Author Topic: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust  (Read 7991 times)

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Offline fazzari

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Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:01:37 AM »
I know cracker crusts don't create a lot of excitement, and the thought of a laminated one creates even less excitement, but I wanted to pass on an experiment which made this pizza pretty easy to make.

The recipe:
flour                         100%  I used high gluten this time, but any will work
very hot tap water       45
olive oil                        4
salt                             2
instant yeast                 .75

I made a 25 ounce piece of dough.  Put water, salt, oil, and yeast in bowl....mixed well...added flour...mixed for 5 minutes or until all flour is picked up and a dough ball is formed.  Place dough in a freezer bag and placed in a barely warm oven (115 degrees) for 90 minutes.  The dough now should be a warm, soft, pillow like texture.  I quickly rolled out this dough on my dough board (with rolling pin) to about a 15 by 18 inch rectangle.  I folded this sheet in half and then in thirds to create 6 layers of dough.  Here is where the real experiment starts.  Roll out the six layers as far as you can in intervals, letting the dough relax a couple minutes in between intervals.  When you get it to a little over an eighth inch, stop.   I cut my dough sheet into 4 rectangles, stacked between layers of wax sheets and refrigerated.  (By the way, extremely little bench flour is needed....just enough to dry the board.)

Anytime after about 5 hours of refrigeration, you can take your dough pieces out, and using a little flour, you can roll them as thin as you want them with ease.  Then put back in the fridge for use the next day.

Dress your dough cold, right out of the fridge and bake.

Just to show how easy this works, here is a dough that is sheeted to just about one sixteenth of an inch, and remember it has six layers of dough in it.  This sheet is 10 by 6.5 inches and weighs 4.55 ounces.
Notice the beautiful oven spring, also notice that you see no layers...all you see is tiny pinholes, which means tenderness.

John


Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 12:07:54 AM »
Now, here is a what my regular thickness cracker looks like.  This sheet is 6.5 by 9 inches and weighs 5.35 ounces.  It is baked in my home oven at about 525 degrees.  Again, crisp crust, very tender pizza.  The laminated cracker crust is still one my all time favorite crusts.  By the way, this pizza cooked in a little over 5 minutes, the ground beef was put on raw...this can only work with good heat transfer!!
John
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 12:10:08 AM by fazzari »

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 08:34:19 AM »
John,

Your thoughts about a laminated cracker crust are interesting. I didnít know the tiny pinholes mean tenderness.  Your pizza looks delicious!   :) Thanks for your workflow and formula on how to make a laminated cracker crust.

I never experimented with a laminated cracker crust before.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 11:09:51 PM »
Have you ever tasted a great one Norma or been anywhere that they serve them?

John

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 12:02:02 AM »
Have you ever tasted a great one Norma or been anywhere that they serve them?

John

John,

No, I have never tasted any cracker crust that I know of.  I donít think any pizza business around where I live sell any.  At least not that I am aware of.  I have always been curious to try to make one, but never got around to doing it.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 11:22:07 AM »
1/16" is pretty thin. I usually drive mine to about 3/8" but there is a "gummy layer" there. It's interesting about the thickness because I have seen this influence the "puffiness" of the dough. I have a hard stop on the sidewarm of my sheeter adjustment arm so I am always making the same final thickness. At 1/16" it's almost like you're making a crispy flatbread or naan bread. I'm sure this puffs up very easily. Your pizza looks great. I wish I were local so I could try one!

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 11:46:02 AM »
I know cracker crusts don't create a lot of excitement...

According to the "Pizza Cognition Theory""http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/12/sam-siftons-pizza-cognition-theory.html" cracker crust should be my perfect pizza. That's because the first real pizza I ever ate was at Shakey's in Palm Springs, California when I was a tyke. We used to go there my after older brother's Little League baseball games. I do remember the thin, crispy crust rather fondly.  When I went to college, we used to use up all our spending money at the Round Table pizza place near school.  Again, fond memories and great flavors.  But despite all that, I've only tried to make it once or twice, whereas I make NY style all the time.  I think maybe it's time for me to get going on the cracker crust style and learn more about it. Your method sounds so easy, I think I can give it a go. 

Thanks, Fazz, for the inspiration. If I make anything worthwhile I will post some pics. 

Regards,

Tin Roof

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 11:15:15 PM »
1/16" is pretty thin. I usually drive mine to about 3/8" but there is a "gummy layer" there. It's interesting about the thickness because I have seen this influence the "puffiness" of the dough. I have a hard stop on the sidewarm of my sheeter adjustment arm so I am always making the same final thickness. At 1/16" it's almost like you're making a crispy flatbread or naan bread. I'm sure this puffs up very easily. Your pizza looks great. I wish I were local so I could try one!
Dan
I normally don't go down to 1/16 of an inch.....I only did it to illustrate what can be done with a rolling pin if one wants too. My dough is usually about 1/8th inch.    As for the hard stop, it's not reliable in a commercial situation because the flours can change on you causing your dough to sheet out differently.  So, we shoot for weight...for example our 16 inch skins weigh about 20 ounces...so, there might be weeks we use the exact same numbers on our sheeter to accomplish this....but there are days, we have to change the numbers for each bag of flour we use....this is what makes this crust so hard to keep consistent.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 11:19:49 PM »
According to the "Pizza Cognition Theory""http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/12/sam-siftons-pizza-cognition-theory.html" cracker crust should be my perfect pizza. That's because the first real pizza I ever ate was at Shakey's in Palm Springs, California when I was a tyke. We used to go there my after older brother's Little League baseball games. I do remember the thin, crispy crust rather fondly.  When I went to college, we used to use up all our spending money at the Round Table pizza place near school.  Again, fond memories and great flavors.  But despite all that, I've only tried to make it once or twice, whereas I make NY style all the time.  I think maybe it's time for me to get going on the cracker crust style and learn more about it. Your method sounds so easy, I think I can give it a go.  

