Author Topic: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?  (Read 3886 times)

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Offline jason83

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I've read most of the threads on here about the risks of using bromated flours in pizza dough.  I am just curious as to how many of you pizzamakers out there use it or not.  Especially the NY style pie makers.  Any feedback is appreciated.


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 03:07:09 PM »
I use both, but bromated is sometimes hard to find. My feeling is that I'm gonna die from something long before I die from bromate in my pizza dough. ::)

Offline jason83

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 04:24:21 PM »
I've been researching it for hours and I'm more confused now than I was when I started.  But, you bring up a pretty good point! 

Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 10:47:08 AM »
It is possible to make authentic NY pizza without bromate.  Bromate makes it very easy, however.   Its a safety net that allows you to over mix...under mix... over proof...under proof, handle the dough improperly etc. and still have a decent pizza.   Of course when you use bromated flour and get everything else right..... well then you have that magic of the NY,NJ,CT places people rave about on this forum.

Its interesting that at high temps (less than 2 minute bakes) bromate actually takes away from the texture that im looking to create.

In general, when I use it, it makes a more tender fluffy pizza, and as the bake times go down and down it can actually make the dough too cottony and light.  

The lightness/fluffyness/less chewy nature of bromated flours allow pizzerias make very well done extra charred pizza without it being too tough.   You see this a lot in the new haven area.   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 10:49:40 AM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 11:05:46 AM »
scott r,

Have you observed the same phenomena, especially softness and tenderness and fluffiness, and particularly in the rim, for doughs with relatively low hydration, for example, in the low 50% range, maybe with a bit of oil?

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 12:28:53 PM »
Yes.  im curious why you ask? of course a dough that dry is never going to be fluffy, but it does seem to help with the tenderness.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 01:17:39 PM »
Yes.  im curious why you ask? of course a dough that dry is never going to be fluffy, but it does seem to help with the tenderness.

scott r,

I asked for a few reasons, two from the past and one more recently.

When Norma and I played around with the Mack's NJ boardwalk clone, we ended up with a dough with fairly low hydration. I could not replicate the dough as well as Norma because I didn't have bromated flour, but Norma had the same flour that Mack's uses, which is a bromated high-gluten flour. Mack's also uses a fat of some sort in their dough, ata the rate of several percent. Similarly, as you know, there are Greek-style pizza doughs that can have a hydration in the low 50% range, maybe with some oil, but still using a bromated flour. I discovered, along with Norma's results, that a low hydration dough need not be stiff or dense. I wondered whether that was because of the use of bromated flours.

More recently, another member, Jamie (Kostakis1985), and I have resumed our previous efforts to reverse engineer and clone the Papa Gino's dough. He has been able to purchase real dough balls from the Papa Gino's near him in Manchester, NH, and I have had him conduct some tests that I introduced over at the Mellow Mushroom thread. One of those tests was to determine the water content (flour moisture plus formula hydration) of the PG dough as a percent of the total dough weight tested. I did some calculations based on the test results that Jamie got and came up with a tentative formula hydration for the PG dough of a bit over 50%. Since the time that you and I and others last worked on the PG clone, PG has added some oil to their dough, maybe a bit over 2%. As you informed us some time ago, PG at that time used the Spring King flour, which is a bromated flour. I also had Jamie do a gluten mass test that I also introduced over at the Mellow Mushroom thread, and it appears that the amount of gluten in the PG dough is consistent with the protein profile of the Spring King flour. As a pizza professional, Jamie has been able to get some Spring King flour. It is this case that was really behind my question. I wondered whether Jamie could expect to get a finished crust and rim that is not dense or excessively chewy if he uses the Spring King flour to make a PG clone with a dough hydration of a bit over 50% plus about 2% oil.

I know you have always been interested in the Papa Gino's dough. If you still are interested, you can read about Jamie's and my latest travails starting at Reply 52 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15978.msg183255.html#msg183255.

Peter

Offline ThatsAmore

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 12:28:18 AM »
I buy Baker's & Chef's High Gluten flour at Sam's Club

It is enriched, bleached & Bromated

50 lb sack is like $18

Baker's & Chef's is a ConAgra label

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=163843&navAction=&_requestid=87292

Hope this helps anyone looking for it.  :chef:
Who put that pie in my eye ?

Online slybarman

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 08:09:24 AM »
I buy Baker's & Chef's High Gluten flour at Sam's Club

It is enriched, bleached & Bromated

50 lb sack is like $18

Baker's & Chef's is a ConAgra label

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=163843&navAction=&_requestid=87292

Hope this helps anyone looking for it.  :chef:

That would be a great option for me as I am a sam's member, but it does not look like any of my local clubs stock it.  :(

Offline Pappy

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 11:41:20 AM »
If there is one single thing for which I owe this forum in general, and Scott123 in particular, my eternal gratitude, it is introducing me to bromated flour.  That advice has really made all the difference.  And as Scott r points out, bromated flour is very forgiving, but when you get everything right, magic happens.

