Greetings. This is my first post to this board but allow me to say that I have been following the reverse engineering threads and living the experiences along with you all for the past month. I am finally ready to post as I have made some pizza according to the pizza raquel recipe and am ready to report my results. My version has been made using a bread machine so hopefully there are some who will find my comments useful and know that even with a bread machine to perform the mixing, a great pizza can be made.
My story goes something like this... I am originally from Long Island NY. I now reside in Cincinnati OH which is a desert wasteland for good bagels, chinese food, and especially pizza. I have been here for 10 years and finally took matters into my own hands last year by trying to make my own pizza. I worked with the same recipe I found somewhere on the internet for NY style pizza for the enire year. I was not able to get anything that resembled the type of dough I was used to which was a chewy foldable crust. I was using KASL but my dough would tear easily when stretching. I played with the amount of water hoping that was the problem but each week my results would vary slightly but ultimately remain the same. I then found my way to this board at the end of March. I read and learned and prepared. I obtained the sourdo italian starters, a digital scale, and a digital thermometer. The only piece of equipment I haven't yet added is the mixer but it would have to wait for now.
Below is my experience along with photos. I also try to explain where my process using the bread machine differ from the original Raquel process.
Pizza Raquel with oil. I wanted the highest performing dough and since I have had major problems with tearing dough, I kept the oil.
My recipe varied in two areas.
1) IDY - my scale does not measure less than whole grams so it was impossible for me to be accurate with the IDY. I believe the amount I used was greater than the prescribed recipe but was OK with this due to point 2 below.
2) Starter - This was my first try with a starter. I have no clue if it was active. I followed the instructions but who knows? There were some bubbles but my hunch is it might not have been fully active. For this reason I felt the extra IDY may help my cause. I must say, starter maintenance is a real pain. I am not sure it is worth it yet.
According to the raquel process here is where I varied.
1) Stir water and salt .... Performed the same as in the original instructions but in the bread machine container instead of a mixing bowl.
2) Add half the flour .... Same
3) Mix 30 seconds on sir .... Here I used the dough cycle on my bread machine for 30 seonds to incorporate the yeast.
4) Add preferment .... Same
5) Mix 1 minute on sitr .... Here I started a fresh dough cycle and ran it for 1 minute.
6) 20 minute autolyse .... Same
7) Mix on stir for 5 minutes .... Again I started a fresh dough cycle for 5 minutes and slowly incorporated the remaing flour.
Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes .... Here I kept the cycle running from the previous step for 5 more minutes and added the oil.
9) Check dough temp .... mine was 81.9
10) 15 minute autolyse .... same
11) Knead 2 minutes.... same
12) Cut into 2 pieces ... same
13) refrigerate 24 hours .... same
14) counter rise .... My dough was on the counter for about 3 hours.
In a nutshell this dough was fantastic compared to my previous efforts. I knew pulling it out of the bread machine that this dough was going to work better. It definitely appeared to have a higher hydration level than my previous doughs and appeared to be more extensible even before refrigeration. There was no need to window pane this dough.
My pictures are attached but here are a few observations I made:
1) I was probably too liberal with my oil on the top of the pie. I chalk this up to rustiness.
2) The crust didn't brown much. My oven is conventional running at 550 max. I am considering adding some sugar to help with this.
3) The crust was exceptional in texture, chewiness, and foldability. I was extremely pleased with the outcome.
All in all I am convinced that this recipe works with a bread machine and I plan on continuing to master it in this way.
A few miscellaneous comments before the pics:
1) The "square" pizzas mentioned in the reverse engineering threads are referred to as "Sicilian" pizzas in NY. It was pretty customary for my family to order one regualr pie and one sicilian every Friday night while I was at home. Gosh I miss those days.
2) I am planning a trip back home in July. MY father is originally from Brooklyn and swears by Tottonos. I had it when I was younger once but really couldn't appreciate it. I remember we had a regualr pie and a white pizza. I am going to try to get there while I am home. I will offer to do whatever research I can if there is interest. I will either go there or DiFaras based on feedback from this board.
That's all for now. I appreciate being a part of the community. It helps me to know there are people tweaking their barbeques and running self clean cycles to make perfect pizzas. It helps justify my obsession to my wife.