Author Topic: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF  (Read 141210 times)

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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2005, 09:38:33 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2005, 09:46:11 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2005, 09:48:48 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2005, 09:50:09 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2005, 09:52:23 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2005, 10:20:54 PM »
pft,
I believe you are correct about the mixing and stretching techniques being paramount to making a quality pizza.  No doubt, these are two fundamentals that must be executed well in order to achieve success.  I also believe that the mixing techniques can be adjusted in order to achieve different results.  So far with my experimentation of using an autolyse, I have found that it changes the character of the crust in different ways, sometimes to my liking and sometimes not.  I also believe the combination of the use of autolyse with a variation of hydration % is an intriguing one.  I have a sense that autolyse may work best for lower hydration percents and it might encourage more of a breadlike affect (too much spring) when used with higher hydration percentages.  Although this is just an hypothesis on my part right now, not a proven fact.  I plan to continue my experimentation of autolyse, non autolyse, and various hydrations percentages in order to better determine the effects of these combinations.

One thing we have to make sure everyone on the forum understands - heat and flour are the two biggest factors in crust taste and texture, in my opinion.  A16 does not use an autolyse and it is the finest pizza I have ever eaten.  I am convinced this is because of the use of their flour (Caputo) and a wood burning brick oven that runs at close to 900 degrees.  If you take either one of those factors out of the equation, you don't have the same pizza.  I'm not sure I would say that autolyse and mixing techniques rate as high as the two aforementioned factors.

As I continue to pursue an A16 clone and to improve my abilities in Neapolitan pizzamaking, I also want to get a better handle on the best ways and times to use an autolyse.  As I said, I believe that it has benefits in the right situations, it's just a matter of better understanding when to use it and when it might be better not to use it.  That's why my next A16 experiment will include an autolyse.  While A16 does not use one, I believe that it may enhance the rim spring for the pizzanapolitana recipe in a conventional oven. Essentially, trying to use an autolyse to "artificially" create a lighter, more springy crust in the absence of high heat.

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2005, 10:53:01 AM »
I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts on potential effects that use of an autolyse and room temperature rise might have on the A16 experiment.  While I plan to experiment with both methods, it would be interesting to gain feedback from people on the expected outcome and then compare it to the actual results.  As I noted in my previous post, I wonder if autolyse might create a sort of "artificial" lightness and spring to the crust for those of us who don't have the luxury of a high heat cooking source. Of course, the other possibility is that autolyse has a totally different affect on the crust - I'm not really sure.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2005, 01:58:29 PM »
Friz,

I view autolyse as being independent of whether a dough undergoes fermentation at room temperature or during retardation, since the effects of the autolyse are pretty much determined and fixed by the time the dough is kneaded. I also do not believe that we fully understand the implications of autolyse in the context of making pizza dough because of the limited experimentation to date. An added complication is that the term "autolyse" has come to mean different things to different people (more on this below).

The first reference I could find at this site to autolyse in the context of pizza dough was a post by YoMomma in August 2003. In January of 2004, Randy and others also talked about autolyse in the context of pizza dough, and shortly after I became a member of the forum, I discussed autolyse in the same context. I thought to try autolyse based on my experience in using the technique in breadmaking, which is where the concept of autolyse originated. The idea was that maybe autolyse would also be good for pizza dough.

My starting point with autolyse was the classical one--the approach I have since come to learn (from DINKS) was invented by Prof. Raymond Calvel, the author of Le Gaut de pain and widely considered the world's foremost expert on French bread. He wondered what would happen if one combined just flour and water and let it rest. No yeast or preferment would be included since they would start to ferment and acidify the dough and, in the process, reduce the effectiveness of the enzymes (e.g., protease) that attack and soften the gluten and which do this most effectively in a more neutral pH environment. No salt would be added either, since it would cause the gluten to tighten and thereby hinder the dough's development and hydration. What Prof. Calvel discovered is that autolyse resulted in a dough with better hydration, gluten development and softness. The effects of these improvements were to shorten the overall mixing time, increase the dough's extensibility, and produce a bread with a creamy colored crumb and better aroma and flavor. 

One of the early criticisms of the Calvel autolyse in a commercial environment was that the autolyse rest period meant having to stop the mixing process for the duration of the autolyse. Ultimately, bakers came to alter the Calvel autolyse in many ways to get around this concern, even though what they did in their alterations in many (if not most) cases could no longer be technically called an "autolyse", at least as contemplated by Prof. Calvel. Yet the term "autolyse" remained and is commonly used today to describe just about any period of rest, no matter when, how or where it is implemented. Fortunately, doughs seem to benefit from any period of rest and will have some of the characteristics envisioned by Prof. Calvel in his work. But, in any given situation, it is not entirely clear what attributes or benefits of autolyse are actually achieved.

