Author Topic: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!  (Read 4060 times)

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Offline cohen1205

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My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« on: August 11, 2011, 02:46:01 PM »
I am new to the site.  A physician in Miami who lives in high rise condo
I'm a serious pizza addict since childhood.
But I've have had little to add to the science and craft of pizza construction
Yet, believe it or not, after years of frustration,
I have accidentally discovered what I believe is the SECRET to ULTRA-THIN CRUST.
Its not the flour, the formula, oven, stone, etc.  It is this simple maneuver.
It is so simple, Maybe it's been described elsewhere.
You'll need:

The dough you are presently using.
Wooden transfer paddle
Extra heavy duty aluminum foil
Pam-original
Small wooden pizza roller (see Amazon)
Oven - I use a Weber electric outdoor grill with a lid Q140.  Gets to 550F easily. No gas permitted on the balcony.
          and it keeps the kitchen cooler.
But there is not reason that a kitchen oven, stone, oven rack, or pizza screen won't do as well.  

I've concluded that the basic problem lies in the stretching (rolling) of the dough.  
The problem is you can't get it to stretch ULTRA thin without tearing.
And even if you are able to roll it, or toss and work it very thin, the thickness is not uniform.
Here's my secret!

After it has been handled, stretched and worked on the paddle board to its maximal diameter,
Attempt to roll it with a small roller.
You'll notice that although it gets bigger and thinner, it has a tendency to spring back to when you lift the roller
The dough has elasticity...  Too much elasticity.  The diameter will not increase
Using the floured paddle board, with floured roller, you can't make it REALLY ultra thin.
So most people make do with this dough, thinking this is only as thin as it can get.
They add the toppings at this point and proceed

BUT IF YOU
Lightly spray a large sheet of heavy aluminimum foil with Pam
Lay the thinly stretched floured dough directly on the foil.
(I hope you have started with a smaller ball, cause this is gonna get bigger than you think.)
Now start to roll your hand made "very thin" crust with the pin
Work from the center out in 360 degrees
Note that the dough will stay somewhat stuck to the foil and
When you begin rolling it it stretches bigger and even thinner
BUT by magic, the intrinsic elasticity of the dough is overcome.
Instead of contracting back as it does a floured paddle,
It sticks to the foil and simply rolls thinner and thinner and thinner...
And with uniform thickness as well!
The dough can stretched thinner because the undersurface is adhered to the foil
The dough can actually be rolled as thin as several sheets of paper, although that's going WAY too far.
It's tough to get the shape perfectly round -- so don't expect a pizza shop look to the finished product.
The sometimes free-form shape adds an authentic home-made charm.

Pinch the outer edges.  If you leave them too thin they will burn.
Brush some olive oil on the pinched edge to prevent burning, better yet extend the topping right up to the edge.
 

Add your toppings.  
Don't expect this ULTRA-THIN crust to support clumps of broccoli and other heavyweight toppings
If using fresh mozarella, press it well in paper towels first, to eliminate the moisture,
you don't want to wet this crust.
Same deal with fresh sliced tomatoes, avoid them, they contain too much moisture
Would also suggest ground sausage instead of large medallion slices


At this point you can trim some of the excess foil away.
Now slide the foil and dressed pizza combo on to the wood paddle
There is no way you can lift the pizza off the foil!  
DO NOT try to slide the pizza on the foil itself.
Do NOT attempt to move or lift anything but the foil!

Next:
Slide foil and pizza combo off the paddle into your oven of choice.
Cooks in about 5 minutes at 500 degrees

When done:
Grab the corner of the foil and slide pizza and foil combo back on to wooden paddle
Take to cutting area.
Grasp the pizza edge with your thumb and finger and and gently pull foil out from beneath pizza.
The finished pizza comes off on to paddle beneath the foil
It comes off perfectly clean!
If you want to dazzle your friends, and keep this a secret ... Destroy the foil evidence!
Cut with pizza chopper while on paddle.

These are the thinnest most beautiful crust I ever created... and it was by accident.
Could not find stone to fit my grill.
I buy commercial dough balls at the upscale market in my 'hood.  Fresh market.
I use one quarter of a dough ball (says its for a 12-15 pie) to make one 12 to 14 inch pie
Have repeated this more than a dozen times.
I use the white and not the whole wheat dough.  Have not tried the whole wheat.
The technique seems to be fool-proof in my hands!

Note:

OVERCOOKING CRUST
I have been placing foil pizza combo directly on the grate of an electric grill with lid (Weber Q140)
At first crust was burning before the edges were brown and topping completely melted.
I switched to extra heavy duty foil.
If bottom burns, you can try several sheets of foil before placing on oven grate or rack
Or try placing foil pizza combo on to stone or pizza screen to dissipate the heat.

UNDERCOOKING
It the dough is cooking faster than the top, try perforating the foil before placing the dough upon it.
I've not had the problem however.

Let me know how it works for you.
Bernie
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:21:13 PM by cohen1205 »


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 05:04:54 PM »
What you have described for rolling the dough out on "greased" foil is exactly what we do when making a pan style pizza. We use Crisco, margarine, or butter in the pan, then place the fermented dough ball in the center of the pan and push it out to the edges of the pan using your fingers. The dough adheres to the fat and doesn't slide around as it does with oil. We do this same thing using a coupe pan for thin crusts when we want to hand stretch. Just wipe or spray the coupe pan with the fat, and then roll the dough to just about full diameter, and finish stretching the dough to the pan size by hand, then dress and bake as normal.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 05:50:13 PM »
cohen1205,

Can you tell us the weight of your dough balls and what kind or style of pizza the dough is intended to make? And can you describe the characteristics of the finished crust (e.g., soft, chewy, crispy, cracker-like, crunchy, etc.?)

