Author Topic: Tinkering With A Great Recipe  (Read 5901 times)

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Offline mivler

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Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« on: October 25, 2006, 10:07:39 PM »
After largely sticking with Pizza Raquel for about a year, I figured I would try to improve her. I am trying to get all the qualities that I love in Raquel with a little more flavor. My first attempt was a failure. I would appreciate any comments

I used the tried and true formula that I have been using for over a year
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11359.html#msg11359
Here are the modifications I made.
1. I used AP flour rather than SL – I was going to use SL but I started measuring AP and decided to continue since this was an experiment it would be okay. Additionally, I am almost out of SL and I will not be getting to Vermont to pick up another bag until Dec 10. (I realize now that this could have had the most impact on the pizza)
2. I mixed ½ the flour with ½ the water and ½ the IDY the night before. I mixed it until it formed a ball (about 2 minutes). I let it sit on the counter overnight.

The next morning I mixed all the salt in with the remaining ½ of the water. Then I added the dough I had started the night before, the sourdough starter and the other ½ of the yeast. I chopped up the dough from the night before to try to get it to mix with the water but it did not cooperate. After trying to mix them for about 5 minutes I gave up and let it sit for about 20 minutes as a clumpy wet mixture.

Next I started adding my flour over 5 minutes and then let the KA mixer continue on speed 3 for another 5 minutes. I felt like it took a little longer to absorb the flour.

After this point I was able to follow the remainder of the recipe.

Here are my comments.
1. After the ball was together and I was working on my final 2 minute hand knead it felt like it required more flour on the board. It started to stick a little.
2. After the balls came out of the fridge and sat for 2 hours they stuck more than usual to the Tupperware that they had risen in. The balls were sticker than usual when I tried to shape them. Also they did not stretch out as well.

The flavor was a little different, but not as good. The crust did not have the usual texture.

On a side note, I asked my wife what she thought of the pizza, she said she really liked the sauce. She did not have too much to say about the crust she could not detect a difference from my usual.

I have attached some pictures.

Thanks for any feedback


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 10:56:13 AM »
Michael,

If I understand your post correctly, what you are trying to do is use two preferments, one based on using commercial yeast (IDY) and the other being a natural preferment. Plus you are using some extra IDY in the final mix when the commercial preferment and the natural preferment all come together.

Using two preferments in the same dough is a bit unorthodox but not unprecedented. As a matter of fact, that is essentially what Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana does. In his case, he uses a combination of old dough and a natural preferment. I am pretty certain that his old dough is taken from a prior day’s production and is also a natural preferment, not one based on using commercial yeast. I think Anthony uses the old dough method because it is an approach that he feels comfortable using, having been his original approach before he started to use the second preferment, which he formed by using wild NYC yeast and flour and water in his pizzeria.

What you did by combining half of the flour and half of the water plus yeast (IDY) seems to come closest to a sponge technique, that is, one using a portion of the water, enough flour to produce a medium hydration preferment dough in the range of about 60-63% (in your case, 60%), plus some yeast. There is nothing wrong per se with using this approach but the sponge process has to be designed properly, especially if you have a finite amount of IDY available to use. For example, if you use 50% of the flour for the preferment, as you did, and would like to have a room temperature fermentation time of say, 8 hours (assuming a water temperature of 60 degrees F and a room temperature in the range of 80-85 degrees F), you will need about 0.23% IDY by weight of the preferment flour, or 0.0184 ounces IDY. 0.0184 ounces of IDY is more than the total weight of IDY (0.01 ounces) used in the Raquel dough formulation. This means that you would have to use less yeast and a longer room temperature fermentation, or use warmer water, or a warmer room temperature, or some combination of these factors. You could also reformulate the preferment to use less flour, and hence less yeast, but still stay within the ranges normally used for sponges.

It’s hard to say what will work best for you without further experimentation, but you could try using all of the formula IDY in the sponge, which is very common. From this point forward, the fermentation time will depend on your water temperature and the room temperature in your kitchen. Until you get things right and note how long everything takes, you would have to watch the preferment to determine when it reaches the maturation/ripening point signaling that the preferment is ready to be used. Otherwise, you could alter the characteristics of the final dough and the finished crust. I would add the poolish preferment to the final mix at the same time as you add the natural preferment. From that point on I think you should be able to use the rest of the Raquel dough processing steps.

