010, 06:16:23 PM »
I've been learning a bit more about dough management and handling from making bread so I've decided to take a bit of a break from making pizza.  I'm going back  to the basics.  The foundation of pizza....bread.  If I can learned how to make great bread, can that ultimately help me make great pizza.  Would having a better understanding of bread dough or dough in general help me make a better pizza? Sure - why not?

I'm already making good tartine bread, but one of my goals is to be able to make a great tartine-esque loaf but use an entirely different dough techniques/regimen, yeast, fermentation times, etc.    So why the heck would I want to do that?  If I can make good bread with Chad's techniques and methods, why change a good thing?   Well for starters, I really just want to know that I can do it and secondly it makes me more flexible.  Helps improve my understanding of the different variables involved in making bread and pizza dough. 

For me, bread and pizza are very similar.  Afterall my ideal pizza crust is crusty, soft and airy in the middle like french bread.  So by experimenting with bread, I should be able to ultimately make a better pizza crust.

One of the first challenges in bringing bread and pizza dough together is to make a good loaf but use my normal pizza dough regimen.   For that, I settled on a 12h fermentation time at room temps.  This 12 hour block fits my schedule well.  I can make dough early in the morning and bake when  I get home from work. 

After making several successful loaves using IDY and a 12h fermentation window, I decided to take it a step further and make the bread with just kneading and folding dough for strength and omitting Chad's turns entirely.   For anyone interested, you can read about some of my previous bread making efforts in this thread starting with reply #18.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12140.0.html

I made 2 bread boules today but used my normal pizza dough formulas and pizza dough making routine.

Boule #1             
100% HG flour       
74% water                         
0.1% IDY
2.2% salt             

Boule #2
100% caputo 00 pizzeria flour
66% water
0.1% IDY
2.2% salt

I made 2 different size boules (HG ~600gm, 00 ~400gm) b/c I wanted to bake them together and I had 2 different size metal bowls that I use to cover in the bread in the first 20m of the bake.  Basically I wanted to make the boule relative to the size of the covers so that they would both have a similar concentration of steam trapped inside.    I wanted to keep as many of the variables as similar as possible.  Same fermentation time, baked at the same time, same temp, etc.

Method for both boules: mixed all ingredient together and allowed for an autolyse period (30m for HG 45m for 00) followed by a short period of hand kneading (2 min for the HG, ~5min for the 00).  The goal was to develop a similar amount of gluten in the 2 doughs prior to bulk rising.

Here is the dough after 8 hours rise at room temps.  Very little rise but the dough did relax into the containers.  Both came out very soft and supple.  The 00 dough was a bit more slack and required a bit more folding to get similar strength into the dough as the HG dough. 

As an aside, I don't have any round bannetons, so I tried a paper towel in a bowl and it worked just fine.  ;D


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 06:21:11 PM »
Both boules were allowed to proof up for another 4 hours and then baked.   The starting weight of the HG (bigger boule) is 580gm and the 00 boule is 386gm.

Interestingly enough the HG dough proofed up more and had a bigger oven spring.   Both were baked at 500f covered for 20m, and then 450f uncovered for 15m. 

The HG boule is about 30% bigger initially but looked 50% bigger after the bake. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 06:22:36 PM »
Here are the crumb shots from the HG boule (the better one). 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 06:25:14 PM »
here are the crumb shots from the 00 flour boule.   The crumb was not as light as the HG boule.  The texture was heavier and more dense.  Possible that this dough was more fermented than the HG dough given the same time of fermentation.  This difference in fermentation rate could possibly be due to the different flour.  00 flour ferments faster?  ???

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 06:26:52 PM »
I have to say that even though I haven't been making bread for very long at all, HG flour consistently makes a better loaf.  Better spring, lighter softer texture.    :chef:

PaulsPizza

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 06:33:38 PM »
Chau, you are making a world class bread! Well done buddy!
Any steam in the oven?

Paul

Offline ponzu

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 07:06:36 PM »
Chau,

Nice looking loaves.

Why did you make 2 different hydration doughs?  Doesn't this make it impossible for you to attribute the differences in the crumb, oven spring, taste, or fermentation to the different flours?  I get that the size difference was a function of available equipment, but why not have one variable difference between comparison doughs in as much as possible?

Also did you miss the sourdough flavor or are you just as Happy with the flavor of a slow fermented IDY?

Keep up the great work,

Alexi

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 07:11:41 PM »
Chau, you are making a world class bread! Well done buddy!
Any steam in the oven?

Paul

Thx Paul.  No steam in the oven.  All the steam is provided by the dough trapped under the metal bowl covering the loaves.

