Author Topic: My first pizza!  (Read 6220 times)

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Offline cdodson

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My first pizza!
« on: September 06, 2005, 12:03:02 PM »
I'm a new member to the group and this is my first post.  After years of living away from Chicago and wishing for ultimate deep-dish pizza from Giordano's, I finally Googled the words "Giordano's pizza recipe" and found this little group.  I will be forever indebted to pizza masters, Buzz, Burn8, Steve, Pete-zza, DKM and many others who have taken the time to perfect this recipe and post their results.  For the record, I took three days of my Spring Break in 2003 to fly up to Chicago, and live off of Giordano's because I resented the shipping charges they attach to their mail-order pizzas.  Guess I showed them, huh?

My first (and thus far only) attempt was a Labor Day weekend project to prepare for a covered-dish dinner on the grounds at my church this past Sunday evening.  In my last-minute obsession to build the perfect pie, I ordered the 6-in-1 tomatoes, a pizza dish and Penzey's spices...and then realized the orders would not be here in time. 

I wound up using fresh imported Italian mozzerella and parmessian that I discoverd at local gourmet cheese shop...very expensive ($20 for both).  Fortunately my girlfriend owns a set of removable bottom pans that she has used for cheesecakes.
We wound up making two pizzas following a 10-hour marathon of prepping the dough exactly as Buzz described.  I bought fennel, Italian spices and minced garlic from my local grocery along with King Arthur's All-Purpose non-bleached flour.
We browned some Jimmy Dean sausage and added fresh Canadian bacon, pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, broccolini and mushrooms.  Oh yeah...almost forgot...we used fresh tomatoes purchased from a roadside produce stand that we peeled, seeded and drained by hand.  I added a little olive oil and fennel to this topping and topped it off with the parmesian.

The meal Sunday evening included a whole plethora of fine homemade Southern cooking (we're in Mississippi) and just as much dessert.  The thought crossed my mind, "Would anyone notice?"  Following the meal our pastor asked if anything stood out among the rest.  The first answer given was "the deep dish pizza"!  Needless, to say I'm thrilled that the first attempt was such a success.  The idea was mentioned to have a pizza drive for our youth fundraiser so I may be stocking up on supplies soon.  Rooms for improvement for next time:

1) Strain the tomatoes more and use more spices for the topping.  I need a larger strainer.  It was a bit soupy.
2) Use the aged mozzerella.  The fresh cheese was wonderful but it added to the soup-iness.  (I recalled this being discussed elsewhere on this site after this happened.)
3) Use a little more dough than the recipe calls for.  The pans were deep and I felt there were places where the dough was a bit too thin...especially around the top.
4) Keep making pizza!  (I'm not a baker and until now my only specialty was a homemade chicken pot pie.)

Thanks again for everyone's input!  I feel as though I've found some new soulmates.

Carey
Carey

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 12:27:28 PM »
Carey,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on a job well done. The pizza looks superb.

Peter

Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 01:20:51 PM »
That's a good lookin' pie, Carey!

Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 01:26:47 PM »
Thanks nytxy and Pete-zza!  I've been enthralled since I discovered this site.  Pete-zza, I really appreciate the bakers amounts that you posted.
Carey

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Offline DKM

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005, 02:14:28 PM »
Looks real good.

I hope you take some time to do some testing and changing and trying and keep us updated.

Wish I had the time I use to have.  I'm stilling having fun making pizza, just rarely have the time to post about it.

DKM
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2005, 02:15:10 PM »
Thanks nytxy and Pete-zza!  I've been enthralled since I discovered this site.  Pete-zza, I really appreciate the bakers amounts that you posted.

Now go try the Stuffed Crust Chicago style. ;)

Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2005, 02:21:09 PM »
Quote
Now go try the Stuffed Crust Chicago style.

Now that's a thick crust!  It also appears to have an upper crust, no?


Quote
Looks real good.

I hope you take some time to do some testing and changing and trying and keep us updated.

