Author Topic: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?  (Read 55138 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #350 on: July 07, 2010, 09:47:05 AM »
Peter,

If I ever mention cloning another crust or pizza product, remind me of this thread and the Mack’s thread.  I also will just lay down until the feeling goes away. I sure don’t think I would ever want to attempt something like this again, but you never know.  I never say never.   ::)

Thanks for your kind words, Peter.  I do like to experiment and am learning along the way.  I want other forum members or guests to be able to replicate our results, if we can ever get this right.  Sorry for giving you more work.  You are always helping other members, so my hat is off to you, too!  :chef:

Norma
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 09:51:57 AM by norma427 »


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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #351 on: July 07, 2010, 10:53:10 AM »
sear,

I didn’t understand the joke, so I looked up Lumberg from the “office space” impression and now I understand what you were talking about.  I had never saw Office Space before.  What I read was hilarious!  Thanks for the joke.  :-D  We need a few jokes in this thread.

Maybe this is what we should tell Peter.  ::)



Norma

its a must see movie ! , i cant believe i couldnt find the clip i wanted . its because there is so many impressions and spoofs/edits of it on youtube.

heres a couple trailers and one is the beginning of the movie






Offline norma427

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #352 on: July 07, 2010, 12:45:30 PM »
sear,

Thanks for bringing the humor into this thread.   :-D  I looked at different videos on YouTube and most of them were hilarious.  I watched “Gangster Dreams”, “Printer Die”, “People Skills”, "Case of the Mondays”, “PC Load Letter”, “Pet Rock Scene” and others.  I will have to rent or buy that movie someday and watch it.

I really liked the idea of the Jump to Conclusions Mat show at 1:43 in this video



Near the end of this video,Tom says to Peter,  “Good Things Can Happen” if you hang it there long enough, just look what happened to me.  That was too funny.

Thanks for the videos and laughs,  ;D

Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #353 on: July 07, 2010, 02:52:48 PM »
Peter,

I don’t know if you have the specs for King Arthur Whole Wheat White Flour, but Tod Bramble  just responded to me in a email with a pdf. document on the specs for KA Whole Wheat White Flour.

Norma – here is the spec sheet on the KA White Whole Wheat. We do not offer a 50# sack of our traditional whole wheat.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Tod  Bramble
Bakery Flour Sales
King Arthur Flour Co., Inc
207-233-2548 (cell)
207-774-3369 (fax)

I emailed Tod Bramble back to ask if the KA White Whole Wheat has the same specs in a 50 lb. bag, as the KA White Whole Wheat sold at the retail level.


King Arthur Flour Company, Inc.
Bakery Food Service Division
Toll Free Phone: 1-877-523-5687
Fax: (207) 774-3368
King Arthur Bakery Flour Specifications
Brand Name KA White Whole Wheat
King Arthur Item # 17050
Full UPC # 71012170500
Moisture (Maximum) 13.5
Protein (14% M.B.) 12.5% - 14%
Ash (14% M.B.) 1.20 min
Falling Number 350sec min
Sifting Specifications
wire 18 0.2% max
wire 30 2.5% max
wire 40 4.0% - 15.%
wire 70 45% max
wire pan 45.0% - 60.0%
Wheat Type: Hard White Wheat
Treatment* none
Enrichment** No
All flours are to be prepared by grinding clean, sound wheat in accordance with
current FDA regulations. All testing methods AACC approved.

Norma

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #354 on: July 07, 2010, 03:04:52 PM »
Norma,

Thank you for the KA white whole wheat data. I was relying on the information given at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/nutritional-analysis-bakery-flour.html.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #355 on: July 07, 2010, 03:42:23 PM »
Peter,

Tod Bramble did email me back saying the specs were only for 50 lb bags.

I did email Ultra-Thins Shell Company again and I copied and pasted what I emailed and what Cherise replied.

