Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 554810 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #450 on: July 27, 2006, 10:05:41 PM »
abc,

That's an interesting question. I have always felt that the weakest links in the home pizza maker's chain are the mixer and the oven, and that the strongest link is the ingredients, which can be the same as or even better than what professional pizza operators use. But, like most of our members, I have tried to get the most out of my mixer and oven and, in many cases, I would say that my pizzas are better than many that I have bought, including in New York City. Even when I have had to play around with screens and stones and tiles and rack positions and oven temperatures, broilers, and times, I have been able to get satisfying pizzas in just about any size I want, from 9 inches all the way up to 18 inches in size, which, as you know, is a typical NY size. Of course, where you live in the NYC area there are some of the finest pizza operators in the country, and it is quite likely that my pizzas would come up short by comparison. But, that has never been a concern. What interests me more is being to make many different kinds of pizzas and have fun doing it.

You also raise a good point about the dough temperature. When the temperature is warm, as it has been in many parts of the country lately, using a long autolyse or other rest period will allow the dough to warm up faster and possibly exceed the desired finished dough temperature, even when the water is quite cool to begin with. If you end up with a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F, you should still be OK. But, if you are over 90 degrees for some reason, then the dough will ferment quite a bit faster and possibly foreshorten its useful life by a few to several hours. And it might be more extensible than usual. That's why it is a good idea to use cool water. Shortening the autolyse to around 20 minutes will also help, as will using a slightly bit less yeast, or simply adding the yeast after the autolyse, which will delay the start of the fermentation process yet retain the benefits of the autolyse.

Peter


Offline enchant

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #451 on: July 29, 2006, 07:43:53 AM »
You should feel free to tweak the amounts of flour and water. For the sake of consistency, I always start with accurate amounts weighed on my digital scale but almost always make slight adjustments in the bowl to compensate for the minor variations in flour due to age, moisture content, humidity, storage effects, etc.
[ ... ]
What is most important is to be able to identify the condition of the dough that leads to the best results. That comes with experience and practice and no amount of words or photos can convey that condition with precision. But once you achieve a successful dough on a repeatable basis, you will always remember it and be able to replicate it pretty much at will. Even then, the dough will not be identical every time but the variations will be small.
After making several doughs, I was getting comfortable about how the dough should look as it was finishing up mixing.  I found that there should be a very small amount that wanted to stick to the bottom of the bowl (while the rest clung to the dough hook).

Last week, during the very high humidity, I made a dough that seemed a little wet after adding ingredients in the usual amounts.  I added flour till it was the consistency that I was used to (a little clinging to the bowl).  However, when I went to shape it two days later, it seemed pretty wet and was difficult to handle.

During the high humidity, should I be trying to make my dough dryer than normal?  So even though it appears in the mixer to have the consistency that was giving me great results in May and June, should I be going for even dryer than that?

And is the worst summer ever for making pizzas???
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 07:46:01 AM by enchant »
--pat--

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #452 on: July 29, 2006, 09:26:02 AM »
Pat,

The subject of humidity is one that draws a lot of strong opinion, but in my opinion humidity gets blamed more often than it really deserves. To be sure, humidity is a factor, as I noted recently in another thread (on the moisture content of flour) by quoting the following from industry technical data:

If the relative humidity of the atmosphere in which it is stored is greater than 60%, flour will gain moisture, and if the humidity is less than 60%, it will lose moisture.

However, the effects of humidity are not wildly dramatic, amounting to only a few percent at best according to the source of the above quote. And in most cases, it can be compensated for by making fairly minor adjustments to the flour and/or water, especially if the flour and water are carefully weighed out in advance. In your case, absent human error in weighing out the flour and water, I think it was a finished dough temperature that may have been too high that caused the problem you encountered--specifically, because of an accelerated rate of fermentation due to the higher finished dough temperature. The same thing can happen if you used volume measurements rather than weights, so it is not simply a matter of how the flour and water are measured out.

To avoid the above type of problem, my practice is to temperature adjust the water I use to be sure that the finished dough temperature is around 75 degrees F. In most cases, I actually do a mathematical calculation to determine the water temperature required to get that finished dough temperature, but in some cases I just use cooler water in the summer and warmer water in the winter. But, either way, I always measure the finished dough temperature in relation to the 75 degrees F targeted finished dough temperature. Knowing the actual dough temperature tells me how long the dough is likely to be usable, and prompts me to use the dough earlier or later than I may have originally planned based on the differential and its direction (above or below 75 degrees).

An alternative way of dealing with the seasonal variations discussed above is to use a bit less yeast in the summer and a bit more in winter, usually accompanied by using cooler water in the summer and warmer water in the winter. This combination, if properly applied, should keep the dough from overfermenting in the summer and underfermenting in the winter and allow the doughs to be used within their normal windows of usability. This combination also helps to compensate in part for the fact that a refrigerator is likely to run a bit warmer in the summer and a bit cooler in the winter, both of which will affect the rate of fermentation.