Wish I had the time I use to have.  I'm stilling having fun making pizza, just rarely have the time to post about it.

DKM

This is only the beginning for me.  It does take time...but hey...its worth it.  Thanks for kicking it off with your recipe!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 02:35:57 PM by cdodson »
Carey

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2005, 02:34:04 PM »
Carey,

I'm glad to hear that you found the baker's percents helpful. However, you still don't have another important component--how to calculate how much dough to make for whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pan you want to use. When I was experimenting with buzz's version of Giordano's deep-dish dough, I was using a 9 1/2-inch pan. My thought at the time was to calculate the amounts of dough for different sized pans once I was fully satisfied with the results of the experiments. I still hope to do that, but if you would like, I can probably come up with the basic mathematical expression that, together with the baker's percents, will allow you to make whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pie you'd like. You might even be the one to test out a different size to see if the math works :).

Peter
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 02:23:16 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 02:40:43 PM »
Quote
I'm glad to hear that you found the baker's percents helpful. However, you still don't have another important component--how to calculate how much dough to make for whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pan you want to use. When I was experimenting with buzz's version of Giordano's deep-dish dough, I was using a 9 1/2-inch pan. My thought at the time was to calculate the amounts of dough for different sized pans once I was fully satisfied with the results of the experiments. I still hope to do that, but if you would like, I can probably come up with the basic mathematical expression that, together with the baker's percents, will allow you to make whatever size Giordano-style deep-dish pie you'd like. You might even be the one to test out a different size to see if the math works .

Funny you should say that...the thought had already occurred to me about the crust sizes.  If anyone can nail it, you're the man!  I'll post what I find in the weeks ahead.  But it will probably be more trial by error than my correct math. :P
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 02:48:29 PM by cdodson »
Carey

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Offline Ronzo

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2005, 03:34:15 PM »
Now that's a thick crust!  It also appears to have an upper crust, no?

Yep. Daz right!


The crust was a little thicker than it should be on mine because the formula I used was for a 15 inch pan. I only had a 13 inch pan.

I made due with what I had.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2005, 03:22:22 AM »
This past weekend was a  bit of a pizza marathon for this rookie.  We made five pizzas in all (4 deep dishes and one regular crust).  It was a lot of work and a lot of fun combined.  I am presenting a play-by-play scenario for pointers from you professionals and peer advice for my fellow amateurs.

To start with we prepared the dough on Thursday evening per buzz's recipe and let it rise at room temperature overnight. Five dough balls were prepared.  We increased to 2 cups King Arthur All-Purpose flour with 8 Tablespoons Canola oil, 1 Tablespoon Light Olive Oil, and 8 Tablespoons of water, in which the yeast and sugar was proofed at 110 degrees F.  The dough balls were never refrigerated.  They sat overnight covered with plastic wrap and a hand towel.

After sitting out for approximately 18 hours the first dough ball was punched down and rolled out (with a rolling pin) for the first time on Friday afternoon.  Wax paper was placed on the counter with a sprinkle of cornmeal and additional flour.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2005, 03:26:08 AM »
Then it was placed in a 10" springform pan.  Although initially drooped over the edge, the dough began to shrink so we rolled it out again, halved, quartered and let it rest a few minutes.
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2005, 03:30:15 AM »
Then it was rolled out again.  After placing it in the 10" pan a second time, it responded by shrinking as before so I got creative and borrowed a little dough from another ball and tried to patch it up a bit.  Basically I made a mess.  When I posed the question regarding this earlier Pete-zza and buzz offered potential solutions on this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.40.html
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2005, 03:33:21 AM »
Running a bit short on time, I switched to an 8" pan.  It was being prepared for a family of four so I was beginning to become a bit nervous.  Other food was being prepared so that relieved some of the pressure.

