Author Topic: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)  (Read 8398 times)

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Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2010, 12:59:20 AM »
ok, so it's the 15.5 inch stone from bakingstone.com. it's made of fibrament and it's 3/4 inch thick.

http://i41.tinypic.com/2qjaf0i.jpg

that's my oven set up. it's a gas oven. i think i may need to move the stone up a rack to get it closer to the pan, but that would only give me about 2 inches of space to work with in terms of getting the pizza in and out. ill have to see if it's doable.

here's my first pizza with the stone:

http://i44.tinypic.com/2ywiy61.jpg

http://nl.tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2sajyox&s=5

http://i42.tinypic.com/2wq7l20.jpg

http://i41.tinypic.com/2ewjepc.jpg

i screwed up stretching the dough again and made the rim too thick and the rest of the crust too thin. it came out tasting like a cracker. i did a little better than last time in stretching the dough, but still very bad.

i did use your recipe for dough though, and it worked fine. so you can add it to the first post. i wonder if this flour is contributing to the cracker taste though, or if i am just stretching it too thin. even the rim does taste more "bready" though. any tips of how to fix this?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 01:01:34 AM by Pizzalogy »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2010, 01:19:11 AM »
Your pies look like they are improving pizzalogy.  Not sure what you are asking me to help you fix.  The cracker or bready taste of the dough or how to stretch the dough so that it is more even (less rim and meatier center). 

I guess I can address both.  The crust should taste different than before for 2 reasons.  One, you are using an entirely different flour (unenriched) and 2ndly we have dropped the hydration ratio to 54%.  Your dough still looks very wet to me.  it may be a kneading issue.   Try this for kneading.  Make sure you incorporate as much of the flour as you can during the autolyse period.  Autolyse for 45min this time instead of 20-30m.  Knead a bit more vigorously (not so leisurely as I had instructed before) for around 8 min, rest 5m, knead again for another 8 min, rest 5min, stretch and fold 15 times or so, rest for 5 min, stretch and fold another 15 times. 

See if that makes a difference in the how the dough feels. 

To stretch the dough so that it isn't so thin in the center, try this.  When you are stretching the dough out concentrate on stretching only the outter 2/3's of the disk.  Leave the center alone.  It will naturally stretch out by itself as the dough gets bigger and thinner.   Also try not to purposefully leave a fat rim.  Don't worry about the rim not puffing up.  With that much yeast in the formula, the rim will naturally rise on it's own.  You can leave a little rim to start with but don't leave a fat rim.  Also experiement with different size pies.

For the formula you've been using you should be getting around 300gm per doughball.  That should make thin 14", moderately or medium thickness 12", and a THICK 10" pie.  You can experiment with  how thick or thin you like your pizzas. 

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2010, 03:09:05 AM »
oh i should mention, that picture of the dough was taken after i applied olive oil to it. that's why it looks so wet. if you want a better idea of the moisture level, look at the edge of the crust where it's not oiled.

given that, should i still try your new kneading technique? in terms of what i was asking before, sorry for not being clear. i think the key to making it taste less like a cracker is to stretch it better, so i will follow your tips on that. but is there a way to make the crust taste less bread like? is that because of the hydration?

what would happen if i added some vital wheat gluten to the dough? i don't think i will try that yet, since first i want to at least get the thickness right, but i am just curious.

i'm still not happy with the sauce and cheese either, but i will worry about the crust for now. my pizzas aren't terrible and some even taste good but they just don't taste like new york pizza in terms of sauce and cheese.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 03:10:38 AM by Pizzalogy »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2010, 03:33:50 AM »
The newer hand kneading technique is better for lower protein flours like AP and some BFs like unenriched BF.  It just allows for a bit more gluten development is all.  So yes go ahead and try it with this new flour.

By less breadlike, I'm assuming you mean less white bread like whereby the cell structure of the crumb is tight like a pizza hut pan pizza.  So I'm assuming you want an airier crust with bigger air bubbles and bigger cell structure?  You want a lighter crust and not a dense breadlike crust correct?

If so yes, it's 2 fold I believe. One is the hydration level.  The lower the hydration level the less oven spring and the denser the crumb.  You should see a more breadlike crust with this recipe due to the lower hydration ratio, but also possibly due to the flour itself. 2ndly, I believe the higher the oven temp the better the oven spring as well.

