Author Topic: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?  (Read 1318 times)

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Offline johnamus

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Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« on: October 18, 2011, 11:10:19 PM »
In an attempt to replicate Petezza's Papa John's 48 hour clone I followed the recipe as described in the post here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217

My end result appeared to turn out great...until I sliced into it to discover a bready and somewhat moist interior! I did make a few alterations to the recipe:

  • Used ADY vice IDY (no IDY on hand)
  • Used Vital Wheat Gluten to increase protein (used calculator herehttp://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/ to attain what I thought was 14% protein. I used Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour which I estimated to be 12% and Hodgson Mill VWG
  • Lightly hand-kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes instead of using a mixer
  • Stretched the dough out to about 12 inches instead of 14
  • Pizza baked on stone instead of screen

The end result was crispy on the outside, but the voids were dense and uniform for the most part. Were any of the alterations to the recipe enough to result in my bready pie?  Here are pictures, what do you guys think?:
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 11:16:02 PM by johnamus »


Offline johnamus

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 11:11:16 PM »
more pics

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 11:58:21 PM »
Too much dough occupying too small an area it looks like to me.  That would have been a 16" pie for me, 18" if it would fit in my oven.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 01:50:13 PM »
johnamus,

I assume that you used the PJ clone dough formulation given at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217. If so, what Tom (Tscarborough) says in his last post is correct. If you used a roughly 21-ounce dough ball to make a 12" pizza, you increased the nominal thickness factor from 0.13642 to 0.18568. That is a big jump and was most likely responsible for the crust characteristics that you described. Also, the Better for Bread flour that you used is milled from a hard red winter wheat (http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/HARVEST%20KING%20ENR%20MT%202.pdf) whereas the flour that I have been using (mainly KABF) is milled from hard red spring wheat and is a sturdier, higher protein flour as a result. PJ is also using a hard red spring wheat, albeit one that is milled exclusively for them. I was told by PJ that its protein content is below 14%. My best guess is that the PJ flour is around 13.5%. You aren't likely to find a retail level flour with that protein content, especially one that is not bromated, so as an alternative you can increase the protein content of whatever flour you use to about 13.5% using the Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten. If you have access to professional flours, I would think that something like the GM Remarkable flour (http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/REMARKABLE%20BL%20BR%20ENR%20MT.pdf) might work but you should be aware that that flour is bromated.

I recently noted at Reply 311 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg156236.html#msg156236 that PJ is using a dough ball weight of 20-20.5 ounces. I have been using a dough ball weight of around 21-22 ounces because the PJ clone pizzas baked in my standard electric home oven appear to sustain more losses during baking that the pizzas that PJ bakes in its conveyor ovens, which provide a more uniform heat both top and bottom. However, you should feel free to experiment with using the lower thickness factor range (0.12992-0.13317).

Since you baked your PJ clone pizza on a stone rather than using a pizza screen, that may have also affected the crust characteristics because a pizza baked on a stone often has a greater oven spring.

Peter

EDIT (4/15/14): For the current Remarkable link, see http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/remarkable-flour-bleached-bromated-enriched-malted-50-lb/57122000

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 11:00:39 AM »
Thanks for the replies Tscarborough and Petezza.  I'll decrease my thickness factor and see if that gives me a lighter crust.   

Petezza, the detail in your post is most appreciated.  Difference in the wheat that makes up the flour is something that I must have glossed over.   More research is due on my part.  Perhaps I should buy a pizza screen too.

I cook my pizzas in an electric 550° double oven, a convection on top with a third element behind the fan and a standard oven on the bottom.  Between these two options, would one be preferred over the other if I am trying to achieve a lighter crust with bigger voids?  I currently use the standard oven.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 11:37:57 AM by johnamus »

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 11:38:00 AM »
Peter, if Johnamus is trying to replicate your recipe, then the better for bread flour should produce similar results to the KABF (without adding vwg) regardless as to whether or not one is spring and one is winter, based upon the similar levels of protein.

Now, if his goal is to be truer to PJs flour, then, sure vital wheat gluten or a commercial flour like remarkable might be the way to go, but, being true to PJs may not be his goal.  If I were making it myself, I'd be striving for the pizza in the photo and I think he may be too.

Johnamus, which matters more to you? Authenticity or replication of Peter's results?

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 11:54:39 AM »
My goal is to attain a pizza with crust characteristics resembling what Papa John's produces.  I'm not going for a perfect replica per se, but I figure that if I attempt Papa John's clone recipes then I will be pointed in the right direction. 

Don't get me wrong, if I somehow produced a 100% PJ clone then I would be one happy guy, but as long as I can produce something in the ballpark I'll be satisfied.

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 12:32:06 PM »
Well, as far as PJ ballparks go, I don't think you can get closer than Peter's recipe. While keeping your eye out for a higher protein flour is a great idea for future bakes, I think it's worth staying true to Peter's recipe for at least one more shot and using the better for bread flour (BFB) without the VWG.  BFB is 12% protein and KABF is 12.7%.  Imo, that's not that drastic of a difference.  To compensate, I would just toss a rest in the kneading process- maybe 4 minutes hand knead, rest for 30 minutes, then another 4 minutes.

Between ironing out the thickness factor issue and omitting the VWG, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

As far as convection vs. no convection, it really depends on how important even browning is to you.  Convection will bake the top a bit faster, but, more importantly, it will brown it more evenly.  As far as I know, Peter wasn't using convection, so if you want to stay true to his recipe, I would skip it. Bear in mind, that, in order to bake the top as quickly as the bottom without convection, you might need to either turn the oven up (after the pre-heat) or do some broiling.