PaulsPizza

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 07:18:46 PM »
Chau,

Your bread is looking amazing! .....have you tried really underkneading the bread dough?

Paul

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 08:55:32 PM »
Chau,

Nice looking loaves.

Why did you make 2 different hydration doughs?  Doesn't this make it impossible for you to attribute the differences in the crumb, oven spring, taste, or fermentation to the different flours?  I get that the size difference was a function of available equipment, but why not have one variable difference between comparison doughs in as much as possible?

Also did you miss the sourdough flavor or are you just as Happy with the flavor of a slow fermented IDY?

Keep up the great work,

Alexi

Thanks Alexi. I did try to keep the 2 doughs as consistent as possible.  After a year of making high hydration pizza dough I have settled on a 66% HR for 00 flour and a ~73% HR for HG flour as giving a very similar feel to the dough with a very similar amount of oven spring when baked at high temps, and a similar finished crumb.   By doing things the way I did, it should actually allow me to do a relatively fair comparison assuming that I can adequately gauge dough characteristics by feel.  The one variable difference I was shooting for here is the flour difference. 

Now if I have astutely developed this skill then I perhaps should have gotten a closer match between the 2 crumbs.  The reason that the 00 crumb is denser than the HG could be either due to underkneading (likely culprit) or a greater degree of fermentation (less likely).  Most of my caputo pies made with this recipe were kneaded much longer.  For this batch of 00 I was experimenting a bit with less (minimal) kneading.  This technique is much more favorable for higher protein flours like HG flour and less so for lower protein flours like 00. 

Did I miss the SD flavor at all?  No, I'm just not a fan of SD.  Even a slight SD flavor is okay and rather pleasant,  but I have found that as dough sours, the fermenation acids change the texture from light to heavier and more dense relative to the degree of fermentation. 

Last week a made 2 loaves comparing IDY vs a young starter per the Tartine book.  I even did all the turns and followed Chad's method closely.   I found that the bread flavor from the IDY loaf was nearly identical to a young starter loaf.  Of course there was a difference but the difference was very slight.  On day 2, the left over bread from the naturally leavened loaf was a bit more moist but not much.   So it kept better but not by much.  I found that the better leavening effects of IDY contribute to a better texture and that outweighs any slight taste difference b/t IDY and a young leaven.   

In comparing IDY to using an active starter, there is a taste difference but to me it's not significant especially since I tend to bake off the starter loaves sooner to avoid and denseness in the crumb associated with the later stages of fermentation. 

Chau
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 08:57:16 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 09:02:23 PM »
Chau,

Your bread is looking amazing! .....have you tried really underkneading the bread dough?

Paul

Thanks Paul.  I applied minimal kneading to both of these breads.  It worked well for the HG flour, but I felt that the 00 flour dough need more kneading to achieve a less dense crumb.

Both were hand mixed to incorporate all the ingredients.  The HG dough was rested (autolysed) for 30m while the 00 flour was rested for ~45m.   The HG dough then receive less than 2 min of kneading while the 00 dough received about 5min of gentle hand kneading.  After the bulk ferment, both were folded and balled to further develop strength into the dough. 

Chau

Offline fazzari

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 12:24:52 AM »
This is great reading Chau, I've picked up a lot of important info from reading your stuff.  Sometimes one doesn't know how important some points are until he has a "Now I get it moment" while doing his own. Thanks
John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 04:40:39 AM »
This is great reading Chau, I've picked up a lot of important info from reading your stuff.  Sometimes one doesn't know how important some points are until he has a "Now I get it moment" while doing his own. Thanks
John

Thank you for your comment John.  To be honest, I am partially driven to post about my findings based on member feedback such as yours.  My experiments are often focused on improving my learning and I am for the most part observing and reporting my findings.   You made an excellent observation.  That the skill and knowledge isn't actualized/internalized until you've actually repeated the process, often times many times over.

Only by doing and paying close attention to the details of the entire process can we begin to develop an understanding of what is going on.  An understanding that we can personalize and use in further research. 

Consider this....when I set out to solve a problem I set a goal by telling myself that the answers I seek are right in front of me.  My goal is to find the solution that is already there.   I'm not actually discovering anything new.  I'm merely rediscovering what has already been done.  Especially if I know it has been done before, it can be reproduced again.  Unless the NY water and Caputo apron phenomenon has some merit to it, and if they do, then I guess I'm just spinning my wheels here.  :-D

There is no reason why anyone of us common folk couldn't make pizza/bread like the pros.  I've come to learn that often times the answers and truths we seek are very simple in nature but very specific.  By that I mean, I believe that what most of the "pros" are doing isn't very complicated at all.  It's a very simple process done day in and day out, but the process itself does have specificity to it  inorder to produce specific outcomes. 

