Author Topic: First try, NY pie  (Read 8470 times)

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Offline PizzaHog

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First try, NY pie
« on: February 21, 2009, 01:55:23 PM »
Well, it was a little guy and a bit on the ugly side, but at least I got my feet wet.  Bottom showed char in just 4 minutes on a 625 degree stone so I threw it under the broiler, which just ended up overcooking the cheese in less than a minute without helping the top of the crust.  Good crisp crunch but too chewy.  Dough had only been in the fridge since last night and have 3 balls left so will give them more time and try, try again.


Offline ERASMO

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 02:57:27 PM »
What are you baking in at 625 degrees??

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 03:09:18 PM »
Erasmo,
Home gas 550 degree max oven with the stone right on the oven floor it hits 625 - 635.  Thought this was a good idea for the higher temp - now thinking that is why the bottom baked faster than the top.  Next will try stone on bottom rack instead of floor.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 03:11:17 PM by PizzaHog »

Offline Matthew

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 06:49:56 PM »
Erasmo,
Home gas 550 degree max oven with the stone right on the oven floor it hits 625 - 635.  Thought this was a good idea for the higher temp - now thinking that is why the bottom baked faster than the top.  Next will try stone on bottom rack instead of floor.

Try placing an aluminum pan on the rack above your stone to reflect some heat on the top of your pizza.

Offline November

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 07:27:59 PM »
Try placing an aluminum pan on the rack above your stone to reflect some heat on the top of your pizza.

You mean place an aluminum pan on the rack above the stone to reflect the top element's heat away from the pizza.

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 09:00:08 PM »
Great ideas, thanks, and got me thinking.  Raised the stone to the first rack then put an otherwise never used thin cheap stone on the rack above.  Much better!  Hit 595 on the lower and 565 on the upper, but may have baked just a tad too long.  Dough has still not been in fridge 24 hours, but couldn't wait to try, and is still chewier than I would like.  Not in a bad way, I would just prefer less chew.
Any ideas on why this might be or how to craft a more tender dough?  More kneading, more hydration, or will more time in fridge improve this?  Looks like I have more reading to do...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 09:08:47 PM »
PizzaHog,

Can you post the dough recipe you used, including the type of flour?

Peter

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 09:31:33 PM »
Sure Pete-zza
4 3/4 C KABF (Textbook method, measured as 4-1cups, 3-1/4 cups)
1 2/3 C water (95 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon IDY
2 3/4 teaspoons sea salt

I basically tried to follow the varasano type method:  Combined all but 3/4 c of flour, 20 min autolyse, 8 minute knead, add remaining flour gradually, 20 min rest, ball and fridge.  I feared as I made the dough that I did not combine everything properly - that is I did not mix it long enough - prior to the autolyse period.  Then I feared I did not knead long enough.  But this may just be due to my inexperience as I noticed the dough really seemed to go thru some major changes during the kneading.  Maybe that is normal?  I also noticed while balling the dough did not seem very extensible at all.
Thanks
Hog     

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 10:16:18 PM »
Hog,

I don't use Jeff's method but the dough at the end of the kneading process should be smooth and elastic. I estimate your hydration to be around 63%, so there should be enough water to get a finished dough ball with the right qualities and a finished crust with a fairly soft crumb. You can get a tough and chewy crust if you overknead the dough, but my recollection is that Jeff's mixing/kneading protocol is not that hard on dough. A longer fermentation time might allow for the gluten to be softened further, but in my experience I have not seen a marked reduction in the chewiness of the finished crust.

Usually, if the objective is to reduce the degree of chewiness, the first step taken is to use a weaker flour. You could try adding some all-purpose flour to the KABF to lower the protein content of the blend to something lower than the protein content of the KABF, or you could try using a weaker bread flour, such as the General Mills Better for Bread flour (also sometimes called Harvest King flour). I personally wouldn't use all-purpose flour alone but that would produce a softer and less chewy crust.

Another possibility is to add some oil to the dough. That will help retain some of the moisture in the dough and produce a softer crust and crumb. If you go this route, I would consider using about 2% of the weight of the formula flour. In your case, that would be about one tablespoon.

If you reduce the total bake time, that will usually help produce a softer, less chewy crust and crumb because the dough doesn't dry out as fast. To do this, you would usually use a high bake temperature and a short bake time. That regimen has to be balanced against the need to have all of the toppings properly cooked by the time you remove the pizza from the oven and without having a gummy dough or pasty crust because of underbaking.

