Author Topic: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough  (Read 4589 times)

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PizzaSuperFreak

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1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« on: April 02, 2005, 01:25:27 PM »
First I wanna just say how happy I am to have found this foum. I've been looking for a helpful and friendly site such as this to assist me in furthering my quest for superior pizza.

I am a home/hobbyist chef - (who will perhaps open a restaurant someday). I've been making pizzas for more than half my life (i'm 33).

I made a version of the lehman recipe (well, more the process anyway), and i was happy with the elasticity and taste of the dough, but disappointed with its tough chew.  I was hungry, so no pics this time. But it did look good.

Can someone please offer suggestions? Here's my specs:

preheated oven to 500F. used pizza stone place on bottom of oven.
my dough recipe:
2 3/4 C KA Bread Flour
1 T Vital Wheat Gluten
1 C Filtered water from fridge dispenser heated to 76F.
1 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 tsp olive oil (not EVOO)
1 tsp Red Star Active Dry Yeast

my process:
combined water and yeast in kitchen aid mixer bowl. mixed yeast VWG and flour together and dumped into bowl. 2 minutes on low (setting 1) with paddle attachment. added oil. 2 more minutes with paddle, setting 1. switched to hook. 7 minutes on setting 3 (of 10). placed in a gallon zip top bag sprayed with olive oil. put in the fridge for 24 hours.  removed from fridge for about 1.5 hours. preheated the oven for an hour.  dusted my granite with flour. pressed the dough out with my finger tips, then stretched with both hands on the granite, spreading my fingers apart to stretch the dough.

i did notice that several tears did occur.

i dusted my peel with flour and topped the pizza with shredded polly-o mozz from sam's club (the log), Flora tomatoes (i'm waiting on my 6 in 1 order) and then more mozz.

baked in the oven until golden. that's it.

the pizza was rather large, and looked great. but the crust was a little thick. not many big bubbles, and the crust was pretty tough. could've used a little better flavor too.  i dont normally dust with flour, i usually use cornmeal, so that might have been part of the problem with the taste (flour-y underside).

anyway, my yeast was fresh, all my ingredients were fresh. i did not have high gluten flour (looked all over town), so that's why i used the bread flour with VWG.

so, thanks for listening.  and if anyone has some ideas, please let me know.

thanks!



Offline pftaylor

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2005, 06:59:01 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak,
Welcome to the forum. From your explanation it appears you are doing many things right. You are probably closer than it may seem at the moment.         

I will try to help to the best of my ability although I may only have a 6 month head start on my pizza knowledge than yourself at this point. Here goes:

I would recommend changing one and only one thing at a time. That way you can adequately judge whether the change you made was effective or not. Change more than one thing and you won't know which change is for the better.

In keeping in line with that philosophy I would eliminate the wheat gluten. Technically, it is unnecessary. Bread flour, while not as high in gluten as let's say Lancelot is no slouch either. Bread flour on its own is fine. Switching to high gluten will get you to restaurant quality type crusts but it is not that much better than bread flour.

Make that singular change and report back your results.

Good luck.
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Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2005, 07:36:59 PM »
thanks folks, for your responses....

cheesy - it was about 10 minutes i suppose. i wasn't really watching the clock. just watching the crust and the cheese. both the top and the bottom were done at the same time.

pftaylor.... great suggestion. i will try to vary some the ingredients one at a time. i also think it's imperative that i get a scale and weigh the ingredients such as the flour. that way i can get an accurate measurement that i could eventually take elsewhere (such as my restaurant - someday  :D

as far as the high gluten flour, do you know of any good sources?

thanks again. i'll keep you posted.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2005, 08:01:52 PM »
PSF,
I understand your enthusiam for change. Just be prudent. I counted three changes you are planning on making - eliminating the gluten (the biggest impact on the board), a scale, and high gluten flour. Enable change sequentially and your life will be much less frustrating.

I would recommend ordering King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour. Do a google and you should find it.
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www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2005, 08:28:54 PM »
pftaylor,

good point. i think my next step will be eliminating the VWG. beyond that i may ask my neighbor - who is a restaurant supplier - to order me some high gluten flour. but first, i'll try the VWG exclusion.

thanks again. i'll keep you posted. i'll probably go make some now - for tomorrow.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2005, 09:30:08 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak,

For the first time making the Lehmann NY style dough, I am very impressed :). Very impressed indeed.

