Author Topic: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up  (Read 1731 times)

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Offline mitchjg

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Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« on: March 27, 2011, 10:14:24 AM »
Having some folks over the house in a couple of weeks and we are going to make pizza.  I am thinking of using a recipe that I found in one of my cooking magazines but wanted to invite comments and feedback.  The dough is made in a food processor, formed into a ball and refrigerated for 1 -3 days.  Makes 2 - 13 inch pizzas.  Bread flour is recommended as well as table salt.  I used the Lehman calculator to look at the ingredients in the standard format here:

Flour (100%):    467.6 g  |  16.49 oz | 1.03 lbs
Water (64.7%):    302.54 g  |  10.67 oz | 0.67 lbs
IDY (.33%):    1.54 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.51 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
Salt (1.17%):    5.47 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.98 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
Oil (2.9%):    13.56 g | 0.48 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.01 tsp | 1 tbsp
Sugar (1.72%):    8.04 g | 0.28 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.02 tsp | 0.67 tbsp
Total (170.82%):   798.75 g | 28.17 oz | 1.76 lbs | TF = 0.105
Single Ball:   399.38 g | 14.09 oz | 0.88 lbs

As I looked at the "Lehman guidelines" in the calculator, it looks like the hydration is a little over the suggested range as well as the oil.

I have usually had good luck with this magazine but would really like your feedback.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »
Mitch,

In the recipe you used, were weights given for the major ingredients, especially flour and water, to allow you to convert the recipe to baker's percent format?

For a straight dough without using a stretch and fold here or there, I would say that 64.7% hydration is on the high side for bread flour unless you have a lot of experience with working with wetter doughs or unless you anticipate using a fair amount of bench flour. Remember, also, that almost 3% oil also contributes to the "wetness" of the dough. You perhaps can "squeeze" more water into the flour by sifting the flour.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 11:27:36 AM »
Hi Peter:

Yes, the recipe actually provided weights and/or teaspoon measures.  Specifically, it was

10 oz bread flour
1 2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp IDY
1 tsp salt (table)
1 Tablespoon oil
2 tsp sugar

They said it should make a 2 - 13 inch pies

They (Cooks Illustrated) do describe a well floured counter top with the ball generously coated with flour when shaping.  So, I guess that is where the hydration level goes down.

Given I usually use the Artisan Bread in Five doughs for pizza, I am definitely used to (but not necessarily loving) using high hydration dough.  I always flour like crazy when forming a dough with those recipes.

thanks,
Mitch

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 11:35:12 AM »
Mitch,

Are the flour and water quantities correct? If the flour weighs 10 ounces and the water is 1 2/3 cups, the calculated hydration is over 100% (around 135% by my calculation).

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 11:46:48 AM »
I am so sorry.  I typed way too fast.

The recipe specifies 3 cups = 16 1/2 ounces bread flour
1 1/3 cup water (which they describe as about 10 1/2 ounces)

- Mitch

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 12:24:02 PM »
Mitch,

I appreciate the clarification. I was worried there for a moment.

Perhaps the best way to proceed at this point is to give the recipe a test drive before your guests arrive. That way, you can also see how much bench flour your dough may need in order to be workable without sticking to your peel or anything else. You might also check to see if 1.17% salt is enough. For me, it would be on the low side and produce a bland tasting crust.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 12:38:58 PM »
Peter:

I agree on the test drive (I was planning one but want to get as close as I can) and the salt.  In my limited experience (the doughs I described), they call at least 50% more salt.

A VERY sheepish addendum.  I re-read the recipe.  It called for 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, not 1.0.  Yikes.  Peter, you are amazing.

Thanks again,
Mitch
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 02:18:43 PM by mitchjg »

PaulsPizza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 05:38:24 PM »
Evening Mitch,

Good luck with the pizza party, please may I offer my own advice...... Do fewer but better pizzas.. let the oven get back to full tilt before baking a new pie. Do 4 pizzas that blow their socks off rather than 8 that are...mehh..
I used to churn them out every 15mins in my 220 C oven..= cr@p...
Let the oven (if it's a standard home oven like mine) have a good 30-35minute rest between bakes.
The only thing in your recipe that I would change for my preference is up the salt and lower the sugar.

Good luck,

Paul
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 05:49:56 PM by PaulsPizza »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 06:25:39 PM »
If you plan on 2 pizzas, make four doughs.  That also means have 4 pies worth of ingredients.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 08:43:59 PM »
Paul, thanks, great advice.  I have made 2 or 3 in a row before and the gap was probably 20 minutes.  I do recall that the first was better than the last!

