Author Topic: Cracker Style for busy shop  (Read 2665 times)

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Offline FredFlin

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 03:43:16 PM »
Our flour comes in 12,5kg bags, so 1 bag and we measure 5 liters of water


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 05:35:28 PM »
My thinking (and I love to hear your thoughts) is the more water the weaker the base ie floppy... Less water = a crispy base, but not enough water a very hard base. No yeast again a hard more compact dough. Light, thin and crispy with a bit of strength so it does flop is this possible?

"Hard more compact dough" is vague and open to interpretation, especially since you're talking about using dough without yeast.

After sitting around for a few hours at room-temperature, a low hydration yeast dough certainly feels softer than the same dough without yeast. However, I pretty much always think of dough stiffness as the stiffness of dough immediately after mixing, rather than how it feels after it rises. So under those terms: Yeast does not affect the stiffness of dough, but it can affect the rigidity of crust. And based on the results of my unleavened experiment, I feel pretty confident saying yeast affects crust rigidity in a completely opposite way than what you seem to be thinking.

Yes, more water (or higher hydration percentage) = more flop potential. But to me, lower hydration percentage translates to crunchy, not necessarily crispy. Also, hydration is not the only factor that determines a dough's potential for crispy/crunchy vs. soft/floppy. In fact, I don't even think it's the biggest factor, as I'll try to explain.

Based on the results of my experiment with yeastless dough vs. unrisen yeast dough, I can tell you that stiff, yeastless dough does not translate to crispier or crunchier crust than unrisen yeast dough. In fact, my results showed the complete opposite. After making only a few pizzas out of yeastless dough, I can say with a high degree of certainty that I would never consider using yeastless dough again. Especially in a commercial environment. Just by including yeast in the dough, without giving the dough any time to rise, my pizzas were crispier and crunchier than pizzas made of identical dough with no yeast. The pizzas made of yeastless dough were floppy, watery, tasteless, and unmarketable.

In the end, my experiment told me that no yeast leads to soft, floppy, wet crust, even with low hydration dough (40%). Yet in this experiment, as well as in other pizzamaking adventures, I've made countless crispy crusts out of yeast dough ranging from 40% hydration to 65% hydration.

If you choose to offer pizzas made of yeastless dough, I feel pretty confident predicting that the pizzeria won't be busy for long.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 05:37:50 PM »
Our flour comes in 12,5kg bags, so 1 bag and we measure 5 liters of water

If I did the conversions right, 12.5 kg of flour with 5 liters of water comes to 41.46% hydration. If you're measuring everything correctly, that should be a pretty stiff dough. However, I can imagine the stiffness would change considerably if you're using cake flour (which I've never used). So I can't tell you what's going on there, and I doubt that anyone else will be able to help you without more details.

So hopefully you will think of some other important details that you haven't revealed yet.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 05:43:14 PM »
Very nice info from your experiments Ryan. thanks,
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Offline FredFlin

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 06:43:50 PM »
First not talking about not using yeast, I too do not want go yeast less. I'm after, lighter crispy, base that cracks when you cut it very similar to what I had in my photograph a short while back and if I understand what you are saying more crisp not crunch.

About the mixing it really is just that 12,5 kgs flour, 5 liters of water... We also of course add the mysterious spice pack I spoke about in my earlier post which contains yeast, salt and whatever else our franchisor feels like they would like to add. ( I will find out soon). I've never weighed the water, was taught at school 1L of water = 1kg. I'm obviously doing my calculation differently to work out the hydration, I was simply dividing 5 by 12,5 x 100= 40 I guess that's wrong

(FYI: In my earlier post when I said the dough was sticky that was after 12 hours rising time not after mixing)which I translated into to much water?

Quote
hydration is not the only factor that determines a doughs potential to crisp and crunch......


So maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree... I'm not after crunchy like a biscuit, definitely crispy and thin, flaky is not the right word but more on those lines, cracker ie cracks when cut, shatters almost....

