Author Topic: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza  (Read 37570 times)

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Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2005, 06:50:20 PM »
2. Drain them of excess juice and seeds in a colander, salt to taste, and then in a bowl mix one of the 90g cup portion of sauce with the fresh chopped tomatoes.  That’s your topping for one 14 inch pizza.  For larger size, just increase the amount of fresh chopped grape tomatoes, the 90g cup sauce side can handle it (or if you regularly make bigger pizzas, make larger freezer portions).


Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza continued
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2005, 06:52:37 PM »
Stretching the dough:

If all has gone well, the dough should be very “gassy.”

Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza continued
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2005, 06:54:23 PM »
Using paper towels, pat the dough on both sides to remove the oil.  With the goal of being careful to retain as gas as much as possible, shape the dough:

1. Flour both sides, sit it on the countertop, and being careful not to touch the outer edge, gently push the dough out from the middle, turning the dough 90° four times.  The dough should be about 9-10 inches with a fat edge.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2005, 07:37:22 PM by Les »

Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2005, 06:56:09 PM »
2. Carefully pick the dough up and drape it over your palm, a couple of inches below the edge.  Be careful not to squeeze the edge. 

3. Very, very gently flip the dough back and forth between your palms a few times (sort of like how one makes tortillas), turning the dough as you flip.  The top edge of your palms (thumb side) should be catching the dough right under the edge, but never squeezing it.

   •Keep doing that until the dough is stretched to 14 inches.
   •Because the dough is so extensible, stretching should only take a minute.

If you’ve handled the dough gently, the stretched dough should have lots of tiny bubbles throughout.

Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza continued
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2005, 06:57:34 PM »
4. Take a basting brush and dip it into your sauce-tomato mixture (usually when the mixture sits, a bit of juice separates out, use that).  Liberally coat the edge of the dough with this watery sauce.

Offline Les

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2005, 06:58:51 PM »
5. Next, cover the inner part of the dough with sliced mozzarella cheese, spread the fresh tomato-sauce mixture over the mozzarella.  Shred 1 ounces of provolone cheese and spread that evenly from edge to edge.  The idea is to give a focaccia like taste to the fat edge.

Offline Les

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. . . assembling the pizza continued
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2005, 07:04:36 PM »
6. Bake. I baked it in a dedicated pizza oven, on a preheated pizza stone for about five minutes at 650°.* The top usually won’t char so much with having been coated as it has, so watch the bottom of the pizza. If you use a stone, I suggest keeping it covered with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil until you are ready to bake. Enjoy!
* For beginners . . . most people don’t know you want a really hot oven for most pizza. Conventional ovens only reach 500-550°, so the technique many use is to bake at 500-550 degrees (oven preheated for at least an hour) on a pizza screen on the uppermost oven rack for about 6 minutes, followed by transferring to a pizza stone at the lowest oven rack position for a final two minutes or so to achieve additional bottom crust browning. Enjoy.  8).
   
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 01:09:00 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Les

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Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2005, 07:06:44 PM »
Underneath and sideways:

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2005, 07:40:28 PM »
Les,

I don't know what to say but WOW!!!

That's a masterful job....literate, thorough, comprehensive, analytical, and with excellent photography--like I was reading a feature article in Saveur magazine. I hope my comments and suggestions along the way did not lead to your weight gain :).

As Les pointed out, I also used the ice approach in order to achieve that "meaty" quality to the dough Les has been trying for so long to achieve. However, when I used just crushed ice, I found that I got to the desired 65 degrees point a lot sooner than Les. It wasn't until I calculated that the water temperature I would need in Texas to achieve a finished dough temperature of 65 degrees was 27 degrees (i.e., below freezing by several degrees) that I decided to use only ice cubes. It was quite funny making the dough because as the paddle of my KitchenAid mixer was turning to mix the dough (at stir speed only) it would toss "shards" of ice out of the bowl and make all kinds of pinging and popping sounds. In self defense, I had to put my hands over the edges of the bowl to keep too much of the ice from jumping out. But, in due course, that action subsided, the ice cubes melted, and the machine was actually able to make the dough in about 18 minutes or so and with a finished dough temperature of around 65 degrees. One of the unintended side effects of what I did is that the action of the paddle as it worked on the ice cubes tightened the bowl in its setting such that I had to use a hammer to pound against the handle of the bowl to dislodge it. Otherwise, my mixer stood the test.

