Author Topic: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY  (Read 5309 times)

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Offline VarunS

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Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« on: January 20, 2011, 05:01:13 AM »
I seem to have trouble with the edges that are very crackery and tend to chip off while I am cutting with the pizza cutter hence making the pizza look not so good.

This does sound stupid but does anyone have a better suggestion for cutting it neatly?

Thanks. Much appreciated.


Offline BTB

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 10:23:20 AM »
I don't think I have any cutting solution for you other than to say . . . I love it when I find a nice crackery pizza and some of the edges chipped off a bit upon cutting and serving.  When that happens, I most often find that the crust is absolutely delicious.

I just had a great cracker crust pizza yesterday at Charlie and Millie's in Largo, FL and thought the pizza crust was delicious.  The picture below is one from several months ago.  But the one yesterday had much more of the "chip off" that I think you are referring to, but I thought it, too, was outstanding. 

But maybe in your case, the crust is much more of a real cracker than what I picture or think a pizza cracker crust is.  We often have a different understanding of what a cracker crust pizza should be.  Getting something close to a cracker is great, but getting to a real cracker for pizza use maybe not so great.  Just some thoughts FWIW.

                                                                                                      --BTB
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 10:27:49 AM by BTB »

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 10:32:13 AM »
use a porcupine docker or a fork docker on the crust.  problem solved
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buceriasdon

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 11:38:02 AM »
BTB, I agree, there is a fine line between thin and crispy, which I like and cracker which to me is overbaked and dry. It's all personal taste.
I'm doing one tonight in my LBE rather than my toaster oven on a steel plate which struggled to get to 400F. We shall see. I'm topping right to the edge so I have no crust  there.
Don

=1295537000]
I don't think I have any cutting solution for you other than to say . . . I love it when I find a nice crackery pizza and some of the edges chipped off a bit upon cutting and serving.  When that happens, I most often find that the crust is absolutely delicious.

I just had a great cracker crust pizza yesterday at Charlie and Millie's in Largo, FL and thought the pizza crust was delicious.  The picture below is one from several months ago.  But the one yesterday had much more of the "chip off" that I think you are referring to, but I thought it, too, was outstanding. 

But maybe in your case, the crust is much more of a real cracker than what I picture or think a pizza cracker crust is.  We often have a different understanding of what a cracker crust pizza should be.  Getting something close to a cracker is great, but getting to a real cracker for pizza use maybe not so great.  Just some thoughts FWIW.

                                                                                                      --BTB
[/quote]

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 10:48:18 PM »
Use a pizza knife that extends beyond the edge of the entire diameter of the pizza. Give it a quick slam and cut right through it. You will probably still get some "chipping" but I don't see any other way around it.

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 12:28:47 PM »
or run your toppings out further,
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Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 02:10:51 PM »
I am with DNA Dan: use a pizza knife.  I have a rocker-mezzaluna style one at home that I use for nearly all my pizzas.  The problem you bring up is exactly why I don't like traditional wheel pizza cutters.  You're better off using kitchen scissors.  :-D

http://www.amazon.com/LamsonSharp-Stainless-Steel-Pizza-Rocker/dp/B00004WGUQ/?tag=pizzamaking-20

http://www.amazon.com/Pizza-Knife-Twin-Handle-Rocker/dp/B0009YDQNK/?tag=pizzamaking-20

http://www.amazon.com/Handled-Pizza-Knife-12-0471-Category/dp/B00125POJ4/?tag=pizzamaking-20
Let them eat pizza.

Offline Smith1026

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 10:15:43 AM »
 :pizza:

Offline VarunS

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 06:31:55 AM »
thanks for the suggestions guys...will look into getting the pizza cutter or the samurai sword :P

i too prefer a thin but slightly chewy crust too what i made which was a cracker crust that makes a snap sound (any good recipes for a thin but not so crispy crust; i am assuming that hydration levels will be much higher than cracker style)


Offline BTB

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 09:09:04 AM »
( i am assuming that hydration levels will be much higher than cracker style)

Not necessarily "much" higher.  I don't know what recipe you used, but if you basically liked it, try upping the hydration a bit.  Like try one at 40% and then 44% etc. until you get one that has the characteristics that you like.  I, too, like a cracker crust that is somewhat crispy and a little soft.''                   

                                                                                          --BTB


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 09:52:53 AM »
...any good recipes for a thin but not so crispy crust; i am assuming that hydration levels will be much higher than cracker style


VarunS,

It sounds like you might be looking for something like a Vito & Nick's, Mack's, or De Lorenzo type of pizza, all of which are discussed on the forum. Another possibility is to take a cracker-style dough and increase the hydration, as BTB suggested. I once did that and discussed the results at Reply 119 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg50909.html#msg50909. In that case, I used a high hydration value, 60%. But, in my experience, a cracker-style crust tends to lose a fair amount of crispiness and to become more ambiguous (a mix of tenderness, chewiness, crispiness and textural variations) when you get to around 45% hydration. So, you might play around with a hydration range of about 40-45%.

Peter

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 01:55:55 PM »
To further affirm what Pete-zza and BTB said, my cracker style crust recipes typically fall somewhere around 42% hydration.  If find the dough easier to work with at that point without sacrificing too much on the texture.
Let them eat pizza.

