Author Topic: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza  (Read 20555 times)

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Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Hello all,

I am a new pizza shop owner, I was nervous about taking this on until I ran into a very nice person on this forum, you all know him as Pete-zza or Peter, He has been very helpful in getting me headed in the right direction on a dough recipe that seems to be very good so far. I can tell this gentleman helps many people in here and has an extreme wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much Peter :)

I would like to hear from any others that may live in high altitudes like mine, how you cook your pizza time and temp, plus ounces of dough for size of pizza's.

Any ideas on the ideal amount of toppings say for a supreme style pizza and like a Canadian bacon pizza of around 16". Are there any charts one could post or suggest??

I will try to post photo's soon of some of my pies to share with you.

Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho


Offline Pete-zza

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Tim,

Thank you very much but the credit actually should go to the Internet. Without access to information, including the information and knowledge available at this forum, I would still be in my kitchen fumbling around with pizza recipes and making mediocre pizzas. I am just giving back what the Internet has given me.

As for pizza toppings, you may want to take a look at this document, also courtesy of the Internet: http://www.pizzamarketplace.com/specialpublications/Burke_Right_Toppings_02.pdf. The pages you will want to look at are pages 22 and 23. Note, however, that there is an error on page 23. The amounts specified for pepperoni should be in pieces, not ounces (to be consistent with page 22).

I look forward to your photos, and especially to your contributions to the knowledge of pizza making at high altitudes. The altitude question comes up often yet we haven't been able to date to get our arms and minds around the topic in a practical sense.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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I would like to hear from any others that may live in high altitudes like mine, how you cook your pizza time and temp, plus ounces of dough for size of pizza's.

Welcome, Tim. Indeed Pete-zza is a treasure; many members here have benefited enormously from his experience and dedication to improving the art. Given the number of posts he has created and the value of the information in them, he has probably contributed more than all other members combined. 

With regard to your question: I live at 7000' feet. My pies are in the Neapolitan style and are baked for about 60 seconds at around 950F. Each dough ball weighs around 10.6 ozs. and is shaped into crusts that are about 10"-12".

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Dang Bill, that is fast, Mine are baking in a Impinger ll gas fired conveyor oven at 475 for 7:00 min, wonder if I can increase this a little? any ideas?

Thanks Tim Wurtz


Welcome, Tim. Indeed Pete-zza is a treasure; many members here have benefited enormously from his experience and dedication to improving the art. Given the number of posts he has created and the value of the information in them, he has probably contributed more than all other members combined. 

With regard to your question: I live at 7000' feet. My pies are in the Neapolitan style and are baked for about 60 seconds at around 950F. Each dough ball weighs around 10.6 ozs. and is shaped into crusts that are about 10"-12".
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Dang Bill, that is fast, Mine are baking in a Impinger ll gas fired conveyor oven at 475 for 7:00 min, wonder if I can increase this a little? any ideas?

Tim,

What is your current crust like in terms of thickness, flavor, and texture? Is there anything wrong with it that you would like to change? Are you getting complaints from your customers? Are you looking for a better crust to sell more pies?

Bill/SFNM

Offline Pete-zza

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Tim,

At an elevation of 5000 feet, you would not normally be considered to be in the "danger" zone in terms of requiring adjustment to your dough formulation or bake protocol. You have already reduced the amount of yeast slightly, so my first instinct would be to bake some of your "test" pizzas as usual and see how they turn out. Next, I would consider raising your temperature by about 25-50 degrees F and bake for a shorter time period. This is intended to compensate for the fact that a pizza will give up its moisture faster at high altitudes and should prevent the crust from drying out and from becoming too crispy. Lastly, I would try baking a few test pizzas at a lower temperature for a longer period of time and compare the results from doing so. Since you may be on the cusp, any one of these three possibilities may be the correct one.

Compared with a normal elevation situation, your current 475 degrees seems to be a bit on the low side, and your bake time seems to be a bit on the high side. So, I think you have some room to experiment with temperature and time. But, first, I think you will want to see if the dough formulation itself needs change because of your particular elevation, including getting the hydration right because of the tendency of flour to be dryer at higher elevations. I think getting the dough formulation right should be the first priority, and then getting the right bake temperature and time for that formulation.

