I have been working for a year on perfecting my sunday pizza night. Moved from store bought dough to making my own to discovering Varasano, moving to weighing ingredients and fussing with hydration, buying new mixer, generating my own starter.....sending away for starter etc etc. I have kept records of my ratios and how they tasted.
I had started with ADY (the first thing I grabbed at the store not knowing anything about yeast) and always proofed first. My pie's were pretty good! After digesting all of Varasano's thoughts and guidance, learning about starters etc they got even better. Somewhere along the way I noted that Varasono said that modern yeast didn't need to be proofed...just toss it in the dough as you are mixing before autolyse. Great I thought because I found proofing was one more step that slowed me down.
The last 4 months I have had decent tasting dough but kind of dense and a bit too chewy. Couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting good bubbles and crumb. I seemed to be taking a step backward. I tried upping hydration, lowering, changing salt etc. Still underwhelmed.
Then I was doing some reading on yeast and discovered there was actually an INSTANT dry yeast! And that this is what Varasano was talking about in just tossing it in. I excitedly went to the store, got the IDY and mixed a batch last night. Totally different even 10 minutes after the mix. I changed nothing in my normal ratio's and the dough was much smoother and silkier, I could see it growing way faster. I can't wait to cook it!
I know you see IDY and ADY reference all over the place but this was a truly Doh! moment.