I have been using the bromated All Trumps, and have found, even with its high protein content, that it produces a slacker dough at a given hydration ratio than does a non-bromated flour.  For instance a dough made with All Trumps at 60% hydration with a 30 minute autolyse gives me a dough with the same consistency as one made with Harvest King, with a lower protein content and the same autolyse time, at 65%.

I've been making baguettes as well as pizza, and have noticed that my ideal baguettes, from Can Can Brasserie here in Richmond, VA, are drier than mine.  The classic French baguette uses a 60% hydration, which I have been using as well, but they don't use bromated flour, so I suspect I need to cut back to 55-58% to get the same result.  I'll post in the appropriate forum after my experiments.

I am also, on Scott123's recommendation in this forum, ordering a bag of GM Full Strength flour today, which has a lower protein content than All Trumps.  We will see what happens.

Thank you everyone, again, for your informed postings.



Offline Pappy

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 12:15:40 PM »
Quote
Its interesting that at high temps (less than 2 minute bakes) bromate actually takes away from the texture that im looking to create.

In general, when I use it, it makes a more tender fluffy pizza, and as the bake times go down and down it can actually make the dough too cottony and light. 


I will confirm this observation.  In fact, I think it is no coincidence that bromated All Trumps became the flour of choice for NY-style pizza just as the lower temperature deck ovens came into vogue.  I can get decent results at 550 degrees in my home electric oven with bromated flour that I cannot get without.

I get my best results with bromated flour at about 625-650 degrees with five minute bakes, give or take 30 seconds depending on the climate (I bake on a stone in a Weber gas-fired grill).

scott123

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 01:30:05 AM »
I get my best results with bromated flour at about 625-650 degrees with five minute bakes, give or take 30 seconds depending on the climate (I bake on a stone in a Weber gas-fired grill).

That's fantastic, Mike.  I'm happy that you're happy. Isn't great pizza a wonderful thing  ;D Are you wowing friends and family with your (most likely) better than pizzeria pies?

Full Strength will, as I have mentioned before, be a step up.  There will be a learning curve as you dial in the hydration, but, once you nail it, it will be a very enjoyable mini break thorough- not as dramatic as using bromate for the first time or hitting that 4-5 minute bake mark, but still pretty dramatic.

After the Full Strength, the next thing you might want to start thinking about is steel plate.  1/2" steel plate will give you those same amazing 5 minute bakes you're seeing on the grill, but in a 550 deg. electric oven.

The high absorption value of all Trumps causes it to hold on to a lot of water, creating a moister crumb. You could drop the hydration a bit lower, but I think it's worth experimenting with a more classic approach to baguettes and going with something all purpose-y (11.5ish%).  As bromate happy as I am for pizza, I'm not 100% certain bromate is ideal for baguettes.  Full strength will definitely give you a better baguette, but I'd experiment with something even lower than that.

Congratulations on your pizza successes.

Offline Pappy

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 03:23:16 PM »
Scott, thank you for your kind and enthusiastic response.  My pizza received raves from my Italian Mom and sister, who hail from the Boston area.  My incredibly picky chef roommate has finally given me an A, as well.

Unfortunately, I am only getting B's on my baguettes.  I'll try the Full Strength next, then some Harvest King I have lying around, and if those don't do the trick I'll go lower, perhaps Gold Medal All Purpose.  After reading your post I did further research and found several folks who swear by a lower protein content for baguettes, in order to approximate the French T55 flour.  It makes sense.

At some point I will get around to trying the steel plate.  I know you were an advocate of soapstone for a while, but have backed off that.  Was that because of quality control issues?

Btw, I agree with you about Reinhart, and would extend that opinion to his bread making, as well.  Among other sins, Reinhart grotesquely bastardized Philip Gosselin's brilliant method for making baguettes into his own pain l'ancienne method without explaining the two vastly different chemical processes that occur in each.  He puts diastatic malt in everything even though American flours rarely need it, and uses complicated preferments in too many situations where a simple, extended room temperature rise would do the trick nicely.  As assets in my bread baking quest, I rate his books as useless.

scott123

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2012, 03:21:02 AM »
Mike, yes, I was really gung ho about soapstone, only to learn, the hard way, that mother nature has no quality control. If it comes out of the ground, it has no place in an oven. Steel is it.

That's fascinating information about Reinhart.  I do come from a breadbaking background, but my experience wasn't extensive enough to question Reinhart, so I've always given him the benefit of the doubt in regards to bread.  I normally preface my references to Peter with statement like 'He may know some things about bread, but when it comes to pizza...'  After reading your thoughts, I will no longer be doing that :)

Offline Pappy

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Re: Bromated or unbromated flour for NY Style Pizza Dough...and why?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2012, 10:54:45 AM »
Scott:

Bread Baking, An Artisan's Perspective, by Daniel T. DiMuzio is the best single resource I have found for baking bread (and that includes Hammelmann), and the information it contains is very helpful for pizza making.  DiMuzio is an academic who teaches, I believe, at the Culinary Institute of Virginia College here in Richmond.  This http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11891/q-amp-daniel-t-dimuzio is the interview with him that inspired me to purchase his book. 


 

pizzapan