Author Topic: Doughvolution  (Read 1974 times)

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Offline juniorballoon

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Doughvolution
« on: July 15, 2012, 02:41:54 PM »
Doughvolution

I've been making pizza for a couple of years now and just had an aha moment. I was working for the first time with cold fermentation and a recipe for Neapolitan pizza from seriouseats.com, http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/07/the-pizza-lab-three-doughs-to-know.html?ref=pop_serious_eats. What a great dough. Stretchy, supple, strong, and hence a great pizza.

My first pizze were very disappointing. The crust was dry and hard as a rock at the rim and doughy and downright undercooked in the center. I donít remember the recipe for the dough, KAAP, Water, Olive oil, Salt and Fleischmanís fresh yeast. That I remember, but how much of each? Too much, too little and not enough is what the finished product said.  I do know that I kneaded the hell out of it as I was accustomed to making pasta and thought the processes were similar. I was wrong, very wrong. This pizza was cooked in a home oven at 400 on a thin metal sheet. It was truly, barely edible. I was so disappointed. So much time, effort, not to mention the cost of materials, to produce this? Well, I Almost called it quits because I had no idea where things had gone so wrong. When you have no idea what to try next itís hard to envision the path forward.

I let it go for a while. A co-worker, whoíd spent considerable time in Italy, told me my pie was soft and undercooked because Iíd piled too many toppings, ďAmerican styleĒ, and that made a for a soggy pizza. He was partly correct, but there was more to it than that. I began searching the internet and found that pizza dough should not be overworked and that it should be wet and a bit sticky. I tried it again, with a wetter dough and fewer toppings and a hotter oven (450). Better, but still not good. The crust had little flavor, was hard to work with and still undercooked in the center. This was definitely not worth it. A week or so later I had another conversation with my co-worker and he said I needed a pizza stone. He was partly correct, but there was more to it than that.

I let it go for a while again as I couldnít see how a stone would make much difference. Iíd read on the internet that lots of people cooked adequate pizza on a metal sheet. There had to be something else I was doing wrong. I poked around on the net and came across www.pizamaking.com. The best site on the net for pizza information. There you will find a welcoming group of obsessive, friendly and knowledgeable pizza addicts. This is where I learned how to control the too much, too little and not enough of what went into the dough. For my birthday I received a pizza stone and paddle and that spurred me back to the kitchen. Armed with new information and better equipment I was ready to make, if not the perfect pizza, at least an edible and tasty pie.

I cut back on the yeast and olive oil and increased the fermentation time. Three rises over a 5-6 hour period. All mixed by hand and almost no kneading. Wet and gloopy it went into a stainless steel bowl coated with just a bit of olive oil and covered with a towel. Rise punch, rise punch and ball, rise once more and it was time to make a pizza. The stone went into the cold oven an hour ago. The temp was set at 450. My dough was light and airy by this time and had grown into each other. I separated one ball and placed it on the floured counter and tried to work it gently into a pizza shape. I used my fingers to press out a 6 inch disk I then picked it up and tried to use the knuckles of my balled fist to gently stretch it out. It was working sort of. Very uneven, I then tried to toss it in the air with spin, like you see the pros doing and when I caught it, it tore. It was impossible to repair. Every time I pulled to seal a hole I made a new one. And it wasnít nearly the size I wanted. I ended up making a patch work of dough bandages and resorted to a rolling pin to coerce the dough to my will. Finally I had the shape I wanted, moved it onto the peel and began to assemble my pizza. A little red sauce, a combo of Mozzarella and Robusto (A Dutch cheese somewhere between Gouda and Parmigiano) and a sprinkling of Parmigiano topped with a nice hard salami and Italian sausage. I know too many topping, but hey I am an American and I like what I like.

Now for the tricky part, getting the wiggly pizza from the peel on to the blazing hot stone.  A little back and forth to get the pizza moving and then a moment of faith that it would hit the stone and not the bottom of the oven I quickly slid the pizza off the peel and on to the stone. It made it! I closed the oven and hoped that this one would be a good one. I checked in 10 minutes and it was looking good. The crust on the edge was lightly browning and the toppings were getting nicely cooked. 5 more minutes and it was looking toasty around the edges, it was time to pull it out. Now I used the metal pan Iíd been using to cook pizza on to remove the hot, bubbling pizza. Such a demotion, but a job it was much better suited for. As it cooled I used a fork to lift the edge and check the bottom of the crust. It was a mottled collection of shades of brown and fully cooked all the way to the center. First piece? Crust around the edge was more cracker like, but not bad. Towards the center it was crunchy and chewy in a good way and supported the toppings with a bit of bend. This was a decent pizza. This was worth making again.

Since then Iíve made lots of pizze that were similar to and a bit better than this one. Makes for a good dinner and some lunches during the week and while Iím pleased with them Iím not necessarily proud of them. Iím proud of the effort. I like making things from scratch. Taking a list of ingredients and assembling them into a whole that is, hopefully, greater than their sum.  And this process Iíve developed makes good food. I am pleased with that, but I know thereís more. I know the shortcomings of my pizza. I have to use a rolling pin to get the right shape and thickness. I know this squishes the air and life from the dough. It spends many hours rising, fermenting and filling with lightness and life and I come along and abuse it into the shape of a pizza. This makes the edge of my crust more cracker-like than dough with a nice chew. Itís called pizza dough, not pizza cracker. But here again I didnít know how to solve this problem until yesterday.