The bottom of the pan was filled with provolone, mozz and fresh mozz.  The fresh mozz was drained the night before, wrapped in cheesecloth and stored in the fridge to reduce the moisture.  I have an order from Grande cheese on its way from http://www.vernscheese.com so for the weekend I had to use what I could find locally.
Carey

The power of cheese

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2005, 03:35:56 AM »
In prior posts I read about how to roast fresh garlic.  My girlfriend encouraged me to give it a try and I'm glad I did.  We peeled the outer layer of a clove, cut off the top, placed it in foil and drizzled approximately 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.  Note that we used cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for this unlike the light olive oil called for in the dough mixture.  We placed this in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.  After it had cooled we extracted the garlic paste from several cloves.  I was told it doesn't take much garlic to season a small pizza.
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2005, 03:38:59 AM »
Our friends have two children that like mainly cheese on their pizzas so we decided to place fresh pepperoni and browned Jimmy Dean sausage on one side only.  The sausage was browned with fennel, Penzey's pizza seasoning (ordered from http://www.penzeys.com) and one shake of crushed red peppers.  Afterwards we drained it by pressing with a paper towel before adding it to the pie along with some fresh roasted garlic paste.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 04:07:40 AM by cdodson »
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2005, 03:47:26 AM »
The next step included adding the 6-in-1 tomato sauce (ordered from http://www.escalon.net).  I did not want to add any seasoning directly to the 6-in-1 after reading what everyone said about the freshness of it so I simply drained it a bit using a strainer and added it to the top.  You guys were right.  You can eat it right out of the can.  The last layer I placed on this pie required a little preparation.  We peeled, seeded and diced a fresh tomato and placed it in the pan with a fresh torn basil leaf, olive oil, more fennel, Penzey's pizza seasoning and one more clove of fresh roasted garlic.  We cooked it down until most of the moisture was gone and placed it on top of the pie.  The aroma was captivating!
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2005, 03:54:28 AM »
This being the first of five pies was the one we let cook a bit too long.  The oven cooks hotter than most and although the pie was not ruined, the crust turned a bit darker than I would have liked and the sauce had that overcooked look that I am use to seeing from our local Domino's.  As fate would have it, the camera batteries died so I didn't get a photo of the final product.  However the pizza itself received rave reviews.

After delivering the meal we went right back to it and prepared the second pie of the evening while the camera batteries were charging.  This one was enjoyed by two teenage girls who pumped up my ego by saying "This is the best pizza ever" and "I think I'm going to choke on the cheese" :)  The pie itself had a more soupy texture which I expected after adding the fresh mozz to the top.  But we prepared it basically the same way as the previous pie.
Carey

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Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2005, 04:03:16 AM »
The following evening we hosted my best friend and his family.  His wife has an allergy to cheese so we substituted pepper jack and cheddar rice cheese on one of the pies since that is all we could find at the health food store.  Next time I'll avoid the cheddar.  A little onion and fresh bell pepper were added.  These two pies turned out better than the day before since we strained the 6-in-1 tomatoes a little more.  I knew it had hit the spot when he looked at me and said, "You could sell this."  It was especially gratifying to hear coming from him since several years prior I had mail ordered a couple of Lou Malnati's pizzas when we were on vacation together.  They had wondered at the time why I just didn't order from Pizza Hut and save the money.  This time they understood what I meant when I bragged on Chicago-style deep dish.

I didn't get a photo of the last pie which was a flattened 13-inch pizza but it turned out well in spite of my poor crust design.  I'm still working on the cosmetics of it all.

Like I said, this has been a fun experiment and at some point I will attempt to prepare a thin crust.  Meanwhile I am considering an after-hours part-time position at a local pizza joint to gain "professional" experience.  The closest place that sells deep dish is in Birmingham, AL, 120 miles away (http://www.tortugas.com).  Maybe I'll take my friend's advice and try to sell it. :)
Carey

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Offline buzz

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2005, 10:55:45 AM »
That's a good-looking pizza! I think 9 TBS oil to 2 cups flour is a bit much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2005, 11:17:50 AM »
Thanks, buzz!  I wonder if the oil overload contributed to the shrinking...
Carey

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2005, 04:09:41 PM »
Carey,

Congratulations on surviving the pizza marathon, and thanks for posting all the photos and the accompanying commentary. I thoroughly enjoyed reading everything.

