Author Topic: Help: Burned topping, pale crust.  (Read 10032 times)

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Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2004, 10:34:49 PM »
Phase 3:
I had some dough left over from phase 2 and I knew it could be improved. I reduced the resting time this time even more, maybe 40 minutes after taking it out of the fridge and punching it down. It had a lot of elasticity and I used a rolling pin to roll it out then worked the rest by hand. I was feeling confident so I wanted to try something new. Since it was morning, there's only one logical choice -- egg pizza! I couldn't get the york to stablise but it tasted very satisfying:


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2004, 10:42:49 PM »
Conclusion:

My initial problem was caused by over rising and over resting the dough ball. While this makes the dough very soft and rids it of elasticity making it more responsive to shaping, it makes a very bad pizza. Once this kind of dough is on the peel, it is like a slack, dripping substance. Water and sauce easily permeates the dough. Transferred to the oven, it does not puff adequtely and it does not brown. The end product is hard, raw tasting and unpleasant.

The problem was solved by reducing the rest period on board. If shaped in about an hour, the dough is very springy, resists stretching and does not drip if held with two fingers; it holds its own. It is also fairly water resistant. This kind of dough, once in the oven tends to puff and produce large air bubbles. It browns better and cooks faster. The end product is soft and chewy, like how a good pizza should be!

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2004, 11:26:38 PM »
I hadn't realized that you are in Australia, which also accounts for why I haven't seen the "00" flour you used sold anywhere in the U.S.  The recipe I posted is the one I have used on many occasions, and is one that was presented by a woman (Pamela Sheldon Johns) in an article she wrote for a food and wine magazine based on her research on authentic Neapolitan pizzas (she also lives around Naples and wrote a book on Neapolitan pizzas).  

I started to analyze your results when I saw that you contributed two more postings in which you discussed some of the improvements you experienced in Phases 2 and 3.  I was going to suggest shortening the rise times to accommodate the warmer temperatures you have where you are in Australia.   This means having to watch the dough carefully so that it doesn't overferment and start to deflate.  Some other possibilities you might want to consider are to use cooler water and/or less yeast.  The cooler water will allow longer fermentation times and the smaller amount of yeast will slow down the rate of fermentation, both of which should compensate in part for the warmer climate and also result in better flavor through the production of fermentation by-products.  If you use active dry yeast or fresh yeast, you should use only a small amount of the water, which should be warm, for proofing purposes.  The rest of the water can be cool if you decide to use cooler water.  

Please keep us posted on your progress, and especially if you learn something that will be of value to the rest of us.  BTW, maybe you have already noticed, but I have been making egg-based pizzas for some time and have been posting the results elsewhere on this forum.   And the flour I have been using for the most part is 00 flour.   I had to alter the basic recipe to achieve the results I wanted, and also the process (by using a "proofing" box), but after numerous tries I think I'm starting to understand the 00 flour better  :)

Peter

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2004, 11:33:20 PM »
I just noticed your "Conclusion".  After the holidays, I will try another Neapolitan style pizza based on the recipe I posted and post a photo, along with any new insights that might come out of that exercise.

Peter

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2004, 11:48:26 PM »
Hi Peter,
You bet -- I read your egg-pizza threads before I did mine. Your ones look hell tasty. I asked my dad to get some bacon and ham so I can better spice up my morning pizzas.

I want to move on to NY style pizzas. I just came back from the states a few days ago and I must have had pizza everyday there. NY style, Chicargo style, food fire, etc. Amazingly tasty.

As far as I can see, the main difference between Napoli style and NY style is the amount of cheese used. In Napoli style, cheese is a scattered topping. In NY style, cheese is a entire layer. Dough wise, I'm not too sure. But I've been reading your other thread on Lehmann's recipe. I'll be trying that next. :)

BTW, I wrote the conclusion based on what I 'thought'. Is it roughly right?

Elaborating:

X                                Y
-----------------------------
                ^

On this scale, where X is punched down dough from the first rise and Y is the heavily rested dough after punching down, where is the optimal point to start making the pizza?

At X, the dough is stiff, springy and highly elastic. Very hard to shape.
At Y, the dough has relaxed totally, kind of like melted on the board and drips if picked up by two fingers. It has little elasticity, no bounce when pressed by a finger but shapes easily.

Where's the optimal point?

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2004, 12:50:46 AM »
JF,

I believe your conclusion is quite accurate.  The problem you were experiencing was overfermentation, which is not all that uncommon for 00 doughs.  A symptom of that was a lack of browning and coloration, and all the horrors that you mentioned (slack, lifeless dough, etc.).  That doesn't mean the advice to use sugar in the dough, or to use olive oil in the dough or to brush oil on the rim to improve the color is not good advice.  It is good advice since the 00 flour naturally produces a lighter crust.  When I started making 00 pizzas, the only way I could tell for sure that the pizzas were done was to peek under the pizza and look at the crust.  More recently, I have been adding a bit of sugar to my 00 doughs for the egg pizzas and brushing the rims with olive oil to get increased browning.

