Author Topic: Friday Night Pizza Pictures  (Read 4762 times)

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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Friday Night Pizza Pictures
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2005, 10:56:32 AM »
Jeff,
Thanks for posting the information, it will prove quite helpful.

I am not qualified to comment on the statement of "The waiter said they add yeast to the dough. He said it's just flour, water, yeast, salt. He didn't mention a starter or rolling in an old dough.  However the fact that the dough cultures more or less proves that there is a starter in there."

I wonder if some of the senior members here have any insight which could help us? Also how does the apparent lack of sugar affect the crust? I thought yeast required sugar for feeding. Could this then mean a same day rise? Otherwise wouldn't the dough become slack in no time?

Again, thanks for trying to get us all closer to an authentic Patsy's pie. Also, kindly post pictures of your latest effort.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2005, 11:35:34 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline varasano

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Re: Friday Night Pizza Pictures
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2005, 02:38:30 PM »
Without a doubt, yeast does not require sugar to grow.  I've never used a bit of sugar ever in my crust and my culture is wildly acitve. Steve will vouch for that.

I'm making a highly experimental pie tonight. Small quantity of poolish, pinch of baker's yeast,  high hydration. I'll post photos

Jeff

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Friday Night Pizza Pictures
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2005, 04:06:17 PM »
Yeast does require sugar as food. The sugar comes from two sources, from the conversion of starch in the flour to simple sugars through amylase action, and from external sources, i.e., by adding sugar in some form to the dough at the time the dough is made. When Jeff speaks of the yeast not needing sugar, I am certain he means the addition of sugar to the dough ingredients.

Depending on how the dough is managed, and especially the fermentation process, it may or may not be necessary to add external sugar. The fermentation process is affected by many factors, including the hydration levels, the temperature of the water used to make the dough, frictional heat from machine processing, the temperature at which the dough is held (e.g, at room temperature or in the refrigerator), the amount of yeast used, the warmup temperature and duration before forming, and so on. If these factors conspire to promote fast fermentation, as by using a lot of yeast, warm water, high hydration levels, elevated fermentation temperatures (including the effects of machine frictional heating), and elevated warmup temperatures and long warmup times, the entire fermentation process is accelerated and the yeast can run out of natural sugars rather quickly. In the absence of sufficient sugar to feed the yeast, the dough will overfement and the yeast will start to die. That is what results in a slack and soft dough that is hard to shape and form without tearing, and it will not brown up properly because there is insufficient sugar to caramelize and produce the browning effects. It's also quite possible that you won't get the full benefits of the so-called Maillard reactions, which are certain reactions between protein and simple sugars in the dough that result in browning of the crust. The overall result will be a low level of browning, and no amount of baking will cure that.

On the other hand, if small amounts of yeast are used, the level of hydration is kept on the low side, the water used in making the dough is cold/cool, hand kneading is used, and the finished dough is held in the refrigerator at low temperatures, then the fermentation rate will be slowed down and the overall fermentation duration will be extended. In these circumstances, the dough may not need any external sugar. Eventually the dough will run out of sugar to feed upon even under these circumstances, but that may be 2 or more days later. That's why it is important to determine at the outset how long a shelf life you would like for your dough (e.g., a same day dough or a retarded/refrigerated dough), and adjust the parameters that affect the fermentation process (rate and duration) accordingly to achieve the desired results. In either scenario you can always add additional sugar to the dough ingredients to get increased browning, if that is what is desired, although one still has to be careful so that the bottom of the crust doesn't brown up too quickly because of the increased sugar levels before the rest of the pizza has finished baking. This is usually more of a problem with pizzas baked on a hearth or pizza stone than on a pizza screen or disk which shield the dough somewhat from the heat source.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Friday Night Pizza Pictures
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2005, 05:01:00 PM »
Pete-zza,
Thanks for clarifying the issue. Your comments are always appreciated.

Okay here's what we have so far in diagnosing or reverse engineering a Patsy's Pizza. They have the world's lightest crust (outside of Naples) and may also use the most basic of all dough recipes; Flour, water, yeast, and salt. Can it be? Where's the sugar? Same for the Olive Oil? Where is it? Can you actually create a world class crust without those ingredients? I'm flabbergasted if that's the case.

Here are the facts as we know them:
1) They use a High Gluten flour to some extent. Probably 100%.
2) They do not use a high hydration dough as previously thought. I trust Jeff's ability to tell the difference between a wet and dry dough. I could use help here in predicting the likely hydration range to use in a home recipe.
3) They use a refrigerated retardation/proofing process - probably overnight but again input on what the timeframe range alternatives are would be helpful.
4) They do not use oil or sugar in the dough recipe. The source on this is their waiter. Could be reliable then again...
5) They MIGHT use a starter. I definitely need feedback here on Jeff's assumption that if you can culture their dough that's a pretty good indication that they use a starter. If so, they would be the only classic coal fired oven place to do so. Sounds like a longshot but ya never know. Somebody convince me on this pivotal point. I wanna believe...
6) They use Sassone tomatoes/sauce - Has anyone ever heard of this brand/distributor?
7) They have used a really hot coal fired oven since 1933.
8) The crust is ultra-light, not heavy. If you usually get full eating 3-4 slices of a traditional NYC pie, you would have no problem eating an entire Patsy's pizza and still not feel bloated. Part of it may be that unlike Di Fara's, they have a light hand when it comes to cheese and sauce. In this case, less seems to be more.
9) The crust is not cracker crispy, charred yes. In fact, it is sort of on the soft side for being so well done.

I would especially appreciate any and all feedback from anyone who has actually eaten at the original Patsy's in East Harlem. Anyone who can comment on the above list is more than welcome to jump in...Come on guys help us decode this!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2005, 05:29:55 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Friday Night Pizza Pictures
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2005, 05:52:18 PM »
All,
This thread has morphed into a topic near and dear to my heart. Therefore, unless there are objections, I am going to start a new thread and name it more appropriately: Reverse Engineering Patsy's Pizza.

For the first post I will copy my last one above. 
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com