Author Topic: Portioning  (Read 5017 times)

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Sour_Jax

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Portioning
« on: June 24, 2005, 02:10:10 PM »
Is there a resource out there or just a good rule of thumb for portioning recipes for different size pizzas.

For example: if I use a recipe that says it will make 2-12" pies, but I want 2-14"or 16" pies.

The thing I'm looking for is a way to modify recipes for different sizes without losing the same thickness, and "mouthfeel" (that's a brewing term).
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Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 04:21:46 PM »
Sour Jack,

I described the mechanics for doing this, including how to use baker's percents, at Reply #29 (page 2) at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.20.html. The explanation is for a single pizza of a particular size. If you want to make more of any size pizza for which you have the quantities of ingredients, you just multiply the quantities of ingredients by the number of pizzas you want ro make. I suggest you get your calculator out and follow the steps I laid out at the above post.

If you want to see how to apply the principles to an existing recipe without specified bakers percents, the last time I did this for one of our members was at Reply #5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1152.0.html.

You can also create a spreadsheet to do the math for you.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 24, 2005, 05:11:25 PM by Pete-zza »

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 11:52:12 PM »
I've begun work on a spreadsheet thanks to your advice.  I have at least one more question, is there a general rule for thickness factors or is it an experimental thing.  I would think that there is a guide out there but I have run into a temporary (hopefully) problem of not being able to find anything that I want to find.  Apparently I'm going through a partial brain cramp or something because the pies (all 4) I made tonight were getting 11 out 10 stars, but my ability to do simple search and finds is not showing itself.
The best things in life are free! Salvation being the greatest!

Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

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Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2005, 12:37:38 AM »
Sour Jack,

The thickness factor (TF) is just a number. The expression (3.14 x R x R) gives the square inches of the pizza surface, and TF takes care of the thickness. Somewhere along the way, most likely through trial and error or experimentation, someone decided that a thin pizza should have a TF of 0.10. The TF for a medium thickness pizza is 0.11, and for a thick pizza it is 0.12. I found these values at the PMQ site, in articles by Tom Lehmann and Dave Ostrander, two well known consultants to the pizza trade.

You can come up with your own thickness factor if you'd like. You would have to do your own experimentation to come up with a crust thickness that you like better than using the TF values mentioned above. You would have to weigh the dough balls and do the math to calculate the corresponding TF value. I discussed how to do this at Reply #42 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.40.htm.

Peter

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2005, 11:55:54 AM »
I was hoping that there was an "industry standard" or a "published" guide or rule.  Perhaps that could be something this forum could collectively work on.  It would be great for beginning pizza makers to have a guide to reduce the guessing, in fact I would like to see a website that has waded through this forum and publishes a forum created SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) with a few alternative methods and tips.
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Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

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Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2005, 03:31:50 PM »
Sour Jack,

Can you explain in greater detail what kind of standards, guides or rules you are thinking of--that is, what would they say or do?

Peter

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2005, 04:00:39 PM »
I've been a homebrewer for a couple of years and when I began I did alot of research in fact I have several books on the couch beside me as I type.  In these books there is descriptions of various but "standard" beers of the world.

For Example:
English Brown Ale
Original Gravity (the "sugar" content before fermentation): 1.040-1.050
Final Gravity (the "sugar" content after fermentation): 1.008-1.014
ABV: 4.2-6.0%
IBU (Bitterness): 15-25
SRM (Color): 15-22
Commercial Example: Newcastle Brown Ale

My thoughts are we could take each "Style" of pizza and develop some "standard guidelines" for what that style would be, I guess a more definitive definition of what makes an American pizza and American pizza and not a NY style.

Here's an Example: American
(Note this "example" isn't intended to be accurate just a template, of sorts)

Flour: KASL
Water/Hydration Level: 45-65%
Yeast: 1%
Oil: 2%
Salt: 2%
Sugar: .5%

Thickness factor: 0.120-0.125
etc., etc.

Because pizzas come in a very, very, very wide range of differences this guide isn't intended to be anything other than a very general "generic" guide mostly for beginners, hobbists, and perhaps even use in contests for judging similar styles.

I hope this helps you understand what I'm looking for, perhaps I'm nuts but if this type of thing works for the Brewing/homebrewing industry, maybe it can help us in our pizza making.  Perhaps this could take pizzas to the next level (or maybe I'm just dreaming.)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2005, 04:07:34 PM by Sour_Jax »
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Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

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Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2005, 05:58:25 PM »
Sour Jack,

It would be very difficult to do what you would like to see. Within each style, whether it is NY style, deep-dish, Neapolitan, thin-crust, etc., there are many, many variations--not only in the ingredients used but also in their amounts and the way the ingredients are handled to produce a usable dough. There is no "core" or "generic" recipe for each style and no basic range for each ingredient that might be used, and no standardized dough management procedures. They are all over the lot, and if I were to try to describe a "generic" recipe it would be so general and vague as to be useless. If you'd like to prove this to yourself, just do a Google search for "New York pizza dough recipe".