I have gone through the above explanation to stress the importance of distinguishing between the various forms of autolyse used in our experimentation, whether it is in the A16 or other contexts, since the different forms of "autolyse" will not produce the identical results. Additionally, if we are too loose in our terminology or defining our procedures, we will not get clarity on whether autolyse is good or not for pizza doughs. The ultimate objective is to determine which sets of steps and sequences produce the best final results for our pizza doughs, whether it is for doughs that undergo fermentation at room temperature or in a retarded environment or whether the pizzas are baked in high-temperature ovens or in standard home ovens. It's quite possible that we will learn that autolyse is more effective for one kind or style of dough than another, or one kind of flour over another, and that it is not a cure all for all our pizza dough ills, but rather another useful tool to use in our quest for the perfect pizza.

Peter


Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2005, 05:48:02 PM »
Peter,
As usual, you have summed up the autolyse idea so well it really needs no further commentary.  Just a fantastic overview of the evolution, logic, and usefullness of autolyse.  Thanks for the background and I totally agree with your assessment that autolyse is a tool that can be effective in certain situations and, in other situations, one would be better off going without it.  The challenge is to ultimately determine, as you stated, when and when not to use an autolyse.

Now, can you lead me/us to the specific autolyse technique you referred to in your last post?
Thanks,
Friz

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2005, 08:47:43 PM »
Friz,

My inclination is to start with a basic autolyse and, from there, try other forms of rest periods.

I have recently been experimenting with a variation of the Calvel autolyse as was brought to my attention by fellow member DINKS. I most recently used it for a Lehmann NY style dough. Basically, the Calvel autolyse approach as I have been using it entails combining one-third of the flour, one-third of the water, and the yeast (commercial or a preferment), following which the dough is subjected to an autolyse rest period of 30 minutes. Then the rest of the flour and the rest of the water are added to the dough and thoroughly combined, and the process is completed by adding the olive oil (if used) and kneading that into the dough (about 2 minutes), and finally the salt. The dough is then kneaded, for about 6-7 minutes (at the 1 setting), or until the dough achieves the desired characteristics (shiny, smooth, elastic and tacky). At this point, if the dough is to be retarded, it can be subjected to another rest period (not technically an autolyse at this point) of about 15 minutes before placing the dough in the refrigerator.

You will note that the yeast is added early in the process. This is generally considered acceptable since most yeasts, such as IDY or ADY (proofed), don't start to act quickly and most likely will still be "dormant" during the autolyse period. If I were to use cake yeast, as most likely was used when the concept of autolyse was born, then I would add the cake yeast later in the process (before adding the oil and salt) because it acts faster than the dry yeasts and could produce the acidic condition that is to be avoided as much as possible when implementing the autolyse. When combining water and flour, I recommend that the flour be added gradually to the water, as the stir setting of the stand mixer. You will also note that the final knead time is a bit shorter than usual. This is because one desirable end result of using an autolyse is to reduce the total knead time. Using the shorter overall knead time, especially at low mixer speed, also reduces oxidation of the dough and thus preserves carotenoids and other elements in the flour that contribute to the color, aroma and taste of the finished crust.

While I haven't done it, it may also be possible to combine all of the flour, water and yeast at one time (gradually adding the flour/yeast to the water) and, after the autolyse rest period, add the oil (if used) and finally the salt.

As alternatives to the above approaches, I would also consider trying the methods, including the use of rest periods, that pftaylor and Varasano have been using with their respective doughs. The approaches used by pftaylor and Varasano are similar but they have enough differences to warrant considering them in relation to the Calvel approaches discussed above. It's possible that they may produce even better results than the Calvel approach. After all, the Calvel autolyse was developed for use in breadmaking and not for making pizza doughs. Consequently, it is possible that it is a rest period in a generic sense that is really important and it may not matter whether the rest period is part of the autolyse or not.

Peter
 



Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2005, 10:14:24 PM »
Peter,
I look forward to trying an autolyse for a Neapolitan pizza with Caputo flour soon.  In all honesty, of the six pizzas I made and the variations incorporated with each, there really wasn't much difference at all in the final product.  Variations included 58% hydration vs. 60.8% hydration, .05 oz. of ADY vs. 0.1 oz. of ADY, 1 teaspoon of EVO vs. no EVO vs. only drizzling EVO on the finished dough ball.  All of these variations seemed to produce subtle, but almost identical results.  So, the better question at this point is to try to determine which factors that were CONSTANT that may have contributed to the high quality end product of each pizza.  Here are some thoughts and I look forward to any feedback on what folks think might have been key factors in the successful outcome of each pizza:

1.)  Mixing technique was identical for each dough - no autolyse, mixed in KithenAid Artisan mixer on 1 speed.  Minimal mixing was done, only until all ingredients were thoroughly mixed.  2 minutes of hand kneading was used at the end of each mixing procedure.

2.)  A 40 minute counter rise was used before refrigeration.  Initially, I planned for a one hour counter rise, but a skin began to form on the dough and that scared me so I decided to cut the counter rise time short.  If someone can tell me if the skin formation is harmful and, if it is, how to prevent it, I would be eternally grateful.  After the counter rise a refrigeration of 24-72 hours was used.  The pizzas that had a longer refrigeration seemed to have a bit more flavor, but the difference between the long and short refrigerations in this case was negligible.  More intriguing to me was the counter rise before refrigeration.  I had never used this technique and I wonder if this had anything to do with the incredible manageability of this dough when forming.  Or if it affected taste or texture at all.