The condition of the dough as you described it is consistent with overfermentation of the dough. What happens is that the enzymes in the flour, namely the protease enzymes, attack the gluten and cause the release of water, resulting in a wet and overly slack dough that is hard to handle, even if you try to compensate by adding additional flour. Had you used the dough a day earlier, I think you might have been OK.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #453 on: July 29, 2006, 10:30:50 AM »
Pat,

To further underscore the point I made about finished dough temperature in my last post, you may find Replies 5-8, and especially those of member Trinity, of interest, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3386.msg28689.html#msg28689. Trin is a professional baker who deals with finished dough temperatures all the time and is well familiar with the effects of seasonal variations.

Peter

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #454 on: July 29, 2006, 01:05:45 PM »
abc,


You also raise a good point about the dough temperature. When the temperature is warm, as it has been in many parts of the country lately, using a long autolyse or other rest period will allow the dough to warm up faster and possibly exceed the desired finished dough temperature, even when the water is quite cool to begin with. If you end up with a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F, you should still be OK. But, if you are over 90 degrees for some reason, then the dough will ferment quite a bit faster and possibly foreshorten its useful life by a few to several hours. And it might be more extensible than usual. That's why it is a good idea to use cool water. Shortening the autolyse to around 20 minutes will also help, as will using a slightly bit less yeast, or simply adding the yeast after the autolyse, which will delay the start of the fermentation process yet retain the benefits of the autolyse.

Peter

pete, examining my current batch of kasl dough with the rest technique, it looks like it has risen a bit more in the fridge than usual (w/o rest) either this was due to 30min at 82degree kitchen (which i had temped the final dough) or the auto technique promotes a more fluid rise, and i can get by w/ even LESS yeast....

Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #455 on: July 29, 2006, 05:07:45 PM »
Hi,

I'm just going to make a few very quick suggestions to the current discussion about temperature, autolyse, room temperature rise and refrigerated rise and about mixing for direct mixed doughs (indirect contain preferments, starters, etc and have different techniques and considerations)

Pete, you are very right to assume mixing in a commercial mixer, using a commercial batch size is a very different animal than mixing up enough dough for 1 or 2 pizzas. There are surely many similarities, but different considerations must be applied. As you mentioned, humidity has much less to do with it, if the ingredients are weighed out. Temperature is the factor to be recalculated. I look to have a lower finished dough temperature than Tom, who recommends 80-85 degrees. I prefer a finished dough temp of 70-75...I'll get to why soon. I usually start out with a water temperature of 60-65 and in
the summer, or if the kitchen is particularly hot, 50 degrees. My goal is to keep my dough as cool as possible and to avoid as much mixing friction as possible. I only take flour temperatures when I suspect it is either ultra hot or ultra cold in the kitchen and I may have to compensate with the water temperature. Otherwise, I only take the water temperature and finished dough temp.

That being said, the heat build up from mixing friction in a commercial mixer is pretty rapid and once the dough mass gets warm, it takes longer for it to cool down, so trying to keep it cooler in the first place is always my goal. In a small mixer, friction should be less of a factor, except that most home cooks (and commercial ones too) tend to over-mix and the doughs come off the mixer warmer than they should. Because I want to undergo long slow fermentation, it is imperative that the dough be cooler than what is usually recommended.

Here are some mixing pointers for a small mixer:
invest in a scale and always weigh out everything in your formula (I know it seems like a pain, but it is the only true way to gain absolute consistency)

make sure your water temperature is around 65 degrees (if you are using bakers yeast, the lower temperature won't be a problem, but if using ADY and IDY you may want to hydrate the yeasts in a bit of the formula water that is warm. (in commercial situations, IDY can be sprinkled right into the flour, but for small batches such as for home use, the dough mass will be remain too cool to properly activate the yeast.)

pour all of the water in to the bowl of your mixer (reserving the hydrated yeast) add the salt and then the flour, and then crumble the cake yeast or add the hydrated yeast.

Mix on the low speed if possible or only until there is no white raw flour visible. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. This is the adaptation of the autolyse method in pizza making. Italian pizza makers refer to this period as riposo. Pizza dough requirements are slightly different than bread dough, but essentially, the rest period allows the flour to become fully hydrated which is otherwise known as biochemical gluten development. This "rest" period differs in time depending upon mixer types, batch sizes and ambient room temperature. For a small home batch, with a home mixer, 5 minutes should be sufficient.

BGD will aid in shortening mix out time and promotes less degrading of protein while contributing to the extensibilty properties and the over-all tenderness of the finished product.

Mix out time will vary with type of flour, hydration level and batch size. (I am talking about a dough of 65% hydration using a 12.5-13% protein content--American flour, not 00)
Rather than being a slave to time, which is different for every formulation, you must learn to see, hear and feel the signs that  your dough has properly mixed out. Once you've developed the dough in this manner, you can time each sequence. However, if you change anything in the formula, then the sequence and timing may change too.

When using a planetary style mixer (like a kitchen aid), try to use a very, very slow speed. It is not necessary to knock the dough about the bowl. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and you hear a gentle smacking and sucking sound as the dough pushes and pulls from the sides of the bowl.

The dough may appear to have a dimpled cottage cheese texture--this is fine. If you take out a silver dollar size ball of dough, lightly flatten it and roll it over your knuckles, you will see that it either tears or it stretches. If it tears, a bit more mixing time is needed. (this is not the gluten vale test , the dough is not stretched out to that point, we are not looking at it's extensibility qualities, we only want to see if it is properly mixed out.)