Cherise,

I just had one other question to ask you about the flours you use.  When I was sent an ingredient list for customers that might want to know about the ingredients, I saw you listed whole wheat flour as an ingredient.  I was just curious, and you don't need to answer this question, but since whole wheat is used in the blend, I was wondering why the par-baked shells aren't darker.  I have used whole wheat flour in baking at home and usually my products come out darker.

Thanks for all the help you have given me.

Regards,

Norma

Typically we use a White Whole Wheat and there is also another Wheat added which makes color a non-issue.  However, when we make our Whole Wheat we use a combination of a Stone Ground Whole Wheat and White Flour - which does give it the brown color often associated with Whole Wheat  (We have had no luck in using 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat)
 
Kindest Regards,
Cherise

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #356 on: July 07, 2010, 04:02:29 PM »
Norma,

I am glad you decided after all to ask Ultra-Thin about the whole wheat flour. You might also recall that in Reply 295 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.msg102395.html#msg102395, I raised the possibility that Ultra-Thin was using the white whole wheat flour. There was just no way to know from the ingredients list. The white whole wheat flour is another piece of the puzzle that might move us closer to the goal.

I will take a look at the last dough formulation I gave you to see how using white whole wheat flour (the KA brand) changes the percentages for the flour blend.

Peter

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #357 on: July 07, 2010, 04:26:03 PM »
Peter,

I was just trying to think what I could say in an email to the Ultra-Thin Shell Company. I was also curious about the whole wheat white flour, but didn’t know what to say, when asking the Ultra-Thin company what they might be using. 

I remember you saying there was a possibility they were using whole wheat white flour and pre 1997 you didn’t think any product like the whole wheat white flour existed.

Hopefully this will be another part of the puzzle that gets us closer to finding our pew.  I am getting tried of trying to find it.

Sorry to give you more work, again.

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #358 on: July 07, 2010, 05:05:53 PM »
Norma,

I ran through the numbers on the basis of using the Kyrol and the KAWWW (KA white whole wheat) instead of the KA regular whole wheat flour, and got a percent for the KAWWW of 10% (10% of the total weight of the Flour Blend). However, the total protein number for the blend is still too high based on my calculations from the weights of the two flours that make up the blend. It is up to you if you want to try using the KAWWW. If so, the apportionment of the Flour Blend given in Reply 338 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.msg102799.html#msg102799 would be 90/10, or 167.54 grams (5.91 ounces) of the Kyrol flour and 18.62 grams 0.66 ounces) of the KAWWW (for a total of 186.16 grams/6.57 ounces).

If my calculations are correct, it seems to me that Ultra-Thin is using a weaker flour than the Kyrol or other comparable high-gluten flour. I may change my mind when I see the new weight loss data but my gut tells me that, barring a major change in weight loss, Ultra-Thin is likely using a weaker flour as the white flour.

Peter


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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #359 on: July 07, 2010, 06:01:40 PM »
Peter,

Thanks for running the numbers though again. I will stay with the original plan and use the whole wheat flour blend formula in the next attempt so you can see the data.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.msg102799.html#msg102799

Maybe we can find out if Ultra-Thin is using a weaker flour in the blend.  Your gut feelings are usually right.

I did get another email from Tod Bramble.  It lists all the “Family Flours” for Signature Flour Specifications.  If you don’t already have that, let me know and I will copy and paste the specs.  The specs are for KAAP, Unbleached Bread Flour, White Whole Wheat, and whole wheat sold on the retail level.

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #360 on: July 07, 2010, 09:38:02 PM »
Norma,

As I mentioned recently, I was not able to find any bromated all-purpose flours in the supermarkets near me. Moreover, when I did some extensive follow-up Google searches today, I was unable to identify a single source of such flours. That led me to wonder whether there is such a thing as a bromated all-purpose flour. So, in search of an answer, I decided to send an email to "Tim the Baker", from the General Mills website at http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/Home.aspx. I simply asked Tim if there is such a thing as a bromated all-purpose flour. You might recall that I mentioned earlier in this thread that when I looked at the GM flours, the ones that were bleached and bromated tended to be the spring wheat flours.

