Author Topic: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!  (Read 142919 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #160 on: November 14, 2013, 11:55:47 AM »
Just baked 30 minutes ago. I made 2 of these, one without pre-baking of the skin and one with it. Pre-baking seems to be the key for really good "cracker style" because it was like 100x better than the other without pre-bake. Now i know exactly what I'm looking for, it was really good i just don't seem to believe how good it was.

Pictures are from the one without pre-bake, didn't take pictures of the second one which was the same, but 100x better even they looked same.

That looks like something I'm going to have to try - minus the pineapple anyway  ;D
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Offline Steve

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #161 on: November 19, 2013, 09:03:35 PM »
Nice! I haven't made a cracker crust pizza in a while, time to make another!  :drool:
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Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #162 on: November 22, 2013, 03:27:15 PM »
Hahaha.  I made a batch of this dough about half an hour ago.  It was sitting on the counter in a seal container.  Something is going on in there as it blew the cover off.

Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #163 on: November 23, 2013, 07:27:19 PM »
This has become my go-to crust for my Saturday evening pizza -- I have it down to a science!  I can get awesome texture and the bubbly laminations I was looking for.  A photo of last week's effort is attached.  I found a locally-made pepperoni that is beyond excellent (also available at http://www.berniesfinemeats.com/) -- it has a unique smoky flavor and I've totally punted any other pepperoni for it.

Just about to head down to the kitchen now to roll out this week's pizza!   ;D

-Tom
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Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #164 on: November 23, 2013, 07:29:48 PM »
Sweet.  I hope I have a good picture in an hour or so.  That looks marvelous.


Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #165 on: November 23, 2013, 09:19:40 PM »
I couldn't resist -- I'm sitting here after having enjoyed tonight's pizza and wanted to share the photos because it really came out great.

These show the parbaked skin (5 minutes at 500F), the prepared pizza with the Bernie's pepperoni (this is a 12-inch pizza, so you can see the size of those pepperoni slices), some crackers I made from the leftover dough, the finished pizza and a nice photo of the crust cross-section.  Dang, it was great with a couple of beers (New Belgium's Fat Tire and New Glarus' Spotted Cow).

Saturday night at our house is Pizza Night; I really look forward to Saturdays!

-Tom


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Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #166 on: November 23, 2013, 10:18:16 PM »
Looks very good.

Here's mine from tonight.  One of three different dough styles.

Cracker style.  Sausage and pepperoni, half mushroom.  Well if rolling out the Vito and Nick's formula was an MMA battle with a shifty opponent, this bad boy turned into a Crossfit workout of the day.  Or three.  It rolled out okay initially, but I remembered either reading about lamination, or having done it myself in the past.  Wow.  I had to crank on this after folding it up for a second roll.  For a long time.  And I never could get it really thin.  It was okay,  A little bland.  Some minor air pockets, but it was too thick for this type of crust.  By far my least favorite of the three.  This is a hard crust to get right for me.  Always has been.  Great when I do it right, but I always feel a little tired when it doesn't come out.  I know it's supposed to be done in a cutter pan and par baked, but I was on a roll with the parchment and stone, and wanted to try it that way.  The main problem was it was too thick.  Crisp and kind of crackery, but too dense.  I baked this one for 10 minutes.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #167 on: November 24, 2013, 09:29:45 AM »
Kevin,

For future reference, you might want to take a look at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138 where I describe a dough heating method that should make it considerably easier to roll out skins for cracker style pizzas.

Peter

Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #168 on: November 24, 2013, 12:17:05 PM »
Kevin,

For future reference, you might want to take a look at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138 where I describe a dough heating method that should make it considerably easier to roll out skins for cracker style pizzas.

Peter


I think I tried that, Pete.  Had it in my electric oven on proof mode for maybe for 60-90 minutes.  It did sit on the counter for a while as it was the last style I made last night.  The first roll out was okay, the second after folding was near impossible.  My arms actually hurt today.  lol.  My exercise for the Winter months I guess.  I've had a love hate relationship with this dough going back to my original time here.  The two of maybe six times I've done it and was really happy it was fantastic.  The others left me wanting a little.  I'm from the Milwaukee area which is the home to Zaffiro's, maybe the greatest cracker crust ever.  In the original location, not the movie theater locations.  Hard to compete with that.