Working at home you can do 2 things at this point: you can continue mixing until the dough is smooth, or you can finish it by hand.
Why finish by hand? because for such a small amount, especially if you are using a kitchen aid type mixer, you want to treat the dough as gently as possible.
Also,if temperature is a factor, take the temperature of the dough before you actually finish it. If it is at or beyond your goal, finish the dough by hand and it won't raise it too much higher.
if you are under your goal, finish it in the mixer.

Bench rest, or room temperature fermentation or first rise: how long? Commercial pizzerias bench rest or let the dough rise in bulk to save fermentation time in the refrigerator. Allowing dough to initially rise at room temperature hastens the maturation qualities that would be found in say a two or three day dough, but because they need to use the dough within 36, they give it a long initial unrefrigerated fermentation period. The understanding is that, this long initial rise will hasten the deveopment, but will decrease total life of the dough. It really depends upon what the shop's production needs are.

For a small home batch, the temperature factor becomes super crucial in that the small piece of dough will rise much faster in higher temperatures and will expend itself fairly quickly. Unless you are going to use the next day, or the room temperature is quite low--or that the amount of yeast and starter compensates for it, bench rising isn't all that necessary for small batches of dough.

Bakers and commercial pizza makers have a set schedule every day, so they know exactly what amount of time and at what temperature they will, or won't bench rise their dough.  Most of them do not bench rise, they prefer the controlled environment of the cooler, allowing for a long slow first rise in the bucket, and scalling and shaping 12 hours later. Others scale and shape right off the bat and refrigerate to use 24 to 36 hours later. There is no set way.

In AIB (Tom) recommends the dough to come off the mixer at 80 degrees optimum, this is for a straight mixed dough, that is immediately scaled, shaped and refrigerarated by cross stacking the dough trays for a couple of hours until the doughs completely cooled down. The dough is ready to use the next day with a maximum of 2 days and possibly 3 if the cooler is really, really cold. If you are working with any kind of preferment or starter, that temperature is way, too high...

The main problem with this forum, is that you guys are so prolific and so varied that I'm not sure how to address all of the things that are going on here. I'm not sure if what I've just written will be of any help. But if you come away from this with anything, it will be about the importance of temperature. Adapting home versions of commercial formulas is a challenge, but is extremely rewarding.

Evelyne



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #456 on: July 29, 2006, 06:30:42 PM »
Evelyne,

For the most part, what you have said is consistent with what I have done and recommended to others with respect to the Lehmann NY style dough. Like you, I started with a finished dough temperature target of about 80-85 degrees F, per the recommendation of Tom, but later went to 75 degrees F when it dawned on me that a home refrigerator operated several degrees warmer than a commercial cooler. Since the Lehmann NY style dough formulation was intended to be used in a cold fermentation environment, the general advice has been to use the cold fermentation and get the dough balls as fast as possible into the refrigerator. I and others have made same-day, room-temperature fermented versions of the Lehmann dough, including 2-3 hour doughs and even naturally leavened versions, but most of the doughs tend to be cold fermented doughs using commercial yeast (mostly ADY and IDY because of their greater availability and lower cost to home pizza makers).

I found 65+% hydration to be too high for the Lehmann dough and ended up with 63%, which seemed to be the optimum for my purposes. I, too, have recommended using low mixer speeds, and being careful not to overknead. I am an advocate of using scales to weigh flour and water, although many of our members prefer to use volume measurements. I use a spreadsheet and baker's percents to do all the heavy math lifting and, for some time, have specified ingredients in the dough formulations I post by weight and volumes. I didn't want only scale users to make the Lehmann doughs. As much as anything I do on this forum, my objective is to teach people as best I can about dough making, just as Tom and you have done for many years. I'd like people to know the whys in addition to the hows because I think it will make them better pizza makers.

I personally am not as big an advocate or fan as others of using autolyse with the basic Lehmann dough although I have liked it when using a natural preferment. To me, the crumb is too soft and bread-like. But I seem to be in the minority on this matter. I will agree, however, that autolyse is a good way of getting good hydration, especially for hand-kneaded doughs using high-protein, high-gluten flours as are most commonly used by our members for Lehmann doughs, along with bread flour.

Where I see one point of departure from what you have said is in relation to the use of IDY. On occasions where the amount of IDY was so small (e.g., less than 1/8 t.) that I chose to hydrate it for dispersion purposes, my usual practice and recommendation has been to add the IDY directly to the flour, as is typically recommended by the yeast producers for home use. I usually add the IDY to the flour as soon as I weight out the flour and assumed that there would be at least partial hydration due to the moisture in the flour, as is frequently mentioned by the yeast producers.

Thank you for helping crystallize the processes for our members.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 06:48:15 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #457 on: July 30, 2006, 03:19:23 PM »
pete, you find a rested dough doesn't give your dough as many 'rustic' air pockets of varying size? 

i wonder what then if there is in the science of what happens?  a better hydrated, less mixed dough has more uniform, nonvaried air pockets?


i didn't find this to be the case with my recent kasl dough which i made breadsticks with., I got interesting airpockets, 48hr rise.