Another approach you could consider is to make your own old dough from scratch, using flour, water, yeast, and salt. However, it too, would have to be designed to make use of the available IDY and otherwise comport with the usual rules that govern the formation and use of the old dough. Otherwise, as with a sponge, the final results will be unpredictable and possibly produce mediocre results or create other problems with the final dough. Remember, preferments go through the same general processes as regular doughs, so quantities and times and temperatures are very important. Preferments are math and science at their very best. You just can’t toss a bunch of ingredients together and get the results you are hoping for. Professional bakers know this and experiment all the time with their preferment formulations and characteristics to find what will work best for them, consistent with the need to be able to produce bread on a commercial basis. Remember also that when you are playing around with preferment formulations used for bread baking, the finished results can take on flavors and other characteristics normally associated with breads. For example, when I tried using a biga preferment to make pizza dough, the finished crust tasted a lot like a baguette. It was nice but not quite what I expected. You might discover that you don't like the "new" flavors.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 12:15:36 PM »
Michael,

Using two preferments in the same dough is a bit unorthodox but not unprecedented. As a matter of fact, that is essentially what Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana does. In his case, he uses a combination of old dough and a natural preferment. I am pretty certain that his old dough is taken from a prior day’s production and is also a natural preferment, not one based on using commercial yeast. I think Anthony uses the old dough method because it is an approach that he feels comfortable using, having been his original approach before he started to use the second preferment, which he formed by using wild NYC yeast and flour and water in his pizzeria.
Peter


Peter,

I believe the above definition to be incorrect. It is your deduction, but it is technically incorrect:

The starter added to Anthony preferment (the old dough) is there to start fermentation and act as raising agent, not as a preferment (which is added to dough to add flavor and "developed" factors). The resulting poolish is a preferment after fermentation.

Secondly, I know that Anthony obtained a piece of Ischia (sourdo) starter in 2004, and he probably uses that now (just a guess but He did indeed get the Ischia starter).

Anthony was a bread baker and that pizza is a result of bread techniques.

I know Anthony doesn't like me because I did criticize this, but if he call his place Una Pizza Napoletana, write all that story on the menu, then it need to be told that what it does is not authentic, even from a "Sourdough Neapolitan Pizza" prospective.

Ciao

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 12:43:43 PM »
Marco,

I believe we are on the same page as far as the natural starter is concerned. I tend to use the term "preferment" more broadly than you--and possibly others--do. My understanding is that the natural starter that Anthony uses is for raising the dough, just as you have described many times before in other contexts. In fact, Anthony made a point to say that he uses only a small amount of the natural starter and that if he tries to increase it, it hurts rather than helps the final product. I'd like to say the natural starter used in the Raquel dough formulation is for the same purpose (raising the dough) but I can't say that for sure because of the use of a small amount of IDY. I perhaps should have been more careful with my description. Thanks for the clarification.

When I was in NYC in September and spoke with Anthony, he said that he was using a natural starter created from wild yeast in his pizzeria. My recollection is that I asked him about why he wasn't using one of the Italian starters and my memory is that he said that he thought that the local yeast would overtake the Italian starters. He was very busy when we spoke so there wasn't an opportunity to get into the matter further.

I agree that what is represented in menus and elsewhere should be reflected in the product offered. I have seen many instances, and not limited to pizzerias by any means, where there is a disconnect between what is stated or described in menus and what arrives at the table. It happens so often that I almost expect it.

Peter

Offline David

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 01:33:10 PM »
To this day i'm still often confused when I see,starter,pre-ferment ,biga ,poolish,chef,barm etc.used.So many people seem to cross reference and mix the terminoligy it has become very blurred.(and i'm sure some of the people who use these terms are as uncertain )
This isn't helped either by the fact that  French baking terminoligy can be included in English guidelines for Italian products !!
                                                  David
                                                                           
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 02:00:09 PM »
David,

The term "biga" is a good example of what you are talking about. Technically, a biga is made up of flour, water and commercial yeast. Originally a biga was a stiff dough, and usually fermented at room temperature, but now it can be stiff or liquid, sour, and can be fermented at room temperature or in a cold environment. And there is also such a thing as a "natura biga" which contains no commercial yeast. According to Didier Rosada, a former baking instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute, the term "biga" can now be construed as a generic term for a preferment, including pre-fermented dough (such as old dough), poolish, or sponge. That is why if someone says that Chris Bianco, for example, is using a biga, that doesn't tell me much, if anything. I would have to ask a bunch of questions to get useful information.

