Your latest experiments look gorgeous! I bet from the long fermentation the crust really tasted great. I wanted to ask you some questions if you thought your recent experiments tasted anything like the experiments you did on the hybrid Reinhart at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13697.0.html The ingredients look about the same except for the hydration.
What do you think the preferment added, in your recent experiment? Do you think these recent pizzas were better than your Reinhartís with a preferment and a higher hydration? Also what do you think about no oil added and does that help for a more tender crust? I just have a hard time understanding all the differences.
All of the Reinhart doughs were very similar. I was ready to call it quits, because I didn't think I could make the pizza any better. It was only when I lowered the hydration, (kind of as a starting point to try new things), that I realized that the texture was still very similar to the higher hydrated doughs. So, I knew it was not necessarily the hydration which made the pizza exceptional. I still believed that it had to be the combination of ingredients with the particular mixing schedule....and of course, I always knew the dough "HAD" to be reballed. One concern I always had, was that it took 2 or 3 days of fermentation, to get the best textured crusts, and that is when I started playing around with the idea of using a poolish. And it seemed to work at the time..I could get a very good crust in as little as 1 day (texture wise) and the poolish added great flavor. This kind of lead up to my experimentation with balling schedules....I am convinced the balling schedule is the single biggest factor in the production of a great textured crust. In the past, as I worked with Reinhart doughs, I always reballed, but my reball schedule varied, most of the time I reballed the night before I baked...so, I would say 8 to 12 hours prior to bake. The pizzas were always good, but once in awhile, an exceptionally crispy, great textured crust would show up...but, I couldn't figure out why. This latest experiment, balling 3 hours prior to baking is very, very promising, and so very exciting. I am talking crispy, great textured pizza each and every time so far. It's funny, I feel like a baseball player, who does things the same way, so as not to jinks a good thing. My next adventure, will be to see if I really need to go through Reinhart's mixing machinations, do I really need oil, etc....because like I said, I'm convinced the balling schedule is everything. Having said all that, take a look at the pizza we had this morning.
This pizza was made from a dough which was refrigerated 94 hours, taken out and balled, and left to sit out 3 hours. This was the crispiest one yet. Hope I didn't ramble to much Norma.