In looking at what you did, I am hard pressed to find many things to recommend that you change. They are mostly minor. In looking at the list of ingredients, I see that the hydration percent (I weighed the amounts of KA bread flour and water) is around 63%, which I think is a good figure, and the rest of the ingredients are in proper balance for a Lehmann style dough. With the ingredients and quantities you used, I estimate that the finished dough ball should have weighed almost 22 oz. That amount of dough should have been sufficient to make at least a 16-inch NY style pizza and quite possibly a 17-inch pizza. You indicated that you baked your pizza on a stone, but you didn't indicate either the size (diameter) of the pizza or the size of your stone. Since my stone isn't big enough to accommodate a 16-inch pizza, I use a 16-inch pizza screen together with my stone. I bake the pizza on the screen on an upper rack position until the crust starts to turn brown (about 5 minutes) and then I slide the pizza onto the pizza stone for the final few minutes (about 2 minutes) of baking, mainly to get better bottom crust browning. By the time I shift the pizza onto the stone, it  has completely set and can safely sit on the stone without flopping over the edges. If your pizza wasn't at least 16 inches, that could have accounted for the texture you got.

One of the changes you may want to consider the next time you practice the recipe is to proof your ADY in a small amount of warm water (about a few tablespoons of water at 95-110 degrees F) and keep the rest of the water on the cool side (as it appears you did). Yeast doesn't particularly like water on the cool side; the classic proofing temperature is as stated above. Keeping the rest of the water on the cool side serves to slow down the rate of fermentation so that the dough's useful life can be extended a bit longer, especially if you want to hold the dough beyond 24-48 hours before using. Extending the useful life of the dough will also give you better flavor in the crust, inasmuch as you will get more flavor-enhancing by-products of fermentation the longer the dough is held before using. Beyond 48 hours you have to start worrying since the recipe doesn't call for using any sugar, which would extend the fermentation period for a reasonable time beyond 48 hours (by making sure that the yeast continues to be fed).

As for the VWG, I don't get particularly hung up over it. I have used a recipe very similar to yours on several occasions, including using the KA bread flour and VWG (the Arrowhead) brand, and have gotten very satisfactory results. I agree with pftaylor that the KA bread flour is very good in its own right, but I don't see any harm in experimenting with VWG. Even Tom Lehmann frequently recommends using VWG to increase the protein content of a weaker flour. BTW, the proper way to use the VWG is to blend it in with the flour before adding to the water. That way, the VWG won't pill up when it hits the water. FYI, the amount of VWG you used (1 T.) was right on the money for the amount of KA bread flour you used. That amount should have gotten you to about 14.2% protein, which is the protein level of the KA high-gluten flour.

The tearing problem you experienced sometimes happens when the dough has been underkneaded (the gluten hasn't been kneaded enough to get the desired degree of elasticity and cohesiveness) or when the dough is too cool at the time it is to be shaped into a pizza skin. It's also possible that proofing the ADY at too low a water temperature may have contributed to the tearing. Since the final results and quality of your dough will to a great degree be determined by its condition when it comes off the hook, it is important to master the kneading process. My mantra on this is to get a dough ball that is soft, smooth and elastic without any tears on the outer surface, not too dry and not too sticky, but rather tacky. If you can master this, you are well on your way to success. If the tearing of your dough was because it was too cold at the time of shaping, next time you may want to take its internal temperature as you are ready to shape it. I usually look for something between 57-62 degrees F. That way, I don't have to worry about whether the room is hot or cold and whether the dough is warming up too fast or too slow.

For a good high-gluten flour, many of our members prefer the King Arthur Sir Lancelot brand. It can be purchased directly from King Arthur at http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/list.jsp?pv=1112496043973&byCategory=C90&select=C74. Some of our members recently found other sources, which you may also want to investigate by doing a search using the search feature on this site.

