Chicago Style Cracker? I don’t think so.
Sorry for the long post…
The following is my recipe, process (and a few photos to boot) of the “attempt” I made at a Giordano’s Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza I dubbed “The Capone” (I guess I'll have to elaborate on that name in a follow-up post):
1.5 C. King Arthur all purpose flour (sifted well with 1.5 Tsp. Vital Wheat Gluten)
1 Tsp. ADY yeast
3/4 Tsp. salt
3/4 Tsp. raw sugar
6 Tsp. oil (3 Extra Virgin Olive, 3 Corn)
6 Tbsp. warm water
First, I sifted all dry ingredients together (the raw sugar was rather large granules, and didn’t go through the screen on my sifter so I just mixed it in with the other dry ingredients by hand.) I proofed the yeast (mixing it with 4 Tsp water @ 100°-according to the instructions in The Joy of Cooking.) First of all, I think using corn oil was a bad idea. Buzz’s recipe calls for “5-5.5 Canola & the rest extra virgin.” I figured it was better to use something like corn oil than all EV. I mixed the two types of oil in a blender along with the “warm” water (in reality, I let the hot water in the faucet run for a little while, filled a small drinking glass and measured 6 Tbsp. into the blender-the water was probably 130°.) I dumped the flour into a mixing bowl, added the yeast and kind of stirred it around a bit, then I dumped in the oil/water mixture and tried to make it “come together as a cohesive ball.” It never really did. I didn’t really knead it per-se, I kind of went through the motions a few times, but it seemed…almost like tough, like the consistency of taffy, or like those pliable, grey art erasers (I think they’re used in charcoal drawing) not like dough should feel. And I only let it rise about 5 hours (though our apartment was quite warm-it was a pretty hot day.)
I think I already know the mistakes I made:
1. I think sifting the flour changes the structure and reaction of it. I think sifting flour when it’s not called for is a no-no, even thought the flour is listed as “pre-sifted” (?)
2. I really can’t say for sure what kind of condition the yeast is in. It looks and reacted like it should. I think I bought a jar of something like Fleishman’s and put it in a small Rubbermaid container with an air-tight-sealing lid and have kept it in the freezer since (we’re talking several years, but according to Joy “if kept in airtight containers in the freezer, it will last indefinitely” so I don’t really think there’s a problem there.)
3. I used Morton’s Iodized salt (as opposed to Kosher/sea) I don’t know if that makes a difference.)
4. I think since the sugar was in larger granules (which means it was more spread out/not as incorporated into the dough) the yeast had less to feed on?
5. Corn oil-bad idea. I think I will be picking up some canola or extra light virgin. And blending things like I did probably wasn’t a smart move either. (Leave oil and water separate as God intended.) And come to think of it, I don't remember if I measured Tbsp or Tsp-obviously there would be a big difference.
6. The warm water oops was more of an after thought-I knew the water I used to proof the yeast shouldn’t be more than about 120, but it didn’t even occur to me that the water I used in making the dough could be too hot.
7. I think I should have followed the recommended 2-minute kneading no matter what I thought of the “dough ball.”
So what IS the best way to mix/blend these ingredients by hand? It seems that if I put the oil, water and proofed yeast in a mixing bowl and added a little flour at a time until I got a dough ball of the correct consistency, that would be the right way to go about it. What kills me is that I’ve made quiller quiches (several years ago, but still.) I made the most absolutely perfect flakey pie crust for them (and again, probably using a different recipe.) What am I doing wrong (if I haven’t figured it out already…)