Offline VarunS

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 07:52:44 AM »
So should i leave all the quantities the same? Only up the water??

I have not heard of those places Pete since I am not from the states. Here in India Dominoes makes a nice thin crust that is a little crisp and a little soft and chewy as well. Looking to achieve something similar.

Thanks guys!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2011, 10:21:51 AM »
VarunS,

I don't know what thin and crispy type pizza Domino's sells in India, or its composition, but I described the last such pizza I purchased from Domino's here in the U.S. at Replies 27 and 28 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.msg48331.html#msg48331. The photo of the entire pizza was taken in the front seat of my car just outside the Domino's store I visited, hence the interplay of light and shadows.

This morning I checked the ingredients list for the current Domino's U.S. thin and crispy pizza crust, at http://www.dominos.com/shared/base/pdf/dominos_nutrition_v2.30.00.pdf, at page six, and the dough formulation is the same as was used for the pizza I purchased except that a small amount of corn starch is now added to the dough.

If you are after a Domino's type of product, you might try one of the dough recipes posted in the same thread as referenced above, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.msg43956.html#msg43956, inasmuch as those recipes, like Domino's, calls for a chemical/yeast leavening system. Alternatively, you can take the DKM dough recipe and reduce the amount of water but leave everthing else the same. Or, if you understand ingredients and baker's percents and working with math, you might use Domino's ingredients list and Nutrition Guide for their U.S. thin and crispy pizzas and take a stab at reverse engineering and cloning one of their thin and crispy crust pizzas. The ingredients for the crust are given as Flour (Wheat, Malted Barley), Water, Soybean Oil, Yeast, Salt, Dextrose, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Calcium Propionate (Preservative). I suspect that the high placement of the yeast in the above list indicates that the dough is frozen. In your case, you would replace the dextrose, which is a form of sugar (but less sweet than table sugar/sucrose), with a comparable amount of table sugar.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and please report back on your results should you decide to proceed.

Peter

EDIT (4/20/14): For a Wayback Machine substitute link for the Domino's pdf document above, see http://web.archive.org/web/20110329144712/http://www.dominos.com/shared/base/pdf/dominos_nutrition_v2.30.00.pdf


Offline VarunS

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 06:36:17 AM »
I did finally do some more experiments.

As suggested I upped the hydration from about 36% to 50%. I used a food processor as my mixing method, pulsed it a few times and then ran the machine for about 30 seconds. This dough came together quite easily . I let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Sorry don't have pictures but I was quite happy with the result. Less cracker like but still nicely crisp and little chewy. I was however happier with the results of my 2nd batch which had the same hydration level but added bread improver as well as vital wheat gluten to my mix. 0.25% and 1% respectively. I am not sure how to describe the difference in both the doughs but my Mum and I both preferred the latter.

The reason for adding these is that the flour we get here in India (A.P. variety) is not of a high quality. This is what I have heard from a few sources (people who work in the five star hotel bakeries)

I did a 3rd batch with 60% hydration and the same mixing process. This dough when rolled very thin started tearing. Perhaps I need to knead this more to develop the gluten?

Also with the first two batches once they are rolled and when I transfer them to the peel they tend to lose their circular shape. Any suggestions on how I can avoid this so I can make pizza look better?

Offline ckollars

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Re: Cutting a cracker style pizza NEATLY
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 02:47:45 AM »
In a breadmaking context (and I assume a pizza making context is similar), whenever I hear "India" and "flour not high quality" it really means "low gluten" (rather than "crummy"). With not enough gluten in the first place, kneading more won't help (unless you know a way to make something out of nothing). One of the best ways to develop what little gluten there is is to just let the wet dough "rest" for a significant amount of time - at least one or two "timeouts" for twenty or thirty minutes while building your pizza, and maybe even letting the ball of dough stay in a cooler all night.

But what will really help (and will probably solve your misshapen problems too) is more gluten. You probably can't get it in your flour no matter what you buy. But you can (and already are) adding it (that's what VitalWheatGluten is); try adding even more of it, 2%-3%. European-style bread loaves have great trouble rising and hanging together at all if total gluten (the amount from the flour, plus the amount from the VWG) falls below about 7%. "Strong" Canadian/American flour can have gluten contents of more than 14%. Your flour probably has around 4%-5%, which is fine for flattish loaves, but needs quite a bit of VWG added to it to make European-style loaves or pizza.

Flour terminology is not at all standardized, either between countries or even between brands in the same country. In the U.S.A. A/P usually means "All Purpose" which usually means nothing more than some mixture of white flours that results in an intermediate gluten content that can both make cakes (although it's a bit on the high side) and make bread (although it's a bit on the low side). In the U.S.A., that term says nothing about moisture content, grind size, type of wheat, mineral content, etc. But in other countries that same term can mean vastly different things. Unfortunately I don't know what it means in India.

(Adding VWG to flour to boost the gluten content isn't _exactly_ the same as having high-gluten flour in the first place. But it's a pretty reasonable approximation, and is probably the only thing you can realistically do.)

You can tell when you get "too much" gluten. When you try to stretch it out into a circle, the dough will just "snap back". And if you manage to bake it, it will be so "chewy" your jaws may get sore.