In due course, I plan to make a Lehmann style dough using the ice cube technique to see if it will benefit from such an approach and become less extensible. To achieve the low temperatures, I may even refrigerate or freeze the flour, as Les had suggested when I mentioned to him that I was having problems getting to the 65 degree finished dough temperature.

One of the interesting aspects of what Les did is how a dough with a low finished dough temperature, a modest amount of yeast, and a relatively low retardation temperature can ferment as well as it does and achieve what appears to be above average extensibility, good bubble formation, and an open and airy crumb. In fact, a fair amount of the rise happens during the 6-hour bench time prior to shaping into a pizza round. A normal dough might not tolerate that amount of "proofing".

I am also looking forward to trying your new sauce.

Thanks, Les, for all your hard work and experimentation.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 26, 2005, 07:43:15 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Les

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2005, 07:51:02 PM »
Les,

I don't know what to say but WOW!!!

That's a masterful job....literate, thorough, comprehensive, analytical, and with excellent photography--like I was reading a feature article in Saveur magazine. I hope my comments and suggestions along the way did not lead to your weight gain :).

Thanks Peter for the compliments, that is what every aspiring chef works most for. 

Just in case anyone is interested, the pictures were taken with an Olympus Camedia C-765 Ultra Zoom.  I am really impressed with this little thing, and you can get it if you search online for about $225.  Here's where I bought mine:

http://www.DigitalDelivered.com/digital/products/?C765UltraZoomNEW!01582&com=5


Offline scott r

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2005, 12:37:53 AM »
Les, this is the most amazing recipe, congratulations!   There is a reason why I am addicted to this forum, and it is because of people like you.  Just the sauce recipe alone is enough to totally blow people away, but all this info about the enzymes and white honey helping the leaven is just amazing.  I had heard about people using ice to keep the temps down to control dough growth during the rise, but it is REALLY cool to finally see such a well thought out recipe with such a specific goal. 

Grape tomatoes are pretty much involved with every pizza I make, and I am a huge fan of roasted Roma tomatoes on top of my white pizzas, but I never thought about a roasted grape tomato sauce. WAY TO GO!!!!  I will be making this sauce ASAP!

Also, could you guys elaborate a little more on the difference in texture between this dough with a long cold knead and something many of us on the forum are familiar with like a Lehman?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 01:04:14 AM by scott r »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2005, 10:29:49 AM »
scott,

After all the doughs that Les has made using ice, I suspect he is the expert among us on using that approach, and I am sure he will respond to your specific question about the dough texture, as well as the genesis of the basic ice approach itself. However, along the way, we were able to confirm from our collective research that using both ice water, and ice itself, have been used by pizza operators before--almost always to counteract the frictional heat that mixers produce, and especially a type of machine known as VCM (vertical cutting machine) that is notorious for generating a lot of frictional heat. In fact, Tom Lehmann addressed the issue of how to determine the amount of ice to use in the water to counteract frictional heat in a Q&A at http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml.

The doughs I made using the ice had that "meaty" characteristic that Les has spoken of. I would describe the dough as cold, dense and clammy--like a piece of meat with a tight texture. Les and I have speculated as to what happens to the dough during the cold knead. As best I can determine, maybe Marco described the process best in another post, in a somewhat analogous way, when he described what happens when flour is introduced into the mixing bowl gradually rather than all at once. To wit:

By doing so, you oxidate the flour, which in turn  the dough more strong and make the flour absorb more water. Up to the point that the dough has some consistency and start being solid like, there is actually no gluten formation happening, thus the initial flour adding stage, should not be counted as kneading time.

I theorize that during a good part of the mix/knead time when ice is used, the dough is oxygenated and there is little gluten development, thereby allowing better absorption of the water by the flour as the ice melts due to the frictional heat of the mixer. So, even though there is a long mix/knead time of around 20 minutes or so, a good part of that time is devoted to oxygenating the flour and not gluten development--along the lines mentioned by Marco. Ultimately, the dough starts to take shape as the gluten network develops and to look and feel like a real dough but more solid, colder and dense. A Lehmann dough, even though controlled to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F, has a softer, lighter feel to it. What surprised me most when making the ice doughs is that, as cold as the dough may be (at 65 degrees), it will still ferment and rise, even in the refrigerator. In part this was due to the fact that I used the amount of yeast Les was using at the time, which was a lot more than I normally use, so it is possible that I will be able to control the Lehmann fermentation process better, as well as the resultant extensibility of the dough itself, if I use my standard 1/3- to 1/4-teaspoon of instant dry yeast (IDY). That will be an exciting experiment for me to conduct--that is, if I don't destroy my humble geriatric mixer in the process. I might add that Les has also reduced the amount of yeast used in his most recent dough formulation.