Evelyne, when can we examine pictures of YOUR pizzas?  :pizza:
« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 03:37:30 PM by abc »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #458 on: July 30, 2006, 04:06:57 PM »
abc,

If I understood your question correctly, I take it that you are referring to the resting of the dough on the bench in preparation for dressing and baking the pizza.

It's hard to generalize on the matter of bubbling in the crust since there can be many causes beyond whether the dough was or was not subjected to a period of rest before using. As I noted recently on another thread, the main causes of bubbling are the following: 1) Underfermentation or overfermentation of the dough (with underfermentation being the more common); 2) Using dough that is too cold at the time of shaping; 3) Using too little or too much yeast (with too much being more common); 4) Using incorrect or insufficient docking; and 5) Using an oven temperature that is too high, or some other oven-related problem. Of course, any combination of these will also produce the tendency to bubbling.

I have also discovered that there is sometimes an element of mystery surrounding bubbling. You often get them when you least expect them, and it is often difficult to diagnose the cause. Also, some dough formulations are more prone to bubbling than others, which can confound attempts to diagnose. The Lehmann dough inherently doesn't seem to be prone to bubbling. Also, in your case, if you followed the normal dough processing steps with the Lehmann dough and you didn't use docking it seems safe to rule out reasons 2 through 5 based on what you said. That leave reason 1--underfermentation or overfermentation. As between underfermentation and overfermentation, overfermentation strikes me as clearly the more likely suspect after 48 hours of fermentation in a warm, summertime setting. Remember, overfermentation comes in degrees, from mild to severe/fatal. With slight overfermentation, you could have gotten bubbles without affecting the overall quality of the breadsticks (or a pizza).

The degree of hydration that you mention can be a factor but only insofar as a high hydration dough will ferment faster than a low hydration dough. But it is not a cause of overfermentation as such. Similarly, an underkneaded dough will also be a factor because an underkneaded dough will usually not ferment as fast as a properly kneaded dough, but, again, it is not a cause of overfermentation.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 09:39:39 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #459 on: July 30, 2006, 05:36:52 PM »
ABC

Do you mean air pockets as in open hole cell structure of the crumb or bubbles that occur in the crust that occur during baking? It seems that Peter was talking about bubbling.

If you are talking about the cell structure of the crumb, the open hole structure is achieved with a higher hydration--at least 60%. Some formulas achieve that same structure with a bit less moisture (58%) but they generally contain a preferment of some kind. If you are looking to utilize high hydration, it will be important to use a flour that has high extensibility and gassing properties. You will also have to use high baking temperatures to get the oven spring necessary for those results.

The autolyse method, as I have adapted to pizza making is really about achieving proper hydration of the flour and creating a dough that will mix out quicker and with much less agitation. These techniques I learned from bread baking, but when applied to pizza, different results are desired. When I teach this method to proffesional pizza makers, I use Tom's definition for the process: Biochemical Gluten Development or BGD as it applies to pizza. The initial BGD rest occurs at the start of the mixing process and since it tends to keep the dough temperature down. I highly recommend trying to keep the dough temperatures as cool as possible for doughs that are to go under long slow fermentation. Minimizing the mixing also helps to promote the open hole cell structure as well. If you are using miniscule amounts of yeast, I would skip the bench rest, unless you plan on using the dough within 24-36 hours--or sooner.

The latest pizza I made was last week for PMQ which I will include since it is made with my dough, but baked in my home oven in a black pan at about 450 degrees. For the magazine, I go for a generic NY look, so the lovely open hole structure that I normally achieve is not brought out in these pies. When I'm styling for the magazine, I'm looking to have a more even colored and uniform type of pizza because the story is really about the topping. So bare that in mind. Until I have time to go and photograph one of my pizzas, if you have a chance to see any of the reruns from the History Channel Pizza thing, they show my pizza in lovely detail pretty much all over the episode. It's the pie with the charred puffy edges, handmade cheese (mine), hand crushed tomatoes and beautiful basil leaves. It got so well done because the camera man was filming and filming it in the oven, despite my protests that it was about to become a thermal runaway. The camera crew devoured that pizza seconds after they filmed it!



Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #460 on: July 31, 2006, 11:10:59 AM »
abc,

If I understood your question correctly, I take it that you are referring to the resting of the dough on the bench in preparation for dressing and baking the pizza.

It's hard to generalize on the matter of bubbling in the crust since there can be many causes beyond whether the dough was or was not subjected to a period of rest before using. As I noted recently on another thread, the main causes for bubbling are the following: 1) Underfermentation or overfermentation of the dough (with underfermentation being the more common); 2) Using dough that is too cold at the time of shaping; 3) Using too little or too much yeast (with too much being more common): 4) Using incorrect or insufficient docking; and 5) Using an oven temperature that is too high, or some other oven-related problem. Of course, any combination of these will also produce the tendency to bubbling.

