Author Topic: Generic American Pizza  (Read 2266 times)

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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Generic American Pizza
« on: January 30, 2011, 07:28:54 PM »
The formula:

Flour: 100% (mix of Canadian bread and AP flour)
Hydration: 70%
IDY: .25%
Salt: 2%
Olive Oil: 3.8%

The technique: Mixed everything together in the mixer, then subjected the mass to the following regimen of handkneading and rests: 3 min. HK, 20 min. rest, another 3 min. HK, a 25 minute rest, and finally 1 more minute HK. Risen further at 81 degrees for another 3 1/2 hours. Baked on stone @ 525.

The result: This pizza achieved the level of colouration you see in the pic after only 8 minutes, at which point it had to be pulled from the oven as some areas had already actually started to blacken. Notwithstanding the depth of browning, it was a bit underbaked and suffered accordingly (the slices were just too floppy and the crust savoured of yeast a bit). On the positive side, it had an excellent, highly open crumb structure (reminiscent of a scaled-down version of Roman pizza in teglia) that stood up very well to the rather heavy topping, and it was soft and light without sacrifice of pull and chew. All in all, a pretty good piece.

If anybody has a clue as to how a crust can at once brown the way mine did and come out underbaked (N.B. there was no sugar or any other additive in it), please let me know.

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic American Pizza
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 07:55:54 PM »
JLP,

Can you tell us what weight of dough you made, the size of the pizza, and the amounts of cheese, sauce and toppings you used?

Peter

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: Generic American Pizza
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 08:16:26 PM »
The total dough weight should have been about 611 gr. or so, for a 15" pie at a TF. of 122.

There was enough sauce to cover the surface up to the cornicone, about 225 gr. mozz (this is a pure guesstimate), 5 strips of par-fried bacon (each cut into 5 pieces), 5-6 sandwich-type slices of pepperoni (each cut into 4 sections), two medium-size mushrooms cut into thin slices, and four green pepper rings. This info isn't all that precise, but it's the best I can do.

JLP
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Generic American Pizza
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 08:57:06 PM »
JLP,

Your numbers on the dough weight, pizza size and toppings quantities do not look out of order. So, based on the totality of the information you have provided, if I were to guess, I would say that it is the high hydration (70%) and oil quantity (3.8%) (that give an "effective" hydration of 73.8%), coupled with the bake temperature of 525 degrees F, that are perhaps responsible for the results you got. I know of no American style dough, of any major chain in the U.S. that specializes in the American style, that use a hydration (effective or otherwise) as high as you used. A hydration of around 56% would be typical with the oil increasing that by a few percent or more such that the combination approaches the rated absorption value of the flour(s) used.

In your case, I would either reduce the hydration or use an oven with a much higher operating temperature that can tolerate a dough as wet as yours. Another possibility that comes to mind is to reduce the hydration and use a longer bake time at lower bake temperature. That should give the dough a chance to dry out and bake more fully. I suspect that the combination of high hydration, which speeds up the fermentation process, and the 4 1/2 hours of fermentation at room temperature (with 3 1/2 hours of that at 81 degrees F) were enough to allow the amylase enzymes to extract the sugars from the damaged starch, and those sugars were adequate to feed the yeast yet allow for crust coloration.

Peter

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: Generic American Pizza
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 09:52:41 PM »
Thanks Pete. The explanation you gave is convincing, as are your suggestions. I too am sure that no normal North American pizzeria is using 70% hydration; I only tried it because I got a very promising result a few weeks back with a dough that was similar and baked at the same temperature, but thicker (TF. 0.14) and baked in a pan (and originally intended as an expression of a wholly unrelated, non-American style).

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)