Also, you would need baker's percents to accomplish what you would like to have. Most of my recipes are recited with baker's percents, but I am one of the few to do this. There are many more recipes recited without baker's percents and where the ingredients are specified in volumes rather than weights. You will have to believe me when I tell you this, but it is very difficult to convert such recipes to baker's percents format and have any assurance that you succeeded. It's too bad that this is so, because with baker's percents and thickness factors, one can manipulate a recipe to achieve the data to make any desired size of pizza. Of course, this means that one has to be able to use these mathematical tools or prevail upon someone else to help with their use. And not everyone can or cares to do this.

The best a beginning pizza maker can do is to try to find proven recipes. Some from this forum appear at the recipe page because they are proven recipes. There are some recipes that are not on the recipe page at the moment, such as the Lehmann NY style recipe, the Raquel recipe, Randy's American recipe, Marco's Neapolitan recipe, and several others, but they are also proven recipes, and most are recited with baker's percents. Making pizzas is all about experimenting and trying to improve our recipes and growing with the experiences. If I were just beginning, I would look at the recipes listed on the forum, make my best judgment as to whether I think I would like certain ones, and then try to make them. A good starting point for this exercise would be to look at the general pizza styles listed on the Pizza Making board.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 25, 2005, 06:12:30 PM by Pete-zza »

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2005, 06:55:10 PM »
I kinda figured as much...I'm coming from the homebrew industry to the home-pizza-making "industry".  Now I've only been actively making pizzas for a few weeks (off and on for over a year though), and the pizzas I'm making are already considered by others (I hope they're being honest) as better than the commercial (Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Chow Time, etc.) Some have said that my pizzas are the best they have ever had. All of this of course, gets dreams of opening a pizzeria and putting the "competition" to shame.

I have a habit of disecting every aspect of something I'm interested in, for example the similarities between beer-making and bread-making are amazing.  The fermentation process in brewing is fundamental to the final product. The type of yeast used, the temperature and length of fermentation has one of the biggest effects on the final taste, for example I could make a 10 gallon batch of wert (unfermented beer) split them into 2-5 gallon batches and ferment them at different temps with different yeasts and there would be an amazing difference in taste.

I said all of that to say this, my theory is that the fermentation process of the dough also is fundamental to the taste of the final product.  In order to fully understand the whole process I have to be able produce a consistent dough (no matter what size), as I told someone last night without a good crust you might as well forget having a good pizza. My belief is that the crust is the foundation of what constitutes a good pizza.  This is why I'm experimenting with my dough using the knowledge I acquired in homebrewing.

In fact here is my latest recipe (note: I haven't worked out the weights, yet)

Phase 1
1. In 1 cup of water dissolve 1/2 t. of Dry Malt Extract (available at homebrew supply stores).
2. Add Yeast (1/4 oz. packet of ADY is what I'm using for now) let sit for 10 min until foamy
3. Stir in 1 cup of flour. Let sit in fridge overnight ~24 hours.

Phase 2
4. Put 1/2 cup of water in a bowl with 1 1/2 t. of Real (or kosher/sea) salt (this is available at health food stores)
5. In this salt water mixture add the phase 1 mixture sitr until dissolved
6. In this mixture add 2 T. of olive oil (optional step, if you have oil), stir
7. Add 1 (2nd) cup of flour mixing well.
8. Repeat step 7. (3rd cup)
9. Add flour as needed (no pun intended) and knead until dough is completely formed

Phase 3
10. Once the dough ball is completely formed and kneaded, place dough in a lightly oiled bowl covering the dough with a light coat of oil.
11. Cover bowl and refridgerate overnight ~24 hours.

Phase 4
12. When ready to use, take dough out of bowl and cut the dough into two balls.
13. Shape dough (while cold), "sauce it", top it, place in a preheated (around 500 deg or better) oven on a pizza stone until done to your liking.