I am actually thinking of trying a series of smaller pizzas on the grill.  Have read about it, but not tried it.  I suspect there is a long list of disadvantages.  I think the advantage is I can turn each one around a bit more quickly and have helpers to keep the flow going.

Definitely will not do it without a test run.  I have 2 weeks to figure it out.

Tscarborough:  I assume you mean you are an optimist, the pizza will be very good and all will want more!
Actually, for "brunch", how much pizza per person?  I was thinking 2 people per pizza, i.e. we will be 10 people, inlcuding 2 teenagers, so I was thinking of 4 or 5 pies.

- Mitch


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 11:03:31 PM »
No, I was being a pessimist, and 2 of the 4 would be disasters (story of my life).  For pizza dinner, I figure 2 pies for 3 people, for pizza parties, 3 pies for 5 people, using 14-16 inch pies and side dishes.

Offline mitchjg

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Tonight was the test run with the Cooks Illustrated dough.  We made 2 pizzas, one in our oven at about 525 or so, the other in our Breville Toaster Oven (with the Breville pizza stone) at 450.

I had some trouble getting them both past 11 inches, with a goal of 13.  I resorted to the rolling pin but tried to be prudent.  

Both came out very good.  The one in the oven was great! Big puffy rim, awesome taste.

The one in the Breville was quite acceptable, good rim, very good taste, but not as good as the other.  There was less oven spring as you may expect.  I doubt if I helped matters because I opened the door about 3 times during the bake (I think it was 12 minutes).

I did walk away from the second for about 5 minutes since it would not cooperate.  That was helpful.  I was able to roll it to 13 inches with very little effort.

Although the Brevilel toaster oven pizza was not as good, I am still considering making pizza in both so i can turn them out a bit faster when our guests come over.  

Question 1 :  If, after forming the pie, would I be able to partially overcome the lesser oven spring by waiting 5 or 10 minutes before dressing and baking?

Question 2 : Although terrific, I also noticed that the slices, unlike from previous pies I have made, did not have any drooping at the tip - they were more stiff.  Is there a cause / adjustment you can suggest? 

Thanks!!!!

- Mitch

PS While I am at it, I am also testing the virtues of freezing pizza.  There was only so much my wife and I were able to eat!  There are several slices in Foodsaver bags in the freezer waiting for another day.

I need to exercise............and eat less......but make another pizza.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 11:56:08 AM by mitchjg »

Offline mitchjg

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Follow up questions - Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 11:12:28 AM »
My guests are coming over next weekend.  As a rehearsal (and because I hope to enjoy the rehearsal results  ;D ), I have another dough ball in the refrigerator right now.  It has been in there around 14 hours and I plan on using tomorow after a 48 hour rise.  As I read and re-read the many helpful posts in this forum, a couple of items, that I think important, have occurred to me.

The Cooks Illustrated recipe calls for dividing the dough and reforming into two balls after the refrigerated rise and then letting them rest, oiled (spray like Pam) and covered, on the counter for 1 hour before forming the pizzas and baking.  Perhaps this is why the doughs were a bit hard to handle because they were so elastic - more handling than needed and not enough warm up time.

Does that sound right?  If so, then

1 Should I remove the dough from the refrigerator now, divide and reform two balls now and then place back in the refrigerator until tomorrow?  Then, I would remove them two hours in advance tomorrow, remove from bags, cover and leave undisturbed until forming the pizza?

2 For next weekend, if I am better off dividing into balls right away after making the dough, then I need a good way to refrigerate and ferment 6 separate balls at once.  Is it ok to put each oiled ball in its own ziploc bag? (I do not have room for 6 bowls).  If so, can I pile the bags up in one large bowl?  Is there a better way to cold ferment several balls at once in a relatively compact space?

Thanks so much in advance.  I am learning as much as I can here and, despite my research, suspect I am still not reading enough posts.

- Mitch

parallei

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2011, 06:07:41 PM »
Hi Mitch,

I can tell you what I do.  Others will offer their thoughts, I'm sure.  I typically ball the dough up before it goes into the fridge.  Like many here, I use small lightly oiled plastic containers.  I've use lightly oiled plastic zip lock bags with good results also.  A couple of hours before I'm going to bake, I remove the containers from the fridge, remove the balls from the containers (gently) and put the balls on a very lightly oiled half sheet (or sometimes individual shallow soup bowls if it is a high hydration dough).  Then I cover loosely with very lightly oiled (read Pam) plastic wrap.  For me, this works better than removing the balls from the containers after two hours at room temp, especially if it is a high hydration dough.  But that is just me.  If you look at some of Bill/SFNM's videos he just plops them effortlessly out of the containers when ready to form the skins. I tend to make a mess when doing this.

