Author Topic: Crust is rock hard...help...  (Read 5957 times)

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Offline Stetson

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Crust is rock hard...help...
« on: September 28, 2008, 10:38:45 AM »
I have tried making a stuffed pizza twice and each time the crust turns out rock hard.  What can I do to make it softer?

Here is the recipe I am following:

    *  3 Cups  bread Flour
    * 1 Cup Milk
    * 1 Tbsp. Butter
    * 1 Tbsp. Sugar
    * 1 tsp. Salt
    * 1 Package Instant Dry Yeast

Scald milk. Add butter, sugar and salt. Allow milk mixture to cool to "warm." Add yeast and mix thoroughly.

In a heavy-duty mixer (e.g., KitchenAid), add milk mixture. Slowly add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow dough to rise for 2 hours. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and allow to rise and additional 2 hours until approximately doubled in bulk.  cheese/sauce. Bake about 30 minutes at 425 degrees F

Thanks!


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 12:07:17 PM »
Stetson,

Since you posted on the Thick Style board, can you describe what you mean by "stuffed"? That is, is it like a stuffed deep-dish pizza, or something else? If the latter, please describe how you construct the stuffed pizza.

Also, what kind and brand of bread flour are you using, and how do you measure out the three cups from your flour container? There are many different ways of doing this, and knowing your method might help address your problem. And what kind of milk are you using, that is, whole milk, nonfat, part-skim, etc.?

Finally, how specifically are you baking the pizza--in a pan, on a screen, on a preheated pizza stone, or whatever?

Peter


Offline Stetson

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2008, 01:24:00 PM »
It ends up being more like a pan with the sauce on top.  We use an unfancy nonstick pan pizza pan.  We make the dough and stretch it out to fit the pan that is oiled with extra virgin olive oil.  Then we add some mozz. cheese and put the sauce on.  We use Pillsbury bread flour and measure it out by using a dry measuring cup and just add some in at a time (maybe 3/4 c) into the mixer.  We used 2% milk.  Does that help?  Thanks

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2008, 02:09:33 PM »
Stetson,

Yes, that helps.

In Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6576.msg56397/topicseen.html#msg56397, I defined several ways that people use to measure out flour from a flour container. If you are using anything other than the Textbook method, I believe that part of your problem is that the dough is underhydrated, that is, it contains insufficient moisture. The 2% milk you are using contains about 89% water, so the dough will be less hydrated than if you used a cup of water instead of the cup of milk. Since you are using volume measurements of flour and milk, it is difficult to be precise, but it is possible that your hydration may be between 50-60%, and more likely on the low side than the high side. If I am correct on this, the correct advice would be for you to increase the hydration of the dough, as by using more milk or adding some water to your recipe.

It is also possible that your pan is contributing to the hardness of your finished crust. If it is of a light color, it may be reflecting heat rather than absorbing it. If, as a result, you are baking the pizza longer to get a decent coloration, that can cause the crust to dry out too much and become hard, especially if it underhydrated in the first place. BTW, what size is your pan and what is its depth?

You might try increasing the water content of the dough and see if that helps. If not, then you may want to revisit what kind of pan you should be using. Ideally, the pan should be a dark pan, either anodized or a pan that has been well seasoned by prolonged use. Some pans with nonstick coatings are not intended to be used with high oven temperatures, so you might want to consider a pan without such a coating. For examples of a quality dark anodized deep-dish pan, see the PSTK pans at http://www.lloydpans.com/SearchByCategory.aspx?CategoryCode=Deep_Dish_Nesting_Heavy and the 8000 Series of hard coat anodized pans at the American Metalcraft website at http://www.amnow.com/pizzaTrays/8000Series.html.

I hope you will report back on your results if you decide to implement the suggestions mentioned above.

Peter
 
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 02:15:56 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Stetson

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 03:18:32 PM »
Thank you so much.  I will start with trying to add more milk or water.  Which would you suggest and how much more?  Would a different type of milk be better to use?  Our pan is a darker colour and 14 inch diameter.  it is about an inch and half deep

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2008, 03:24:49 PM »
Which would you suggest and how much more?  Would a different type of milk be better to use?

Stetson,

Can you tell me which of the flour measuring methods I referenced most closely mirrors the method you have been using? With that information, I might be able to make a recommendation on the amount of milk or water to use. I don't think that it should matter all that much whether the increased hydration comes from milk or water.

I don't think the type of milk will have a material difference on the results. The water content of different types of milk varies but not by enough to make a big difference.

Peter

Offline Stetson

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 03:27:32 PM »
I'm a dipper  :)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Crust is rock hard...help...
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 05:00:12 PM »
Stetson,

We got lucky since I happened to have some Pillsbury bread flour on hand. So, using my metal straight-sided one-cup measuring cup and the Dip method of flour measurement, I measured out three cups of the Pillsbury flour. I got 14.80 ounces. For the cup of 2% milk you used, the water content translates into a hydration of 51.8%. That is far too low for the type of pizza you are trying to make. For the Pillsbury bread flour, I suggest a hydration of around 62%. To get to that hydration using just milk, you would need about 1.2 cups of milk. That would be a bit less than 1 1/4 cups. I think that is the way I would go for now.

I also estimate that your dough batch weighs around 24.8 ounces (based on the weight of flour I measured). For a 14" pan, the thickness factor comes to 0.16093 [24.8/(3.14159 x 7 x 7) = 0.16093). That value suggests a very thick crust. So, you posted in the right place after all.

Please keep us advised as to your progress.

Peter


 

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