Recently, at Reply 48 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg64308.html#msg64308
, I described a Papa John’s clone dough that I made with a window of usability of eight days. To achieve that long window, one of the measures I took was to use active dry yeast (ADY) in dry form, that is, without first rehydrating it in water, as is the usual recommended method. Rather, I simply mixed the dry ADY in with the flour, much as I would do if I were using instant dry yeast (IDY). Because of the success of that dough, and the pizza that was made from it, and at the urging of Mad Ernie at Reply 50 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg64316.html#msg64316
, I was prompted to examine whether the “dry ADY” method would work with some other dough formulation. With that objective in mind, I decided to modify the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation to see if the principles I learned from my Papa John’s experiment would extend to the Lehmann NY style. In so doing, I used several of the techniques described previously at the alternative KitchenAid dough making method at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.0.html
Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
, I came up with the following modified Lehmann NY style dough formulation, for a 16” pizza:
|King Arthur Bread Flour-sifted (100%):|
Olive Oil (1%):
|315.34 g | 11.12 oz | 0.7 lbs|
195.51 g | 6.9 oz | 0.43 lbs
1.18 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.31 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
5.52 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.99 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
3.15 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.7 tsp | 0.23 tbsp
520.7 g | 18.37 oz | 1.15 lbs | TF = 0.09135
Note: For one 16” pizza; nominal thickness factor = 0.09; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%
As noted in the above formulation, I used the King Arthur brand of bread flour. As is my usual practice, I sifted it before using. The nominal thickness factor I selected was 0.09 (to yield a finished dough weight of 18.10 ounces), and the bowl residue compensation factor was 1.5%. The water I used was spring water, which was at refrigerator temperature, at 42 degrees F. Even the ADY was cold, right out of the freezer where I store my ADY supply. One of the key techniques to get a long fermentation and long window of usability is to keep everything as cold as possible.
For those who do not have a scale but have a standard set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, the amount of flour specified in the above table, 11.12 ounces, converts to 2 c. + 1/3 c. + 2 T. + 2 ¼ t. These volume measurements are based on using the “Textbook” method of measurement as defined at Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6576.msg56397.html#msg56397
. The 6.9 ounces of water in the above table converts to ½ c. + ¼ c. + 1 T. + 5/8 t. The level of water in the measuring cup(s) should be viewed at eye level with the cup(s) on a flat surface. These conversions were derived by using member November’s Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator at http://tools.foodsim.com/
To prepare the dough, I started by combining the ADY (dry) with the flour. As noted above, even the ADY was cold. I then added the formula water, at 42 degrees F, to the mixer bowl of my standard KitchenAid stand mixer. Next, I added the salt, and stirred to dissolve, about 30 seconds. I then added the oil. With the flat paddle attachment secured, and the mixer at stir speed, I gradually added the flour/ADY mixture to the bowl, a few tablespoons at a time. I did this until the flour/ADY was roughly incorporated with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl and collected around the paddle attachment, about a minute. I then replaced the paddle attachment with the C-hook and kneaded the dough mass, at speed 2, for about 6 minutes. The dough was then kneaded and shaped into a round dough ball by hand, about 30 seconds. The finished dough weight was 18.27 ounces, which I trimmed back to 18.10 ounces (based on the nominal thickness factor of 0.09), and the finished dough temperature was 68.7 degrees F. That is lower than the 75-80 degrees F target usually recommended for a home refrigerator application, but the lower finished dough temperature is key to getting a long, cold fermentation that translates to a long window of usability.
The dough was then lightly coated with vegetable oil. In order to monitor the rise of the dough during the fermentation period, I used the “poppy seed trick” as previously described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html
. In line with that method, I placed two poppy seeds one inch apart on the middle of the top of the dough ball. The first photo below shows the finished dough, including the two spaced-apart poppy seeds. The finished dough was placed in a tall, clear plastic Food Saver container. For a cover for that container, I used the plastic lid that I normally use with my one-quart Pyrex glass bowl. The lid, with a small opening in the center to allow gases of fermentation to escape while retaining the moisture of condensation, fits perfectly with the Food Saver container. The second photo below shows the dough within that container.
The dough within its container was then immediately placed in the refrigerator. After seven days, I observed that the dough had risen by only 20%, based on the slight increase in spacing between the two poppy seeds. After 11 days, the rise was about 39%; after 12 days, it was about 42%. Concluding that 12 days was perhaps long enough, I decided to use the dough at that point to make pizza. The dough ball was brought out of the refrigerator and put on my counter to warm up. I left the dough within its container so that I wouldn’t disturb the poppy seeds, thereby allowing me to see how much further the dough would rise while at room temperature (about 70 degrees F). After about three hours at room temperature, the dough increased in volume to about 66% (based on the increase in spacing between the two poppy seeds), and then stabilized over the next hour or so while I preheated the pizza stone in my oven. The third photo below shows the dough at this stage. As can be seen in that photo, the dough exhibited some harmless spotting, as is quite common with long, cold-fermented doughs after several days. The spotting was limited to the top of the dough, not the sides or bottom of the dough in contact with the container.
I then shaped and stretched the dough into a 16” skin and placed it onto a 16” pizza screen. The dough was quite extensible, more so than I had expected based on the rise performance of the dough, but I had no difficulty handling the dough. The pizza was dressed in basic pepperoni style, using about 6 ounces of pizza sauce, 10 ounces of diced low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, and slices of Hormel pepperoni that I had previously “nuked” in my microwave unit to reduce the fat content. I should add at this point that I used the 16” pizza screen since my pizza stone cannot itself accommodate a 16” pizza. So, as is my practice in situations like this, I use a combination of screen and pizza stone to make a pizza that is larger than my pizza stone.
The pizza was baked, on the screen, at the topmost oven rack position, until the rim started to rise and turn a light brown, about 4 minutes. I then shifted the pizza off of the screen (which was then removed from the oven) onto the pizza stone, which had been preheated for about an hour at a temperature of about 525 degrees F. The pizza remained on the stone until the bottom turned brown, about another 2 to 3 minutes. To get a bit more top crust browning, I moved the pizza back to the topmost oven rack position for about another 1-2 minutes. The photos in the next post show the finished pizza.
I thought the pizza turned out quite well. It had good overall crust coloration, the rim was crispy and chewy with good oven spring, and slices were soft and easily foldable in classic NY style. The texture of the crumb was similar to that of an artisan bread, with good pull (like a rubber band) when stretched. There was also a profusion of little blisters in the rim area, which is characteristic of a long fermented dough and something I have experienced many times before in very long fermented doughs. The flavors and aroma of the crust were also reminiscent of those achieved with an artisan bread, no doubt due to the substantial byproducts of fermentation produced over a period of 12 days. What I was especially looking for was whether the crust would be mildly sweet--despite the lack of any added sugar in the dough--which is a characteristic that I observed, and came to like, when I used IDY in prior long fermentation doughs. I did not detect that sweetness. It is possible, however, that using the dough before 12 days may retain enough residual sugar to produce a slight sweetness in the finished crust. In general, I think that a dough with 6-10 days of cold fermentation represents a good target.
As noted above, the objective of the latest experiment was to determine whether the dry ADY method has utility and applicability to the preparation of pizza dough in general. Based on my results with the above experiment, I would say that the answer is clearly yes.