Author Topic: A couple recipe tweaks/questions  (Read 1267 times)

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Offline stevereigh

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A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« on: February 14, 2012, 03:44:02 PM »
So I tried to search a little through the forums and had a hard time finding the exact answers to what I was looking for, so I would like to ask a few questions.  I'll ask the questions first and then post my recipe/process second for reference.

My third batch came out the best so far, and I've tried a few recipes but want to tweak my most recent (best so far) recipe a little bit to incorporate a few different "taste styles."  I'm shooting for a Neapolitan-esque pizza.  I am smart enough to know I can't totally achieve it in my oven at 550 degrees, hence the -esque.

1. My crust came out "white-ish yellow" around the edge and it just tastes a little too "bready." (It seems to be too dense and not "fluffy" enough)  It doesn't seem to have much "crisp" to it and I was wondering if adding a little oil to my recipe will help this?  I was also considering adding some sugar to the recipe also.

2. I have been using the bread flour or typical white flour from my local grocery shop.  I recently found a place that sells Semolina and bought some of that.  I have been using it to dust the peel for getting in and out of the oven.  Can I put some Semolina in my dough in place of the flour, will that help me achieve what I'm looking for in the airy fluffyness?  I saw somewhere about 75/25 flour to semolina, would that help?

My recipe is quite simple:

100% Flour
65% Water
.75% Yeast
2.5% Salt

I mix it by hand and hand knead it (for now, mixer to come in the near future) and then stick it in the fridge for about 24 hours.  Something I noticed is it rarely changes size over that 24 hour period in the fridge.  I think my IDY is garbage and I have since bought a little can of ADY and will use that instead this next time around.

Thanks for your time! I greatly appreciate the help!

Steve


buceriasdon

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 06:33:03 PM »
Hello Steve, I would like to hear more about the baking routine you are presently using. For example: Pizza stone sitting on bottom shelf preheated for an hour at maximum oven setting. Temp measured @ 550F. on the stone with IR gun. Baked for 8 minutes then moved pizza under broiler for two minutes. What sort of oven do you use? Gas, electric, exposed coils or not. The more details you can give the better. A dough recipe is only part of the equation to the problem of lack of browning but yes, sugar may help.
Don

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 06:53:51 PM »
Hello Steve, I would like to hear more about the baking routine you are presently using. For example: Pizza stone sitting on bottom shelf preheated for an hour at maximum oven setting. Temp measured @ 550F. on the stone with IR gun. Baked for 8 minutes then moved pizza under broiler for two minutes. What sort of oven do you use? Gas, electric, exposed coils or not. The more details you can give the better. A dough recipe is only part of the equation to the problem of lack of browning but yes, sugar may help.
Don
Well I am certainly not that precise as the money is not currently there for an IR gun, so I do my best to keep the oven closed and only open it very briefly.

-Pizza stone is in oven while heating to 550F, I let the oven sit at 550F once preheated for at least 30 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes.
-Pizza stone is in the middle of the oven.
-Pizza is prepared on peel.
-Oven is opened for no more than 5 seconds when placing pizza on stone. (I understand the concepts of heat transfer and heat loss, which is why I hurry the F up when I do this as to keep temp as close to 550 as possible)
-Pizza cooks until cheese starts to brown on top.  I have not timed it, I don't personally like burnt cheese so when I see the brown crust on the cheese starting to form I yank her out.
-I let oven sit again at 550 for a few minutes before I open again to place second pizza in.

It's an electric oven with exposed coils.  I will be moving in a month or two and imagine the situation won't change much...  I hope I got enough details in there, like I stated before my process is rather simple... (though the implication there is not that I can't handle any more amounts of complexity...)

Offline Don K

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 07:40:22 PM »
I would definitely add some sugar. It will help with browning as well as feed the yeast.
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 08:18:03 PM »
I would definitely add some sugar. It will help with browning as well as feed the yeast.
Now I heard you have to break standard sugar down to real sugar? Should I put it in the warm water with the yeast or will it be fine as a dry ingredient?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 08:20:00 PM by stevereigh »

buceriasdon

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 09:01:00 PM »
Thank you Steve for the further information. Turning back to your recipe, your dough won't necessarily expand a great deal while refrigerated, however my understanding is the yeast continues to consume available sugars, though at a slower rate, and your percentage of yeast may be leaving you with little sugars left to aid in browning when baking. I doubt anything is wrong with your IDY and .75% yeast even when moderated with 2.5% salt seems high for an extended cold ferment IMO. No, semolina will not be an aid to an airy crust. I would suggest cutting the yeast to below .5 and try 1 to 2% sugar or honey. You will have greater activity with added sugar even with cold ferment hence the need to cut back on the yeast. What do the bottom of your pies look like?
Don

Offline scott123

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 04:28:16 AM »
I'm shooting for a Neapolitan-esque pizza.  I am smart enough to know I can't totally achieve it in my oven at 550 degrees, hence the -esque.

No offense, but striving for something Neapolitan-esque without the proper oven setup is like striving for something chocolate chip cookie-esque without chocolate chips. The oven setup, imo, is probably 80% of the final product.

Something Neapolitan-esque can be approximated in a home oven, but for most oven owners, this usually translates into oven tricks that will push the oven well above the peak temp on the dial. Some electric oven owners have exceptionally strong/high wattage broilers.  If you're one of this very lucky group (maybe 1 in 200?), then, with the right stone, you can pull off something close. Otherwise, you have to be willing to push your oven above it's rated limits.

If you don't have an exceptional broiler and aren't willing to push your oven to extreme temperatures, then it's time to start thinking NY-esque rather than Neapolitan-esque. Even NY style requires special attention to the oven setup, but it can be done at 550 degrees, with your average electric broiler.  In order to do NY style justice, though, you need a good stone- preferably 1/2" steel plate.