As for your question on when you should plan on using your 00 dough along the A-B continuum, I would say that it is when the dough starts to lose its elasticity and starts to have increased extensibility.  You should be able to use your knuckles to stretch and shape the dough, and it will spring back slightly.  But, for the most part, the dough will be shaped on your work surface by pressing the dough outwardly with your fingers, starting from the center, so that the rim forms more or less automatically.  The dough will not lend itself well to tossing.  Instead, it will shape through the force of gravity as you hold the dough at the edges and try to increase the size of the pizza round to the desired diameter.  If the above conditions are satisfied, there should never be a need to use a rolling pin.  Unfortunately, about the only way to tell when you cross over the line from too elastic to too extensible is through experience.  As you have seen, the same recipe can produce different results in different places.  You will have to "adapt" any recipe to your particular situation and experience.  When I saw the photo of the last pizza you made, and read your comments, I think you could move a bit more to the right along your A-B continuum, from elastic to less elastic, to achieve the set of conditions mentioned above.  

I'm glad you had a chance to try out the different kinds of pizzas while you were in the states.  As you start to investigate NY style thin-crust pizzas, you will become aware of high-gluten and similar high-protein flours.  There are only a relatively small number of places that specialize in the use of 00 flours, and those are usually places that specialize in Neapolitan style pizzas, with sparse, light toppings, a scattering of cheese, and around 8-10 inches in diameter.  The NY styles can be 16-18 inches in diameter and use a lot of cheese and other toppings.  

Once you decide to consider NY style pizzas in earnest, I suggest that you look at all the many threads at this forum that are devoted to NY style doughs.  On one end of the spectrum, you will find doughs that use little yeast and little or no sugar, and on the other end of the spectrum you will find doughs that use a lot of yeast and a lot of sugar.  You might try out one of each and see which you prefer, and concentrate on that "species" thereafter.  I hope you can find a source of good high-gluten flour in Australia.  It's a long way to ship King Arthur high-gluten flour from Vermont to Australia :).  Good luck in whatever you do.

Peter

Offline DKM

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2004, 10:42:43 AM »
I have noticed that if it takes a dough two hours to rise, I can punch it down and have a nicely relaxed dough in about 20-25 minutes.

DKM
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Online Pete-zza

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2005, 09:23:18 PM »
On New Year's Eve, as part of a pizza party held with friends in Massachusetts, I made four Neapolitan style pizzas based on doughs using the Bel Aria 00 flour.  I used essentially the same recipe as set forth in an earlier posting, but modified it to fit the timetable I was presented with.  I was also hoping to avoid the types of problems that fellow member JF_Aidan_Pryde experienced recently in his experimentation with 00 flour doughs.  The recipe as modified was as follows:

4 c. "00" flour (Farina Tipo 00), Bel Aria brand
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 t. IDY
1 T. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1 t. olive oil, plus olive oil for the bowl

In the above recipe, the sugar and olive oil were added to aid in browning of the pizza crust and also to achieve additional softness of the crumb.   The sugar would also serve to feed the yeast and minimize the possibility of overfermentation because of depletion of the natural sugars extracted from the flour during fermentation.  IDY was used because of its convenience (it was the only form of yeast my friends had in their home).  

In lieu of using a stand mixer as called for in the recipe I posted above, I used a food processor (a variable-speed Braun model).  All of the dry ingredients were placed in the bowl of the food processor, and the water (temperature adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of about 80 degrees F) was gradually added while the processor was pulsed.  When the dough formed a rough dough ball between the processor blade and the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes), I added the olive oil and pulsed that into the dough for an additional minute or two.  The dough was a bit sticky at this point, so I removed it from the bowl and hand kneaded it on a work surface with a little bench flour until the dough was slightly tacky but smooth and elastic.  I then divided the kneaded dough into 4 portions of equal weight, coated them lightly with olive oil, and placed them into separate containers (covered with plastic wrap), and then into the refrigerator.  

About 3 hours before I needed to shape the dough balls into pizza rounds (the dough balls had been in the refrigerator for about 5 hours by this time), I removed the dough balls from the refrigerator and placed them into a proofing box I had made for my friends to use during my visits to their home.  I used the proofing box not to speed up the rising process as I do with my "last minute" pizza doughs (reported elsewhere on this forum) but rather to compensate for the fact that room temperature was only 64 degrees F.  By using the proofing box, I was able to achieve an ambient temperature in the proofing box of around 70-75 degrees F--just about ideal.  Absent the proofing box, I would have had to extend the time the dough balls were at room temperature.  

Once I was ready to make the pizzas, the dough balls were in great shape.  They had doubled in volume and were showing no signs of collapsing.  And they shaped nicely.  Before dressing them, I brushed the rims of the dough rounds (they were about 9 inches in diameter) with a bit of olive oil to facilitate browning.  The dressed pizzas were baked directly on a pizza stone that had been preheated for more than an hour at about 500-550 degrees F.  All four pizzas turned out very well.  The top and bottom crusts were nicely browned, and the crusts were soft and chewy.  