Peter

oh no pete... i started referring to the autolyse as a 'rest' a few posts back, and i meant the autolyse during the dough prep, not during the dough maturation process.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #461 on: July 31, 2006, 11:20:03 AM »
abc,

Thanks for clarifying what you meant. When you didn't use the term "autolyse", I thought you shifted gears and wanted to get more bubbles in the crust and were joining other members of the forum, such as bolabola and Randy, who invite big bubbles. Now that I re-read your post, I can see that it is consistent with your earlier posts. Since Evelyne was more perceptive than I and answered your questions, especially with respect to high hydration and underkneading, I don't know that I can add anything further. At the least, you got a mini-tutorial on bubbles ;D. Sometime, just for fun, I might try to make a Lehmann dough that is intentionally full of big bubbles.

Peter

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #462 on: July 31, 2006, 11:22:24 AM »
ABC

Do you mean air pockets as in open hole cell structure of the crumb or bubbles that occur in the crust that occur during baking? It seems that Peter was talking about bubbling.

If you are talking about the cell structure of the crumb, the open hole structure is achieved with a higher hydration--at least 60%. Some formulas achieve that same structure with a bit less moisture (58%) but they generally contain a preferment of some kind. If you are looking to utilize high hydration, it will be important to use a flour that has high extensibility and gassing properties. You will also have to use high baking temperatures to get the oven spring necessary for those results.



Hi Evelyn... I meant the former... that is, not the bubbles that occur on the crust during baking but the inner network of holes (which some people dont like but i like.) i think Pete was saying his experience with autolyse yields a pizza dough w/ the fine, small, uniform look of say whitebread instead of a rustic ciabatta...

as pete said:  "I personally am not as big an advocate or fan as others of using autolyse with the basic Lehmann dough although I have liked it when using a natural preferment. To me, the crumb is too soft and bread-like. But I seem to be in the minority on this matter."

in my recent batch just 3 days ago, i didn't find a whitebread like uniform hole structure...  and to me, it made some logical sense in that if the autolyse allows you to mix less, and mixing too much takes you away from rustic, and into uniform...  why wouldn't a autolysed dough have more varied holes when baked.


You mentioned requiring high oven temps to get the necessary oven spring... are you talking high temps as in 550degrees, (perhaps the 'key' temp for this forum), vs. supposedly how a good many street pizza shops have their ovens at below that temp, perhaps 450degrees, (yet are able to get airy crusts with a lot of spring?)

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #463 on: July 31, 2006, 11:33:24 AM »
ABC

The autolyse method, as I have adapted to pizza making is really about achieving proper hydration of the flour and creating a dough that will mix out quicker and with much less agitation. These techniques I learned from bread baking, but when applied to pizza, different results are desired. When I teach this method to proffesional pizza makers, I use Tom's definition for the process: Biochemical Gluten Development or BGD as it applies to pizza. The initial BGD rest occurs at the start of the mixing process and since it tends to keep the dough temperature down. I highly recommend trying to keep the dough temperatures as cool as possible for doughs that are to go under long slow fermentation. Minimizing the mixing also helps to promote the open hole cell structure as well. If you are using miniscule amounts of yeast, I would skip the bench rest, unless you plan on using the dough within 24-36 hours--or sooner.


i have a question... you brought a bread baking technique into pizza dough making... and you teach this method to professional pizza makers... does this mean, and in your observation of NY pizza places... there wasn't a history of employing this technique with pizza dough?  Granted, as Pete suggested a few days ago, when making a large commerical batch, a unintentional rest period might kick in naturally as part of the batch process.

I think in another post, you mentioned years ago you learned the dough craft from lombardi and totonnos, the dying craft...  did they not use a autolyse method?  Though their pizzas are not typical gas oven temp pizzas (at least Lombardis)... perhaps whether they did or not is not as significant to me since i'm making gas oven (home) pizzas... but i'm curious from a curiosity standpoint.

Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #464 on: July 31, 2006, 04:16:27 PM »
Hi ABC,

When I learned how to make dough from Lombardi and Pero, and later from Pete Castelloti at Johns, and from what I have observed from pizza makers at the time--no one was observing A: giving the dough a rest before it was to be finished kneading, and B: no one was using any kind of starter or preferment. Jerry Pero prepared his dough early in the morning and left it out all day to rise. If you went there on a Saturday or Sunday when they served pizza all day, the pizzas prepared later in the day were the best.  Lombardi (the grandson) on the otherhand had adapted the formula to include refrigeration, and room temperature bulk first rise. The other thing that differentiated Pero's dough was that he employed a lower gluten flour 12-12.50 and everybody else was using high gluten 13+.

The thing about the original Lombardi formula as followed by Jerry Pero is that is came from a period that predated refrigeration--lots of pizza makers still follow the same technique, just as they have always done. However, even for the sake of authenticity, in a commercial situation, the technique is flawed because the pizzas produced earlier in the day are not consistent with the results of longer fermentation and they are not as light. But, 30 years ago, I would never quarrel with the master, all I knew was that I wanted to harness the peak perfection that the evening pizzas attained.