Peter

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 06:39:37 PM »
Quote
The problem is you can't get it to stretch ULTRA thin without tearing.

Hi, welcome,  I disagree! 

What kind of thickness do you believe is impossible!

Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 09:01:44 AM »
I use IL FORNAIO traditional Ready to bake Pizza dough. Ball is 14 oz to be used for a 12-14" pie.
I divide in quarters (3.5 oz) and get a 12-14" pie.
Dough is crusty with no bubbles.  Varies with amount of flour added for rolling out the ball
Take it easy on the Pam, spray lightly or crust might turn out a bit softer.
Do not slather foil with oil as in deep pan pizza.
The thinnest I would roll it is 2mm.  That will hold sauce and cheese but not weighty toppings.
Let me know how you do.
BC
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:09:01 PM by cohen1205 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 11:15:52 AM »
BC,

Thank you for the information. If you are using 3.5 ounces of dough to make a 12"-14" pizza, that translates to a thickness factor of 0.0227-0.03095. That is really thin. Even then, it does not sound like the crust would be cracker-like.

Peter

Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 11:28:33 AM »
there a hundreds of "cracker" styles.
could you be more specific?
It is NOT thin and crisp like a hard taco shell.
bc
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:09:23 PM by cohen1205 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 11:50:09 AM »
there a hundreds of "cracker" styles.
could you be more specific?
It is NOT thin and crisp like a hard taco shell.
bc



BC,

Sure. This thread is an example of cracker-style pizzas: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg48991.html#msg48991. For a really crispy version, using a thickness factor of about 0.06, see Reply 50 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49401.html#msg49401. Another example, using a thickness factor of about 0.03-0.05 (and no yeast), is the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10703.msg95206.html#msg95206.

In both of the above cases, the hydration of the dough is low. I am sure that the Fornaio dough you are using perhaps has a hydration of close to 60% since that dough is intended to make a regular pizza (NY or American style), not a cracker-style pizza.

Peter

Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 03:41:48 PM »
thanks for threads.
would describe as crunchy with no air bubbles
Will take some photos later this week and post
bc
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:09:50 PM by cohen1205 »

Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 06:28:53 PM »
Pete
What is your email addresse?
I have 7 sequential pix of ultra-thin preparation.
All too big to post on site.
Perhaps you can reduce them.
I will send to you
bc
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:10:10 PM by cohen1205 »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 06:34:04 PM »
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 06:39:00 PM by Pete-zza »

buceriasdon

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 07:32:15 PM »
Bernie, I use Image Optimizer here:        http://www.imageoptimizer.net/Pages/Home.aspx
Easy to use.
Don


I have 7 sequential pix of ultra-thin preparation.
All too big to post on site.
Perhaps you can reduce them.
I will send to you
bc

Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 09:34:48 PM »
Here are pix of ultra-fine dough via tin foil total 7
1. raw dough 2mm thick
2. rolled dough -- 3.2 oz = 13 x 10" pie
3. pie plus foil on grill - 500 degrees
4. baked pie 5 minutes later

more to follow
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:07:59 PM by cohen1205 »

Offline JConk007

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Re: the secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 09:38:10 PM »
Cohen the secret is to make you own dough have you seen this thread on ultra thin its pretty thin and hand stretched!  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.0.html
John
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Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 09:38:54 PM »
5. Pie slide off foil easily
6. Still hot, no flop
7. close up baked pie - 3mm thick

Note topping was
sauce, grated machego and parmesean, granulated garlic

Thanks so much for the Optimization tip!!!!!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 03:08:22 PM by cohen1205 »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2011, 04:09:31 PM »
Thanks for the write up.I have made similar super thin pies, but hand stretched them out,no rolling pin.

They taste great too! I no longer go that thin though,I like my crust a little thicker than paper.
 ;)
-Bill

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Offline cohen1205

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2011, 10:23:46 AM »
IMPROVEMENT IN TECHNIQUE

Since submitting "My Secret" there is yet another improvement.
Reynolds Wrap has a new "non-stick" surface product.  It's not available everywhere.
I think that this foil has  a silicone sprayed surface.
I've been using that and the results are even better.

The raw dough will adhere to the non-stick surface quite well.
Prepare a 4-6" disk and roll out directly in foil to a 12" diameter
Do not sprinkle flour between the foil and the dough.
Only one side of the foil is "non-stick"  THE DULL SIDE

The Pam on the standard foil might have been adding oil and compromising crisp

Also, have been getting a nicer, more uniform bottom baked surface.
By sliding pie off foil and onto a screen for the last 1-2 minutes of baking.

Hope this is helpful.  By the way, a floured paddle is not used in this entire process.
Easier cleanup.

BC
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 10:26:29 AM by cohen1205 »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2011, 12:02:33 AM »
Here is a hand stretched thin crust I made.It was fantastic.
-Bill

Offline Jackitup

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Re: My secret to ULTRA-THIN crust!
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2011, 12:12:19 AM »
Here's another way of doing it on foil. Dough on oiled foil, spread it out a bit, cover with plastic and using a bit of flour on the plastic to help things slide better, use a piece of PVC to SLIDE not ROLL to spread out the dough. Readjust plastic as needed till you get the thinness you want. Works great on wetter NY styles as well, rolling takes out too much of the gasses you want to save in the dough, using a gentler skiding technique works better leaving more of those small bubbkes in the dough.
Jon

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