If you are easily distracted and flustered like me, here's a tip:  When I do a numbers of pies for a group I find it helpful to make a list of the pies and their toppings, in the order I'm going to bake them, stuck right at eye level where I'm working.  It helps for me!

Paul

 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2011, 07:19:45 PM »
Mitch,

I have paid attention to this topic for several years. And, over that time, I can only recall one instance where a pizza operator cold fermented the dough in bulk and then did the division after the cold fermentation. In that case, the reason for the bulk cold fermentation was the lack of adequate cooler storage space. Also, after the bulk dough was divided into pieces, the pizza operator used a sheeter or roller to form the skins, which were then placed on carriers, such as pans, disks or screens. So, the condition of the dough didn't really matter all that much.

The above said, in a home environment, there are dough recipes that allow for a bulk cold fermented dough to be divided a few hours prior to using to form skins. A good example is Peter Reinhart's Classic dough recipe at http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/92-classic-pizza-dough-neo-neapolitan-style.html. However, that recipe calls for a hydration of 75%, and the dough can also include a fair amount of oil and honey if desired, which will make the dough even softer and more manageable. Such a dough stands a much better chance in my opinion of being capable of division after cold fermentation than less hydrated doughs. In your case, with a hydration of almost 65%, you might be able to manage a division of the bulk dough after it has cold fermented. However, if it were my dough, out of an excess of caution I think I would do the division up front, right after the dough has been made rather than after a bulk cold fermentation. Since a bulk dough ferments at a different rate than individual dough balls, I would perhaps reduce the amount of yeast a bit or use cooler water, or something like that, to compensate for the different fermentation rates.

With respect to managing several dough ball in the refrigerator as opposed to one large one, I would perhaps use zip-type storage bags to hold the dough balls individually and find spots in the refrigerator to store them. I would try to evacuate as much air from the bags as possible to save on space. I would not stack them all in one big bowl or on top of each other.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Thanks All! - Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2011, 10:20:11 AM »
After 2 days of cold fermenting, we made a pie (and more) last night.  It came out great!

My wife said: "This is the best one you made so far.  Your cousins (all New Yorkers and none of us live there anymore) will love it!"

 :chef:

In preparing and baking, these are the items that I thought may be noteworthy:

  • I used 1.5 tablespoons of oil rather than 1.0 in the recipe.  Perhaps it is my poor understanding, but my thinking was it would help make it easier to stretch the dough.
  • The final temperature coming out of the food processor was only 67 degrees.  I assume it was that low because, not only did I start with ice water, but there was a 10 minute rest after combining the flour, water, yeast and sugar and before adding the salt and oil for the final mixing.
  • I separated the dough into balls after removing from the refrigerator.  But, rather than wait an hour, per the recipe, I waited almost 2 hours.  The dough temperature was at or almost 70 degrees.
  • This time, the dough was much easier to form into a 13 inch round.  I assume it was the extra wait time.
  • Per the recipe, but contrary with most recommendations I have read in this forum, the pizza was baked on the stone on the highest rack.  It preheated for 2 hours at 500.
  • I swore to myself I would not peek (much) while baking.  The recipe called for a 10 to 12 minute bake and I checked for the first time at 8 minutes.  Good thing, it was almost (or actually) done.  I saw the back was getting done much more than the front, so I rotated it and then took out at 9 minutes.

The pizza came out terrific.  After we started eating, I decided to grab my iPhone and snap a couple of pictures.  Please excuse the poor quality.

As long as I was at it, I tried another pie, a 7 ounce / 9 inch (dates, cheese, prosciutto) in the 450 degree toaster oven.  It came out good, nothing to be ashamed of, but not nearly as good as the oven pie.

And, with the last 7 ounces, I baked a boule at 450 for 20 minutes.  Wow, very good!

I am ready for next week!
Maybe I will back down on the oil to the recipe level.

I will divide the dough before refrigeration.  I bought a stack of cheapie 5 cup plastic containers.  I think that is big enough to hold rising 14 ounce dough balls. 

Finally, I will keep trying not to peek but probably rotate the pie at 5 minutes and check for removal at 8 minutes.

This forum and the very helpful people are terrific.  I am glad you are here and thanks for your advice and help.

- Mitch

PaulsPizza

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Re: Pizza Party - Do not want to mess up
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2011, 09:27:38 AM »
Mitch, congratulations! that is one tasty looking pizza!!!
When's the next party planned?  ;D
Paul


 

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