Kevin

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #169 on: November 24, 2013, 01:53:03 PM »
Kevin, having done dozens (or hundreds) of laminated crusts over the last few years, I'm gonna try to give you some tips that might help you overcome the problems you seem to have encountered with your laminated skin. The first thing I have to say is that it's a ton of work to try to roll a piece of stiff dough into four or more layers. There's no way out of this unless you have a sheeter. However, I like the result enough that I think it justifies the hard work most of the time.

So here are a couple important tips:
  • When you roll your dough (before folding and rolling again), roll the dough as thin as possible.
  • During the entire rolling process, both before folding and after folding, try to use as little bench flour as possible. If you use much bench flour, you'll probably never be able to roll a stiff, laminated dough as thin as you want to. Instead of adding bench flour regularly, start out with a heavily floured piece of dough and tap the dough over your flour bowl so excess flour doesn't get on your work surface. While rolling the dough, it will soon begin to stick to your work surface.  That's OK; it's exactly what you want. But when the dough starts getting sticky enough that it begins overlapping other parts of the dough, it's time to distribute a very small amount of bench flour over the top surface of the dough (just enough flour to remove the stickiness). Then flip the dough and coat the other side of the dough with just enough flour to remove the stickiness. Repeat these steps until your dough is the desired thickness.
The more layers, the harder it will be to do this. I tend to do 8 layers, and it wipes me out, particularly because I trim and weigh the skins until they're within about half an ounce of my target weight. And then I have to roll some more because the final trimmed skin ALWAYS shrinks a couple inches.

If you want your laminated skin to end up as a less dense crust than you reported, refrigerate the skin for at least a couple hours before baking. It's important to refrigerate almost immediately after rolling, then top and bake almost immediately after removing the skin from the fridge (because the skin needs to stay cold so the layers won't merge into a single layer). Also, you probably shouldn't parbake a laminated skin. Parbaking is basically a way to get a somewhat laminated crust effect without doing the work it takes to laminate.

Hope this helps. You might have to read some of what I've said at least a few times to really understand what I'm saying. Or just try it. You probably won't get it right the first time, but you'll surely get a better idea of what I was trying to say, which will make it easier for you the next time you try it.


Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #170 on: November 24, 2013, 02:08:08 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll put them in play the next time I try this.

Kevin

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #171 on: November 24, 2013, 03:52:43 PM »
I should clarify that the information in my long bulleted paragraph is based on an assumption that you're using stiff dough. For me, "stiff dough" means 43% hydration + 5% shortening. With this dough, you definitely want to use as little bench flour as possible. With stiffer dough than mine (like Shakey's dough, which likely contains about the same percentage of fat but 2-4% lower hydration than my dough), you probably won't want to use any bench flour. However, if your hydration is a few percent higher than my dough (like Round Table dough), it's not a bad thing to use bench flour pretty liberally.

Offline Musky

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #172 on: November 24, 2013, 03:59:00 PM »
This was the reipe from the main page.  36% water, 3.5% oil.  I likely used a point or two higher water.

Kevin

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #173 on: November 24, 2013, 04:21:01 PM »
In that case, I would think you probably don't want to use any bench flour. I believe fazzari would second that. (If you're not aware, fazzari has a pizzeria that produces laminated crust with very low hydration.) It hurts just thinking about laminating that dough.

Another thing: I think fazzari uses very warm water (at the pizzeria), then lets his dough bulk ferment at room temperature for about an hour after mixing, before he sheets/laminates the dough. He does it this way because warm dough is much easier on his sheeter than cold dough. After sheeting, I believe his dough goes into a cooler for a couple days, then is topped and baked almost immediately after being removed from the cooler.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #174 on: November 24, 2013, 04:36:36 PM »
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I don't think I'd even consider trying to laminate a dough as stiff as yours, although I think your dough is probably very similar to fazzari's dough (at his pizzeria). Interestingly, though, fazzari never uses dough with that low of a hydration figure with pizzas that he makes at home (using a rolling pin). I'm thinking he uses at least 40% hydration at home, specifically because dough that's any stiffer is just nuts to laminate. I'd think it's possible to roll your 36% hydration dough by hand as long as you're not laminating it. If you really want to laminate it, though, I'd suggest increasing the hydration to 40-42%.