I agree with pftaylor that you are quite close to success where you are at the moment. A few simple changes should get you the rest of the way home.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 02, 2005, 09:54:51 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2005, 11:56:09 AM »
thanks once again, folks.

cheesy - you're right. i think it was too long of a cooking time. i can get my oven up another 50 degrees - to 550. so i'll try that next time. i have tried it in the past, but the crust has gotten (not a word, i know) black on the bottom before the top was done. perhaps moving the pizza stone off the bottom rack would help here. (the stone is about 1 inch above the bottom oven coils - i have one of those oven racks that sit practically on the bottom of the oven.

peter,
thanks so much for your highly insightful comments. i was hoping you'd chime in. i've seen many of your comments before.

as far as proofing my ADY, i usually do this. but after reading other threads, i thought i'd try not proofing the ADY. i now understand all the reasons as to why this is done. i will try to proof it in a couple tablespoons of water next time.

the temp of the dough also may have contributed to the tearing as you said. i think it was too cold. patience is a virtue, i see that now.

the size of my pizza stone is 15 by 15 inches - square. i thought it was bigger than this by eyeballing it. it seemed to be at least 16 inches. i think i need to reduce my recipe a bit to make a smaller pie. especially because i can't eat that much pizza - and because of health reasons, i actually try to limit my pizza eating to once a week! perhaps a small 10 inch pie would be great for experimentation purposes. if anyone can do the calculations on that for me, or show me how to do them, that would be wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ;D

my VWG was arrowhead brand. i think i'm gonna leave it out for now, until i can get everything else straight, and then add it back. just to see if it makes any difference.

as far as the high gluten flour, i'll either order it like you said, or try to get a smaller quantity from my neighbor. perhaps he can ask one of his clients to sell him back a small 5lb sack or something.

thanks again. i'll keep you posted on my next results - with pictures.

also, if anyone can figure out the recipe to scale down my dough a bit, that would rock.

thanks!


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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 02:39:39 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak,

Rather than just give you the answer to your downsizing question, I will show you how to calculate the amount of dough and the quantities of ingredients you will need to make a dough ball for a 10-inch pizza. You used volume measurements, which will entail a few more steps, but that just means a bit more work.

To begin, let's first calculate how much dough you will need for the 10-inch pizza. The calculation is simple. The expression for doing this is:

                                            W = 3.14 (or Pi, the Greek letter) x R x R x TF,

where W is the weight of the amount of dough needed, R is the radius of the pizza to be made from that weight of dough (in our case, R = 10/2 = 5), and TF is the thickness factor. For a thin NY style pizza, the TF value that is most commonly used is 0.10. So, solving for W in the above expression, we get W = 3.14 x 5 x 5 x 0.10, or 7.85 oz. as the weight of the dough ball you will need to make a 10-inch pizza. Unfortunately, that number alone doesn't tell us how to determine how much of each of the ingredients to use to make that 7.85 oz. dough ball. For this, we need baker's percents. Since your recipe uses volume measurements, they have to be first converted to weight measurements.

To do this, I took your original recipe and weighed the KA bread flour and the water, and for the rest of the ingredients I used conversion factors to convert from volume measurements to weight measurements since my scale can't weight the very light ingredients. For purposes of the exercise, I left out the VWG, although if it were to be used, it too would have an assigned baker's percent. I also weighed some larger quantities of regular salt and Kosher salt (my brand is Morton's) and found that they were pretty much equal in weight. So, it shouldn't matter much which form of salt is used in your recipe for the 10-inch case. For the weight of water, I used 8.33 oz. per cup, which is the standard conversion factor and more accurate than actually weighing a cup of water (which I did anyway just to see if there was a significant difference). Taking your recipe, the weights come out as set forth below. The weights won't be super accurate simply because the volume measurements are not accurate measurements. I have intentionally carried the calculations out to several decimal points so that you can see the actual numbers when you use your own calculator:

2 3/4 c. KA bread flour = 13.15 oz.
1 c. water = 8.33 oz.
1 t. salt = 0.196875 oz.
3/4 t. olive oil = 3/4 x 0.1645833 oz., or 0.1234374 oz.
1 t. ADY = 0.133333 oz.