Lombardi was using the method his Grandfather, the original Gennaro had adapted to a mixer and to refrigeration in the 50's, however, this adaptation also featured a very high gluten flour, which became the favorite of pizza makers in NYC. Pero continued to use the lower protein flour of the original formula. So I combined the best of both methods: I used the lower protein flour, gave it a long first bulk raise at room temp, refrigerated it in bulk another 12 hours then scaled and formed, and the dough was ready to use 8-12 hours later. (24-36 hours in all before using) This gave me the best qualities of the original formula but now with consistent commercial results. The flour played an huge role in the success of the recipe. The average pizza maker in NYC favors the ultra high protein flour because it has great oven spring, and that's what they've traditionally used. But high protein flour produces a crust that is really, chewy and not tender. As it cools, it becomes hard. Pero's pizza was thin, crisp, pleasantly chewy and light becuase of the slightly lower protein content of the flour. (PS ask any one at Totonnos about this and they will NEVER give away any details about their formula--they even repackage their flour into plain brown bags so the brand won't be given away!!) Fortunately for me, when I got to Jerry, he wasn't famous and once I penetrated that gruff exterior, he was more than willing to share his knowledge.

So, that was my adaptation of the Original Lombardi formula, which was to basically stick to the ingredients but to apply the long, slow fermentation to get the same results on a consistent commercial level. Basically, I had to bridge the old with the new. Now, let's talk about the process I adapted--no one else was doing it--not the old timers and certainly not the average pizza guy. The flavor, texture, color and consistency I achieved was through the direct mix method and long fermentation. The few old timers that were left, made their dough in the morning and used it 6-8 hours later. What developed out of that, was that pizza makers turned to dough enhancers and conditioners to hasten their fresh dough process to 3-4 hours because they did not want to wait. The few old timers that utilized a combination of bench or bulk rise and refrigerated rise rarely held the dough for more 12 hours. They knew the dough could last longer in the coole but not too long because they were pushing too much yeast in their formula to have it last much longer than 24 hours.

In the late 70's, over night fermentation was really not widely practised. In the mid-eithties, when I first started teaching and giving seminars for Pizza Expo and writing for Pizza Today, when I would talk about the principles and benefits of long slow fermentation, I was widely thought of as an eccentric oddity. Pizza makers could not wrap themselves around the idea of waiting--they wanted to make dough "fresh" every day. I told them they were making fresh dough every day, it just wouldn't be used until 36 hours later. They mostly thought it was way too much trouble and not worth the effort.

In the eighties, when the "gourmet" pizza revolution was taking place, everyone was into topping centric pizza, the crust was superfluous. To the average pizza guy, flour was what they purchased from their distributor under a private lable at the cheapest price. The problem with that is that distributors slap their lables on whatever bulk flour they purchase, so the pizza makers formulas were always out of whack, to "fix" their problems, the pizza makers turned to conditioners and additives to make it work. It was (and still is) is vicious circle. That is when I started to apply bread baking techniques to pizza. Back then, the term artisan bread had not yet caught on nationally but I was spending a lot of time in Berkeley with friends since the mid 70's and was influenced by what Steve Sullivan at Acme Bread was doing. I was also a fan of Raymond Calvel's teachings (by the way Peter, he did pass away last summer some time). I recognized the similarities of the characteristics of rustic breads and to the Lombardi formula--which had been influenced by the baking methodology of that period. I began to handle the dough differently, I started giving it a rest in a similar fashion  as the autolyse method and I started to mix my dough on low speed only and for a very short time. This is what I put together from what I knew about artisan bread baking. Was I scientific about it, did I compare vital statistics--formula percentages--no. At that point, no one was using baker's percent for pizza, it was all based on volumetric--touch and feel. Sure, the chains had formulas, but the average pizza maker mostly made dough by the seat of their pants. The old masters didn't weigh out anything, they took whatever volume container: can or banged up pitcher, poured the water in by the number, dumped a sack of flour into the mixer, a scoop of salt and a piece of baker's yeast. (sugar and oil, if used, were also administered hapazardly). Because of this lack of structure, the dough would vary widely. The masters, who knew their dough could cope, because their years of experience guided them when to add a little more or less of something. The new guys didn't have that kind of experience,nor were they willing to put the time or effort into learning about their doughs. I used to tell people in seminars, you must spend at least a full year of making the dough everyday, through all of the seasons, to really master it. Again, people thought I was nuts.

When I went to Italy to judge the World Pizza Championships in the early 90's, I had the opportunity to go to Italian pizza school in Carole near Venice. I also spent several weeks travelling around to visit with many pizza makers. While 99% of the guys I worked with, made the dough in the morning and used it just a few hours later, their techniques were intrigingly different. That is where I actually saw pizza makers using a riposo technique (which I had come to on my own through my bread making experience). They also used spiral mixers which gently agited the dough. I had never seen these mixers in a pizzeria back in the states. I had been practising the same kind of thing on my own--in a kind of pizza making vacuum.

When I hooked up with Tom and gave him my formula for traditional New York pizza, it was not what I was personally producing. I knew that my approach was certainly too complicated for the average American pizza maker, so I gave him the formula that would produce  the best deck oven type pizza--like a DeMarco type, only I called for an overnight refrigerated fermentation, so it was basically a 24 hour dough. I know that DeMarco uses a same day dough, but the formula I gave Tom would produce similar results but more consistently. What I came away with from AIB was the scientific knowledge behind the techniques--after that, there was no stopping me!