One of the nice things about 00 pizza rounds is that they can be easily customized to the individual taste preferences of the eaters, in a single serving size.  One of the pizzas I made was a classic Margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese (fior di latte), fresh basil and olive oil. Another had pieces of chicken grilled in olive oil and herbs, marinated artichoke hearts, a San Marzano sauce with chunks of San Marzano tomatoes, a bit of fresh chopped Roma tomatoes, shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.  But the star of the show was an andouille sausage pizza with two sunny-side up eggs, a shredded blend of mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and Creole seasoning.  When I proposed this pizza and mentioned the word eggs, I was greeted with gasps of horror.  When two of the guests worked up the courage to try the pizza, I used two eggs--one for each--and divided the pizza in half.  But when the pizza was presented, they all wanted to sample it.  

Peter


« Last Edit: January 07, 2005, 09:50:14 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2005, 11:15:23 PM »
Hey Pete,

Sounded like you guys had fun. I've cooked quite a few pizzas lately too and things are definitely working out better. My dad even suggested I open up a pizza joint.  ;)

I find sugar definitely helps browning of the bottom, especially when cooked with the stone. But the rim doesn't benefit too much. Sometimes I'd spread the tomato sauce a little aggressiely -- it burns a nice dark red and looks pretty good. I'll try brushing oil next time.

The thing now is, I can't really tell if my Pizza is NY style or Neopolitana style. The crust is very thin, very soft and very bendable. There's not much crispyness in the rim crust or bottom. I'd say it's more like turkish bread in texture.  And the pizza is pretty small. I've made it as big as my stone but it's still too small. And also, I cook it very fast, maybe 3 minutes sometimes, or else the cheese burns.

Here's a slice from a recent one I made:
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 11:26:28 PM by JF_Aidan_Pryde »

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2005, 11:38:12 PM »
JF,

Whatever it is, it looks good, and tasty.  Was this slice from a flour based on 00 flour?  And from the looks of the amount of droop, it would appear that the pizza was bigger than your prior efforts.  What recipe did you use to produce the pizza from which the slice was taken?

Peter


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2005, 11:45:05 PM »
Pete, it was made using Defiance brand "Baker's Flour" which has 11-12% protein. The recipe was a modified version of your first Tom Lehmann recipe. Modified for more dough, a slightly higher hydration (about 1.5 cups of water mixed with 3.5 cups of flour) and some sugar.

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Re:Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2005, 09:31:15 PM »
From the appearance of the slice, I didn't think you were using 00 flour.  Also, the size of the slice and the degree of droop seemed to be more a NY style. Your Baker's Flour has a protein content similar to the U.S. all-purpose flour.  The classic NY style pizza dough is made from high-gluten flour, which has a protein content of around 14%.  While you can certainly make a NY style pizza dough using a lower protein flour, it will be different from the "real" thing. If you have vital wheat gluten in Australia, you might experiment adding some to your Baker's Flour to get closer to the protein content of high-gluten flour. You won't get the exact same end product but it will be pretty good nonetheless.  

You didn't mention whether the pizza you made tasted good.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 07, 2005, 09:48:26 AM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Help: Burned topping, pale crust.
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2005, 06:23:28 PM »
JF_Aiden_Pryde,

Knowing of your fondness for Neapolitan style pizzas based on 00 flour, I thought you would be interested in reading the article on this topic at http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style.htm.  I think it is one of the best articles I have read on the subject, and especially for the photos.  You will see the links to the specific instructions for making 00 dough and the pizzas themselves (pizza  Margheritas) at the specific webpage referenced above.  You will also note that you can enlarge the small photos simply by clicking on them, which I found very helpful to get a better look at detail.

The recipe given in the article is for a fairly large quantity of dough balls--14 of them, in fact, each weighing a bit over 7 oz (enough to make an 8-9 inch pizza).  The recipe calls for Caputo 00 flour but I suspect the 00 flour you use in Australia should work as well. 

Using the baker's percents given, I scaled the recipe down to a single dough ball size.  I also converted the compressed yeast to instant dry yeast (IDY).  Although the instructions are for hand kneading, I would use my food processor, simply for convenience.  You will also note that the dough can be retarded if desired.  I did this recently (using the Bel Aria 00 flour) with very good results.  In my case, I started the dough in the morning and refrigerated it for about 7 hours.  I removed the dough (actually, 4 dough balls of around 7-8 oz. each) from the refrigerator about 2 hours before I planned to make pizzas.  I read an article recently about the owner of a Neapolitan pizza operation in Pittsburgh who advocates starting the dough at around 4 PM and refrigerating it until at least 9:00 AM the next morning.  I suspect the dough is used for the luncheon trade.

If you or any other member is interested, I would be happy to post the scaled-down quantities for a single dough ball.  I have some Caputo flour on hand and should be able to come up with fairly accurate weight and volume measurements.  With your two pizza stone approach, I suspect you could make some pretty good pizzas without the crust problems you experienced recently. 

Peter


 

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