VWG I believe is high in protein so your dough would act more like a high gluten dough. You'd have to use the recipe for HG flour if you are going to add VWG.  Do a search and read up on VWG to get a better answer or better recipe.

Wish I could help you with the sauce and cheese but I haven't had true NY pizza from NY. We have NY style pizza here locally but I'm sure it's no where close.  Hopefully someone reading can chime in.

Keep experimenting, you'll figure it out soon enough.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2010, 03:37:01 AM »
Oops I forgot to say, sauce and cheesewise the higher quality ingredients make a big difference so don't skimp. You need a good tomato sauce base to make a good sauce. Spices can only get you so far.  If you have access to the Stanilaus or Eschalon products, they are very popular around here for a reason.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2010, 04:17:10 AM »
haha you describe the differences so well, whereas i don't really know what im talking about. i just know that there is a taste i associate with white bread and i taste i associate with new york pizza and my recent crusts have been reminding more of the latter than the former. i just checked some leftovers i have in the fridge and i would say i want the rim of the crust to be less crunchy and more chewy and fluffy. i can't really critique the bottom because it was stretched too thin, i don't know how it would be if i got the thickness right. i don't know about cell structure.

when you say you have NY style locally, where is that? i am assuming nowhere near new york, but i have had good NY style pizza as far away as pennsylvania before.  i was born in new jersey (15 minutes from NYC)  and i never knew there was any pizza other than NY style for the first several years of my life. my family eventually moved to michigan and i was shocked and horrified when i tasted the pizza here. every year when we would go back to visit, i would get NY style pizza and never stopped loving it. the reason i know they make it as far out as pennsylvania is because on the drive back to michigan, we would stop and get pizza for lunch and we knew the last possible place we could stop and still get good NY style pizza was this place called luigi's pizza in pennsylvania. after that, all the pizza was american style.

 i have had NY style pizza from a couple of places in michigan, but neither is very good.

anyway, to get back to the point, i have been using the escalon 6 in 1 brand tomatoes and GFS whole milk mozzarella. i'm not really sure if it's the sauce or the cheese or both that i'm doing wrong, i just know my pizza does not taste at all like real new york pizza to me and it's not just the crust that i'm doing wrong. i guess i'll have to do more reading here and more experimentation. is there any formula that is tested and guaranteed to give you NY style sauce and cheese?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 04:19:58 AM by Pizzalogy »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2010, 09:24:32 AM »
By your description of your crust I would guess that it is the new lower hydration rate that is causing the extra crunchiness and cracker (dry bread) taste.  I'm kind of surprise you are getting that result b/c with your new stone your overall bake time should have decreased since you are not parbaking the crust anymore.

Just curious why did you switch to using unenriched flour?  Is it a healthier alternative? Would you consider switching back to enriched flours?  I would use the flour that gave me the better result, but that's just me. I'm also assuming it is the flour, but that I'm not sure of.  You can also try either adding a tablespoon or two of water to the new recipe or cut the flour by 1-2 Tbs to see if that will help with the dryness issue.  Also are you currently using oil in the recipe?  It can help out with the dryness issue as well.

Also curious as to why you paint the entire crust with oil? Is it for taste, looks, or both?

I'm in Albuquerque, NM.  We have several places that claim to serve authentic NY pizza. The owner of one is even from Brooklyn.  90% of the pizza here is mediocre and not outstanding so I have to assume they are not as good as true NY Pizza.  There is one place I do like called NYPD or NY pizza department, but even some ppl I work with say though it is very good the crust is still missing something. 
So not having eaten the real deal, I can only imagine.  Once I do though, I wouldn't be surprise if I wasn't thrilled.

Perfect pizza or great pizza is very subjective at best. Unless you are using the very same ingredients, technique in dough prep, and same baking oven, oven temp, and time you may get close to replicating your favorite childhood pizza but it will never be just the same.  Those experiences and memories are emotional events and IMO nearly impossible to duplicate since we are different ppl now.
 
You can have a whole city of ppl from NY and even they can't agree on who has the best pizza and who's authentic and who's not.

Pizzalogy, I do wish you luck on finding you perfect NY pizza. As you are starting out like me you still have lots of room to improve. But if you are a perfectionist like many members here who can't settle for 2nd best you may end up chasting your tail looking for that perfection.  It's hard to say if it exists or not.

Sauce and cheese wise, you'll have to just read and try out different combinations until you find something close. That, I'm sure is another area of debate.   