When I was hanging out with Ron Wirtz at AIB, we would spend hours talking about applying artisan bread techniques to pizza and that is when I became interested in preferments. I did a lot of experimenting on my own with these techniques and taught chefs and some interested pizza makers how to make pizza utilizing these methods. Unfortunately, there just wasn't a whole lot of interest in this kind of pizza making.  Historically, there has been a real prejudice against pizza as a culinary art form, but fortunately, that is rapidly changing--finally! I Pizza Today was not interested in letting me write about these techniques because they thought that only chefs would be interested and that it was way above the average pizza maker's head. What it boiled down to was that it didn't represent a big enough "market". So I kept at it, experimenting, refining and talking with anyone who would call, write or e[mail me about it. People would seek me out if they really wanted to know about the old methods--the traditional methods--long before "artisan" pizza came on the scene.

When I worked for Grande Cheese, I got to travel all over the USA and visited thousands of pizza shops. That is where I got first hand experience of what the average independent pizza maker was doing on a national level. Grande employed me to help their endusers to improve their product through ingredients and technique. I did that for 15 years and the experience was priceless. I've always been objective about what makes great pizza. The type of rareified pizza that I did personally and what a small circle of old timers and passionate pizzaiolos thought of as the "art" of pizza was not what the average Joe was doing in their shop. Does that mean, they can't make great pizza? Hey is that like comparing the Mona Lisa to Warhol's Cambell's soup cans--they are both great art, but on different levels and they appeal to different tastes. The same with great pizza. My goal has been to has been to make the average pizza maker more aware of the quality of their ingredients and to learn the techniques that will help them to make pure pizza without chemical crutches. Now that the number of pizza "eccentrics" seems to be on the rise, I will be more public about championing the artisan cause and with PMQ behind me, I will have the platform to get out there.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #465 on: August 01, 2006, 08:09:45 PM »
Today, at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2462.msg28923.html#msg28923, I described my efforts to make an 11-in Lehmann pizza using a Deni 2300 counter pizza oven. What I was hoping for was a simple way of making a pizza during the summer without heating up my oven, especially when using a pizza stone requiring a long preheat. While the initial results look promising, it may take a while to determine whether it will be possible to make a Lehmann pie worthy of posting on this thread.

Peter

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #466 on: August 02, 2006, 01:59:51 PM »
Can someone in control of the "recipe" section update the Lehman NY style recipe?

The description mentions adding sugar, yet there is no listing of percentages in the ingredients section. Also, there are tons of great variations that people have done firsthand in this thread. It would be really nice to have an "adaptation" section of the recipe for ways to make the dough More/less "airy", dense, "hefty", etc. Or variations by kneading technique. It was a pain having to extract the firsthand data from other members in a 24 page thread.

I just want to see that the hard work of many members is preserved appropriately for the newbies who come to this site. Thanks for the great recipe!


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #467 on: August 02, 2006, 02:51:19 PM »
DNA Dan,

Since Tom Lehmann originally posted his NY style dough recipe at the PMQ Recipe Bank, several people have pointed out to him (at the PMQ Think Tank) that sugar is mentioned but not included in the dough formulation. Usually, Tom would clarify the matter by explaining when sugar might be used, but the formulation itself was not corrected. The simple explanation on sugar in a Lehmann dough is to use it when a dough is to be held for more than a few days, or when a pizza screen might be used in lieu of baking directly on a hearth-like stone surface. Tom otherwise discourages the use of sugar (or eggs or milk-based products) when a dough is to be baked directly on a stone surface because of the likelihood of excessive or premature browning of the bottom of the crust. In a typical home oven setting, using 1-2% sugar by weight of flour should be a safe amount to start with, and increase or decrease it with actual experience.

As a new member, you may not be aware of the fact that I created a "roadmap" to all of the Lehmann dough variations that I have been personally involved with. I did this to help people to quickly locate a particular Lehmann dough formulation or dough protocol that might work best for them without having to scan the entire thread. I still post regularly in the Lehmann thread, despite its length, because I would rather keep everything together as much as I can rather than being scattered all over the forum. This is my standard operating procedure on other matters on which I post. In the case of the Lehmann thread, I use the roadmap to hold things together from an organizational and search perspective. FYI, the Lehmann Roadmap is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193.

What I have found to be especially helpful to locate posts and threads on the forum is the Advanced search feature. If you haven't seen or tried it, you can click on the Search button on the top of any page, and then click on the Advanced search link. In a forum such as ours where posts are created by its members, it's inevitable that as the number of posts grow it becomes more challenging to find things. That's why I like the Advanced search feature. For a discussion on how to make the most effective use of the Advanced search feature, you may want to take a look at this thread/post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3101.msg26282.html#msg26282.

Peter

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #468 on: August 03, 2006, 04:02:53 PM »
Thanks for not flaming me for my newbie comments.  >:D

You're the man! There is organization in the pizza madness afterall! Thanks! :chef:

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #469 on: August 03, 2006, 04:44:55 PM »
DNA Dan,

Life is too short to spend it flaming people :).

I still have some more Lehmann experiments in me, believe it or not. So I hope I don't have to create a roadmap to the "Roadmap" ;D.