Shortly after I sent the email to Tim, he responded as follows:

Peter,
As all-purpose flours are milled from hard winter wheat, they are typically not bromated.  We do not have any bromated all purpose flours, nor am I aware of any in the industry.  We do, however, have bleached all purpose flours.  If you truly feel you need a bleached and bromated flour, you would need to move into a spring wheat flour such as our Full Strength flour (12.6% protein).  That would be the lowest protein flour of ours that is both bleached and bromated.

Tim


Although I had originally discussed the Full Strength flour earlier in this thread, starting at Reply 63 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.msg100071.html#msg100071, that was before we learned that Ultra-Thin was using whole wheat flour as part of its flour blend. I plan to take a look at the specs for that flour (at http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/FullStrength%20Enr%20Mal%20Bl%20Bro53381.doc) to see if that flour can be combined in some way with the KA white whole wheat flour such that the blend meets the requirements of the Ultra-Thin nutrition data.

I'm glad I sent the email to Tim. Now I know that there apparently is no such thing as a bromated (and bleached) all-purpose flour. It must have been a bromated bread flour that I remembered or it's possible that I confused bromated with bleached. So, if anyone ever stops me on the street and asks me if there is such a thing as a bromated all-purpose flour, I will be able to give a correct answer.

Peter

EDIT (4/15/14): For a current link to the Full Strength flour, see http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/full-strength-flour-bleached-bromated-enriched-malted-50-lb/53381000

Offline norma427

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #361 on: July 07, 2010, 10:26:10 PM »
Peter,

With all these formula changes and all what has happened on this thread, I completely forgot about you mentioning the GM Full Strength flour as coming close to meeting the numbers given in the Ultra-Thin Nutrition Facts.  When you mentioned that the GM Full Strength was low in saturated fat, I didn’t think much about that at the time.  In the following posts you also mention the best approach would be to address the flour first and that the Ultra-Thin Company could also have a proprietary flour milled for their requirements.

It’s good you have put your thinking hat on again to correspond with “Tim the Baker”. Your email sent to Tim, just might lead us in the right direction.  I am glad you sent the email to Tim. Looks like we might need to change direction, again.  Like I said before, this whole flour thing can get very confusing.  LOL, I wonder who the person would be that might stop you on the street to ask you if there is such a thing as bleach and bromated all-purpose flour.  Never in a million years is someone going to ask you that question, but at least you would be able to give the correct answer.

Back to the drawing board for you to find out if the GM Full Strength specs might work somehow in a blend with KA Whole White Wheat Flour.

Good luck,

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #362 on: July 08, 2010, 10:29:19 AM »
Norma,

I have decided to wait until the results of your next test before doing more calculations with the Full Strength and KAWWW flours, or any other flour combination. I'd also like to look to see if there are any other bleached and bromated flours with less than 12.6% protein available from other millers.

Peter

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #363 on: July 08, 2010, 11:35:59 AM »
Peter,

That is fine with me if you wait to do more calculations on more flours.  In my opinion you did enough calculations for a long while.  If the calculations would have been up to me, they never would have gotten done. I appreciate you can do the calculations.

Is there any other mills you would like me to check on whether there are any other bleached and bromated flours with less than 12.6% protein?  I know when I talked to the quality assurance lady at our local mill, she said they could add bromates if customers wanted.  Maybe that is what the Ultra-Think Company is doing, using a proprietary flour. 

I will try to remember to bring my scales, big rolling pin, and anything else I might need for home use for the next attempt home, tomorrow.  This ungodly heat and humidity is almost unbearable.  Now my air-conditioning in my van went on the fritz.  I need to also pickup flour tomorrow at C.O. Nolt and Sons, Inc.  Hopefully I will make it though the heat and humidity tomorrow, without air-conditioning.  When I was growing up there wasn’t any air-conditioning in my home, and I never minded the heat or humidity, but since I am used to air-conditioning, life is a lot different without it.  Our local newspaper has reported there are many heat related emergencies due to this heat and humidity.  Just one more variable.

