Author Topic: Newbie with questions  (Read 3722 times)

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Offline BettyR

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Newbie with questions
« on: October 03, 2005, 10:33:01 AM »
My family loves pizza and I would love to learn to make it, I have tried many times in the past with less than desirable results. I’m an experienced bread maker but I don’t know the first think about making pizza dough. I have been reading posts on this forum to get some tips. My first question is what is (KASL) flour?

I also read one post that said that you couldn’t get good results with all purpose flour and vital wheat gluten. I get wonderful results in bread making with these ingredients; why wouldn't this work for pizza dough?

I live in a small town in Texas about 65 miles outside of Houston, I usually order my bread making ingredients on the internet as these things are impossible to find in a country store. I would be willing to make the drive to Houston for a couple of 50# bags of flour as I know that I would use them for making bread as well as pizza but I would really like to know what I'm going to be asking for so I won't look like a complete idiot.

Thanks, Betty


Offline buzz

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2005, 11:16:06 AM »
Glad to see you're making pizza!

KASL is King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour--a higher gluten flour than all-purpose (AP). King Arthur makes excellent flours, and would be a good investment for you if you want to stock up. Personally I prefer Ceresota AP (aka Hecker's). I believe a lot of pizza restaurants use this flour, and you can make excellent thin crust as well as deep dish pizzas with it. Ceresota is a bit higher in gluten and is a beautiful flour, but I've used common fliour like Gold Medal with excellent results--probably the best thin crust I've ever had is made by a place that uses Gold Medal. Others here will only use higher gluten flour for thin crust. As with all this stuff, you'll have to experiment to see what you like.

Can your country store special order things for you so you don't have to drive all that way? Are you aware of the Baker's Catalogue which sells King Arthur products by mail (www.bakerscatalogue.com)?

Pete should know about your AP with added gluten question--just off the top of my head, i don't see why it wouldn't work. If I recall about that post, I believe he was adding gluten to his deep dish recipe, and this is what you don't want for deep dish (unless you like it more bread-like).

have fun and report your results!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2005, 01:18:42 PM »
BettyR,

Welcome aboard.

Like you, I started using vital wheat gluten in bread doughs several years ago (mainly sourdough breads). You can indeed add vital wheat gluten to all-purpose (or bread) flours to increase the protein and gluten content but, as I have discovered, the results won't be equivalent. You will increase the chewiness of the crust but it doesn't help with the crispiness part, which is what you will often want when you make a pizza style like the NY style. I have only used the vital wheat gluten flour for NY style pizza doughs. What I found that also helped improve the performance of all-purpose flour for NY style doughs was to add dried dairy whey to the all-purpose flour in addition to the vital wheat gluten. If you would like to see the particulars of such use, you can go to Reply#205, at page 11, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.200.html. As backdrop for that post, you might also take a look at the immediately preceding post, Reply #204.

If you are serious about buying The King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour (or other KA flours) in 50-lb. bags, it might help to know where you are relative to Houston. I live in Texas also (just outside of Dallas) and may be able to give you some leads. A 50-lb. bag can cost as little as $13 if you pick it up at a distributor. It will cost you about the same, including shipping, if you buy a 3-lb. bag from King Arthur in Vermont. Most members usually buy several bags to reduce the overall cost, but the shipping charges from Vermont to Texas can still be quite painful.

Peter

Offline BettyR

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2005, 04:32:33 PM »
Pete-zza-
I live in Hull, Texas; we are about half way between Houston and Beaumont. I'm living with my oldest daughter and her husband in Crosby right now, we got quite a beating from hurricane Rita. Our house survived the storm very well but we are without water and power. It's just too hard to live in those conditions, so my daughter and her husband have graciously opened their home to us. 

I'm even closer to Houston here in Crosby and according to Mapquest I'm a 45 minute drive from DAWN FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. 1980 Afton Street Houston, TX 77055.
Betty

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2005, 05:16:36 PM »
BettyR,

I already checked with Dawn Foods in Houston since that is the company I used in the Dallas area to locate the KASL. Unfortunately, the Dawn Foods in Houston will only do a one-time "cash and carry" and with a $75 minimum. Beyond that, you would need a tax ID in order to open an account. In the Dallas-area Dawn Foods, I was able to open an account without a tax ID. I subsequently learned that the Dawn Foods in Atlanta does no cash and carry whatsoever. So, as you can see, the policies vary from one location to another, even within the same company.