Now, if we add up all the weights from the above recipe, we get a total of around 21.94 oz. That is the weight of the dough ball you would use to make the 16-17 inch pizza that I referenced in my earlier post. To downsize the recipe to use for our 10-inch pizza, we will need the baker's percents. Let's start with the flour. For baker's percent purposes, the flour is always assigned 100%. All of the other baker's percents for the recipe key off of that number. So, for the baker's percent for water, we divide the weight of the water (8.33) by the weight of the flour (13.15), and that gives us 0.63346, or roughly 63%. That is the magical "hydration" number you read so much about. Dividing the weights of each of the rest of the ingredients in the recipe by the weight of flour, we get the following baker's percents table (where I have rounded out to two places for the sake of simplicity):

KA bread flour, 100%
Water, 63%
Salt, 1.5%
Olive oil, 0.94%
ADY, 1%

Now we are ready to calculate the amounts of each of the ingredients for the 7.85 oz dough ball for the 10-inch pizza. To do this, we first add up all of the baker's percents. In our case, the sum of the baker's percents (100 + 63 + 1.5 + 0.94 + 1) comes to 166.44. To simplify the further calculations, we divide that number by 100, and this gives us 1.6644. The first thing we do with that number is to divide it into 7.85. That gives us the weight of the flour to be used in the 7.85 oz. dough ball, or 4.7164143 oz. To calculate the amounts of the remaining ingredients, all we have to do is multiply the weight of flour by each of the baker's percents listed in the above table. So, for example, the weight of water is 4.7164143 x 63%, or 2.971341 oz. Doing the same calculations for the remaining ingredients, we get the following (again I have rounded the numbers to two places):

KA flour (100%), 4.72 oz.
Water (63%), 2.97 oz.
Salt (1.5%), 0.07 oz.
Olive oil (0.94%), 0.04 oz.
ADY (1%), 0.05 oz.

You will note that if you add up all the above weights, they come to 7.95 oz. Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet. Unless one has a Frieling scale that can weigh very light ingredients, we have to convert the weights of salt, olive oil and ADY to volume measurements. One teaspoon of salt weighs 0.196875 oz., one teaspoon of olive oil weighs 0.1645833, and one teaspoon of ADY weighs 0.133333 oz. (these are all numbers that Steve and others at this site came up with some time ago).  Dividing each of the weights set forth above by these respective numbers, we end up with the final recipe, as follows:

KA bread flour (100%), 4.72 oz.
Water (63%), 2.97 oz.
Salt (1.5%), 0.36 t., or a bit over 1/3 t.
Olive oil (0.94%), 0.24 t., or about 1/4 t.
ADY (1%), 0.375 t., or 3/8 t.

To convert the flour and water to volume measurements to benefit those who do not have scales or digital scales, I often measure out the weights of flour and water using my digital scale and convert back to volume measurements using measuring cups and spoons. In this case, the 4.72 oz. flour becomes about 1 c. plus 2 T., and the 2.97 oz. of water becomes about 3/8 c.

And there you have it. You will have to do some experimenting with all these numbers since they started out as volume measurement. Also you will have to make adjustments to kneading times and bake times and temperatures.

Peter



« Last Edit: April 03, 2005, 05:29:25 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2005, 05:03:26 PM »
Peter, thanks very much for your explanation.

I should get a scale of some sort - since true bakers use scales more than volume measurements.

I did some of your calculations along with you and i think perhaps i'm still having trouble. For example, when i take the weight of the flour to be used in the 7.85 oz dough ball, i get 4.7164143 x 63% = 2.971341009 oz. not 3.0656692 oz.

either way, what i was wondering is if it would be just ok to half the recipe, and shoot for an approximate 8" round.

thoughts?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2005, 06:05:51 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak,

You are correct in your calculation. My error was the reason why the numbers didn't exactly equal 7.85. Now they do, and I have gone back to my post and corrected it. As it turns out, my final volumetric measurements were correct, only because there is no way to visualy detect a difference of about 0.09 oz of water. The recipe is now safe for you to use for the 10-inch pizza round.

But in a way I am glad I made the error because it prompted the followup question about halving your original recipe and shooting for an 8-inch round. Unfortunately, the process isn't linear that way. For example, if you halved the original 21.94 oz., which could have given you a 16-inch pizza, that will yield 10.97 oz.  Assuming that you wanted to keep the same dough thickness, the size pizza that 10.97 oz. would produce is determined by solving for R in

                             10.97 = 3.14 x R x R x 0.10.