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #364 on: July 08, 2010, 12:39:20 PM »
Norma,

There are just too many variables. There is the weight of the Flour Blend, which we calculated as best we could based on the dough weight losses, and then there is the matter of which types and brands of flours are used in the Flour Blend and in what quantities. Then the flours have to have the right caloric value per 100 grams and the protein values also have to have the right values (per 100 grams of flour weight) to match up with the Ultra-Thin nutrition information. I have been using the weight losses from your experiments to calculate a Flour Blend weight. As the Flour Blend weight changes, the values of just about everything else changes and have to be recalculated, including the oil, salt, baking soda and garlic powder. Then there are the effects of rounding. It is unlikely that we are going to get all of the variables resolved. But, I am hoping that the differences aren't so dramatic as to make a big difference in the results. Thin crusts are more sensitive than other pizza crusts, however, because the thickness of the crust largely determines the textural characteristics of the crust, such as the crispiness, chewiness, degree of foldability, and how cracker-y the crust is.

For your additional information, this morning I sent a follow-up email to Tim (Tim Huff) asking him if he knows of any other commercial brands of bread flour that have protein contents below 12.6%. He responded as follows:

Not that I am aware of…  although not a hard “rule”, most winter wheats (comprising most of the flours below 12%) are not bromated.  The only exception to this, that I have seen, is in the Texas market where I have seen some bromated winter wheats…  Sorry that I can’t help much on that.

Peter

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #365 on: July 08, 2010, 01:59:09 PM »
Peter,

I can understand there are too many variables.  All that you have just mentioned: the flours or blends need to have the right caloric value and also the right protein values for 100 grams.  I hope in this next attempt the weight losses don’t change too much, because this all is giving you too much work in figuring this all out. 

I didn’t know that thin crusts are more sensitive than other pizza crusts, but since you mentioned that, it makes sense to me now.

In my opinion, the last two attempts were something like the real Ultra-Thin par-baked skins.  I haven’t made a pizza out of the last par-baked skin to taste, since I don’t want to turn on my oven more than needed.  I am not sure how that crust is going to taste, but the attempt before that, did compare well in terms of flavor and terms of flexibility, with a real Ultra-Thin shell, when baked into a pizza.

I also find it interesting that you have emailed “Tim the Baker”, again and found out what he had to say.  It’s interesting that he said not that he is aware of, but not a “hard” rule. I wonder why the exception would be in Texas with the hard winter wheat which might be bromated. I would be curious to find out why they would sell some bromated winter wheat flour only in Texas. Thanks for the follow-up.

I am anxious to try this next attempt.  Hopefully it will go well.

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #366 on: July 08, 2010, 02:25:22 PM »
Norma,

I wouldn't worry about the numbers and the calculations. They go with the territory.

To be more accurate, I perhaps should have said that the crust thickness and the hydration largely govern what you will get in a cracker style crust. If you are off on either, you can end up with something that you didn't really want--like a soft cracker crust that doesn't crunch when you run the pizza cutter through it. But at least if you get close to what you are after, you can make a few adjustments to inch closer to the desired crust.

Peter


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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #367 on: July 09, 2010, 05:38:00 PM »
Peter,

I brought my scale, heavy duty rolling pin and a water mister home for the next attempt this weekend for a par-baked skin and the formula you set-forth.   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.msg102799.html#msg102799

This rolling pin should make rolling out the skin easier.

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #368 on: July 10, 2010, 02:34:55 PM »
I am taking another attempt at a par-baked skin today.  I decided to post as I go, as I did last week, so I won’t have too much to post at the end.  The dough for the par-baked skin in now in the proofing box.  Right now the temperature of the proofing box is at 110 degrees F.  There is also water in another container in the proofing box.