Peter

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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The dough has doubled in size in the refridgerator at 35 deg. I have taken them out to warm up to room temp which is around 78 deg in here, and they seem to be rising alot more now. What do ya think? I went ahead and baked a 16" pie with it and it doesnt seen to have the fluffy airy texture like the pies you and some others bake. I used 23 oz for a 16" it is not as thick as I would like to see. It doesnt appear to rise very good while cooking it. Guess I am trying to achieve a little thicker crust and my not be able to at this elevation. I will take a pic and email it too you soon.

Any thoughts?

I really like what I am doing so far, I think as soon I figure out this dough problem then I may look for an awesome sauce recipe. I anyone would like to share one that would be great, right now I am using a canned sauce from Con-agra foods called Angela Mia, I think it taste pretty good for a canned sauce.
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Pete-zza

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Tim,

Knowing that you are using one of the Old Faithful dough formulations with hydration on the low side (around 52%), a doubling in the dough would not be unusual. However, next time you might want to reduce the amount of yeast, use even cooler water, and more water in relation to the amount of flour. I think the low hydration may have been a factor in not getting the more open and airy crumb, although it could also have been as a result of overkneading the dough, which may have been precipitated by the fact that the dough was too dense and dry to begin with. I think that going to higher hydration and the other suggested changes should improve the results. It is also possible to use a greater thickness factor to get a thicker finished crust, although you might want to wait until you see the results of making changes like those mentioned above before increasing the dough ball weight.

Peter


Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Today I adjusted my cook time and temp accroding to your recommendations. I set the oven at 530 deg and a cook time of 6:30 with this current dough, the results were much better than the 475 deg and 7:30 cook time. It actually created the dough to be a little more airy and a little more crispy, As of right now it is hard to cut with a fork as I think it should be, so to me we are headed in the right direction. I think a little less yeast as well like you recommended will help along withh a little more hydration. I really think it is getting close, I am sure I will have to play with the cook times and temps after the change to the dough, but for comparison purposes I will leave it for the first couple of pies.
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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I forgot to add one thing, I promise to post the recipe along with Time and Temps and equipment specs when we arrive at what would be considered an awesome product. I will do this so that any new or old members at high elevations can atleast get a good starting point to work with.   :)
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho


Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2006, 08:12:12 PM »
Thanks to Pete-zza, I finally have a dough that seems to work for me. At high altitude it is just not very easy to do this, but I have finally come up with a final recipce that I am happy with. I have to say I got lucky after several batches of dough and hitting the right temp and time for this pie. This gives me hope finally that I have what I think is the perfect dough. I could not of done it, if it were not for a loyal and long time member (Peter). 

I would like to know what you all think of this dough the way it cooked out. Thank you again Peter you are a big help. :)
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2006, 08:38:49 PM »
Tim,

I am glad you are satisfied with the results. I know you have been doing a fair amount of experimentation but would it be possible to see the final formulation you used? Maybe you can even elaborate on the challenges of making doughs at high elevations.

I know that you are using a roller with two passes of the dough. Have you considered using a slightly greater thickness, rolling out part way, and then stretching out the dough to the desired size by hand and forming a defined rim? I perhaps spend more time on this forum trying to tell people how they might get a nice rim than anything else I do :)

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I hope that you will tell us how your customers are reacting to your new pizzas. In the meantime, I would just continue to experiment, including trying out other dough formulations.

Peter




Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2006, 10:23:26 PM »
As promised here is the formulation I used to achieve this particular dough, I have tried many combinations, The problem with trying to get a good dough at high elevation is trying to get a dough that will get done and not be soggy, as with most things at high elevations and baking in general "Time cooks and Temperature browns" Peter kinda reminded me of this this morning when he said that with the amount of dough I was using at 26 oz for a 16"pizza, that I would need to slow down my cook time. I ended up with this at 5,000 ft elevation:

Oven: Impinger ll gas 40,000 btu conveyor

Temp: 490 deg Time: 7:35

Dough Formula adjusted : "Big Dave" Ostrander "Old Faithful" formulation



       Baker's Percent    (g.)        (oz.)         (lb.)

Flour                100.00%   11241.53   396.95   24.81
Water                 52.00%   5845.60   206.19   12.89
Sugar                  1.20%   134.90   4.76   0.30
Oil                         3.00%   337.25   11.90   0.74
Reg. salt              1.00%  112.42 3.97 0.25
IDY                  0.150%   16.86   0.59   0.04

   157.350 17688.55   623.93   39.00

Weights: 26 oz for a 16", 15 oz for a  12", and 7 oz for a 8"

I think one of the key factors here is the water, I tried it with 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, percent with not much luck. At high elevation here in Donnelly Idaho, with alot of moisture in the air up here. 52% water even seems a little wet, but it worked. I will continue to tweak it just a little but currently afraid to venture too far from where it is at, I think this should give anyone at this elevation or a little higher a decent starting point. The other factor that is still bugging me is that the dough atleast triples in size in about 48 hours, I may continue to cut back the yeast until I find the sweet spot, High elevations don't require much yeast because the air is so thin to start with, so things rise fast up here. I am in no way an expert on this but I know it also affects even baking muffins in my convection oven. The facts are facts.