Using the stone vs. a screen is not that big of a deal, as long as you match his bake time of 8-9 minutes.  Since a pre-heated stone delivers more heat than a screen, you'll most likely want to work at a lower pre-heat temp than he did.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 12:35:05 PM by scott123 »

Offline johnamus

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 01:01:37 PM »
Thanks for the advice Scott123,

For my next attempt I'll omit the VWG and copy the thickness factor in Peter's recipe, but I'll adjust the ingredient weights as appropriate for a 12 inch pie.  I'll add a 30 minute rest in the middle of my hand-knead as well.  I hope to attempt the recipe again next week and post the results in this thread.

As far as VWG goes, am I correct that VWG should be added to lower-protein doughs in order to achieve bigger and less uniform voids in the finished crust?  In other words, assuming all ingredients and processes are equal, if I made two doughs - one with all purpose flour, the other with AP flour + VWG - which one would turn out more light and airy?  My understanding is that the higher-protein strengthens the dough and allows larger bubbles to form, whereas the bubbles in a lower protein dough tend to collapse and form smaller evenly distributed bubbles.

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 01:14:27 PM »
Johnamus, there's different opinions on VWG  ;D I'm of the opinion that VWG is processed in such as way that it's damaged gluten and that, although it adds plenty of chewiness to breads, it doesn't do much for volume, and should be avoided at all costs, unless you live in a part of the world where high gluten flour just cannot be obtained.

Lightness and airiness is a combination of many factors.  Baking time/temp, hydration, oil content, thickness factor, fermentation and yeast viability and quantity are just a few.  One formulation might be airier with all purpose flour while another might be airier with higher gluten flour.  Generally speaking, I think, in order to maximize volume, one really should aim for a flour with protein above 12%, but there really are no hard and fast rules.

Unless you're Chau Tran, who seems to be able to snap his fingers and achieve any oven spring he wants, ;) maximizing oven spring is pretty much the holy grail for the home baker- and it's rarely ever one thing or a quick solution. It usually involves months of tweaking.

Btw, if lightness and airiness are that important to you, you really should think about moving away from American style and more towards more traditionally open crumb styles such as NY and Neapolitan.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 01:16:07 PM by scott123 »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2011, 05:52:54 PM »
johnamus,

scott123 raises several good points.

I agree with scott123 that trying out the Better for Bread flour without supplementation with VWG is a good idea, if only to see if you like the results. I like to play around with numbers even though I know that adding VWG to a given flour to raise its protein content to a particular value is not the same as using a flour that has that protein content naturally. If you read the definition of VWG at the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#V, you will see that the way that VWG is made does not equate it to normal gluten in a dough. If it was the same, you would get more volume in the dough because the added gluten leads to a matrix that is stronger than a dough with less natural gluten and it would retain the gases of fermentation better and longer. I don't think that VWG has that effect on a dough. It might add a bit more color and flavor although there are those who do not like the flavor that VWG imparts to a finished crust. I am also aware of the fact that scott123 is not a big fan of vital wheat gluten under cirmcumstances where one can get high protein flours and not have to resort to using VWG. I think I may be the only member of the forum who remembers that scott123's first post on this forum was on the subject of vital wheat gluten, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2874.msg24672.html#msg24672. I impressed him so much with my replies that he didn't respond to my posts and left the forum for an extended time before he decided to return for more :-D.

On the matter of the oven, I use a standard electric home oven without a convection feature. With respect to using a pizza stone, scott123 is right that it is possible to use a pizza stone. I used a pizza screen because at the time PJ was using screens (it is now moving to perforated disks) and I also did not want to have the bottoms of the crust turn brown too quickly or even to burn because of the relatively high sugar content. However, there have been a few members who have baked PJ clones on pizza stones although my recollection is that they watched the bottom bake quite carefully.

If you would like to get a more open an airy crust for a PJ clone pizza, my best advice is to increase the hydration of the dough. I attempted to address this matter in the PJ clone thread at Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58438.html#msg58438. The downside of using a high hydration with a PJ clone dough is that the extensibility of the dough goes up, especially with about 7% oil that itself contributes "wetness" to the dough. My practice with the PJ clones became to have the sum of the formula hydration and the amount of oil (both in percents) to be roughly equal to the rated absorption value of the flour (or blend) used. However, if you can handle higher hydration doughs, you should certainly give it a try. Along with some of the changes noted, including using a lower thickness factor value corresponding to the pizza size, I think you should see better results for what you are trying to achieve. There is nothing that says that you have to slavishly follow my methods. You will be the one eating your pizza so you should strive to produce the best results for your palate.

Peter

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 06:14:19 PM »
I impressed him so much with my replies that he didn't respond to my posts and left the forum for an extended time before he decided to return for more :-D.

Yeesh, Peter, did you have to drag that old post out?  It's like a photo of me in high school with a face full of pimples :-D

A bit of back story to that post. That was during the time when I was eating low carb. I didn't mention it because I didn't want to potentially sidetrack the discussion, but that was research I was doing for an almost 40% vital wheat gluten and digestion resistant wheat starch pizza dough.  Needless to say, I never really worked out the kinks and I didn't come back until I was off the low carb bandwagon and eating pizza again.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane  ;)

Oh, and a MUCH belated thank you for your replies.  I blame my lack of gratitude at the time on a highly frustrated absentminded tinkering mad scientist mindset combined with low carb induced irritability. I was definitely not in my right mind ;D
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 06:22:15 PM by scott123 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza looked great - ended up like a loaf of bread. Advice?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 06:29:05 PM »
scott123,

LOL...Thanks for the laughs :-D. A To be honest, at the time I didn't know what you were up to.

Peter