I'm sorry I haven't provided any update. All your help is appreciated. A lot has happened in the past few weeks
and only yesterday have I managed to get back into pizza making.
I have acquired some new pizza gadgets as per suggestions by pftaylor, Peter and others.
First, I have bought a digital scale. I didn't realise it can be had for so cheap -- I bought mine for A$40. This
translates to about US$30. It weights up to 1KG with accuracy of +/- 1g. I love it!
Second, not as high-tech, but equally as thrilling to a hand mixer like myself, I bought a new wooden spoon!
It's made in France using birchwood. Lovely.
In anycase, to the main point -- using my newly acquired gear, I gave Raquel another attempt. I found mixing
much more challanging with the new spoon. So I fixed the bowel and used both hands to mix with the spoon. I used the scale to
weight the water and flour. In the end, I used 450grams of water and 720grams of general purpose flour, yeilding
a healthy 62.5% hydration.
By the time I was finished, I could tell this dough ball was truely remarkable. It *looked* like the pictures pftalor
put up. It was smooth and silky in a way that could not be matched by any of my previous dough balls. I don't know
why though, since I measured the 720grams of flour and that turned out to be precisely 5 cups, which is the same
amount I used before but ended up with an over wet dough. But in anycase, perhaps it's due to the new scale, the spoon,
or the two hand mixing method, but the new dough is phenomenal.
As I type, it is fermenting in the fridge (yes I have one!) but I'm a little giddy and I just had to post. In the back of my
mind a horror little voice still echos: "What if this dough still comes out pale and un-caramelised?". We shall find out if
I can finally put that voice to rest in a few more hours.