Sorry if this posts twice, it didn't appear to work the first time...
Sorry this post ended up being so long. I guess I have a lot to say.
A few years ago I was making pizza more than once a week, currently Iím lucky if itís once a month. In the past it was mostly high gluten King Arthur flour but then I came across this thread and decided to try to replicate Villa Romaís success. Iíve only skimmed the thread so I apologize if I missed something that was mentioned or something that changed in the recipe somewhere along the way. I didnít find anything that was considered to be the master recipe.
I donít mind the flavor or texture of whole wheat flour but I Ďm just not excited about it in my pizza. I was hoping this would turn out similar to pizza made with high gluten flour. I knew I wasnít going to be able to get the same results at Villa Roma (my oven only gets to 550). I would love to be an active contributor on this thread but due to the busyness of everyday live, I donít expect thatís going to happen.
Hereís the recipe I followed:
WW Flour 100% (1000g) (King Arthur)
Water 85% (850g)
Sugar 2% (20g)
Salt 2% (20g)
Oil 2% (20g to start)
IDY( 1/8 tsp per)
I follow a modified technique that pftaylor used on Pizza Raquel http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11359.html#msg11359
My rationale was that this makes dough thatís very easy to work with and will stretch with easily. Here are the steps I followed:
1. Mix salt, sugar oil and water until everything is dissolved
2. Add Ĺ the flour then mix for 1 minute
3. Add the yeast and mix for about 30 seconds until everything is incorporated
4. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes
5. Over 8 minutes slowly add the rest of the flour at speed of 1 on mixer (Iím not sure if it takes longer to dissolve the whole-wheat compared to KA high gluten flour but usually I can easily get everything mixed in 5 minutes it felt like it took longer with this flour.
6. Mix on speed 2 or 3 for 5 more minutes.
7. Cover and let it sit for 60 minutes
8. Normally I would go right to the hand kneading but the dough was so soft that I turned it to power 3 -4 for 10-15 minutes. At the beginning of that time it was sticking to the bottom and even slightly up the sides of the bowl, by the end it wasnít sticking at all.
9. Let is rest about 5 minutes
10. Oil the surface of counter and dump dough and fold it over itself a few times then return to bowl
11. Wait an hour
12. Repeat (did this several times before I went to bed, I was hoping the ball would feel a little more firm when I checked on it but that never happened)
13. Wait an hour
14. Repeat and then divide into 5 balls
15. Sit on counter 24 hours (from start time)
I took the first ball and I dumped it onto the counter. I tried to stretch it but it literally fell apart. It was too slack and there was nothing holding it together. I cooked it without sauce or cheese (see picture)
For the second ball I folded it over itself and formed it back into a ball, waited about a minute than tried to shape the pizza. This was fairly successful but still hard to keep together to transfer to the peel. I topped and tried to slide it in the oven but it stuck in one place and I lost a bit of the pizza. (The dough was just so wet that it caused a problem).
The third one I shaped on the peel but I ended up adding so much flour to the bottom that it resulted in raw flour taste on the bottom of the pizza that I didnít want.
As I went to put the last one in the oven I realized that the fourth one was still in the oven and as a result I wasnít able to get it into the oven fast enough. I ended up having to roll the dough over itself so that I could slide it into the oven.
I had five doughís and I varied my technique each time never came up with a technique that worked very well. The doughís either fell apart or stuck to the peel or had way too much raw flour
I added considerable more sauce than I normally would and I added some provolone and pecorino Romano so that the cheese would have a more assertive flavor. For a little interest I chopped up some sun dried tomatoes (soaked them in water) and added them to one of the pizzas.
In the end although none of my pizzas were pretty in the traditional sense I thought that the resulting pizza had a nice flavor. Also, there was no crispiness to speak of. It was too thick (I worried about making it thinner since holes were forming as I stretched it. If the dough has more structure next time Iíll make it thinner. In some places the dough folded over itself (I didnít do this intentionally), but the inside was almost gummy and had almost a raw dough taste.
Yeast - To start with the recipe as I interpreted it had too much yeast. I was worried about dough sitting out overnight with so much yeast. I know it doesnít sound like a lot but for a similar amount of pizza dough that I would let rise in the fridge I would add ľ ts. I feel like it was still too much yeast given the recipe. Next time I would use less.
Hydration Ė Wow, Iíve worked with slack doughs before but either Iím out of practice or thatís just on the edge of possible. I have a few ideas about how to make this work without lowering the hydration level. If it turns out that the the winning recipe does not require more flour I may consider doing something very untraditional and something that I know wonít go over very wellÖ I may shape it on parchment. This way I donít need to add so much flour. The people who have higher temperature ovens canít do this but Iím pretty certain with 550 I can use parchment without a problem.
Salt/Sugar Ė No problems for now so I donít plan to change these
Oil Ė I think 2% sounded reasonable but each time that I folded it I used oil and a little flour, at the end of the day I feel like I added a significant amount of oil to the recipe. As a result next time I may measure 2% for the oil but not add any into the initial dough. Then I would add a little each time I mix so I know how much oil I have added in total. I lost track but I may have added an additional 2% of oil throughout each time I moved a ball into a bowl or kneaded it.
Toppings- I think that the pizza was definitely able to handle more sauce and cheese than a high gluten pizza would have been able to hold. The problem is that I made the dough thicker than I would have liked because it wasnít holding together. As a result it was moist too moist. It was almost dense in the middle (with thick dough and a lot of sauce and cheese on top. I can cut back on the sauce and keep the cheese assertive (I think the cheese worked well). I can also try to find (or make a thicker sauce and use less of it. I also considered adding other toppings to my pizza but I wanted to start with a straightforward version so I could focus on the basics. Perhaps the basics for this pizza require some assertive toppings.
Mixing Ė The technique that I used to mix the dough helps the dough to be easy to work with. When working with high gluten white flour it doesnít stretch back so much, I had the opposite problem with this dough; it was like nothing was holding the dough together therefore for my next round Iím not planning to use this technique. Also, the dough is so wet that Iím not worried about anything not dissolving so Iíll probably add everything except the yeast, mix a few times then add the yeast and mix some more.
24 hour rise ĖI liked the flavor (and potential) of the dough, but 24 hours out of the fridge seemed like it was too long. In the morning the dough looked really puffy (and probably ready to use). By the late afternoon it had collapsed. I donít know much of the technical stuff but it was as if when it collapsed it lost its structure and gluten and there wasnít anything holding it together. In order to keep the great flavor and not have the dough fall apart in my hands I plan to do a longer cold rise (Am I reinventing the wheel here?). Also, Iím going to add some sourdough starter that I happen to have. Iím too lazy to maintain 2 starters so for now Iím going to use my regular starter (made with bread flour)
Iím happy for any feedback or thought about what I might have done wrong.