Sure specific equipment and ingredients can make a difference in the process but how much of a difference?  It's all too common for ppl to assume that if they acquire these things, that their pizza problems will just miraculously go away.  They never really take the time to find out how and in what way when the answers we seek are in front of us all along. 

Chau

 
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 04:42:10 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline norma427

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 08:10:06 AM »
Chau,

Your breads do look really good!  :P I agree with all you said in your last post.  If you experiment enough and also see what others have experimented with here on the forum, it can lead you to good results.  The old dough masters and even great bread makers all have the same things in common.  Producing either a great pizza or great bread.  As I am going on this journey into pizza making and also bread making,  I can also see just how much they are related. 

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 10:09:17 AM »
Great experiment Chau. It is great to see how you can adapt the strict artisanal approach of the Tartine loaf into a real world process using commercial yeast - and still get great flavor and crumb. Your methodology is so well informed, I learn something new each time you post.

When are the video tutorials coming?

John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 12:30:11 PM »
Thank you so much for your kind remarks John.   You give me a lot of motivation and encouragement to take that leap of faith and try something new.   :D

As far as the tutorial videos, I have put those on hold for now.  With the busy holidays upon us it will be hard to find time since I want to a decent job.   Also I have been learning a bit more doing this particular experiment and should probably wait so I can standardize the process just a bit more before I put it out there for public consumption.  I always want to be able to give the forum my best.

Cheers,
Chau

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 10:55:30 AM »
I recently made a half-batch of the Tartine Baguettes and after final forming I only had room for 3 of them in the fridge...so I decided to use the 4th as a pizza dough.  Instead of forming into a baguette, I folded 6-8 times into a ball and placed into a lightly oiled bag.  I baked it off the next day and it turned out great!  I don't know if this really adds anything to the discussion or if I learned anything of real importance...in all reality, aren't we talking about "flat-bread?" :)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 11:03:55 AM by StrayBullet »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2010, 11:16:36 AM »
I recently made a half-batch of the Tartine Baguettes and after final forming I only had room for 3 of them in the fridge...so I decided to use the 4th as a pizza dough.  Instead of forming into a baguette, I folded 6-8 times into a ball and placed into a lightly oiled bag.  I baked it off the next day and it turned out great!  I don't know if this really adds anything to the discussion or if I learned anything of real importance...in all reality, aren't we talking about "flat-bread?" :)

Thanks for your post Mark.   My own opinion is that yes pizza dough and bread dough can be one in the same and learning about one really teaches us about the other.  I now make my pizza and bread using the exact same formula.  The dough is just handled and shaped differently.   I was hoping to generate some discussion over the subject since I have always wondered just how different they are.   Yes there are differences and even in specialty breads they all differ from one another.   

Instead of looking for differences or how or why something won't work, I choose to look at the similarities and how and why it could work.   

BTW, that's a great looking pie.  How was the texture?  The crumb looks a bit dry but that may not be the case.   

best,
Chau

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 12:19:35 PM »
Instead of looking for differences or how or why something won't work, I choose to look at the similarities and how and why it could work.   


Chau,

I think that is a proper and logical way to look at the matter. In fact, my recollection is that the bakers who came to the United States from Italy at the turn of the 20th century were bread makers and pizza became an extension of bread making. The major departures perhaps came with the development of new wheat cultivars and the invention and commercialization of mixers and gas-fired deck ovens, and eventually, conveyor ovens. My personal approach is not to view matters from a bread versus pizza perspective but to ask the questions: What kind or style of pizza do you want to make, do you want it to be artisanal in nature, and is it for use in the home or in a commercial environment. I then find the pieces that I think are necessary and try to put them together to achieve the desired results. By nature, Neapolitan pizzas tend to be artisanal in nature, as are those that make use of natural starters and preferments based on using commercial yeast, but Chicago deep-dish pizzas, American style pizzas and cracker style pizzas are not. It is possible to borrow methods from the artisan bread side for the latter styles of pizzas, as I have done on several occasions, but that is not something you are likely to see in a commercial setting.

Peter

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Can great bread lead to great pizza?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 02:46:13 PM »
BTW, that's a great looking pie.  How was the texture?  The crumb looks a bit dry but that may not be the case.   

best,
Chau

Thanks Chau and it was a bit dry but still very tasty.  I think I've been more of a slave to cooking times instead of gut feel and I need to adjust that.  My "go-to" recipe works very well and I now have it down consistently for my baking conditions so it's time to experiment a bit :)

Mark


 

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