Having seen duckjob’s (Brian’s) recent Raquel masterpiece made me jealous. I had to have a Raquel pizza too.
So, a few days ago, I started a dough using a slightly-modified version of pftaylor’s basic formulation for his Raquel dough. It’s the formulation that is set forth in Reply #24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg11359.html#msg11359
. For my purposes, I added a small amount of oil (1% by weight of flour), and I made only enough dough to make a single 15-16-inch pizza. I followed pft’s instructions to the letter, as he instructs to do (upon the pain of death no less). Doing this, I ended up with a first-rate dough and a first-rate pizza. The pizza was intentionally kept simple. It was a cheese pizza using fellow member Les’ grape pizza sauce, and a mixture of fresh mozzarella cheese (Bel Gioioso) and shredded Dragone low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, and topped after baking with some freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Romano cheeses. The dough formulation I used was as follows:
100%, High-gluten flour (King Arthur Sir Lancelot), 8 oz. (226.80 g.), 1 3/4 c. + 3 T. + 1 t.
60%, Water, 4.8 oz. (136.08 g.), about 5/8 c.
0.0625%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.005 oz. (0.14 g.), about 1/16 t. (a few grains)
2%, Sea salt (I used Sicilian), 0.16 oz. (4.54 g.), between 3/4 and 7/8 t.
1%, Oil (I used light olive oil), 0.08 oz. (2.27 g.), about 1/2 t.
8.125%, Preferment, 0.65 oz. (18.43 g.), about 4 t.(in my case)
Total dough weight = 13.69 oz. (388.25 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.068
One of the most interesting aspects of making the dough was that I had a problem making a roughly 14-ounce dough ball in my KitchenAid stand mixer. In essence, the dough ball was too small for my KA mixer to handle efficiently. I proceeded nonetheless to make the dough as best I could. Getting less than a perfect dough ball had the effect of piquing my interest in what I would end up with a few days later when I was ready to use the dough to make a pizza. In my case, “a few days” was a few hours more than 3 days. For all of that time, the dough was under refrigeration and, during that spell, the dough hardly rose at all. Since I was using principally a preferment for leavening purpose, with a trivial amount of IDY, I expected this. In my case, the dough started out as a round ball but after 3 days it had spread and flattened a bit as the enzymes in the flour (mainly the protease) attacked and softened the gluten structure. But it wasn’t until I started to work with the dough that I truly saw the benefits of the Raquel dough recipe.
The dough worked flawlessly. It was perfectly balanced from an extensibility/elasticity standpoint and I had no problems whatsoever stretching it out to about 15 inches. I actually played around with the dough for several minutes longer than I needed--just savoring the event--because I was having so much fun tossing and stretching the dough. So, if anyone feels they need practice tossing and stretching a dough without almost no likelihood of tearing the dough, the Raquel dough recipe is the recipe to use.
After dressing the skin, I placed it on a 16-inch pizza screen and baked it for about 4 minutes on the top oven rack position. I then transferred the pizza off of the screen and onto a pizza stone (on the lowest oven rack position) that had been preheated to about 500-550 degree F for about an hour. Shortly after I shifted the pizza onto the pizza stone, I turned on the broiler element. After about 3 minutes on the stone, the pizza was moved under the broiler element for about 1 minute.
The photos below show the finished pizza. It was an excellent pizza. It had very good crust flavor, color and texture. It was also fairly light (weight-wise), as I had expected based on the fact that it had a thickness factor of only 0.068, which is quite a bit less than the typical “non-elite” thin NY street style, which has a typical thickness factor of around 0.10-0.105. I also knew that the Raquel pizza was an attempt to replicate the famous thin-style Patsy’s pizza. All of this aside, it was a great pizza made from a great dough recipe.