With one of our new members, Tim Wurtz, experimenting with a version of the Big Dave Ostrander “Old Faithful” dough formulation for his high altitude Idaho pizzeria location, I decided over the weekend to try out the most recent “Old Faithful” dough formulation posted on this thread—the one I have chosen to call “New Faithful”. This is the version that member JAG provided some time ago after having discovered it at a NAPICS event. Both he and a few other members previously tried the formulation and spoke well of it.
This is the formulation I elected to use, to make a 16-inch pizza:
100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 13.10 oz. (371.01 g.), 3 c. plus 2 T. (scoop, spoon and level method)
60%, Water (70 degrees F), 7.85 oz. (222.61 g.), a bit less than 1 c.
2%, Salt, 0.26 oz. (7.42 g.), 1 1/3 t.
3%, Sugar, 0.39 oz. (11.13 g.), a bit more than 2 3/4 t.
1%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.13 oz. (3.71 g.), a bit less than 1 1/4 t.
3%, Oil, 0.39 oz. (11.13 g.), 2 3/8 t.
Total dough weight = 22.12 oz. (627.01 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.11 (medium thickness)
Note: all measurements U.S./metric standard
The process for making the dough was as follows: 1) combine the IDY with the flour, and set aside; 2) put the water into the bowl of a stand mixer (e.g., KitchenAid), together with the salt and sugar, and stir to completely dissolve, about 30 seconds; 3) gradually add the flour mixture, about a tablespoon or two at a time, and mix at Stir speed, using a spatula to help incorporate the flour into the water and to move the dough mixture into the path of the dough hook; 4) when the flour has pretty much been taking up by the water and a rough dough ball forms, add the oil and continue to knead at Stir or 1 speed for about another minute or so to fully incorporate the oil; 5) continue to knead the dough at speed 2 for about 5-6 minutes, or until the dough clears the side of the bowl and forms a smooth, yet somewhat tacky ball without tears on the outer surface; 6) hand knead the finished dough for about 30 seconds, shape into a ball or disk, lightly oil, and place within a container (in my case, a large metal cookie tin with a tight-fitting lid); 7) immediately place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
In my case, I removed the dough from the refrigerator and its container after about 48 hours, during which time the dough had more than doubled in volume, placed the dough on a lightly floured work surface, lightly dusted the dough with a small amount of bench flour, and covered the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap. The dough remained at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours before it was shaped into a skin. The dough handled very well, with a nice balance between extensibility and elasticity. I had decided to use only a pizza screen (i.e., no pizza stone), so the skin (16”) was placed on the screen (16”) before dressing. I might add that there was enough dough that I could have easily shaped it into an 18" skin (and used an 18" screen) to get a thinner crust.
To dress the pizza, I used a Stanislaus Alta Cucina sauce (a combination of an uncooked pureed sauce and a cooked reduction of the can juices), Italian herb seasonings, one ounce of shredded hard Asiago cheese, 7 ounces of cubed Frigo (Saputo) processed mozzarella cheese, Margherita pepperoni slices, sauteed mushrooms, and additional imported (Sicilian) dried oregano and a few sprigs of fresh Italian oregano from my garden.
The pizza was baked on the middle oven rack position of the oven, which I had turned on about 10 minutes before preparing the skin and dressing it, and baked at 475 degrees F for about 8 minutes, or until the rim of the crust had started to turn brown and the cheeses were melting and starting to bubble. I then moved the pizza off of the screen and placed it directly beneath the broiler element, which I turned on during the last minute that the pizza was on the middle oven rack. The pizza was under the broiler for about a minute. The total time that the oven was on, from the time it was turned on and the pizza was removed from it, was less than 25 minutes. IMO, this makes the New Faithful pizza a good choice to make now that the weather is starting to turn warm and interest in baking pizzas in the home oven is beginning to wane.
The photos below show the finished product. The pizza turned out very well. It had a soft, tender crust and crumb, with a breadlike character, and with good oven spring, a hint of sweetness in the crust, and good overall coloration. I believe that the New Faithful dough formulation is a well designed formulation—better than most—and should work quite well in a professional setting for which it was apparently intended. It’s also conceivable that the soft and tender nature of the crust may make it a good candidate for a delco (delivery/carryout) operation because the crust is less likely to turn tough during the transit time between the pizzeria and the consumer’s home. This is a problem that is sometimes experienced with crusts made with high-gluten flour.