Author Topic: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust  (Read 7764 times)

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Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2012, 01:24:08 AM »
OK, I made up a batch of dough tonight. It's in the fridge cooling off. Tomorrow I will roll it out and we'll see what we get. 

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2012, 02:49:00 PM »
OK, I made up a batch of dough tonight. It's in the fridge cooling off. Tomorrow I will roll it out and we'll see what we get. 

Regards,

TinRoof
Please tell me it's already laminated......
John

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2012, 07:06:27 PM »
Yes, I did it just like you suggested, although I forgot to use hot water so that made it a bit harder to roll out the dough. But it was actually not that hard. 

One question for you: should I dock the dough before baking?  I know in some cases they do dock cracker dough but since you didn't mention it I assume not.

Thanks! 

TinRoof

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2012, 08:28:42 PM »
Yes, I did it just like you suggested, although I forgot to use hot water so that made it a bit harder to roll out the dough. But it was actually not that hard. 

One question for you: should I dock the dough before baking?  I know in some cases they do dock cracker dough but since you didn't mention it I assume not.

Thanks! 

TinRoof
You can if you want...I never have!!  Also I'd finish thinning my skins sooner rather than later, to give your skins time to regas.  Also, these skins are good for about 3 days, after that they go downhill rapidly.

John

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2012, 08:36:45 PM »
I'm going to bake my pizzas tonight, so they should be great. I thinned them out last night so they should be a bit puffed up by now.  I'll take a photo or two and post them.  What temperature do you recommend I bake them at? My oven goes to 550 and has convection if I want.  
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 09:40:44 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2012, 12:22:34 AM »
I'm going to bake my pizzas tonight, so they should be great. I thinned them out last night so they should be a bit puffed up by now.  I'll take a photo or two and post them.  What temperature do you recommend I bake them at? My oven goes to 550 and has convection if I want.  

You shouldn't see any puffiness....bake them cold, right out of the fridge...I baked a bunch at 550 tonight. 

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 12:51:32 AM »
I love it when a plan comes together!  I would like to reiterate the thought processes used to come up with the procedures for this crust.  Laminated cracker crusts are made with sheeters, which easily roll sheets of dough which have been folded to form layers.  At home, all we have is a rolling pin, but if we modify our processes abit it is really fairly easy to make a laminated cracker crust.  I think it is important to know exactly what is happening in a cracker crust.

From "Formulas and Processes for Bakers" by Samuel Matz.

"Layering and reduction (thinning) processes improve the grain and texture of the finished product by reducing the size of large gas bubbles and by forming many nuclei for steam evolution as a result of subdividing pockets of entrapped air.  These actions are separate from the fat layering effect and will occur even in the absence of any laminating medium such as shortening, although the latter may facilitate steam entrapment when it is present as a discontinuous phase.  The practice of braking cracker or biscuit doughs to improve texture is based on these considerations, although dough development is another important result of such procedures".

So, two things are happening...we are improving texture AND we are developing dough.  The problem is that if one works his dough too much (because of using a rolling pin), the dough becomes tough and in my mind..not worth eating.  So, the first thought is....severely undermix the dough since the act of laminating will also develop the dough.  The second thought is..warm dough is much easier to sheet than cold dough, so I recommend mixing the dough in as hot as tap water as you can get, and then letting the mixed dough rise in a warm oven to keep it warm.  Don't be alarmed if the dough gets too warm....once you start the sheeting process, it cools off quickly.  So, the very first step upon taking the warm dough from the oven is to sheet it quickly to a very thin layer...one eighth inch to one quarter inch....this will take a minute at the most.  Then fold your sheet into at least 6 layers (I have experimented with differing numbers of layers, and 6 seems to be the magic number on the bottom side.)  Take your time thinning the six layer dough, it will take a little more work, but if you let your dough relax, it will yield to your rolling pin.  You need only get the dough to about one quarter inch.  Now cut your skins, and stack them between parchment or wax sheets and wrap in plastic wrap so they don't dry out and place in the fridge.  After your dough has totally relaxed (maybe 2 hours or so), take it back out of the fridge and finish thinning it to one eighth inch.  This job will take maybe 20 seconds (very easy).  I have found that silicon rolling pin rings work magnificently at this job....just put on a pair of one eighth rings and go for it.  Put your skins back in the fridge and let them sit at least a day.  When ready to make pizza, simply pull a skin from the fridge, dress it and bake.....(never take a skin from the fridge and let it warm up)

