Author Topic: more oil or less?  (Read 4723 times)

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Offline Anis

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more oil or less?
« on: June 23, 2007, 04:47:00 AM »
Hi everybody,
     I was wondering what would happen to the crust if I put less oil than what I normally put in the dough.  Right now I put about 4 tbsp of oil for every 2000g of flour.  Anybody has some thoughts on this?  Additionally, what does oil have to do with the texture of the crust?  My pizza crust now is not crisp enough for me.  I'm thinking that if I put less oil it would crispier.  Is that right?  Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.   :D Thanks in advance.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2007, 08:35:43 AM »
Anis,

The answer to your questions depends on how much oil is used and how it is used.

When oil is used in the dough itself, it increases the extensibility (stretchiness) of the dough by coating the gluten strands so that they glide over each other more easily. If used in sufficient quantity, it also contributes to the tenderness and softness of the finished crust and crumb by retaining more moisture and gasses in the dough during baking. If you are also using sugar in the dough, which many people do, it also contributes to the tenderness of the crust and crumb. So, if tenderness in the crust is desired, a good way to achieve it is to use both oil and sugar. Usually, oil will materially contribute to the tenderness of the crust and crumb only when used at fairly high levels, typically around 6-7% (by weight of flour).

Of course, oil provides flavor to the crust, especially stronger tasting oils like extra virgin olive oil. The oil also provides a “fat” mouthfeel, which appeals to many palates. If too much oil is used in the dough, it will have the effect of overly “shortening” the gluten strands. This will result in a more biscuit-y or flaky crust. That is why deep-dish doughs use anywhere from about 7% to over 20% oil in the dough. Even doughs intended to be used to make crispy, cracker-style crusts benefit from fairly high amounts of oil, but usually below 7%.

Oil also has superior heat transfer characteristics. That is why you will get a nice, crispy “fried” effect when you place oil in a pan (a well-seasoned or dark anodized pan) before placing the dough in the pan and baking the pizza. Similarly, if you coat the rim of a pizza before baking, the oil will promote top crust browning, again because of its favorable heat transfer characteristics. If oil is placed on the dough before saucing, which some pizza operators do in advance of an anticipated large volume of orders, the oil, which has hydrophobic qualities (it repels water), will prevent or impede migration of the sauce into the dough so that no gum line forms. The oil on the dough also captures and retains flavors produced on the pizza during baking by the cheeses and toppings.

As you can see, oil serves many roles, and I wanted you to see them all since oil is a major component of many pizza doughs, and how you use it and in what quantities can have a material effect on the finished crust and pizza. In your case, against the above backdrop, your use of oil will have modest effect on your dough and crust. If you are using four tablespoons of oil for 2000 grams of flour, that comes to about 2.7% (by weight of flour). Reducing the amount of oil, or eliminating it entirely, will lead to a somewhat crispier crust, but it will also be a harder crust, much like the classic NY style crusts that use little or no oil in the dough. If you are like me, you are likely to notice the absence or reduction of oil, in terms of taste, crust texture and mouthfeel. If you reduce or eliminate the oil entirely, you are also likely to experience reduced crust browning (unless you have ample amounts of sugar in the dough). The reduced browning will be most noticeable in low-protein flours because there is less denaturing of the protein during baking.

You didn’t indicate what style of pizza you are making, so I have assumed that you are making a style other than deep-dish or cracker style. But if it is a cracker style pizza, you will want to have some oil in the dough, as pointed out above.

Peter

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2007, 12:06:39 PM »
Peter,
   
     Thanks so much for the immediate reply.  :D I'm trying to make a cracker like pizza.  The pizza I'm now making is a little crisp but I still have that "not completely cooked yet feeling" when I bite into the pizza although when I look at the center of the crust it's completely done, still soft but not wet.  I think I prefer a thicker layer of crisp under the crust so I'm going to aim for that semi-cracker like texture underneath. 
     I haven't found the crispiness I want yet so I'm going to try to put some more oil in tomorow... maybe i'll try 7% first.  I've been making pizza for years now with basically just one dough recipe and it has worked great always.  It's just now that i'm trying to learn what different ingredients of the dough contribute to its overall taste and texture because also, i changed my cooking temp and I'm cooking at a higher temp now than before, the toppings turn out way way better than before but my dough needs a lot of work.  Thank you very much again and I will post later about improvements.

Anis

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2007, 12:55:07 PM »
Anis,

If you don't mind posting your dough recipe, I'd be happy to take a look at it. With doughs for cracker crust pizzas, the hydration is also a major factor to consider. Some cracker type dough formulations have higher hydration levels than others, which usually dictates how you will bake the pizza. I discussed some of the possibilities recently as part of a series of experiments I conducted on the cracker style, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.0.html.

Peter

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 02:38:11 PM »
Peter,
   Yesterday, I made my dough and increased amount of oil to 5% and 7%.  First try I didn't notice any changes.  Second try was when I noticed the difference.  The crust was soft and inside the crust was really tender.  :( I cooked it for 2-3 minutes, lost count how many I cooked trying different cook times. :) My oven is a brick oven and at 90 sec to 2 mins the cheese is already bubbling and the top is done so I couldn't wait for the bottom to crisp beyond 3 minutes.  I think with this dough I can cook it in a gas oven with stone at 450F and it will be really crispy.  :)
   Anyway, I read a post by tom lehmans in pmq, and there he mentioned somewhere that in hearth ovens sugar is usually omitted from the mix because adding it to the dough makes the crust brown faster.  So I used my old recipe and just omitted the sugar.  The crust was still browned under and charred, so I cooked a few more... experimenting on different times, sometimes even putting a baking pan under the crust in the oven a minute after its in the oven just to prevent charring.  Then I tried the charred-bottom pizza and to my surprise it didn't taste bitter.  Wow! :)  And it was crisp!  but not cracker like.  I still would like to try the cracker style though.  Thanks for the ideas! 
   About the dough recipe I'm quite uneasy posting it here yet.  When it's perfect I'll post.  For the meantime maybe I could just email it to you so you could look at it if it's alright?