I've found the higher the hydration the more bread like the base became and getting thin and crispy very difficult. The less hydration the more crisp, like the blow hole in my picture, i liked that. But too little hydration became biscuit like crunch, hard heavy and crunchy not light.




« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 06:50:40 PM by FredFlin »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2012, 08:47:20 AM »
Simon, I'd really like to help if I can, but I feel like I've lost track of your objective and I've been saying a bunch of stuff that isn't very helpful. So for the time being I'm gonna back off to keep from creating any new confusion. I just don't want to tell you things that aren't useful, and I feel like I may be doing that.

I'll go back through the entire thread later today to see if I can get a better idea of what's going on with you because I get the feeling you could really use some help, and I don't want to abandon you if there's any way I can help.

Are you in South Africa?

Offline FredFlin

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2012, 01:28:21 AM »
Please and Thanks Ryan, I'll appreciate any help you can give. Once you read the thread if there is anything confusing please ask.

Yes SA Cape Town

Picture of Dough mixed Friday night (white bread 36% hydration) not a lot of rising and we had to add water to work, it was very hard

Saturday we raised the hydration to 44% rose a bit more was easier to work, didn't have to add water before working, crispy base...

Gonna try 48% tonight?

« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:54:52 AM by FredFlin »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Cracker Style for busy shop
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2012, 12:48:08 PM »
Simon,

Having gone back through this thread, re-reading all the posts, here's what stands out to me.

I think a lot of us don't know how to respond to your issues because a lot of things just don't make sense to us. Like the fact that you're a franchisee, yet you seem to have the freedom to stray from the franchisor's standards. In my experience, franchisees never get to make the kind of decisions you're talking about making. Rather, every franchisee must offer a product that is virtually identical to what every other franchisee offers. For example, if I order a pizza from a Pizza Hut unit that I've never been to, I know it's going to taste and feel just like almost every other Pizza Hut pizza I've ever eaten.

So I think a lot of us are confused by your apparent freedom to make changes from the rest of the chain.

Also, 'WFO' and 'cracker' are not usually mentioned in the same sentence, nor are 'WFO' and 'franchise.' When I think of WFOs, the pizza that instantly comes to my mind is Neapolitan. And cracker crust is almost the last kind of pizza I would associate with a WFO. Furthermore, I'm inclined to assume a pizzeria with a WFO is an independent operator, rather than a franchisee. I figure the other people who have read and/or contributed to this thread are pretty much on the same page as me, which is probably a big reason why you don't seem to be receiving the kind of feedback you were hoping to receive.

Based on a lot of what you said early in the thread, I had the impression that you're part of a small chain, rather than a large chain. But then you mentioned using the same recipe for the last 30 years, which made me think it might be a reasonably large chain. So again, I'm confused, and I just can't make much sense of your circumstances.

I can't make much sense of your picture in Reply #10, either. It looks like it might be crackery, but it also appears to have some characteristics that resemble NY style.

Although I don't know much about cake flour (because I've never used it), I feel pretty confident advising not to use cake flour for a cracker crust. You said your only alternative is bread flour, which I consider very appropriate for cracker style.

Based on what you said in the first paragraph of Reply #24, I feel like you're probably looking to go with about 50% hydration; maybe upper 40s. If that ends up being true, and if you use oil, you may want to drop the hydration down into the mid 40s. But don't be afraid to try hydration percentages up to 55%, at least just to find out what happens if you go that high. After a lot of experimentation with cracker style crusts, I've found that sometimes you have to ignore your intuition, because sometimes your intuition is simply wrong.

Your dough picture (in the previous post) looks like it's in the neighborhood of 40% hydration to me. I think the earlier confusion regarding hydration percentage was just miscommunication.

Would you mind writing a new post that basically starts over, clearly stating your main objectives (in a numbered list), as well as addressing some of the issues I've indicated many of us may find confusing? And could you try to include as many details as possible? (Like oven temperature and stuff like that.)


 

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