I think a lot of the blurring of terminology has come about because of the need of bakers to accommodate dough making processes to the realities of running commercial operations, much as many so-called Neapolitan-style pizza makers in the U.S. resort to using cold fermentation of their 00 doughs for inventory/dough management purposes. This is not a criticism, just an observation.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 02:07:04 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 04:20:23 PM »
Biga IS an hard dough like preferment, without salt, which CAN be done with commercial yeast. The first bigas were done with natural starters: A tiny piece of old dough would start the BIGA (preferment), then this BIGA (preferment) was added to the final dough.

One baking instructor or few confuse people on the internet do not make a terminology...... I believe Peter Reinhart in his books called Biga the exact thing!

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 05:19:36 PM »
Marco,

As you will see from this article, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/31/AR2005053100414.html, Didier Rosada is no ordinary baker. At the time he made his observations about the term biga taking on a broader meaning within the industry, he was indeed a baking instructor at the SFBI. He later became the chief instructor, until he was lured away to become a businessman as noted in the above article. To be fair to Mr. Rosada, he did describe a biga as a preferment made of flour, water and yeast, with a hydration of 50-55% (stiff), intended to ferment at 60 degrees F for about 18 hours.

Peter

Offline mivler

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 10:05:46 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for all the information. I'll keep experimenting to see if I can come up with something good. I am in the process of rereading the Patsy's and Raquel threads. Given all the effort that went into the recipe I am not sure I will be able to create more flavor with my method, but it's worth some experimenting.

Michael

Offline mivler

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2006, 01:06:41 PM »
I'm probably over thinking this but another thing I noticed is that the pizza was not as charred as usual b(see pictures above compared to the one on the left next to my name). To me this is good thing. In reading some old post Jeff (varasano) points out that he has more success with bread flour at high temperatures than SL. I have mentioned before although my Thermador has a dial that goes to 550, it runs VERY hot. I put a thermometer in and it got to about 700 or so before it cracked. Anyway, I think the fact that it did not over char was in part due to the lower protein flour. (Although I recently started measuring and recording as much as possible when I do my experimenting, I have not recorded cooking times because I am always so busy getting the rest of the dough prepared and usually finishing getting toppings ready (oh and eating). In my current setup I can only cook one (high temperature) pizza at a time.

Michael


Offline scott r

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 01:46:36 PM »
Michael,  I have noticed that the major contributing factor to how charred a dough gets (other than temperature or cook time) is the state of fermentation of the dough.   My guess that your differences in color have much more to do with how fermented your dough was.

Marco has pointed out before that the protein content may not have as much to do with crust coloration that we think, and I have found his concept to be accurate.

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2006, 02:21:37 PM »
Michael,

I'm not sure whether the reduced charring is due to a lower level of sugars (natural) in the dough or your oven temperatures, but if the prefermentation time is long, especially at room temperature, the yeast in the preferment uses up a lot of the flour's sugar. This means that the total fermentiscible sugar in the final dough will be less than what would exist if you used a straight dough method. Consequently, you are unlikely to get the same degree of crust coloration. One way to deal with this is to add about 0.5-1% diastatic malt to the final mix.

Peter

Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2006, 04:14:18 PM »
I'm probably over thinking this...

Reminds me of a story in The Onion...
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
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Offline mivler

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2006, 11:16:32 PM »
Wow, that really is me. That's funny, thanks.

Michael

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2006, 11:08:25 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has provided input. I took a different approach this time. I’m wondering if pftaylor, pete-zza or anyone else has tried this approach. It tasted good. I’m not sure if it was better than the original but I would really be interested to see what others think about what I did or even to try it.

Please note this is largely based on pftaylor’s Pizza Raquel. The only differences are
-   I added diastatic malt powder
-   After adding ½ the flour and yeast to the salt water I let it sit at room temperature over night.