Anis

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 03:14:39 PM »
For the meantime maybe I could just email it to you so you could look at it if it's alright?

Anis,

That will be fine. Why don't you send to me at peter@pizzamaking.com.

Peter

Offline bolabola

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  • extra crispy please
Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 08:22:51 PM »
hey Anis,
could you tell me how hot your brickoven gets to for your Pizza to cook so fast...
sounds like at least 800..
I prefer less oil in my dough..to much and it becomes more bread like for me..
thanks.. :pizza:
Pizza Rocks

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2007, 11:05:36 PM »
bolabola,
   I don't really know how hot it is.  I tried placing in my oven thermometer inside the oven and the temp goes way past the 600F mark and this temp was measured while oven door was open.  I could actually just be able to read accurate temps when oven door is closed, when it's open cold air from outside mixes with the air inside passing through the thermometer so I bet it's more than 750F. 
Anis

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 02:29:50 PM »
Peter,
   
As promised, here is the post for improvements:

While tweaking the dough I realized that not only did I have to consider the amount of oil, but also I had to consider a lot of factors.  I really haven't used bakers percentages before posting in this forum because I always mix the same amount of dough each time I make a batch.  And I was quite embarrassed about posting my percentages here because of the high hydration I was using which is 74%.  Reading from threads here, for neapolitan the upper norm would be at 68%.  But I'm sticking with it for the time being.

Going back to the oil, I made a batch with no oil.  The result was a crust that holds itself and doesn't flop in the center.  It's also crispier with a soft inside.  The problem is after a slice or two, my jaw started to ache, not the ache that I would complain about.  Just enough to tell me that it has to be lighter.  So, I added more oil, no aching jaw, but the pizza flops, and less crisp.  So I made another batch with no oil.  This time I hand stretched the dough, hoping for a light crust.  The result was much better and almost what I was aiming for.  The problem is I don't know how to hand stretch yet.  So a lot of failed attempts, holes in the dough and everything.  It really is hard to let go of the rolling pin when I've used it for so long now.  It's like kicking a bad habit.  The best attempt I had with stretching the dough was 3 inches short of the target diameter of 10 inches. 

Then I added more salt in the dough, about .5%.  This gave me a stronger dough to practice stretching with.  Thanks again Peter for the internet source you gave me in another thread. 

What I do now is when I feel up to the task of hand stretching, I use my new recipe.  When I'm in a hurry I use the rolling pin... no mistakes with forming the base.  Whew!  I don't like to hand stretch but by far it's the best result I've ever had.

Does anybody out there know of a good source for hand kneading?  Thanks. :)   

Anis

Offline Bryan S

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2007, 12:25:58 AM »
the high hydration I was using which is 74%.  Reading from threads here, for neapolitan the upper norm would be at 68%.  But I'm sticking with it for the time being.

Going back to the oil, I made a batch with no oil. 

Does anybody out there know of a good source for hand kneading?  Thanks. :)   

Anis
I don't think it's you being the problem as much as the high hydration dough. With your dough being 74% that would be hard for most anybody to try and hand stretch. I prefer to leave the oil & sugar out of my dough as I like the crispy crust. I like 60% hydration for my dough.  ;)
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.


Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2007, 11:31:25 PM »
sounds good, Bryan.  Thanks.  I will try a lower hydration next time.  Probably today. 

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 07:53:41 AM »
okay.  made a batch today using 68% hydration.  I was able to stretch it!  I'll make another batch tomorrow using 60%, and see the sweet spot after that, i hope. 

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2007, 03:50:11 PM »
Bryan,

Thanks for that suggestion.  I made 60%, 68%, then 65%.  I never would have thought about that.

Anis

Offline Bryan S

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2007, 12:23:16 AM »
Bryan,

Thanks for that suggestion.  I made 60%, 68%, then 65%.  I never would have thought about that.

Anis
Anis, How did they turn out? The dough had to be easier to work with, much more manageable than the 74% dough, yes?
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 12:29:24 PM »
yes, much more easier to stretch.  Also there was less tearing.  the least tearing among the three hydration levels was the 65%. 

oven spring was better on the 74% though.  68% and 65% was almost the same in oven spring.  60% was denser so I opted for 65% because it was easier to handle than the 68%.

I'm going to try something different with the 74% hydration dough next time I have a chance(probably next week).  Would it make it easier to handle if I REALLY knead it?  I mean REALLY knead it?   >:D

What do you think? .... i'll post the results when I'm finished. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:34:50 PM by Anis »

Offline Anis

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2007, 12:44:31 PM »
here is a pic of the crust with some air holes. this is the 65% hydration.  only sauce, cheese, and garlic.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:48:22 PM by Anis »

Offline fazzari

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Re: more oil or less?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2007, 01:20:08 PM »
Anis
I had a thought for you...one very important ingredient in any recipe is time.  The reason I mention this is that last week, I was working on another long rise, room temp dough....I cooked one at the end of 36 hours, and bagged and refrigerated the other two for another day.  I cooked the second dough a day later, and thought I tasted excellence but a little chewy, but the third day was the best, tender and crisp.  Experiment with different times as well as ingredients...time will also loosen up your dough...I have to be careful not to get it too thin, cause it will stretch forever.

John