A final possibility that comes to mind is to proof the dough skin for about a half hour before dressing and baking to let the skin rise and become more like an insulator and yield a more open and airy crumb in the finished crust.

You may have to conduct a few experiments in your future efforts to see which, if any, of the above recommendations produce the results you are looking for. If you find a solution, I hope you will let us know what worked.

Peter

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 10:08:07 AM »
Peter
You have confirmed for me that indeed I went wrong somewhere with this dough.  I do not know if this is the cause of the chewiness, but the fact that it was so tough and non-extensible at the end of the kneading process is the first issue I need to work on.  I also found I hit a wall with this dough when stretching these skins and just could not get them as large as designed which is probably not a good sign either.  So it's back to the drawing board for my methods but after review I have the plan for the next batch.  Hey, it's all good and these pies are actually far better than they should be considering it was my first try at this style and only the 5th time I have even made dough.  This is only due to the huge jump start I benefited from thanks to this most excellent forum and help from experienced pizzaiolos like yourself.  Once I get a proper handling basic dough together I can then look into your other suggestions if it remains too chewy and will certainly post my error and the fix.
Thanks again for your help and input as always,
Hog


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 10:36:53 AM »
Hog,

Based on your last post, I would like to suggest that you consider getting a digital scale if you think you will be making pizzas with any regularity. You really only need the scale to measure out the flour and water but they are the two most important ingredients from a hydration standpoint. You get those wrong and your dough will not perform as you would like, whether you are using Jeff's method or any other method. For most of the rest of the ingredients you can use volume measurements. Using one of the dough calculating tools will also help you with all of the numbers, no matter which method you use.

Peter

Offline Matthew

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 11:05:17 AM »
You mean place an aluminum pan on the rack above the stone to reflect the top element's heat away from the pizza.

RN,
I have a gas stove & all my heat comes from the bottom, the only upper element that I have is an infrared broiler that only goes on when I turn the dial to broil.  I experimented with the aluminum pans in the rack about my stone last week & got much better results that when placing my fibrament stone in the rack above.  I thought that it was because the heat was rising, reflecting on the bottom of the pan & then back over top my pizza.  Is this correct or am I totally out to lunch with my theory? ??? ???

Matt

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 01:43:03 PM »
Peter
Yes, your advice is sound as usual and hope to have a scale ordered by day's end.  I really need to eliminate this basic variable to make any headway at all.  So I will be scouring the forum and internet re scales.
The aluminum pan above the pie resulting in a better bake than a stone in the same position has me scratching my head.  All I can come up that might cause this is that if the pan was large enough (half jelly roll?) to significantly restrict the air flow past it, it could, in effect, act as the oven ceiling but at a lower position.  Then the new much smaller sized "oven" below the pan would heat up faster when the bottom burner kicked on after loading the pie and closing the oven door, more so the lower the racks were positioned.  If the oven temp sensor was located above the pan in this scenario, the actual temp reached below the pan could also be higher than what the sensor registered, causing the burner to not cycle off, or reach a temp below the pan in excess of the normal oven max.  Lots of "ifs", but actually an interesting theory to "fool" an oven into a higher max temp.  No claim made on the actual application of any of this, just thinking out loud.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 01:46:39 PM by PizzaHog »

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 08:48:22 PM »
Baked the last 2 balls from this batch of dough for 30 seconds less and found them slightly less chewy.  Looked pretty much the same as the last one so no pics and this dough was faulty anyway.  So I pulled out the Kitchen Aid to try the next version and, OH NO, 2 nickle sized puddles of oil on the countertop under the base.  I'm talking 30 weight here not EVOO.  Found more on the underside of the head unit.  Lovely.  So my pizza making will be on hold while I sort this out.  I really do not want to have to post questions on dough by hand... 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:52:17 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline gfgman