Peter


Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #470 on: August 06, 2006, 10:43:47 AM »
Pete, do you have a formulation for a 12" lehmann pizza?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #471 on: August 06, 2006, 11:02:46 AM »
abc,

Yes, I do. If you go to this thread, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193, you will find several dough formulations for the 12-inch size. All you have to do is click on the Reply/Page number or the link after an entry to go to the actual page and post. If you can't find a 12-inch formulation you like, tell me what you want and I should be able to develop one for you.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #472 on: August 07, 2006, 09:49:13 AM »
Yesterday, I made my second Lehmann NY style pizza using my new Deni 2300 countertop pizza oven. As I discovered the last time, perhaps the most significant limitation of the Deni unit is that it does not produce the same measure of oven spring as a conventional home oven. The reason for this is that an uncooked pizza on a cold metal plate doesn't get that burst of heat that allows the crust to swell up, especially at the rim, as the yeast gives up its life (once the crust temperature gets above about 140 degrees F). Pretty much the same thing will happen in a conventional home oven when a solid pan with an unbaked pizza in it is placed cold in a hot oven. Before the pizza can start to bake in a meaningful way, the pan has to get really hot. And by the time that happens, it is usually too late to get an optimum oven spring, even if you did everything else exactly right to try to get a good oven spring. That's one of the reasons why preheated pizza stones/tiles are so great.

For the latest Deni pizza, I tried to apply as many principles of pizza making that I could think of to try to get a more pronounced oven spring, along with a better crumb with a more airy character. I used more yeast (IDY), I was careful as not to overknead the dough during mixing (I used only the pulse feature of my food processor), and I even decided to use an autolyse. Once the dough was shaped into a skin (11 inches), I docked it, lightly oiled it, and placed it (on the metal pizza plate) in the Deni unit (in its "off" position) to proof for 40 minutes. After proofing, the skin was pre-baked top and bottom until it was a light brown, and then dressed and finished baking. The results are discussed and shown at Reply 8 at the Deni 2300 thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2462.msg29123.html#msg29123.

The results were a great deal better than my maiden effort at a Deni pizza. What was most significant to me as a learning experience is that the same pizza making principles that apply to a standard home oven will also work, in pretty much the same way, with a countertop oven such as the Deni pizza oven. One of the reasons I bought the Deni unit in the first place, apart from wanting to make pizzas without using my regular oven during the oppressive summer heat, was because I wanted to see if that was in fact true. In some respects, the Deni oven is easier to control than a home oven because of the capability to turn one or both of the heating coils on or off at will.

I suspect we don't have many Deni 2300 owners on the forum but I'd be happy to post the dough formulation for the Lehmann 11-inch dough for those who may be interested. In the meantime, I plan to try a few more things on my next Lehmann dough using the Deni unit to see if I can improve the results even further.

Peter

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #473 on: August 07, 2006, 07:03:58 PM »
 I've got a Deni 2300 still in the box - I've haven't used it yet - it is going to be for winter use

Offline giotto

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #474 on: August 10, 2006, 04:21:29 PM »
SLICEofSLOMON

Thank you for sharing your background. It hits home in so many respects. I think we forget sometimes how human some of the legends really were... a lesson that I've learned from the study of BBQ. In the end, consistency has a 2 edge sword, especially in a commercial environment where one's income is based on the result. When you have a commercial winner, innovation is often devoted to consistency; otherwise, deviation can be a bad formula. Just like the cosmos though, it's often the purest or hobbyist that points out something new.

Your comments regarding fresh dough reminded me of a situation I observed the other day when I saw a woman checking for the freshest dates of Il Fornaio's dough for her pizza here in the SF bay area. I asked her a simple question to bring my study of artisan dough to light "do you look for the freshest red wine, or the freshest Parmesan cheese?"

Few, and I mean very few people would ever put dough fermentation at the same level of appreciation of wine making. But the truth is, sour dough is no accident. And like wine or cheese, it can only be attained with time and depending on the sourness to be attained, temperature. Nothing can be more blah sometimes than a fresh low salt cow's milk mozzarella when compared to an aged cheese. And dough is no different.

German bakers, for example, are known to use exact temperatures to incorporate an exact amount of lactic vs. acedic acid into the dough. Representatives from Il Fornaio, Artisan Bakers, and other members of the US baking team may mix day-old cold dough into a new batch of dough to ensure some acidity in their non-sourdough breads. These same bakers, including one of my favorities that you mention, ACME, often work with 75% - 80% hydration levels and 11.5% - 12.7% protein levels of flour to attain their old-world style breads.

Since higher protein flours can definitely result in stiffer doughs, and I don't always want quite the lightness of a low protein flour, I leverage a bit of fat to lubricate a 12.7% protein flour. When oils make their way around protein, water is unable to seek in, and the end result is fewer gluten strands... resulting in a softer dough. Since sugar absorbs water, the same end effect can occur; but with other impact. Like I said, none of this is an accident. And this chemisty represents what I refer to as "the rules"; and once learned, you can adapt any dough to your exact liking of crust.

I like your comparison of Campbell's soup to a great artist. There are certainly huge differences in the pizza world when it comes to taste buds. Even today, this can be influenced by the regions where people grow up. Fortunately, people move around more today than ever before. But you still see people complaining when they can't find their Nathan's dog in Chicago, regional chinese food in the bay area, or find shrimp on their CA pizza. My philosophy is simple... When in Rome, eat like the Roman's do... And learn.












 

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