So, here are how my skins turned out.  By the way, one of the skins was 10 inches by 6 inches and weighed 6 ounces for a thickness factor of .10 which happens to be exactly what we make with sheeters.  Although it might seem that rolling 6 sheets of dough to one eighth inch skin, would make a very dense, crisp, hard skin....the opposite is true....look at the oven spring...these skins have a thin crispy bottom, a soft middle and are simply a joy to eat.
John

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2012, 09:01:59 AM »
John,

Thanks so much for going into such detail of the process of making a laminated cracker crust without a sheeter.  In the next few weeks I want to try your methods.  Did you use your home oven or a commercial oven for the pizzas you just made?  Your pies look beautiful!   ;D

I have read other writings of Samuel Matz, but donít understand every thing he has written.  Thanks for explaining how Samuelís writings pertain to a laminated cracker crust.

Norma
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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »
I cooked up my cracker crust pizza dough last night and here are some photos. The pizzas were really delicious.  I might add a tiny bit more salt to the dough next time, and maybe just a bit of sourdough starter for flavor.  My 14 year old daughter loved them.  
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 09:34:22 AM by tinroofrusted »

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2012, 09:58:58 AM »
I'm totally trying this!  Your pies look beautiful! And I really like that you can be creative about different shapes for the pie.  I have a 7 year old boy who has a birthday pizza party coming up, and some toy-themed pizza would be a big hit.
       I plan to 1st use up some frozen doughballs made according to the Marcello's clone recipe, then the next time try strictly using your dough and methodology.   It will be interesting to see what difference the two initial dough mixing and proofing processes make.   (Marcellos made a very close PJ's crust- not really my favorite, so I have to do something with all these doughballs.)

What are your thoughts on using shortening in between laminations?  I ask this because I am a fan of the Shakey's thin crust, and thats my understanding of how it was made. 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2012, 01:39:52 PM »

What are your thoughts on using shortening in between laminations?  I ask this because I am a fan of the Shakey's thin crust, and thats my understanding of how it was made. 


Read reply #26 by John. This explains what's happening in a laminated crust really well. The pockets are generated by trapped air which generate steam when cooked. It's not a fat separation as you get with a croissant dough.

John, you've done a great job of translating this style for the average person without a sheeter. Kudos to you! It's still a bit more work than say a NY style, but just like you I agree the extra work is totally worth it!

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2012, 01:51:52 PM »
I'm totally trying this!  Your pies look beautiful! And I really like that you can be creative about different shapes for the pie.  

Thanks Pizzaneer. I have to confess I did not plan to be creative on the shapes, they just came out triangular due to the way I cut the sheets. I'm going to try to pick up a set of those rolling pin guides this weekend.  I noticed King Arthur is out of them but I think that Sur La Table probably has some.  

This recipe is really pretty easy, and the results are very much worth trying.  I was a big fan of Shakey's many years ago, and this kind of reminds me of those pizzas.  Thanks again to John for the great tutorial. It really makes it very accessible for those of us with little experience with this type of pizza. 

I searched for Marcello's clone recipe but couldn't find it. Can you post a link to that thread?  

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2012, 05:50:53 PM »
I'm not actually sure where I got that Marcello's clone recipe from.  I've been reading so long and saving so many recipes the sources have gotten lost or confused.  I have a vague idea it's from Essen1's thread.   Regardless, here is the recipe.

*******
Marcello's clone


Flour (100%):    430.53 g  |  15.19 oz | 0.95 lbs
Water (65%):    279.85 g  |  9.87 oz | 0.62 lbs
IDY (.6%):    2.58 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.86 tsp | 0.29 tbsp
Salt (1.5%):    6.46 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.16 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
Oil (3.5%):    15.07 g | 0.53 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.35 tsp | 1.12 tbsp
Sugar (1.5%):    6.46 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.62 tsp | 0.54 tbsp

Total (172.1%):   740.95 g | 26.14 oz | 1.63 lbs | TF = N/A

Single Ball:   370.47 g | 13.07 oz | 0.82 lbs
******


Please note, this makes a LOT of dough as given - scale using the percentages if you just want to give it a try.  IMO, it resulted in a bready crust with good color, good flavor, but very little cornicone or large airy bubbles.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...  I note that if the shortening is not incorporated in the flour, but is brushed on between laminations, it could be viewed as a "discontinuous phase"... sounds like a little psychological terminology, but w/e.  John, is this something you've tried?  I'm only asking because of A: insatiable curiosity, and B: I have all these dough balls to use up.

thanks
Brian

Oh, just had a thought - maybe some thick O-rings would do the same job as the rolling pin guides.  I happen to have a pile of underwater photography stuff.  If I didnt have that, then the faucet seals from a garden hose look really similar.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 05:55:15 PM by pizzaneer »
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2012, 07:31:40 PM »
Oh, just had a thought - maybe some thick O-rings would do the same job as the rolling pin guides.  I happen to have a pile of underwater photography stuff.  If I didnt have that, then the faucet seals from a garden hose look really similar.