I have a couple other ideas that I plan to explore tomorrow. I'll let you know what I learn.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2005, 12:46:23 PM »
BettyR,

I believe I have found a source of the 50-lb. bags of KASL for you. It's at Dawn Foods in Houston after all. I spoke this morning with Mike Croft at Dawn and explained that I was helping a friend locate a source of the KASL in the Houston area but wouldn't be able to meet their minimum for a one-time purchase. I mentioned that I have an account at the Dallas-area Dawn and was even prepared to use that number if they would accept it.† Since each Dawn location operates pretty much independently, I was told that my account number wouldn't work there. I also probed other possibilities such as using one of their customers as a middleman. He finally suggested that I have you call him, at 1-800-252-3296, and that he would figure out a way to help you. If you do decide to call, you may want to do it soon while the matter is fresh in his mind. You should mention "Peter from Dallas" as a further reminder, as well as the fact that you are the woman from Hull/Crosby that I mentioned to him.†

If for some reason, you can't get the KASL from Dawn, let me know. I called Dutch Valley this morning (they deal with a lot of stocking distributors and other clients in over 25 states) and, through a series of phone calls, was able to locate a customer of Dawn's in Houston who indicated that he would be willing to help you. You would, of course, have to talk to him to work things out if Dawn doesn't materialize.

Good luck, and please let us know how things work out. The information may benefit other members in some way.

Peter

Offline BettyR

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2005, 06:53:36 PM »
Peter,
Thank you so much, you are an extremely kind person to go to all that trouble for me; I really appreciate it.

It's almost 6PM and I just got home so I'll have to wait and call tomorrow. I'll let you know what I find out.
Betty

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2005, 08:31:29 AM »
Don't forget to keep the flour properly stored if you buy large quantities. Flour can go "bad", or bugs can infest, or the flour can slightly absorb odors (don't keep it in the paint closet!) ;D

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2005, 09:48:19 AM »
I have been freezing my KASL 50-lb. bag in 5-10 lb. quantities and then putting a bay leaf into each smaller bag. Freezing is said to kill any eggs of weevils, etc. that may be in the flour.

Peter

Offline BettyR

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2005, 10:48:12 AM »
I have been freezing my KASL 50-lb. bag in 5-10 lb. quantities and then putting a bay leaf into each smaller bag. Freezing is said to kill any eggs of weevils, etc. that may be in the flour.

Peter

Peter,
I also keep my flour in the freezer even when I’m just buying the 5# bags, especially whole wheat. The natural oils in whole wheat will go rancid very quickly just sitting on the shelf at room temperature.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get back to you but I wasn’t able to get the flour. They just told me that they don’t do that, end of story! I did find out that I could get a good quality bread flour at Sam’s Club.

In the mean time, we have gotten power back at our house in Hull, and we have been out there almost every day cleaning up; I really haven’t had any spare time to make the trip into Houston.

I really do appreciate the time and trouble that you went to; you are very kind. As soon as we move back into our house and get our property cleared of downed trees, I will have the extra time to spend on this project.

Thank you again,
Betty


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2005, 11:09:13 AM »
BettyR,

Let us know when you are ready to resume the "project". I still have the name and telephone number of a customer of Dawn's who seemed willing to help get the KASL from Dawn.

Peter

Offline BettyR

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2005, 11:14:27 AM »
BettyR,

Let us know when you are ready to resume the "project". I still have the name and telephone number of a customer of Dawn's who seemed willing to help get the KASL from Dawn.

Peter

Thank you, I'll do that.
Betty

Offline pam

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2005, 11:58:45 PM »
I did find out that I could get a good quality bread flour at Samís Club.

BettyR,

I'm curious to know whether the Sam's in your area carrys a different brand of bread flour than they sell here in NC.

The Sam's Club here in Durham, NC carrys ADM Bread Flour which, according to the nutrition info printed on the bag, has 3g protein/30g serving (same percentage as ADM H&R AP flour). Haven't tried it to know how it performs, but based on everything I've come across, 10% protein puts it at the bottom end of the range (10-12%) of what is typically considered AP flour; bread flour typically runs in the 12-14% protein range.
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Offline BettyR

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2005, 12:48:44 AM »
BettyR,

I'm curious to know whether the Sam's in your area carrys a different brand of bread flour than they sell here in NC.

The Sam's Club here in Durham, NC carrys ADM Bread Flour which, according to the nutrition info printed on the bag, has 3g protein/30g serving (same percentage as ADM H&R AP flour). Haven't tried it to know how it performs, but based on everything I've come across, 10% protein puts it at the bottom end of the range (10-12%) of what is typically considered AP flour; bread flour typically runs in the 12-14% protein range.

I really don't know what they carry; the closest Sam's Club to me is in Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont was ravaged by hurricane Rita and a lot of that part of the country is still without power. I was told by one of the people that I talked to while looking for the KASL that Sam's Club carried a good quality bread flour. I haven't actually seen it yet. When I get the time to make a trip to Houston, I’ll let you know what they have.
Betty

Offline Chuckleheadfunk

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Re: Newbie with questions
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2005, 01:26:58 PM »
If you don't have a pizza stone, i'd get one ...    it makes the crust way better that cooking it in a sheet pan.