Peter
EDIT (5/15/14): Since the link to the above Lehmann article is no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine link to the same article at http://web.archive.org/web/20070502014430/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml


Offline scott r

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2005, 11:45:12 AM »
This is very interesting.  Now how would you characterize the finished crust texture when compared to non ice (or a simple cool water dough) like a Lehman?

Sorry for all the questions without just trying this, but I have many things I want to try right now and I need to prioritize.


Offline Les

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2005, 12:25:29 PM »
This is very interesting.  Now how would you characterize the finished crust texture when compared to non ice (or a simple cool water dough) like a Lehman?

Peter described pretty well what I think happens with the dough.  I suspect the "meaty" texture is due to water being packed more densely into the dough.  When I've done everything right (because you can over-knead), it turns out one of the lightest doughs I've ever had, especially if you achieve and preserve the "gassy" effect in your dough.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2005, 11:37:58 AM »
Following up on the techniques described by Les to make a low-temperature dough, I decided this morning to make a dough (based on the Lehmann dough recipe) using KASL that I had placed in the freezer section of my refrigerator a few days ago. My intention was to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 65 degrees F and to freeze the dough immediately after it achieved that temperature, to be used within a week or two as part of a test to see if I can make a good, high-quality frozen Lehmann dough. Based on all the applicable temperatures (flour, room and friction factor), I calculated that the water temperature required to achieve a finished dough temperature of 65 degrees F would be around 91 degrees F. That temperature suggested that there would be no need to use ice cubes or shaved ice. So that was the water temperature I used.

When the results were in, I discovered that I had not adequately taken into account that the flour, which started out at 15.7 degrees F, warms up quickly in the mixer bowl. And by the time the dough was finished kneading (long before 20 minutes), it had a finished dough temperature of 78.5 degrees F--about 14 degrees higher than I had planned for.  So, in retrospect, I should have either used colder water or ice cubes, as was my original plan. So, for those considering using flour from the freezer, you may still need to use ice water or ice to achieve a finished dough temperature of 65 degrees F.

I might also add that one of the changes I made to the basic Lehmann dough recipe for the dough I started this morning is that I used honey. A while back, as Les was experimenting using honey in his recipe, he had sent me a link to an article suggesting that honey is good to use in frozen doughs, claiming that the honey improves the rheological (deformation and flow) properties of the frozen dough, protects the gluten proteins from damage due to freezing, and significantly improves the dough strength. The article suggests usage at 4-6% (or more) by weight of flour. The article was an industry-funded article, which always raises a flag with me, but I decided to try using the honey anyway. I selected 4%, since above that the sweetness is detectable, and I tend to favor using little or no sweeteners in my doughs (one of the few exception being Randy's American pie recipe).

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2005, 12:32:24 PM »
 Hi, Peter
 I commend you and Les for your experiments using ice to keep dough temp down, it always seems difficult to consistently achieve the same exact temps during mixing process. I just wanted to mention that i was reading old Tom Leahman chat room transcripts on PMQ web site. I noticed that the very question was asked of freezing flour to try and keep dough temps down. His answer was.. It Does'nt work. I just wanted to make you aware. I have tried this myself. I have also tried chiling the mixing bowl(i know it sound crazy), then adding room temp water. I am only trying to achieve 80 degrees, with a 24 hour rise if fridge so i have not tried the ice process. I am curious if you or anyone is aware of pizza operators that may be retarding for 48 hours at these lower temps?
 Chiguy 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2005, 01:43:45 PM »
chiguy,

I must confess that I was surprised that the dough warmed up as fast as it did. I figured temperature was temperature and that was it. Obviously, the "frozen" flour doesn't stay frozen for long.