I had a chance to let customers eat some pies tonight, I asked them to let me know what they thought and to be completely honest with me even if they didn't like it. I ended up with 2 comments back, both were positive and 1 said that it was the best pizza him and his wife have ever eaten. I told myself not to change a thing, my employees were smiling at that, as they have seen me wasting alot of dough and countless hours to get this far, lol.


Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2006, 05:12:52 PM »
Just want to share an experience with you all that I came up with. While visiting with Peter in an ongoing topic about my pizza dough, he asked if I had tried hand forming a pizza instead of using my sheeter Which is a 2 pass dough roller. The story goes like this, It is the very best pizza we have made thus far. I was so excited I unplugged the $3200.00 sheeter and forced myself to teach the employees how to form it by hand, and guess what, The customers love it alot too.

When you use a dough sheeter it is like using a rolling pin that smashes your dough flat along with pressing out a majority of the gasses from the yeast, and as I found out today those are pretty important for texture and taste, So I guess I now have a $3200.00 boat anchor. Unless I try to set the dough out sheeted for 30-45 mins before using it.

Well here are some pics of the hand formed pizza.
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2006, 05:23:11 PM »
Tim,

I think you are well on your way :). However, I would try letting a sheeted skin rise for a while before dressing and baking. You might even be able to form a rim at that point. I might add that it is my recollection that when Big Dave was a pizza operator, his people hand stretched and tossed the doughs.

Peter

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2006, 06:14:05 PM »
Today is a great day. I feel like the dough recipe and cook times and temps really came together. I actually have some customers raving about the Pizza at lunch today and this evening so far as well. Makes me feel like all the efforts that Peter and I put into this is worth it. I hope I am able to contribute some of my knowledge of high elevation dough and baking experience to the forum. :) So please ask!! Just so you know this dough has been approx 30 days in playing with the formula and sometimes it is very easy to get lost on what to do. I kept good notes and Peter was a huge factor on the out come. Thank you again Pete-zza :)
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2006, 06:21:40 PM »
Tim,

My pleasure. I learned a lot about high elevation dough preparation and baking from your many experiments but I must admit that I am still puzzled why you can't use much higher hydration levels, say, around 60%. Are you ready to try tomato sauces? There's quite a bit on the subject--as well as on cheeses, pepperoni, and a bunch of other stuff--on the forum.

Peter

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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Re: High altitude pizza dough recipe at 5,000 ft elevation, Thanks Pete-zza
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2006, 06:31:54 PM »
Peter,

I think I could get away with a little more hydration but at 55-59% it was really really wet after 24 hrs and even worse at 48 hrs and would just take way too long to bake, Right now bake times are 7:10 at 490 deg. and with 1 conveyor and a fair amount of customers I am looking for speed as well, although looks like we will need to add 2 more ovens. lol.


Tim,

My pleasure. I learned a lot about high elevation dough preparation and baking from your many experiments but I must admit that I am still puzzled why you can't use much higher hydration levels, say, around 60%. Are you ready to try tomato sauces? There's quite a bit on the subject--as well as on cheeses, pepperoni, and a bunch of other stuff--on the forum.

Peter
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Tim_Wurtz

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I am back from a little break from the forum, I needed to do some more testing and boy oh boy have we got an awesome product now, I am now using 53% hydration and still going down a little more on the IDY at 0.090%, I still feel like I need to go down some more yet. The dough balls are tripling in size by the end of the second day in the cooler. I think I am gonna try 0.050 and see what happens, I know that the less yeast i use the less of a flavor there will be, but I dont want to waste a bunch of blown dough either. I will post the results as soon as I try it. I am getting many compliments on our pizza daily to the point now that people are saying we have the best Pizza up here. That is a great feeling :)
Tim Wurtz
Mountain Mama's Pizza "Great pizza everytime"
Donnelly, Idaho

Offline Flagpull

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More pics!


P.S. Pizzamaking.com discount? Yes?


 

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