Also, I'd recommend peeling the topped skin onto a stone, rather than baking on a pan (if you currently use a pan). Prior to this past summer, I baked laminated crusts on a perforated pan, but I stopped using the pan over the summer, and the resulting pizzas are much better.

Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #175 on: November 24, 2013, 09:36:37 PM »
I laminate mine every week, and really have little trouble -- given that I let it rest for a couple minutes when it gets hard to roll.  Here's what I do:

I take half the dough recipe from above in this topic, which for me will make a 12-inch pizza with some leftovers for crackers.

I roll it out on my Silestone countertop and use very little bench flour -- just a dusting to keep it from sticking too much when it really gets rolled out.  I use one of those tapered rolling pins and roll it into about a 12-inch square.  Then I cut it into four 6-inch squares and spritz three of them with a little olive oil from my olive oil mister.  Then I stack these with the un-sprayed one on top and start rolling it out.

I can usually roll this back out to about 9x9 inches before it starts fighting back.  So I walk away and do some other prep for a few minutes, then come back and continue rolling.  Using the tapered pin, I'm able to roll the stacked square out to about 14 inches in diameter.  It ends up about 1/16 - 3/32" thick.  I then dock it and put it into the cutter pan, and trim it, then into a 500F oven to parbake for 5 minutes.

It does get a bit tough to roll at a couple of points but letting it sit for a couple minutes lets me resume the rolling.  The laminated result I get is worth every bit of effort.
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #176 on: November 24, 2013, 11:01:39 PM »
Probably the main reason why you consider it easier than I do is because I'm always shooting for a precise dough weight. I'm always trying to do things that are repeatable and quantifiable. Like final dough weight and diameter. It's very hard to get an accurate target weight, an accurate target diameter, and a consistent thickness with stiff laminated dough.

I'm obsessive-compulsive. Somewhat close isn't good enough.

Offline Ctx

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #177 on: December 21, 2013, 03:39:49 PM »
Greetings all.  2nd post here.   :)   I'm giving the DKM recipe from the first post a try.   Used bread flour, proofed the yeast before adding, weighed out the flour, etc.  Dough is on the 22nd hour of proofing so here is my question.  It doesn't seem to be rising at all.  It feels a bit softer, but not much.   I have it in an airtight container with plastic wrap and a towel over it - could that be contributing to the no-rise?  Is it even supposed to rise?   :D.  Anyhow, I'm going to throw it in the oven on proof setting for an hour or two to see what happens. 

ETA - room temperature is about 70 degrees.   

Any input here would be greatly appreciated! 

« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 03:44:17 PM by Ctx »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #178 on: December 21, 2013, 04:00:23 PM »
Greetings all.  2nd post here.   :)   I'm giving the DKM recipe from the first post a try.   Used bread flour, proofed the yeast before adding, weighed out the flour, etc.  Dough is on the 22nd hour of proofing so here is my question.  It doesn't seem to be rising at all.  It feels a bit softer, but not much.   I have it in an airtight container with plastic wrap and a towel over it - could that be contributing to the no-rise?  Is it even supposed to rise?   :D.  Anyhow, I'm going to throw it in the oven on proof setting for an hour or two to see what happens. 

ETA - room temperature is about 70 degrees.   

Any input here would be greatly appreciated!
Don't need to proof IDY(actually, I don't proof either).....if your proofing water was too hot you can kill the yeast. Maybe that is what happened...or it is old and all fizzed out.  :(
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Offline Ctx

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #179 on: December 21, 2013, 04:09:48 PM »
Don't need to proof IDY(actually, I don't proof either).....if your proofing water was too hot you can kill the yeast. Maybe that is what happened...or it is old and all fizzed out.  :(

I bought new yeast (Fleishman's highly active yeast) and proofed at 100 degrees.   The yeast bubbled up so seemed good.    I have the dough proofing in the oven now to see if anything will happen.   If not, I'm still going to try baking to see what happens.


Could the plastic wrap I have over it be contributing?   Last (failed) go-round, the dough got hard on the outside, so I wanted to protect it. 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 04:15:28 PM by Ctx »