I'd like to thank you all in advance for reading my post. I'm a beginner in the kitchen, having just moved out of my university dorms into my own apartment, but I would like to get much better. I'm from Queens, NY originally, and I've been wanting to make my own NY style pizza since I moved out to Nebraska for college.
Today I baked my first pizza, having prepared the dough, sauce, and cheese the day before. The end result was a misshapen, thick crust, but it had a decent feel (a bit on the hard side). The sauce and the cheese were pretty close to what I remember from everyday street pizzerias, but I'd like to get the dough right before I tweak these.
I was encouraged by the fact that this is my very first try, but I am still somewhat disappointed at the result. I would have included pictures, but the attachment limit is small, 128 kb, and I didn't feel like compressing the images further, it'd only reduce the image quality. Can someone show me how to upload high-res images?
I used the Lehmann recipe, adjusting slightly for the fact that I did not have high-gluten flour (I opted for bread flour) by reducing the dough hydration. Here is the breakdown for the dough:
• 9.54 oz King Arthur Bread Flour
• 5.54 oz water, purified
• 0.02 oz (.18 tsp) Fleishmann instant dry yeast (bread machine)
• 0.17 oz (.85 tsp) sea salt
• 0.1 oz (0.6 tsp) oil, light
• 0.1 oz (0.6 tsp) sugar
I used a cheap kitchen scale to do the measurements, so I expect that the heavier items (i.e. flour & water) were fairly accurate. For the lightweight items, I estimated them by volume, so they were not EXACT, perhaps within 50% error (maybe more with the yeast).
These measurements were taken exactly from the provided Lehmann pizza dough calculator found here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html
The parameters set were:
14'' pizza at 0.1'' thickness
0.2% instant dry yeast
1% sea salt
1% light olive oil
I have a few questions that came up while I was preparing the materials.
• I couldn't get my dough to pass the windowpane test, even though I supplied measurements as accurately as I could. I am mixing the ingredients by hand with a whisk & bowl ( I don't have any automated mixers yet) until it all comes together in a ball. Then I proceed to add oil and mix it for some more. Then I kneaded for about 10 minutes, yet I couldn't get the right consistency to pass the windowpane test. Is there anything that I could do to remedy this problem while I knead? Or is the problem with my initial measurements, and therefore I should buy a more accurate scale?
• When coming out of the refrigerator after about 20 hours, the dough had developed a slightly hard layer on the outside. I had placed it in a bowl covered by a towel; should I be using a more strict sealant (i.e. plastic wrap) to retain moisture?
• After sitting for about an hour at room temperature, I began to try and shape my dough, but it was awfully stubborn. I expect this is due to my trouble with the initial development the day before, but are there any tips for technique that I might be missing?
Thanks for all you help! I look forward to learning more about making a better pizza.
P.S. I may have burnt some sauce on the pan, does anyone have tips for cleaning it off?