All the equipment and ingredients were gathered together before starting this experiment.  The only things not pictured are the oven, tongs, knife, screen to weigh baked skin on, and the proofing box.  It sure take a lot of things to make such a small par-baked skin.  :-D

The dough was first mixed in the food processor, then hand kneaded.  The dough looks lighter this time and more close to a real Ultra-Thin par-baked skin. The temperature of the dough was 80 degrees F.  The dough ball weighed 9.4 oz.

The other pictures show the weight of the finished dough, and the dough ball.

Norma
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 06:25:34 AM by norma427 »

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #369 on: July 10, 2010, 05:15:18 PM »
I kept watching the dough ball though the little window in the proofing box and after a hour of proofing at 110 degrees F, I felt the dough ball.  It seemed moister than last week. I don’t know why, but the dough ball appears to be getting darker, while in the proofing box. Maybe the skin is getting drier and forming a skin, but doesn’t seem to be. I then decided to turn up the dimmer switch and let the dough ball proof some more.  The temperature of the proofing box would only go to a little over 115 degrees F.  I could have gotten a higher wattage light bulb out of the closet, but decided to let the dough ball proof at 115 degrees F.  I had made sure before measuring the ingredients or skin that I had the pizza controller leveled, as can be seen in the picture.

I left the dough in the proofing box for a total of 1 hr. 45 minutes. When I removed the dough out of the proofing box, I decided to weigh it to see if it might have lost some weight while proofing.  It then weighed 9.3 oz.  The dough was then taken out and rolled with the heavy rolling pin.  I don’t know if it was because I proofed the dough at a higher temperature or the heavy rolling pin helped, but it was easier to roll out.  I measure the dough after rolling and it was 14 ½ “ in diameter, but sure wasn’t perfect.  I was trying to decide how to cut the dough to make it exactly 7.70 oz.  Since I wasn’t good at this before, I decided to let the dough on the scales and let the dough folded and then cut into a circle.  It worked and when I had cut enough dough off the skin, it was almost in a perfect circle.  I then docked the skin, misted the top of the skin and place the two cutter pans (skins between them) on the lowest rack of my oven.  The temperature again was 400 degrees F.  I kept checking on the par-baking skin and when it reached 183 degrees F, I thought I should soon get it out, but shut the oven door for about 15 more seconds.  When I measured the temperature with my IR gun the temperature then had climbed to 186 degrees.  I quickly removed the par-baked skin out of the oven.  The par-baked skin was weighed right out of the oven and it weighed 7.5 oz.  This par-baked skin seems better in terms of top of the skin.  It doesn’t seem as dry as my last attempt.

Pictures below and a video I took of the par-baked skin. When I went to take the first video of the par-baked skin my memory stick was full, halfway though the video, so I had to delete some pictures and take the video again.



Norma
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 05:22:46 PM by norma427 »

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #370 on: July 10, 2010, 05:17:14 PM »
more pictures

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #371 on: July 10, 2010, 05:18:06 PM »
last of pictures

Norma

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #372 on: July 10, 2010, 05:59:07 PM »
Norma,

Based on the weight data you provided, it looks like the weight loss during the parbake was (7.70-7.50)/7.70 = 2.58%. That is a little bit less than the last time but it is good that the values are at least close. My recollection is that the last skin was par-baked in a middle oven rack position, whereas the latest skin was par-baked on the lowest oven rack position. Is that correct?

You did a nice job with all of the numbers, especially coming up with a way of getting the unbaked skin at 7.70 ounces. Our precision seems to be better than Ultra-Thin's, given the different weights of their par-baked crust.

As usual, I am interested in getting the post mortems on the latest crust. Can you describe it in relation to a real Ultra-Thin crust, in terms of overall "feel", color, thickness, flexibility, aroma, etc., as well as any anomalies or discrepancies? And will you freeze the latest crust and use it later?