I am not aware of any pizza operator going as low as 65 degrees F for a finished dough temperature and holding it there for 48 hours or more. Maybe Les knows. I believe Tom Lehmann recommends using a low finished dough temperature for a dough that is to be frozen fairly promptly, but not for a regular dough. Most operators who consciously control finished dough temperature use around 80-85 degrees F. That range is considered optimum for fermentation purposes. Also, yeast is not crazy about temperatures that are too low, especially if the yeast is "shocked' by low temperatures, as by proofing the yeast in cold water. In the dough I made today, I increased the yeast by about double because I know that some of the yeast cells will be damaged by freezing and that the leavening power will be reduced as a result. No matter how the dough turns out when time comes to use it, I may still decide to try the ice cube method if for no reason other than to satisfy my curiosity.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2005, 02:02:43 PM »
 
chiguy,

I must confess that I was surprised that the dough warmed up as fast as it did. I figured temperature was temperature and that was it. Obviously, the "frozen" flour doesn't stay frozen for long.

I am not aware of any pizza operator going as low as 65 degrees F for a finished dough temperature and holding it there for 48 hours or more. Maybe Les knows. I believe Tom Lehmann recommends using a low finished dough temperature for a dough that is to be frozen fairly promptly, but not for a regular dough. Most operators who consciously control finished dough temperature use around 80-85 degrees F. That range is considered optimum for fermentation purposes. Also, yeast is not crazy about temperatures that are too low, especially if the yeast is "shocked' by low temperatures, as by proofing the yeast in cold water. In the dough I made today, I increased the yeast by about double because I know that some of the yeast cells will be damaged by freezing and that the leavening power will be reduced as a result. No matter how the dough turns out when time comes to use it, I may still decide to try the ice cube method if for no reason other than to satisfy my curiosity.

Peter
HI, Peter
 Thankyou for your reply. None the less, theses processes are very interesting. I suspect you and Les are satisfying many of our curiousities.     Thankyou, Chiguy

Offline Les

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2005, 04:43:49 PM »
I am curious if you or anyone is aware of pizza operators that may be retarding for 48 hours at these lower temps?

Hi Chiguy,

I don't know of any operators retarding for 48 hours, but I did inadvertantly witness an operator in my neighborhood using ice in their big Hobart.  I know they let their finished dough sit for an hour at room temp before refrigerating it for 24 hours at 40°. 

I sometimes buy just their dough when I am short on time, and that's how I noticed how "meaty" it was, yet it stretched like a champ, and was light and crunchy after baking.  I liked it so much I started experimenting with this process and then adjusted it to fit my own tastes. 

I increased the retardation time to two days because I wanted to use less yeast, and I wanted to give the white honey's enzymes more time to act on the dough.  Also, if you lower the hydration level and create a "closed" dough ball, the dough develops gas so slowly you can easily go two days without having to punch down the dough.  Since lots of bubbles was part of my dream dough concept, I realized how I could take advantage of the slow fermentation time (helped, like sweetness, by not retarding in an airtight container). 

I accidentally stumbled on leaving the dough out (i.e., at room temp) for at least 6 hours prior to baking when I took some to a friend's house but was late baking it.  Except for a couple of big aneurysm-type bubbles, all the bubbles were evenly distributed throughout the dough (as in my picture), and it baked with incredible air in it.  I am still experimenting with proofing temperature and timing needed to get that effect every time.

Last night I made three pizzas for some friends over a two hour period.  The first had proofed 7 hours, the second 8, and the third 9 hours.   The third was the clearly the most gassy, and baked with the most air.  I couldn't control the temp at all, but my next pizza at home I will and I am going to shoot for a 10 hour pre-bake proof.

In terms of failures, I used to only bring the dough to 60° but after one batch failed to rise I raised the temp to 65° and haven't had a single failure since.  Because I retard for two days, I don't (like the mentioned operator) let my dough sit out at room temp at all, and so refrigerate it as soon as the manual prep work is done.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2005, 04:47:17 PM by Les »

Offline Les

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Re: Les' Sebastopol "Sweet" Pizza
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2005, 07:07:54 PM »
Someone emailed me wondering how much mozzarella I use on a 14 inch pizza (which I didn't state because I know everybody has their own preferences in this regard).  Anyway, I typically use 8 ounces of sliced Grande cheese (and then I add the one ounce of provolone on top of the sauce+tomato mixture).


 

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