I just went out at lunch time and bought some of the spacer rings at Sur La Table.  So I will give them a try this weekend. 

Thanks for the recipe.  I will give it a try too. 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2012, 11:33:46 PM »
John,

Thanks so much for going into such detail of the process of making a laminated cracker crust without a sheeter.  In the next few weeks I want to try your methods.  Did you use your home oven or a commercial oven for the pizzas you just made?  Your pies look beautiful!   ;D

I have read other writings of Samuel Matz, but donít understand every thing he has written.  Thanks for explaining how Samuelís writings pertain to a laminated cracker crust.

Norma
Norma
I baked these in my home oven..on quarry tiles....I still cover the very top rack with the tiles so the top of the oven traps all the heat...it kind of makes an oven in an oven.  While doing all kinds of experiments on the cracker crust...I wondered why it was called a cracker crust, and found the explanation by Matz.  It seemed as good an explanation as I've ever been able to find.  There simply is not alot of information on lamination and cracker crust.  Never in a million years would I have thought this was possible at home, but this website kinda urges you on.....and I know "YOU" know what I mean.

John

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2012, 11:36:52 PM »
I cooked up my cracker crust pizza dough last night and here are some photos. The pizzas were really delicious.  I might add a tiny bit more salt to the dough next time, and maybe just a bit of sourdough starter for flavor.  My 14 year old daughter loved them.  
Hey, looks like a great job....what flour did you use?..How hot was your oven?  The bottoms look good, they look nice and tender.  How were they to eat, crispy?, chewy? tender?

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2012, 11:40:49 PM »
Read reply #26 by John. This explains what's happening in a laminated crust really well. The pockets are generated by trapped air which generate steam when cooked. It's not a fat separation as you get with a croissant dough.

John, you've done a great job of translating this style for the average person without a sheeter. Kudos to you! It's still a bit more work than say a NY style, but just like you I agree the extra work is totally worth it!

Thanks Dan
An added benefit of this crust....if you get it right that is....the transfer of heat from the bottom to the top is fantastic, which allows one to use raw meats on his pizza.  I love this....using fresh Italian sausage on a pizza is to die for. 

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2012, 11:42:58 PM »
I just went out at lunch time and bought some of the spacer rings at Sur La Table.  So I will give them a try this weekend. 

Thanks for the recipe.  I will give it a try too. 

Regards,

TinRoof

The neat thing about using the rings is that it takes away the fear of sheeting to thin..  Having said that, it is better to have a skin a bit too thin than a bit too thick.
Good Luck

john

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2012, 11:52:47 PM »


Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...  I note that if the shortening is not incorporated in the flour, but is brushed on between laminations, it could be viewed as a "discontinuous phase"... sounds like a little psychological terminology, but w/e.  John, is this something you've tried?  I'm only asking because of A: insatiable curiosity, and B: I have all these dough balls to use up.

thanks
Brian

Oh, just had a thought - maybe some thick O-rings would do the same job as the rolling pin guides.  I happen to have a pile of underwater photography stuff.  If I didnt have that, then the faucet seals from a garden hose look really similar.

Brian
The lamination process is the means to an end...it is the means by which the nuclei are formed for the steam production...as Samuel Matz informs us.  I think we all get misled by this process, because in a good skin, you don't "SEE" any layers at all.  I've never tried putting shortening between the layers, my goal has always been to have a nice moist dough (no flour), so that the layers become one.

John

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2012, 07:20:49 AM »
John, after thinking about the lamination process, I thought I would post what it reminds me of- Croissant dough.   Croissants have to be one of my absolute favorite things to eat.  I could eat them for breakfast, as sandwiches for lunch, and now, thanks to you, as pizza for dinner :)  The real difference would seem to be leaving out the butter in favor of Crisco, which doesnt have a strong flavor.

Croissant Dough
Ingredients

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Directions

Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.
Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.
Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.
To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.
Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F (245 degrees C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes.



Of course, I will try your current recipe without alterations.  You're pioneering an interesting new style (which could conceivably be called Croissant Crust), and thank you so much for sharing it.
regards,
Brian
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


 

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