Weight             Volume                                         Description                             Bakers Percent
912  Grams   6 2/3 cups                       KASL High Gluten Flour             100%     
546  Grams   2 1/4 cups or 18 fluid oz      Water                            60%     
.570  Grams   1/4 teaspoon (baker's pinch)     Instant Dry Yeast                        .0625%     
18.2   Grams   4 1/2 teaspoon                  Sicilian Sea Salt (fine cut)        2%
74    Grams   4  tablespoons (heaping)      Preferment                     8% 
7 Grams        Not sure                    Diastatic Malt Powder               .077%


Preparation Steps
1 - Stir water and salt with spoon/whisk until dissolved in stand mixer bowl.
2 - Add approximately half the flour first, then the yeast. Fit stand mixer with hook attachment.
3 - Mix 30 seconds on stir to incorporate yeast.
4 – Rest at room temperature over night (8 hours)
5– Add preferment
7 - Mix 1 minute on stir to incorporate preferment.
7 - Mix on stir speed for 5 minutes, adding the diastatic malt powder, and then the remaining flour gradually over the 5 minute mix.
8 - Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes.
9 - Check dough temperature with digital thermometer; it should be 80 degrees at the hook. (mine was actually 74 degrees)
10 15 minute autolyse.
11 Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes on lightly floured prep area.
12 Cut into 4 or 5 equal pieces, form into balls, place dough into bowls, cover with shower caps.
13 Place dough in the refrigerator. Ferment for 24+ hours. (I did 3 day rise)
14 On the following day(s), remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Note: Do not punch down, reform balls, or do anything to the dough other than let it warm to room temperature.

I enjoyed the pizza. I was actually surprised how much similar it tasted to the original recipe. The dough was equally as workable as Raquel. The finished crust might have been a little softer. There was a good amount of flavor.

I'm very interested if anyone has tried this.

Thanks,

Michael

Edit:
As I was eating a piece this morning I decided I was not happy with my description. Rather than "soft" I would say it was not as crunchy and more chewy
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 09:29:38 AM by mivler »

Offline mivler

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2006, 11:14:48 PM »
The preferment, the starter and a pizza

Offline thehorse

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2006, 09:37:40 AM »
Hi, this is my first post, but have been reading this thread for a few weeks, wow what an education.  I just activated my Italian starter and am ready to try a Raquel, however, I do not have KASL but some Molino at 11-12.5% protein, and Giusto at 13.5%. I was going to experiment with both, but I figure I will need to modify slightly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2006, 01:46:43 PM »
Hi Mike,

Welcome to the forum. I have generally had more success with high gluten flour than I have had with lower protein flour. You can use vital wheat gluten to increase the protein level.  To increase the protein content of the Giusto flour to approximate the protein level of the KA Sir Lancelot flour, I would do the following

First, I determined the difference in protein content between the KA Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour and the Giusto flour.  KA says that the protein content of its KASL flour is 14.2%, and you said 13.5% for Giusto flour.  This gives us a difference of .7%, which has to be made up by the use of VWG. For each 1% of VWG (by weight of flour) that is added to another flour, the protein content of that other flour will be increased by 0.6%.  So, for a differential of .7% in our specific case, this means that the amount of VWG to add to the Giusto flour (by weight of flour) should be 1.17% (0.7/0.6 = 1.17).   Taking 1.17% of 16.0 ounces of Giusto flour (assuming you are using the original Raquel recipe which is linked above) gives us about 0.19 ounces of VWG to add.  Arrowhead says that 1 T. of its VWG weighs 9 grams.  Doing some simple gram-to-ounces conversions tells us that 0.19 ounces of VWG (about 5.4 grams) comes to a little under 2 ts.   

Because the addition of the VWG increases the weight of the flour to which it is added, we should increase the amount of water called for in the recipe by an amount equal to 1 1/2 times the VWG.  In this case, that added water came to 0.29 oz., or a little under 1 2/3 ts.  To avoid pilling/lumping, the VWG is added directly to the flour and stirred into it.

Hopefully someone out there will check my math. If someone confirms my math (and my reasoning) I'll work out the other flour.


Michael

Offline thehorse

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2006, 05:10:17 PM »
Michael, thanks for your quick and informative response, I didn't think such a small disparity in protein would make a difference, but I guess precision is key. Is VWG readily available, or could I experiment w/ the Giusto and lower/increase hydration or some other components of the recipe?
Thanks,
Mike

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Re: Tinkering With A Great Recipe
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2006, 09:58:45 PM »
I'm not sure where you are located but I'm pretty sure VWG is easy to find in most places. I buy it when go the King Arthur Flour in Vermont but I know many others use that buy it locally. I was just trying to help you reproduce Raquel. You can try it with the flour you have and let me know what you think. I'm not really sure how the amount of flour (by % of weight) would change if you use another flour but I would think a good starting point would be to follow the percentages in the recipe and see if you even need to make any adjustments.

Michael


 

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