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Offline nicu2001

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My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« on: June 10, 2012, 10:52:17 AM »
Hi all,

I am right in the middle of making my first pizza and wanted to post on my progress and ask some questions.  After reading through many of the threads and different styles, I decided to go with a Greek style pizza in a pan after reading this thread:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=691.0

I was inspired by these two posts:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg27482.html#msg27482
and
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg97563.html#msg97563

My dough is currently in the fridge and I am documenting the progress.  First, I made two dough balls for a 12" pan and used the following formula:

Flour (100%):    419.13 g  |  14.78 oz | 0.92 lbs  (KABF)
Water (63%):    264.05 g  |  9.31 oz | 0.58 lbs
IDY (0.3%):    1.26 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.42 tsp | 0.14 tbsp (SAF)
Salt (2%):    8.38 g | 0.3 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.47 tsp | 0.82 tbsp  (Diamond Crystal)
Olive Oil (2%):    8.38 g | 0.3 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.86 tsp | 0.62 tbsp (Whole Foods EVOO)
Sugar (1%):    4.19 g | 0.15 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.05 tsp | 0.35 tbsp (Caster Sugar)
Total (168.3%):   705.39 g | 24.88 oz | 1.56 lbs | TF = 0.11
Single Ball:   352.69 g | 12.44 oz | 0.78 lbs

The flour used was KABF and the yeast is (I think) is SAF IDY.  It is kind of old but was sitting in a tupperware in the back of the fridge.  I didn't want to wait until today to start so I just went for it last night.  The good news is that I also made a batch of no knead bread at the same time with the same yeast and that batch is bubbling like crazy so I think the yeast is still fine.  I took some pics while I made the pizza dough and can post them soon.  I put the water in the mixer with the salt and let it dissolve.  I put the rest of the dry ingredients with together and slowly added them to the mixer on 1 w/ dough hook.  After I would say 3-4 minutes I added the dough and let that go for another 3 minutes or so.  Then I hand kneaded for 30 seconds and formed into balls.  Oiled the balls, put into oiled metal bowls and covered with saran wrap and into the fridge they went.

On to my questions!

1.  I have an escali kitchen scale.  It is pretty precise but not to the hundredths of an oz.  How do I get the right measurement of yeast?  I ended up using 1/2 tsp b/c I was worried the old yeast was weak.  Bad idea or will it not matter?

2.  The dough was pretty sticky and I ended up with two 12oz balls.  It seems I lost about 1oz to the mixing bowl (Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer) and my fingers.  I figure this will just create a bit of a thinner crust in the pan.

3.  I bought a Fat Daddio's 12"x2" round anodized aluminum cake pan.  Will this work?  Should I do anything with it beforehand?  Can it take the 500 degree heat?  I could not find anything on heat tolerances for it on their website, only for their silicone products.

http://www.fatdaddios.com/catalog/2-deep-1-1-1

4.  For cooking, I have an All Clad 13" pizza stone and a Bertazzoni gas oven which goes up to 500.  Any tips?  Is this stone acceptable for now? 

5.  The dough was 79 degrees when I was done and I put it in the fridge at 9:30pm last night.  Would it be too soon to make it tonight?  If not, I plan to take it out and let it warm up for 2 hours, then spread it onto the oiled daddio's pan.  How long should I let it sit in the pan before cooking?  I read in the above linked thread to let it proof for around 4 hours?  Since I only have one pan, any tips for making the other dough?  I could just wait another day for the 2nd one.

I am sure I will have more questions as the day goes on but that is enough for now!  This site is an amazing resource and I really appreciate any tips you guys can offer.

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 12:32:35 PM »
Mike,

Steve (Ev) and Norma might want to offer up their advice and suggestions also, but here are my comments to the numbered questions you posed.

1. I usually make small amounts of dough, so the only ingredients that I usually weigh on my digital scale are the flour and water. For the rest of the ingredients, especially those that are lightweight and/or used only in small quantities, I use the volume measurements in the table produced by the dough calculating tool used to come up with the dough formulation. In the case of the yeast, if it is long in the tooth but still viable, it is usually a good idea to increase its amount because yeast loses some of its leavening power with age (see the section Stability at http://www.lallemand.com/BakerYeastNA/eng/PDFs/LBU%20PDF%20FILES/2_9INST.PDF). Notwithstanding what the Lallemand article says, I keep my IDY in the freezer, and a one-pound package lasts me several years, without ill effect beyond a small loss in leavening power.