3.)  The stretching techniques were identical to those used by the pizzailos at A16.  Basically, the  dough was stretched almost exclusively on the bench with a short, ten second hand toss near the end of the stretching process.  Stretching was so easy and such a pleasure with this dough, I think my 6 year old son could have stretched it just as easily as I did.

4.)  Every pizza was cooked in a conventional gas home oven at 550 degrees on a preheated (1 hour) pizza stone.  Each pizza was cooked for just over 5 minutes each.

Last but not least, I knew that I reached new heights with my home pizzamaking (thanks primarily to the Caputo flour) when my wife woke up this morning at about 7 AM, rolled over and said, "I'm craving one of those pizzas you made over the weekend."  I wish I could report that she woke up and shortly after was craving a "cigarette", but I just wasn't that fortunate this morning. ;D

Nonetheless, being the loving husband that I am, I defrosted my last Caputo dough that was frozen on Sunday night and made it this evening.  Pictures are attached.  This dough froze beautifully and, again, I couldn't notice any difference between the "fresh" and "frozen" dough.  Actually, my wife said she preferred tonight's effort the best of all six attempts.
Friz

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2005, 10:21:34 PM »
pizza - defrosted dough

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2005, 10:26:32 PM »
slice

Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2005, 10:31:27 PM »
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Offline friz78

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2005, 10:34:57 PM »
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2005, 10:41:30 PM »
Friz,

The pizza looks great, and tasty to boot.

Since you haven't yet tried the autolyse, it will be interesting to see what results you get when you get around to trying it.

As for the crusting problem, the obvious solution is to brush the dough with a bit (only a small bit) of oil. Another approach is to use a proofing box or similar container with moisture/humidity added (like putting a cup of boiling water in the container--with the dough uncovered). A third approach is to put the dough into a plastic storage bag with a zip closure and blow up the bag using a straw and closing the bag as soon as it has been inflated. I think you could also do the opposite--suck out all the air--but you may have to coat the interior of the top of the bag so that the dough doesn't stick to the bag.

If any of these suggestions work, merely "grateful" will be sufficient--not "eternally grateful"  :).

Peter

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2005, 04:28:56 PM »
So are you telling me in a 25 pound batch of flour it should be 11.2 OZ of salt? By the way your pizzas look great!!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2005, 10:40:04 PM »
Mike,

Your math is correct. A 25-lb. bag of flour is 400 oz., and 2.8% of 400 oz. is 11.2 oz. The salt baker's percent is higher for Neapolitan doughs. If you read back in this thread, you will find some of the reasons.

Peter

Offline pieguy

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2005, 11:59:12 PM »
1750 g Caputo Pizzeria flour (roughly)
1000 ml water (100 F)
40 g salt
30 g e.v. olive oil
5 g IDY

hydrate yeast 20 min, mix 10 min, proof room temp until triple volume, punch & fold. Put in cooler for 48 hrs.
260 g portion, proof gently for 6 hours, shape, cook. Oven should be 750 F with live flame.

good luck.

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Re: Re-Engineering A16 pizza in SF
« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2005, 10:20:54 AM »
pieguy,

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for the recipe.

I have a few questions about the recipe. I calculate that the recipe makes almost 11 dough balls and that each dough ball weighs a bit over 9 ounces. Can you tell me what size (diameter) pizza a single dough ball makes? Knowing the answer to that question will allow me to calculate the amount of dough and ingredient quantities that fellow member Friz would need to make a 13-inch test dough should he decide to try your dough recipe as part of his A16 reverse engineering project.

Also, I note that you hydrate the IDY. Is there a reason for this--in other words, why don't you just mix the IDY into the flour? I also notice that the amount of IDY your recipe calls for is far more on an equivalency basis than the yeast (cake yeast) usually called for in Neapolitan dough recipes (from Molino Caputo and elsewhere). Is there a reason for this? (I wondered whether you meant to say cake yeast rather than IDY.)

A final question about the recipe. Can you tell me where the recipe comes from and what it is about the recipe that you feel makes it worthy of trying?

For those who prefer the U.S. system of weights and measurements rather than metric, I have calculated the baker's percents and converted weights from metric to the U.S. standard.

Pieguy's Caputo 00 Recipe

100%, Caputo 00 pizzeria flour, 61.73 oz.
57%, Water (100 degrees F), 35.30 oz.
2.3%, Salt, 1.41 oz. (a bit over 7 t.)
1.7%, Extra virgin olive oil, 1.06 oz. (about 6 1/2 t.)
0.29%, IDY, 0.18 oz. (about 1 2/3 t.)
Total weight of dough: 99.67 oz.
No. of dough balls = about 11
Weight per dough ball = a bit over 9 oz.

Peter