 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 09:48:24 AM by Tranman »

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2010, 11:45:42 AM »
Hey Pizzalogy
Looks like you are well on your way with Trans recipe and help, just thought I would add a bit. 

I do not believe King Aurthur non organic flours are enriched.  Enriched flours will state "enriched" right on the ingredients label.  Plus, the levels of viatmins & minerals stated on KA's label to not meet the minimums required by the FDA to qualify as enriched.

Organic flours tend to contain less protein than their non organic counterparts within a brand line, and in general.  In the case of KAAP as an example, it is something like a percent and a half less.  So yes, your hydration experience with the organic was prob due to this drop in protein as compared to the KA bread flour you started with. 
The assumption on NY style is that it is made with high protein flour, often or sometimes bromated and Stanislaus tomato products are often mentioned.  But then again there are many differences even between NY pizzas.  So it might help if you could nail down what you are looking for by comparing to a known or famous pizzeria which you could then research.  There are many threads here on reverse engineering such pies and if your favorite is not among them, you could even start your own thread.

No good NY style in Michigan you say?  Sad, but true for me also.  That is except for your kitchen!  Not sure where you are located but here are a few referrals.

Roselli's is a pizza/restaurant supply, carries the full Stanislaus line plus others, pep, cheeses, peels, oils, the full monte and wholesale pricing.  Every time I go there it is like a kid in a candy store.
http://www.rosellifoods.com/ 

Another wholesale restaurant supply that sells to the public with restricted hours so call first.  I have not been there but was found by another forum member who purchased flour there as I recall.
http://www.manta.com/c/mmfyrhm/miceli-oldfield

Great locally made cheeses by an Italian family, no additives or preservatives, and they make fresh mozz 6 days/week.  Cash only and try to bring exact change so they don't have to dig into their pockets.  Good pricing, great cheese, friendly folks, I love this place.
http://www.buymichiganproducts.com/Public/CompanyDetail.php?id=498

A few pizzerias that get close to NY style should you be in the mood.  The last is a WFO place that is garnering lots of praise that I have not tried yet but plan to.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tomato-and-basil-washington
http://www.yelp.com/biz/green-lantern-madison-heights
http://www.yelp.com/biz/supino-pizzeria-detroit#query:tomato%20basil

Finally, I notice that Grande cheese is often mentioned with NY style.  I have yet to find a local MI supplier that carries this and sells to the public though and so have never tried it myself.
Good Luck on your quest!
Hog.

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2010, 06:25:02 PM »
I switched to unenriched flour because it is healthier. I thought one of the benefits to making my own pizza was that I could make healthier pizza. I will consider switching back (or just making some of each) if I can't get it right with the unenriched, but people made pizza back before enriched flour was introduced in the 1940s, so there has got to be a way to do it.

I made another pizza today but with the same dough I used last night. I did a little better stretching it but still made the rim too thick. I'm also having problems with the bottom cooking too fast and blackening before the top is cooked. I did move the stone up a rack, so it is now directly under the pan but the top still did not cook quickly enough. Next time I will try adding an extra tablespoon or two of water to the recipe and possibly look into using some vital wheat gluten. I have been using oil.

The reason I paint the top of the dough with oil is because I thought that contributed to the greasy feel of NY style pizza.

PizzaHog, thank you. Your post was very informative. I live in Ann Arbor, so Roselli's is only about an hour's drive away from me. Do you have any specific products you recommend I try from there?

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2010, 08:04:13 PM »


I do not believe King Aurthur non organic flours are enriched.  Enriched flours will state "enriched" right on the ingredients label.  Plus, the levels of viatmins & minerals stated on KA's label to not meet the minimums required by the FDA to qualify as enriched.



PH,  king aurthur converntional flours are both malted and enriched.  the organinc line is just malted,  which is not always the case with organic flours.  -marc


Offline Glutenboy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2010, 08:31:39 PM »
Why is unenriched flour healthier than enriched flour?  The only thing they enrich it with is vitamins.
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2010, 08:36:09 PM »
GB,  I think there might be some confusion between enriched flour and bromated flour from earlier in the thread from this statement,  sorry I didn't qoute it correctly.  -marc


You are right.  Sorry about that.  I use High Gluten Flour bleached and bromated.  So it has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent to help with gluten development and makes a stronger more elastic dough.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 08:38:23 PM by widespreadpizza »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2010, 08:46:15 PM »
Why is unenriched flour healthier than enriched flour?  The only thing they enrich it with is vitamins.

well i suppose it is controversial but i have seen enough evidence to convince me that natural vitamins and added vitamins do not affect the body is the same way, with the natural ones being superior.  a lot of people report adverse side effects to vitamin supplements and enriched food, even if they have no problem tolerating the same vitamins from natural sources. however, if you are not getting enough vitamins from the rest of your diet, then enriched flour would actually be healthier. i just prefer to consume as few food additives as possible.

