Over the weekend, in my pursuit of the Marcello’s crust, I thought I’d do a little more detailed testing to see if I could somewhat replicate that elusive airy, fluffy crust with the limited info I have as of yet.
And I came up with some interesting crusts.
I made one dough ball per crust, not like the batch of three I normally shoot for. This testing was really just limited to one dough at a time. But since I like the Number 3 apparently, or so it seems, I made three doughs, using three slightly different formulas I labeled Crust 1, Crust 2 and Crust 3. It’s genius, I know.
All three were 14” in size, two of them, #1 & #2, were same-day crusts respectively and #3 received a wonderfully refreshing 24hr cold-rise treatment.
Refreshingly, in a sense that it was different. Very different from what I’m actually after. Something I have named “Pizza Rustica” since then, and that was last night. The crust, it’s taste and the certain crunch it had to it, reminded me more of a Southern France country bread or a homemade Italian Ciabatta, only thinner and maybe a bit more flavorful.
I digress, though. More on that Crust 3 later.Crust #1…
…Is a slightly altered formula Peter had suggested to me a few weeks back, I believe, and the only variables I played around with were the sugar and oil amounts. It was topped with roasted bellers, Kalamata olives, garlic, red onion and marinated artichoke hearts and half of the pie with tuna. The cheese was a blend of Grande Low-moisture and TJ’s whole-milk mozzarella.
I used the same kneading/mixing regimen as I have before and you can read about it here:
The way I added the ingredients together for the mixing process was actually heavily leaned on Evelyne Slomon’s suggestion over at the PMQ Think Tank (Reply 5):
However, what I did this time was what the owner of Marcello’s suggested and that is to give both doughs (Crust 1 & 2) only 15 mins to relax after they came out of the bowl, instead of the normal hour I give - ball them up and then in the fridge they go, for about 3 hrs this time. After that, I brought them up to room temp for a couple of hours, covered with a tea towel. Of course, if you’d make a larger batch using either formula, you’d divide the dough after those 15 mins, and then ball them up.Crust #1:
215 gr. SBBF / 100%
135 gr. Water (75° F) 63%
5.3 gr. organic sugar 2.5%
4 gr. garlic EVOO 2%
3.7 gr. Kosher salt 1.75%
1.3 gr. IDY .2%
Personal consensus on Crust 1:
Very good, but with room for improvement. It had all the features the Marcello’s pizza has but I wasn’t too happy with the airiness and lightness. It lacked in that department despite the voids you see in the pics. Which brings me to……Crust #2.
Light, airy, foldable is probably the best way to describe it. However, my gripe with that crust is, or was, the water-like and somewhat mealy aftertaste. I understand it had a hydration of 64% and a higher salt content (2%) than Crust #1 - and isn’t salt known for water retention? – but it was still a bit too much for me. Perhaps a slightly higher amount of garlic-infused EVOO and IDY could remedy that, combined with a tad more fermentation time. I’ll find out.
In regards to the individual mixing regimens…the same method was used for all three crusts because I was mostly interested in the way the different formulas performed rather then seeing those formulas perform when different mixing/kneading techniques were applied. I tried to keep the Mix/Knead method a constant. The same goes for the other ingredients, from the sugar to the oil. The flour was Stone-Buhr Bread Flour. The reason I used it, instead of KABF, was first it has a slightly higher protein content and second, I believe its browning capabilities are a bit better compared to KABF. And it’s friendlier to one’s wallet, too.
Is it a good alternative to the trusted KABF? Absolutely. And if Stone-Buhr keeps its research going, there’s a good chance they might exceed KABF. But for now, SB is a great alternative. Let’s leave it at that…
214 gr. SBBF / 100%
137 gr. Water (75° F) 64%
5.3 gr. organic sugar 2.5%
3.7 gr. garlic EVOO 1.75%
4 gr. Kosher salt 2%
1 gr. IDY .15%
As you can see, this time I played around with the yeast, the oil and the hydration amounts.
Personal consensus on Crust 2:
Great,..but also with, I think, a truck-load of room for improvement. It had all the features the Marcello’s pizza has but it lacked in taste. Bummer! The pizza was topped with the same cheese combo as No. 1, but had no additional toppings…a plain cheese pie, so to speak!
Now, this is not, and I repeat, NOT a spin off of PFT’s “Pizza Raquel” thread, but rather a somewhat enlightening occurrence, which occurred in my head at that time if that is of any importance…an enlightening, and very much cherished occurrence, and that is pizza.
In other words, I didn’t expect this particular outcome.
Nevertheless, she was magnifico! (the crust that is)
I’m recommending it to any NY-style lover and home pizza maker, who’s serious about their pies. It’s not the Holy Grail, but that crust must be improved! A good to great overall crust, with tendencies toward a unique “country-style” crust…rustic, if you will, hence “Pizza Rustica”,Crust #3 (Pizza Rustica)
Check it out for yourself…
218 gr. SBBF 100%
135 gr. water 62%
1.5 gr. IDY .2%
3 gr. Kosher salt 1.5%
3 gr. EVOO 1.5%
4 gr. organic sugar 2%
I’m still thinking about that crust…I’m sure I could get it to be a bit softer, and with the right flop. I’ll report on that.
In the meantime, perhaps Peter can look over what I have said above to be sure that I got everything right.
Keep on baking, fellas…
P.S.: I might have to cut this post in half, meaning the pics should be all at the bottom of this delightful post!Crust 1