2. Since you are using KABF, which has a rated absorption value of 62%, as compared with a value of 63% for a high-gluten flour, and because you increased the amount of oil to 2% and thereby produced a "wetter" dough, next time you might want to drop the hydration percent to around 60-61%. That should help reduce the stickiness. If it doesn't, then the next time you can drop the hydration a few percent more.

3. I wouldn't worry too much about your Fat Daddio pan. However, since a dark pan is a better conductor of heat to the pizza while it is baking than a light colored aluminum pan, you will perhaps want to season your pan to get better results. While some people season their pans by putting oil (with a high smoke point) inside of the pan, you can also just season the outside of the pan. You can read more about this at Reply 204 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,213.msg187085/topicseen.html#msg187085.

4. I am not familiar with the AllClad pizza stone, but if it is a pizza stone I think you should be OK. I am also not familiar with your brand of oven, but I think you should be OK there also.

5. Whether your dough can be used tonight depends on how active your yeast is. However, the chances of using the dough tonight go up since you increased the amount of yeast to compensate for its age and condition. Of course, there is no way of knowing for sure if you increased the amount of yeast enough to be able to use the dough tonight. So, your best guide is how the dough increases in volume and, to that end, you should let the dough proof until it has good volume, such as a doubling. The yeast quantity and your room temperature will be the driving factors. In your case, with a finished dough temperature of 79 degrees F, that should also help ferment the dough faster so that you have a better chance of using the dough tonight.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 01:27:41 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 01:22:07 PM »
Peter,

I think you did a great job in answering nicu2001ís questions.  I donít know anything I would add.

Best of luck nicu2001 with your Greek Style pizza!  :) Let us all know how it turns out.

Norma
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Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 04:13:08 PM »
Thanks guys!  Peter thanks for taking the time to thoroughly answer all of my questions.  Regarding 1 and 2, thanks for the tips.  On 3, I am seasoning the pan right now, thanks for the tip.  Is anodized aluminum safe at 500+?  I just want to make sure I can run my oven at max and bake in the pan without any worries.  As to 5, I decided to take one out and try it tonight, and I will try another tomorrow night to compare.  The ball for tonight is covered in plastic wrap and I will stretch it and put it in the pan in a few hours.  Question on "proofing" in the pan... after I put the stretched dough in the pan, do I cover again or just leave it out at room temp?  Put it in the fridge?  Thanks again.

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 04:21:22 PM »
Is anodized aluminum safe at 500+?  I just want to make sure I can run my oven at max and bake in the pan without any worries.  As to 5, I decided to take one out and try it tonight, and I will try another tomorrow night to compare.  The ball for tonight is covered in plastic wrap and I will stretch it and put it in the pan in a few hours.  Question on "proofing" in the pan... after I put the stretched dough in the pan, do I cover again or just leave it out at room temp?  Put it in the fridge?  Thanks again.

Mike,

You should be fine with the aluminum pan at 500 degrees F. It is the coated pans that you want to be cautious about since they often can outgas noxious fumes if you get above about 450 degrees F for too long.

As for covering or not covering the dough in the pan, I would personally cover the rising skin in the pan so that it doesn't develop a crusty top layer from drying out, especially if it takes a lot of time for the skin to rise in the pan. This is at room temperature. I believe that many pizza operators who specialize in the Greek style of pizza stack their pans, which serves to keep the dough from drying out. If they leave dough pans uncovered, I suspect that it is for just a short period of time, maybe during peak service periods.

Peter

Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 04:45:34 PM »
Perfect, thanks Peter.

As far as the next steps, I am not sure how much sauce/cheese to use.  I noted that you used Mozzarella/Cheddar/Provolone.  I only have white cheddar and polly o whole milk mozzarella on hand.  Ev used 5oz Cheddar and 3oz Mozzarella in what I think was a 12" pan so I am thinking of matching those amounts.  Is saucing more preference / eyeballing or do you have any specific recommendation?  