Peter

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #373 on: July 10, 2010, 06:19:50 PM »
Peter,

You are right, the last time I baked on the middle rack and this time I baked on the bottom rack.  I baked on the bottom rack this time, to see if the top of the par-baked skin would stay moister and I also misted the top of the skin, before putting the top cutter pan on. 

Do you know if your proofed doughs ever lost a little weight while proofing. Do you think the proofing might have dried out the dough skin a little. Also do you know if the dough ball getting darker in the proofing box was because it might have been getting a skin?  When I removed it from the proofing box it looked like it might have had a little skin on it, but when I rolled it out it quickly went away.

Thanks for saying I did a good job with the numbers.  I was trying to think of a way to be able to get the par-baked skin at the right weight this time, since in the past, I was having problems with that.  At least this par-bake skin was the right weight.  My last attempts weren’t. We might get more accurate than the real Ultra-Thin par-baked skin in the weight.  :-D

The feel of the par-baked skin, felt about the same as a real par-baked skin in my opinion.  The color is a little darker, in comparison to a real Ultra-Thin skin.  I did freeze the par-baked skin.  The flexibility felt about the same as a real par-baked skin.  The aroma smelled good, but I haven’t tasted it as of this time. I don’t know right now if I can say anything went wrong, but will think about that.  I was glad how well this experiment went today.  I did freeze the crust and if I have time tomorrow will try to take a video of a real Ultra-Thin par-baked skin, the attempt from last week and the par-baked skin I made today.  I would like to make the both par-baked skins into pizzas tomorrow, if I find time. This par-baked skins only took 3 minutes 15 seconds to bake, so if this does really work out someday, people could just have them in the freezer and make a quick pizza.  I don’t know if they would want to go though all the steps to make a par-baked skin though.  The feel of the par-baked skin today felt like a real Ultra-Thin skin.

Do you also see anything I could have done differently today?

Norma
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 06:34:25 AM by norma427 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ultra-Thin Pizza 1/16"..Any Ideas?
« Reply #374 on: July 10, 2010, 07:27:16 PM »
Norma,

It has taken us 19 pages and 374 posts to get this far, but overall I think we have done a creditable job, or got lucky, in being able to at least get the physical characteristics essentially right--including weight, crust thickness (including thickness factor), size and flexibility. Moreover, you did not have to do endless experiments. And each experiment taught us something new and useful and valuable. I think what helped us a great deal is having real Ultra-Thin crusts to examine, play around with and to compare with your results. I think also that the use of the two cutter pans and baking the crusts only to the point of the starches/protein gelatinizing was a lucky stroke that saved us a lot of time and effort.

As I see it, the main missing link at this point is the types and brands of flours used by Ultra-Thin. However, as I have discovered before with other reverse-engineering/cloning exercises, there seems to be a fair amount of give and take in the amounts of ingredients used without showing up in the final product. It would be nice to try using a lower protein flour, like a bromated bleached bread flour, along with a white whole wheat flour, if only to try to be more faithful to the Ultra-Thin ingredients and quantities, but I believe that it should be possible to balance the amounts of the Kyrol flour and the KA regular whole wheat flour to get comparable results. We may learn differently when you try making a pizza from the latest crust and have an opportunity to test the crust for flavor, taste (like or don't like), color, aroma and texture (e.g., soft, chewy, crispy, cracker-like, or some combination).

On the matter of the dough coloration, one thing you might try is brushing the dough with a bit of oil before going into the proofing box. You might recall from the many patents we read that is was a common step to oil the dough balls as they were proofing and before forming into skins. Since that surface oil will usually migrate into the dough, it perhaps won't interfere with the humidification function.

You asked whether I have experienced a reduction of dough weight as a result of the proofing process. A long time ago, I did do some before and after weighings and there appeared to be some weight loss during proofing but my recollection is that it was slight. I also wasn't sure that my scale was accurate enough to really detect the difference.

Peter