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 12:41:35 PM »
I've been getting some fantastic results the past couple weeks on my NY pie using KABL and mixing in my bread machine.  I like it because I can put the stuff in and go do something else while it mixes.  The minimal recipe w/o sugar or oil mixes up really smooth. 
It balls up really nice and easy.  Two days in the fridge gives it a great taste. 
The first run of dough was a bit dry, though it did stretch nice.  The second run was much softer, more like what I'm looking for, but it lacked a little in the elasticity department.  That is to say, is stretch out a little too easily.  I think a higher gluten flour might solve that.  The taste and texture was right on, though. 
I used 7 oz. of water for 2 cups KABL on the first run, and upped it to 8 oz. on the second run.  My machine does leak a little water around the spindle before it is totally mixed in, so I have to compensate for that.
I don't comprehend all the scientific details of pizza making.  I will say that I get my best results when I go with my gut.  Just last week I was trying a new tomato product in my quest to find something decent in my area.  I added black pepper and basil, as I always do.  I tasted it before I put it on and it wasn't bad.  My gut said to sprinkle garlic powder over it after I spread it on, and see what I ended up with.  Cha-ching.  I've been reading on here what people are doing with their suace.  Everybody has different tastes.  I like a good boardwalk style pie, and my gut says don't over complicate the sauce.  Based on the last few pies, it was right on. 
Good luck with your NY Pie.  It's an enjoyable challenge, and a great feeling when you finally arrive what you consider to be a good NY pie.

GMan
 

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 06:15:57 PM »
GMan
I know what you mean about going with your gut at least with things other than dough.  I basically have no experience having made dough now 5 times so my gut ain't helping yet.  Plus, I have never had a real NY pizza in NY - just one local imitation so far - but I loved the crust so decided to try and make it.
Sauce is so personal in what anyone likes.  I don't happen to care much for dried basil in sauce, but love pesto and the fresh basil on that one NYish pie I had.  Go figure.  But I have learned and do agree that less can be more with sauce since I joined this forum.  I used to saute, then simmer like 10 ingredients.  I have been playing with garlic in the sauce lately.  Quite a diff between powder, fresh, fresh "sauteed" in EVOO for a few seconds in the microwave, and the minced in the jar.  Sooner or later I'll hit a winner but at least they are all tasting pretty good finally.
I may try your basic ratio on the next dough attempt since this first one was not so great.
Thanks,
Hog

Offline DKM

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 10:19:46 PM »
RN,
I have a gas stove & all my heat comes from the bottom, the only upper element that I have is an infrared broiler that only goes on when I turn the dial to broil.  I experimented with the aluminum pans in the rack about my stone last week & got much better results that when placing my fibrament stone in the rack above.  I thought that it was because the heat was rising, reflecting on the bottom of the pan & then back over top my pizza.  Is this correct or am I totally out to lunch with my theory? ??? ???

Matt

Not totally out to lunch.

There are a lot of factors that can affect the results including the relative size of the stone, the pizza, the oven, and the pan, the type of oven, the distance between everything, the type and thickness of the pan.

DKM
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Offline Matthew

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2009, 06:50:42 AM »
Not totally out to lunch.

There are a lot of factors that can affect the results including the relative size of the stone, the pizza, the oven, and the pan, the type of oven, the distance between everything, the type and thickness of the pan.

DKM

Thanks DKM,

I am using a 36" wide DCS gas range, my corderite stone is on the bottom rack & two aluminum half sheets are on the rack above that (the distance is just under 2 inches).  My stone temp is somewhere in the 648 deg mark.  I have been using this setup for baking NY style pizza with excellent results; 4-5 minute bake time with no need to use the broiler to brown the top.


Matt
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 06:01:47 PM by Matthew »

Offline jar1087

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2009, 06:03:29 AM »
I've been working of baking method for a while and finally found a method that seems to work well for me.  I put the stone on the middle rack and preheat to the hottest temp I can get (580 - 600).  I bake for about three minutes and then flip the broiler on and bake for about 3 more minutes, until I'm starting to get some nice charring.  Pics of the results below.

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: First try, NY pie
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 07:05:13 PM »
Thanks again for all the input, and I learned the following:
-Don't do this as I did last time:  (excerpt from a post I found by Villa Roma)
Quote
When I used the C hook I would start out mixing on the stir setting and then, shortly thereafter, the dough would climb up onto the hook. I would then switch to speed 2 and the centrifugal force would propel the dough from the hook, slapping it against the sides of the bowl. I would also move the bowl up and down while mixing as there was still a tendency for the dough to climb the hook. This worked OK but the dough took a beating and the gluten would get more developed than I liked, resulting in a tough crust.
-Matthew's baking method earlier in this thread worked great for me, thanks Matt! 
-My dough stretching is pretty sad.
I also reduced the knead time from 8 to 5 minutes and crust tenderness was improved although still a tad chewy for me.  But I also think I overcooked this one some using Matt's pan thing so next try I will cut back on the bake time.  Otherwise this one was pretty tasty!




 

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