On to the sauce, I have a 28oz can of San Marzano DOP tomatoes.  Would you blend the can to smooth and then gently heat and add spices to taste?  You used 6-in-1 tomatoes for your sauce but I don't know the difference.

As this is my first try from scratch, I want to ask as many questions as I can beforehand.  Thanks again for taking the time to answer so many of them.

Best,
Mike

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 05:00:04 PM »
I'll throw .02 in the ring:  this style of pizza is very forgiving when it comes to toppings, unlike Neapolitan which should be very lightly topped.  You can go nuts on the cheese, and use a decent amount of sauce.  The only thing I would steer away from, unless you are parbaking the crust, is lots of vegetables.  They tend to add a huge amount of moisture, resulting in soggy, undercooked dough in the center.

My wife loves this style of pizza.  Actually she won't touch anything else. Her reaction to Neapolitan was "Where's the cheese? And the crust is burned! Look, see? It's burnt!"   ::)


« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 05:26:03 PM by pizzaneer »
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 05:17:19 PM »
Mike,

I'm sure I eyeballed the amounts of cheese and sauce to use. The eight ounces of the cheese blend that Steve used seems reasonable. If all you have is the white cheddar and Polly-O whole-milk mozzarella, I would go with those. Most of the Greek places tend to go with mostly white cheddar but they also use mozzarella cheese as part of the blend. You might pick a ratio based on your personal taste preferences.

As for the sauce, I'm sure that I went with the 6-in-1s because I had them on hand and I like them. Many of the Greek places do not use tomatoes that are as good as the 6-in-1s, or so I have been told, but there are some who use quality tomatoes, including tomatoes from Stanislaus. If you are near a Wal-Mart, they have started selling a tomato product called Classico. Two of the Classico tomatoes that can be used for your pizza are the Classico peeled ground tomatoes or the Classico crushed tomatoes. The Classico tomatoes and the 6-in-1s are made by the same company (Heinz), and the Classicos are very similar to the 6-in-1s--almost indistinguishable as a matter of fact. If you can find the Classicos, you can add some garlic, oregano and whatever else you think that you would like in your sauce. The Classico tomatoes are naturally sweet, so there is no need to add sugar.

I doubt that the Greek places use San Marzanos. But if that is all that you have, you can crush them or use a stick blender to break them down so that the tomatoes are free of chunks, and then drain them to remove a lot of the water. You might have to add some sugar, some salt, and then complete the sauce as you would using the other tomatoes mentioned above. You might taste the sauce to see if it is OK as is or if it might benefit from some cooking before using. But you don't want to overcook the sauce.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 05:19:46 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 06:45:44 PM »
Once again, thanks.  After a little over 2 hours at room temp I shaped and placed the dough into the now seasoned aluminum pan which I coated with 1TB olive oil.  The middle part of the dough was a little thin but I managed to get it in there the best I can.  I don't expect amazing results on my first try but hope for an edible pizza.  I just noticed that my pizza stone has a small crack all the way through it.  Do you think I can safely use it tonight?  I am now in the market for a new stone if you have any suggestions for a gas oven w/ a 500 degree max setting.

Mike

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 06:50:07 PM »
Mike,

I think you should be OK with the cracked stone. Once you get through with your pizzas, then you can address what might be the best choice of a new stone for your needs.

Peter


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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 08:32:10 PM »
Mike,

My post might be a little to late, but when you let the dough proof in the pan, after it rests some, you can just take your finger tips and fill in the thin spots by pushing the dough slightly, then let it rise (or proof) some more.  I have done this many times if my dough in a pan wasn't uniform.  Dough in a pan is a lot easier to manipulate then stretching a skin.  Dough in a pan doesn't always need to be baked on a stone either.  It is the frying of the oil that gives that nice bottom color and the cheese melting down the edges of the pan is what give the great crispy edges.

Best of luck!  :)

Norma
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Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 08:33:51 PM »
Thanks guys!  It's in the oven as we speak. I will report back.

Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 08:52:07 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the help yesterday.  The pizza turned out to be pretty good and was above my expectations for doing this on my first try.  I documented as much as possible with pictures:

Dough in mixer after incorporating the oil:

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7483/photo1rp.jpg

Into bowls:

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7324/photo2bux.jpg

Out of the fridge the next day:

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/8636/photo3tc.jpg

After 2 hours:

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/2637/photo4sd.jpg

Into pan:

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/2853/photo5cy.jpg

Two hour proof:

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/10/photo6yz.jpg

Sauced:

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/9818/photo7xbr.jpg

Cheese (1/2 is just mozz and 1/2 is a blend of white cheddar and mozz):

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/2074/photo8bt.jpg

I checked it at 6 minutes and was a little worried:

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/8394/photo9zn.jpg

However it came together at the end.  This was 11-12 minutes at 500:

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/9385/photo10ly.jpg

Bottom shot:

http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/623/photo11dw.jpg

Side:

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/6194/photo12.jpg


I was surprised that the cheese browned so quickly.  The crust was also very black which I did not mind but I did not expect.  The dough was a little chewy and I would have liked it a bit more crisp but it was still tasty.  I have one more dough ball left which I am going to use either tonight or Wednesday.  Do you think Wednesday would be waiting too long? 

Mike
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 09:05:14 AM by nicu2001 »

Offline norma427

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 09:19:59 AM »
Mike,

I think you did a great job on your first Greek style pizza.  ;D I sure would grab a slice of your pizza.  You gave a really nice detailed report with pictures of what you did.   

I know Steve has used some doughs for Greek style pizzas that have fermented for a long while and they worked out well for him.  A Greek style dough is more forgiving in my opinion because it is baked in a pan.  I know Steve made a Greek Style pizza last Friday that the dough was fermented for 4 days.  He had intended to use it on Monday, but didnít.  Steve said the taste of the crust was very good from the long fermentation time.

Best of luck in your next bake!  :chef:

Norma
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 12:36:32 PM »
Mike;
To season your pan(s) turn upside down on a cookie sheet or piece of foil in the oven to catch any drips. Lightly coat the OUTSIDE of the pan with plain salad oil, and place in a preheated oven at 425F for about 30-minutes. DO NOT season your pans at temperatures above 435F as this is about the flash point of most oils, and you increase the risk of an oven fire (really exciting when you open the oven door and the whole thing goes "POOF" in a bright orange ball). You might repeat the process a couple times and as you continue to use the pans they will continue to darken, this is a good thing. No need to season the inside of the pan, but you will need to apply some oil or shortening to the pan to facilitate release of the baked crust. Lastly, treat your seasoned pan just like a seasoned cast iron skillet.....DO NOT wash it, instead, just wipe it out after each use. If you ever soak it in water you can expect the seasoning to begin peeling off like a bad sun burn, then you will need to strip all the seasoning off of the pan and start all over again. Almost forgot, season your pans when you can open a window if at all possible as the process can get a bit smoky.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 02:33:30 PM »
Mike,

I think you did fine for the first attempt. A few tweaks the next time, and with some practice and experience, you should get even better results. You might even try some of the other Greek-style dough formulations over at the Greek pizza thread. There are many variations of that style.

Peter

Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 02:24:29 PM »
Thank you everyone for the comments and advice.  I plan to make the 2nd one tomorrow night and the dough will be at 4 days.  Should be fun to see and taste the difference.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 02:36:25 PM »
Quote
DO NOT season your pans at temperatures above 435F as this is about the flash point of most oils, and you increase the risk of an oven fire (really exciting when you open the oven door and the whole thing goes "POOF" in a bright orange ball).
Actually, your detailed account sounds like it would be pretty darn awesome to witness.  >:D (Assuming no one get hurt of course).
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 03:10:22 PM »
I'll second that, with another request for Doc's "bleeper reel" footage!

Nicu, this style is so easy and rewarding to make, I can't see how it can go wrong for you.  The aged dough should add some interesting sourdough notes, now the challenge for you will be to come up with some toppings that won't overpower the dough.  Do you have any plans?

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline nicu2001

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Re: My First Pizza - in progress - LOTS of Newbie Questions...
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 03:16:12 PM »
On the second one I am planning to use a little bit more oil in the pan and a mix of white cheddar and whole milk mozzarella topped with pepperoni.