Thanks, Fazz, for the inspiration. If I make anything worthwhile I will post some pics.  

Regards,

Tin Roof
Tin Roof.
Just go for it...it's very easy, and the food is a great reward.
John

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 01:27:34 PM »
John,

What type of oven are you cooking in? Is this just stone convection or is there a radiant element in there. I still have some issues getting toppings to singe like that in my Bluestar oven, even at 500 degrees.

Seems like most commercial places are using a radiant heat conveyor system for this style now. I know Round Table used to use a rotating stone convection oven, but has switched to the radiant convery as well.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 01:29:45 PM by DNA Dan »


Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 03:09:11 PM »
Dan
The pizzas above were baked in my General Electric home oven.  I have a layer of quarry tiles on the very top rack and I bake on those.  At work we use basic Blodgett decks.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 07:46:30 PM »
A chef friend of mine has been bugging me to teach him to make a laminated cracker crust.  As I was putting the steps together in my mind, I had a thought which might be the clincher for this technique which I will share a bit later.

First of all the recipe:
flour              100.00%
water              45
IDY yeast           .75
salt                  2.00
oil                    4.00

I measured out the ingredients to make a 35 ounce dough

Put all of the dry ingredients in my mixing bowl, and mix well.  Add the water and oil (the water is as hot as your tap will give you).  Mixed in my Kitchen Aid on lowest setting for 3.5 minutes (just until all of the flour gets picked up and dough starts to ball.  The dough came off the mixer at 90 degrees.  I then put the dough in a lightly oiled plastic bag and placed in a slightly warm oven for 45 minutes.  The dough came out at about 100 degrees....it was spongy, very soft..perfect for use with a rolling pin. I then took about 1 minute to roll this dough piece as thin as I could on my dough board (about one eighth inch thick).  I then folded this dough so I would have 6 layers.  I then took about 5 minutes to sheet this piece to between one quarter and three eighths inch.  The trick here is to let the dough rest in between your bouts with the rolling pin.  Most of the 5 minutes is rest time for the dough.
John

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 08:04:14 PM »
What flour are you using?

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 08:20:46 PM »
The next step is to divide your dough sheet into pizzas....I simply split mine in 4.  I took each dough piece and stacked between wax paper and placed in the fridge to rest.  After about 2 hours in the fridge, I took out my doughs to prepare them for their final journey to one eighth inch thickness.  I remembered long ago while browsing on King Arthurs website, that they had some silicon rolling pin rings so that you could get the exact thickness you are looking for...I bought them, and placed the one eighth inch ring on my rolling pin.  The point is this......the dough, which had been resting in my fridge for 2 hours took all of 20 seconds to get to exactly one eighth inch thick.  I then restacked them and put them back in the fridge for a feast tomorrow night.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 08:22:58 PM »
What flour are you using?
Dan
This batch I am using a high gluten flour, but I've had similar success using bread flour, I even used 00 flour once, just to say I did.

John

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 08:40:34 PM »
John,

Thanks so much for posting your methods and formulation.  ;D

I havenít been able to make a successful cracker style dough to this date.  I will be watching this thread and hoping I can finally make a decent cracker style pizza.  If I use your formulation what temperature would I bake in my deck oven?

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 08:51:58 PM »
Hi John,

Thanks for the excellent tutorial.  I really love cracker style pizza but haven't made a lot of it so far. But I am going to give this a go this weekend. 

Regards, 

TinRoof

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2012, 10:06:31 PM »
John,

Thanks so much for posting your methods and formulation.  ;D

I havenít been able to make a successful cracker style dough to this date.  I will be watching this thread and hoping I can finally make a decent cracker style pizza.  If I use your formulation what temperature would I bake in my deck oven?

Norma
Norma
We'll be cooking these tomorrow night and I'll be sure and give the details....I will probably start  first one out at 550 and adjust from there.  Sure hope this plan comes together.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2012, 10:09:40 PM »
Hi John,

Thanks for the excellent tutorial.  I really love cracker style pizza but haven't made a lot of it so far. But I am going to give this a go this weekend. 

Regards, 

TinRoof

Great, give it a try.  You know, of all the pizza I have ever eaten, when this crust is done right, it is easily one of the better things I've eaten.  And, I have to say, some of the crackers I make at home are as good as the ones using  a sheeter.  Go for it

John

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolving thoughts on a laminated cracker crust
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2012, 11:21:31 PM »
Norma
We'll be cooking these tomorrow night and I'll be sure and give the details....I will probably start  first one out at 550 and adjust from there.  Sure hope this plan comes together.

John

John,

Great to hear you will be cooking these tomorrow night and you will give the details.  Thanks for telling me what temperature you will start at.  I sure hope it all comes together too.  I really like the idea of not using a sheeter since I donít own one.  I will have to buy some of those little rings you have.  I had such a hard time determining what thickness I had when rolling out the dough before.

Your pictures really help!  :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!