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 02:40:27 PM »
No offense, but striving for something Neapolitan-esque without the proper oven setup is like striving for something chocolate chip cookie-esque without chocolate chips. The oven setup, imo, is probably 80% of the final product.

Something Neapolitan-esque can be approximated in a home oven, but for most oven owners, this usually translates into oven tricks that will push the oven well above the peak temp on the dial. Some electric oven owners have exceptionally strong/high wattage broilers.  If you're one of this very lucky group (maybe 1 in 200?), then, with the right stone, you can pull off something close. Otherwise, you have to be willing to push your oven above it's rated limits.

If you don't have an exceptional broiler and aren't willing to push your oven to extreme temperatures, then it's time to start thinking NY-esque rather than Neapolitan-esque. Even NY style requires special attention to the oven setup, but it can be done at 550 degrees, with your average electric broiler.  In order to do NY style justice, though, you need a good stone- preferably 1/2" steel plate.
That's the catch, I'm a renter right now and can't tamper with the oven...  Maybe I need to change styles a little bit or something, but I'd like to try and achieve a little bit more of an airy crust if possible...

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 02:41:37 PM »
Thank you Steve for the further information. Turning back to your recipe, your dough won't necessarily expand a great deal while refrigerated, however my understanding is the yeast continues to consume available sugars, though at a slower rate, and your percentage of yeast may be leaving you with little sugars left to aid in browning when baking. I doubt anything is wrong with your IDY and .75% yeast even when moderated with 2.5% salt seems high for an extended cold ferment IMO. No, semolina will not be an aid to an airy crust. I would suggest cutting the yeast to below .5 and try 1 to 2% sugar or honey. You will have greater activity with added sugar even with cold ferment hence the need to cut back on the yeast. What do the bottom of your pies look like?
Don
They're a little browned, but look and taste fine.  No burning anywhere on the bottoms...

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 03:09:53 PM »
Thanks guys, I will try adding a little sugar or honey to the recipe and see how they come out.  I will also lower the yeast a bit.  The girlfriend goes out of the country this weekend for almost 2 weeks so I'll be able to eat pizza every day and try toying with the recipe a bunch!


buceriasdon

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 03:56:30 PM »
Take pictures.

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 04:06:57 PM »
Take pictures.
Will do.  Gonna probably make another batch tonight and have a couple of friends over for dinner tomorrow night so we'll see how it goes...

Offline scott123

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 04:39:37 PM »
That's the catch, I'm a renter right now and can't tamper with the oven...  Maybe I need to change styles a little bit or something, but I'd like to try and achieve a little bit more of an airy crust if possible...

Alright, NY style, if done well (with the right stone), can get pretty airy.  Before you take that route, though, you should probably rule out Neapolitan completely by doing two things:

1. Take a photo of your broiler and post it here.  If it's exceptionally powerful, you might be able to pull off Neapolitan.

2. With the door closed, turn your broiler on and see how long it glows red for.  If it glows red indefinitely (longer than 5 minutes) without shutting off, then you might be okay there as well.

Once you confirm your (most likely) broiler inadequacy (for Neapolitan), then it'll be time to go stone shopping, preferably for a 1/2" steel plate. 1/2" steel plate, at 550, will give you as low as a 3 minute bake time, which, for NY, can be pretty darn airy.

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 06:38:54 PM »
Alright, NY style, if done well (with the right stone), can get pretty airy.  Before you take that route, though, you should probably rule out Neapolitan completely by doing two things:

1. Take a photo of your broiler and post it here.  If it's exceptionally powerful, you might be able to pull off Neapolitan.

2. With the door closed, turn your broiler on and see how long it glows red for.  If it glows red indefinitely (longer than 5 minutes) without shutting off, then you might be okay there as well.

Once you confirm your (most likely) broiler inadequacy (for Neapolitan), then it'll be time to go stone shopping, preferably for a 1/2" steel plate. 1/2" steel plate, at 550, will give you as low as a 3 minute bake time, which, for NY, can be pretty darn airy.
Are you alluding to the fact that my current stone is inadequate for NY pizza?  (It's a ceramic one...)

I can almost guarantee the broiler is not exceptionally powerful, the building we live in is owned by a bunch of cheap asses that couldn't care less about having good amenities.  We will be leaving in less than 2 months (basically when get back from South Africa/Paris) to go somewhere else that I imagine also has a sub-par broiler.

These are some very interesting thoughts.  I'm not opposed at all to getting a piece of steel plate, in fact after doing some mild research into it I may end up getting one soon and going from there.

Offline scott123

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 04:41:11 PM »
Are you alluding to the fact that my current stone is inadequate for NY pizza?  (It's a ceramic one...)

Yes.  Retail ceramic stones are inadequate for NY style at typical unmodded oven temps- at least the short bake time airy NY style that you should be striving for because of your Neapolitan aspirations.

For ideal NY bake times, you want to be looking for either

1. 1/2" steel plate- well proven, inexpensive, but a bit heavy.

2. 3/4" silicon carbide- less proven, very expensive, but much lighter.

Offline stevereigh

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Re: A couple recipe tweaks/questions
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2012, 05:53:27 PM »
Yes.  Retail ceramic stones are inadequate for NY style at typical unmodded oven temps- at least the short bake time airy NY style that you should be striving for because of your Neapolitan aspirations.

For ideal NY bake times, you want to be looking for either

1. 1/2" steel plate- well proven, inexpensive, but a bit heavy.

2. 3/4" silicon carbide- less proven, very expensive, but much lighter.


Duly noted.  For now I'm going to keep the ceramic stone because I plan on moving in a month or so.  After I move I'll start the quest to get the steel plate.

Thanks for the info!