R would be equal to the square root of 10.97/(0.314), or the square root of 34.94, which comes to 5.9 inches, or a diameter of almost 12 inches, not 10 inches.

If you decide after experimenting with the 10-inch size that you would like to change the dough ball weight to get another size, I encourage you to use the analytical approach I described in my last post since all the heavy math lifting, especially determining the baker's percents, has already been done. Remember that the baker's percents are always the same and independent of pizza size. What will change is the dough ball weight, which is in turn determined by the size of pizza you want. What may also happen as you experiment with your pizza dough is that you decide to change the ingredient quantities in some fashion. Then you will have to recalculate the baker's percents for the new pizza dough if you want to be able to calculate different pizza sizes.

I heartily recommend investigating getting a digital scale. Some of the members of the forum have already done some research, which you may want to read before venturing forth to buy a scale.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2005, 08:22:56 PM »
Cheesy,

I understand what you are saying and have been puzzled by the equivalent usage myself from time to time, particularly since I have read that for some brands you have to use 1 1/2-2 times (by volume) of those brands to achieve equivalency with ordinary table salt. I mentioned the brand of my Kosher salt (Morton's), as I have done before on this forum, for a reason. On the Morton's package there is this statement: "As a general rule you can also use MORTON Coarse Kosher Salt in your favorite recipes as you would MORTON Table Salt and MORTON Canning and Pickling Salt....teaspoon for teaspoon or cup for cup."

After reading your post I went back in my kitchen to reweigh the two salts I had weighed earlier today, on the chance that I erred the first time. I didn't have enough table salt (the kind in the cylinder) to make up a cup, but I was able to weigh 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup of the Morton's Kosher salt. I poured the salts into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and leveled off the top before weighing. The two weights were 5.30 oz. for the table salt and 4.70 oz. for the Morton's Kosher salt. The differences at the 1/3 t. level  for the recipe I developed for PizzaSuperFreak today would not be especially material. It would of course depend on how one measures the salt, using either a light hand or a heavy hand.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2005, 12:05:40 PM »
Cheesy,

Yes, it was, although the difference would have been the same even if I didn't tare the measuring cup, so long as I weighed both salts the identical way.

Peter

Offline dinks

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2005, 12:05:42 PM »
CHEESY:
  Good Morning. I do not think we have posted before so I would like to say "Happy To Meet You.
If you do not mind Cheesy, I would like to mention to you what is the accepted version around professional kitchens on the use Kosher salt.
 
 COMES NOW:

To get the evuivelent of regular table salt.....  Morton's kosher salt  use 50% more.
  Using the Diamond crystal brand you must use 100% more. This is using volume measures like in TSP & TBLS.  & ete.  As you know, in weighing it.... a pound is a pound is a pound the world around.
  Good luck Cheesy & have a nice day my friend.
   ~DINKS.

Offline buzz

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2005, 12:31:45 PM »
Too much gluten! Try King Arthur or Ceresota (aka Hecker's).

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2005, 01:39:47 PM »
Cheesy,

If you are referring to the recipe I posted, I use the standard nomenclature of t. for teaspoon and T. for tablespoon.

Peter

Offline dinks

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2005, 03:02:36 PM »
CHESSY:
  Hello again. Whenever you read a "t" that stands for teaspoon.  Whenever you read TBLS or" T" It is for tablespoon.
   I hope this helps my friend..
   ~DINKS.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2005, 06:26:02 PM »
haha. -- cheesy. that's a good one. but you're right. i believe the common notation is that the lowercase 't' is used to denote a teaspoon. and a uppercase 'T' is for tablespoon.

but, all of this is moot anyway, due to the fact that there are no standards (according to alton brown, et al) in the world of measuring spoon manufacturers. ergo, visa-vie, one T is not the same as another T, necessarily.

 :o

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt @ lehman - turned out tough
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2005, 07:09:33 PM »
Yes, a tablespoon is around 15 ml, but that is for fluids (liquids).

Peter


 

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