Like Buzz, I wondered about the 9 tablespoons of total oil for 2 cups of flour. I measured out 2 cups of King Arthur all-purpose flour on my digital scale this afternoon, and I estimate that the total oil logs in at around 34%. Interestingly, when I weighed out 1 3/4 cups of the KA flour and calculated the weight of 6 tablespoons of total oil, which I believe represents the experiment Buzz says he plans to try, I got 33.5% total oil. So, unless my methodology and/or math were flawed, it looks like you essentially performed the dough experiment Buzz is planning to try.

I wondered more about the length of the fermentation of your doughs, all of which was at room temperature. Buzz specifies around 8 hours room-temperature fermentation as a typical case. I would be interested in hearing what your dough looked and felt like after a much longer room-temperature fermentation, and especially if there were signs of overfermentation, such as a very slack dough or one prone to tears forming. I speculate that the high percentage of total oil might restrain the rate and amount of dough expansion and forestall the likelihood of overfermenting, but I don't recall ever using such a long room-temperature fermentation with a dough with so much oil. My practice with Buzz's recipes has been to use a combination of room-temperature fermentation and refrigeration, or refrigeration alone, with a 1 to 2 hour counter warm-up before using. 

In seeing your dough after you rolled it out, folded it into quarters, and rerolled it out again, I was reminded of a technique I used with Buzz's original recipe to try to keep the rolled out dough in a round shape at all stages. Specifically, I took the dough ball, divided it into two equal pieces, rolled one of the dough pieces out into a first round skin, put the second dough piece on top of the first skin, flattened it, and then rolled it out on top of the first skin, effectively forming a "laminated" assembly. After folding in the edges of the two skins and sealing the exposed edges, I rolled out the lamination to its final size to be fitted into the deep-dish pan. In retrospect, I think it might have been better to roll out the two dough pieces into separate skins (round), superimpose them, and then finish rolling out the lamination to its final desired size for fitting into the pan. Either way, the finished assembly would be round at all times, rather than an oblong or irregular shape that results from trying to roll out a skin that has been folded into quarters.

I also tried a three-skin lamination with cold dabs of butter between the layers. That produced an interesting flaky texture in the crust. My experiments were tried with Buzz's original recipe that uses around 10-12% total oil (by my calculation), so I don't know how they will work with a dough with more than double that amount of total oil (by baker's percent). I offer up these possibilities with the hope that you will experiment with them, and possibly benefit from them and improve upon them, in your future efforts. (BTW, I reported on my experiments on the thread where I have been trying to reverse-engineer Buzz's many experiments to find the ideal Giordano's style deep-dish dough.)

I though I might also mention that for your friend who is allergic to cheese there is an alternative that might be worth considering, should you make another deep-dish pie for her to sample. It is a non-dairy, soy-based “mozzarella” cheese. Soy-based mozzarella is a firm, mild (but pleasant) tasting, vegetable form of mozzarella cheese made principally from soybeans. It looks very much like regular mozzarella cheese, shreds and slices just like regular mozzarella cheese, and can be used on a pizza just like regular mozzarella cheese. It will melt without any significant browning and it will be chewy and almost indistinguishable on (or in) a baked pizza from regular mozzarella cheese. However, it will not be as flavorful as regular mozzarella cheese, and certainly not as tasty or flavorful as fresh mozzarella cheese. In addition to being a dairy-free product, it is also lactose- and cholesterol-free, so it offers clear advantages to persons who are lactose intolerant or are on low-fat or low-cholesterol diets. I have used it in deep-dish pies along with regular mozzarella cheese and provolone cheese and could not detect its presence. I have experimented with a few brands (basic soy mozzarella only, not the ones with other things mixed in) that I found at a Whole Foods store. I have not tried soy mozzarella alone in a deep-dish pie, but with all the powerful flavors in such a pie I think your friend will still enjoy eating it.