Offline PizzaHog

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2010, 09:00:55 PM »
PH,  king aurthur converntional flours are both malted and enriched.  the organinc line is just malted,  which is not always the case with organic flours.  -marc
Thanks Marc for clarifying that.  Dang, I really like that flour and was happy in my ignorance.
Quote
Do you have any specific products you recommend I try from there?
Sorry P for the misinformation.  I do go to Roselli's a couple times a month so can give you some ideas and hopefully get this right.
Margarita peperoni at the best price I have found.
Lots of cheeses.  I have only tried their house brand mozz.  It goes really soft rather than stretchy when melted if you like that texture.  They will cut a log in half of any cheese if you ask so you don't have to buy the whole thing.
Tomatoes and sauces galore.  You can get some ideas on favored brands with a forum search but something from Stanislaus for sure.  The "full red fully prepared" has been mentioned for NY style so I tried it and liked it but they have lots to choose from.  Hit their website to see and remember they have multiple products with the same first name, like full red in at least 3 versions.
Otherwise go nuts as everything I have priced there is lower than anywhere else I know of, some stuff a little, some a lot like the soprasetta and calabrese salami.
Only 1 mile down Groesbeck from Roselli's is Sera cheese so you should check them out too but they are hard to find.  Access off Groesbeck Hwy by turning E into the Fedex bldg parking lot.  Stay straight and pass Fedex to the first white building right behind it.  Maybe try some of their mozz and provolone.  If one of the family is there you can usually taste some samples.  You can tell the owners cause they won't be in cheese makers garb.  It's a small place.  If you like stronger cheeses try their Fina Table cheese.
Have fun!

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2010, 01:56:25 AM »
ok so i tried the high gluten recipe with the vital wheat gluten and ended up with another sticky mess. i added more flour by feel and i'll see what sort of pizza i get tomorrow.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2010, 08:31:00 AM »
  :-D now your making pizza! It's not always about recipes Pizzalogy. There's definitely a time and a place for them, but it's more important to make what you have work for you. Soon you'll be making your very own recipe.  Do keep us posted.

Sorry I have no experience with unenriched flours or VWG, otherwise i'd be able to help you more. With all new ingredients I would add a little at a time to see the effects and adjust accordingly. 

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2010, 06:58:44 PM »
haha thanks for the encouragement. the vital wheat gluten crust was an improvement. nowhere near perfect but not bad either. i may try adding more next time.

 i still had the best results with the enriched flour unfortunately but i'm not ready to give up on making healthy pizza. i also don't think i can do much better right now without fixing my cheese and sauce because no matter how good the crust is, the pizza won't taste very good if i don't like the sauce and cheese.

i may experiment with some whole wheat crusts in the mean time.

Offline s00da

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2010, 03:55:50 AM »
You are getting a cracker crust because you are stretching the pizza too thin. So with your low hydration of 54% and bake time, it's easy for most of the water in the thin parts to be evaporated. Also, the stone is different from the pan because the stone can absorb the water in the skin as it bakes while the pan will trap moisture and redirect it into the skin.

Usually you can resolve this issue by first getting your stretching techniques right. Shoot for an even thickness skin, it's harder than making a puffy rim. This should help retain moisture, you can work on the rim later. Your hydration of 54% sounds very low to me, usually when putting together a new recipe, a hydration of 60% is a good starting point and it's usually appropriate for any kind of flour. Increasing hydration also means decreasing the % of yeast to counter over-fermentation.

Good luck

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2010, 01:26:39 PM »
thanks. i will try 60% hydration next time. what happens if you get over fermentation?


Offline hotsawce

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Re: first attempt how to improve from here? (pics)
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2010, 01:32:55 PM »
You'll rarely get over fermentation. I think there's a difference between over fermentation, and the use of too much yeast. If your dough puffs up like a balloon, you used too much yeast.