Note: I make the pizza on a cornmeal dusted pizza pan and bake the pizza on the pan until the crust is done enough to slide the pizza off the pan and onto the stone and finish baking it on the stone.  I haven't timed the baking but I think the crust is "silde-ready" within ~3 minutes and completely done within ~3 more minutes
Note: step 13, shaping the dough while cold is easier for me, I noticed if I let it warm up I have trouble handling the dough without it tearing on me I don't know if it is me or if it is my recipe.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2005, 07:41:17 PM by Sour_Jax »
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Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2005, 07:03:32 PM »
Oh, by the way this recipe makes 2-12" medium crust pizzas
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Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

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Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 08:08:56 PM »
Sour Jack,

From what you posted, you used what is variously called a sponge, poolish (the French term) or biga (the Italian term)--a 50/50 mix of flour and water and yeast (and no salt). Usually the sugar (in your case the dry malt extract) is not included in the sponge. Since you are in NC where I suspect it is fairly warm, with the amount of yeast you used (one packet), along with the malt extract, I'll bet that the sponge really rose a lot over the 24-hour period at room temperature, although toward the end it may have collapsed and acquired that "spongy" appearance. The sponge approach is a good one to use for pizza dough, to strengthen the gluten structure and to give better flavor to the crust.

Overall, your recipe looks to be a good one and your technique was proper. I can see why your friends liked the results so much. BTW, what style of pizza did you make and what kind of flour did you use? You didn't mention your new mixer. Did you use it or did you knead the dough by hand? Also, in lieu of using a pan, you might want to invest in one or more pizza screens at some point. I use them for pizza sizes that are bigger than my stone, and slide the pizza onto the stone, just like you did. My times are about the same as yours.

If you decide to get a scale (preferably a digital one), you will be able to convert your volume measurements to weight measurements and then determine the baker's percents. I've done this so many times if you get to that point I can tell you how I do it. The next step after that would be to alter your recipe to whatever pizza sizes you would like to play around with.

Peter

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2005, 09:33:16 PM »
The style was (I'm guessing ) American. (Could have been closer to NY or a mixed style.)

I used:
1 cup of Pillsbury Whole Wheat Flour (used in poolish/sponge)

I put the Poolish/sponge in the refridgerator for 24 hours, it did rise quite a bit over that time.

I decided not to use the mixer, I get better results mixing by hand, and as we've discussed before my mixer is the greatest. Actually Screens are on next my list of To Get things.  The only reason I'm still using the pans is that I can't seem to keep the dough from sticking to the peel I bought.

I bought a scale I just haven't used it yet, and its not a digital. I should have learned from my days in the Mixing department of a large IV plant, we weighed out to .1 of a kg. Now that I think about it I should be an expert at weighing out and mixing ingredients on a large commercial scale, I mixed 39,000 liters of IV solution at a time for about a year. In fact mixing solution is what got me interested in homebrewing in the first place.

Anyway I have to personally thank you for all the info you have bestowed upon me since I joined this site. I can tell you that my pies from a 2 or 3 weeks ago don't even compare to the pies I made last night and I think that has a lot to do with this site and of course your willingness to relay information that you have discovered over the course of your personal pizza journey. Hopefully I can provide info helpful to others as you do for so many others, so anyway thanks.
The best things in life are free! Salvation being the greatest!

Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

visit
www.handbookforlife.com
www.SourJax.net

Pete-zza

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2005, 10:35:04 PM »
Sour Jack,

Thanks. I enjoy helping newbies, so that they don't make all the mistakes I made when I first started making pizzas. I also like diagnosing problems because it makes me really think things through to find the potential causes of the problems.

Now that you have provided additional information on your recipe and technique, I think I can see where you may have run into problems. I think it was mainly the use of whole wheat flour and hand kneading. Whole wheat flour is a high-protein flour and is harder to knead than regular flour, and especially by hand and in a large dough batch size. Four cups of flour is hard to knead well by hand, so I suspect that underkneading may have been the cause of your dough tearing problem. Also, using whole wheat flour tends to lead to a stickier dough, and if you try to compensate by using more flour you can end up with a tough dough the next day when it comes out of the refrigerator. If the dough was sticky when it came time to put it on the peel, I can see how it might stick to the peel. Unless you really liked the flavor from using the whole wheat flour, you might want to switch to the bread flour the next time. If you decide to stick with the whole wheat flour you may have to liberally dust your peel with flour to keep the dough from sticking.

I don't know what style your pizza was. It wasn't a NY style since that style doesn't use whole wheat flour or a sponge. Wolfgang Puck has a pretty good whole wheat pizza dough recipe, although it doesn't call for using a sponge. He usually puts toppings that makes his pizzas California style.

Peter

Sour_Jax

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Re: Portioning
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2005, 10:52:35 PM »
Perhaps I've created a new style, Carolina Style,  . I think underkneading is the problem,  the whole wheat has kinda grown on me, it gives the pies a unique look and may even give it a unique taste.  I tried whole wheat because I had some I needed to get rid of but it kinda seems to have become a signature thing for me, I don't know I'm still playing with it all.  The pies seem to be almost perfect but I have to make them better  I think I'm obsessed .
The best things in life are free! Salvation being the greatest!

Give a man a pizza, he'll be happy for a day.
Teach him to make pizza, he'll be happy for a lifetime.

visit
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www.SourJax.net

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