Peter

 


Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2005, 02:34:14 PM »
Hi Pete-zza,

Wow, I really appreciate the thoroughness of your observations and explanations.  Ever think of becoming a culinary instructor?  It is new to me to think in terms of percentages.  I don't own a set of digital scales but I recall reading elsewhere in this forum that is a required acquisition if one is to take their cooking craft seriously.  I find that many times I need to read your answers several times before it sinks in as to what you are referring to.  I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you.

Next time I roll out the dough, I will try the double roll dough ball idea you suggested.  I do recall reading the triple layer roll that you did on your thin crust.  I've earmarked it for when I roll out a thin crust pizza.  There is a lot of basic concepts of baking that I'm just now starting to be aware of.  For instance, I didn't know that by allowing the dough to rise at room temperature that you are actually allow the dough to ferment.

Thank you for the cheese suggestions.  I had asker her if she could have soy and she explained that it gives her headaches.  That is when she told me that she can eat rice-based cheese.  In speaking with my friend last night it turns out that she ate the whole thing after she took home 2/3 of it.  Maybe she liked the cheddar after all.

I made three more pizzas yesterday (sorry, no photos).  This time I cut the oil back to 6 TBS.  The pizzas themselves were lighter.  The crust would have been fine had I not left them in the oven too long.  I used the oven at my work and did not anticipate that it would be done so quickly.  Rookie mistake.  ??? In the two ovens I've used so far I'm finding that 20-23 minutes is the ideal cooking time.
Carey

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2005, 03:37:05 PM »
Carey,

Thank you for the compliments. I'm happy to help you in any way I can.

I was thinking of percentages when you made your recent doughs because I knew from my research on deep-dish doughs that the range of oil by baker's percent (the ratio of the weight of oil to the weight of flour) is something like 4% to 25%. When I calculated that your use of oil was over 30%, that jumped out at me because I had never seen that high a percentage for deep-dish in the literature. Adding over 40% water (by weight of flour), it struck me that the dough would be quite wet overall. That is why I wondered what the dough looked and felt like when the time came to use the dough.

FYI, the fermentation process essentially begins when the yeast in the dough is fed by sugar and, through a series of steps not material here, produces carbon dioxide--which is what causes a dough to rise--and alcohol. The sugar comes from several sources within the flour itself (there are enzymes that help extract the sugar bound up in the starch) and from any sugar or other sweetener that is added to the dough ingredients at the outset. The fermentation can take place entirely at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or a combination of both. The fermentation process will be slower in the refrigerator, because of the lower temperatures of a refrigerator, but the process is still taking place. It's only when the yeast runs out of food (sugar) that the dough starts to head south and to degrade (overferment) and possibly collapse. In your case, 18 hours of room temperature fermentation (plus any added counter time) would be considered long for a dough made with all-purpose flour. That's why I wondered whether your dough might have overfermented, or whether it was spared that result because of the very high (by normal standards) amounts of oil. Can you describe what your dough looked and felt like when time came to make the pizzas? And whether you experienced any problems with tears forming in the dough as you tried to shape it? I haven't had that experience with a dough containing as much oil as you used, so you will be teaching me something :).

Peter

Offline cdodson

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Re: My first pizza!
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2005, 03:58:15 PM »
Can you describe what your dough looked and felt like when time came to make the pizzas? And whether you experienced any problems with tears forming in the dough as you tried to shape it?

Peter

It is a bit challenging for me to describe the difference in the dough given my novice level of working with dough.  However I can say that to a minor extent the dough appeared somewhat "sweaty".  I didn't really  notice any tears but there were places where it seemed to stretch thin.  One other key fact I discovered yesterday is this: I'm not using All-Purpose Flour after all.  I was reading over the label and what I have is King Arthur's Bread flour.  Another rookie mistake. :-\
Carey

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