Iíd read that true Neapolitan pizza has to rise for long time and partly in a cold environment. I came across Kenjiís recipe and it called for an 8-12 hour room temp rise and then up to 4 days in the fridge. Part of my problem is never deciding to make pizza until the day before. This process is one you have to be thinking ahead and thatís not necessarily my strong point. But after reading Kenjiís article I was inspired to give it a try. Wednesday evening I mixed up the dough in my stainless steel bowl and covered it with a towel. Maybe five minutes. Next morning I pulled it out onto a lightly floured surface and gave it 2 minutes of kneading and then divided it into 4 parts. Each part went in a plastic zip lock bag and into the fridge. Maybe another 5 minutes. And then off to work.  That evening I checked on them and was disappointed they hadnít risen more. I donít know why I thought they should, but I did. They looked small and clammy. Not inspirational at all. Friday evening I checked again and still small and clammy. I thought I might need to recombine and make 3 balls to get the size of pizza I was aiming for.

Itís midsummer and heating the oven up to 450 and cooking pizza in a hot house sounded like a bad idea so I decided to cook these pizze on the grill. Around noon I began to get all the ingredients together. I was going to make two chicken and pesto and two salami and sausage pizze. At 4:30 I took the dough out. They stuck to the inside of the bag and it was a bit of pain to get them out. I dusted them with flour and gently peeled them way from the plastic. Iíll have to think about that and see if I can come up with a better method. I formed each into a ball and set them in a lightly floured pan, covered it with a towel and left them on the counter. They still looked kind of small. Maybe they would rise a bit more and Iíd have enough to make all four.

By 6:30 the grill, with the stone, was hot. The thermometer was pegged as high as it could read at 450. The ingredients were assembled and the peel was at the ready. It was time to make a pizza. I uncovered the dough. Hmm, still rather small. I took one out and placed it on my floured counter. It was light and airy. You couldnít hold it as every time it was lifted the part not supported began to droop. The goal here was to not use the rolling pin and yet get the right size and thickness. Once on the counter I used my fingers to gently form a 6 inch circle. Iím thinking thereís no way this is going to make a 12 inch pizza without ripping. Better keep my rolling pin handy. I pick up the circle of dough by one side at a time and let it stretch down by its own weight and itís now about 8 inches in diameter. I then lift it up and use my knuckles to stretch it out. And this is where it became amazing. This dough was supple, delicate and yet strong. As I moved my hands around it stretched without breaking and it moved quickly. I barely moved my hands and gravity was making my pizza for me. It easily became an 12 inch pizza, it could have been 15 or more. I picked it up one last time to get it on the peel and it was so light and airy that as I laid it down it trapped a big air bubble in the middle. I had to lift up a side to release it. No holes, no tearing, no rolling pin. This was just awesome. Letís make a pizza.

This dough was a bit wetter than what I usually work with and I knew I had to work quickly or it would, despite putting a bit of extra flour on the peel, stick and be difficult to get onto the stone. Brush olive oil lightly around the edge, pesto, thin slices of tomato, chicken, artichoke hearts, mozzarella with a sprinkling of parmigiano. Now off to the grill. Pizza on the peel in one hand, lift the grill lid with the other. Start the back and forth movement to get the pizza moving andÖnot so much. It was sticking. Maybe there is a better method, but I often have this issue. I use my finger tips to lift the sticking sides and when it seemed to be moving enough made the bold move of faith and slid it quickly off the peel. And there it was, a 12 inch pie on the 14 inch stone. Close the lid. I had no idea how long this would take. In the housed with my old dough itís 15 minutes. Having read many times where people cook them for a few minutes and having no real idea how hot the grill was and not wanting to risk all the time and effort on the chance of burning this pizza I checked on it after 5 minutes. I lifted the lid and was hoping not to find a charred mess. It was beautiful. The edge and risen a half inch or more and was lightly browning. I lifted up the edge with a fork and the bottom was still whitish, but coming along nicely. Needs a bit more time, close the lid. 5 more minutes and I check again. It looks magnificent. Not at all like my regular pie. Nice, risen mottled brown crust, nicely toasted on the bottom. Off to the counter to cool and pop on the next pizza.

They were all delicious. Chewy, crunchy with flavors I had never had before that I canít even begin to describe because I donít completely understand what they were or how the hell they got in there. I just no they were very tasty. This was not just a good pizza it was a great pizza. Was it a perfect pizza? No, far from it, but one Iíd proudly serve to anyone.

I have done a bit more reading this morning on seriouseats.com http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/03/pizza-obsessives-chau-tran-the-balanced-approach-to-pizza-making.html?ref=search and I think I understand a bit more about what this dough was doing. Itís all about gluten formation. That combination of hydration, protein level of the flour, movement and time. I think I should be able to get a similar effect in a one day dough, but my normal process doesnít get enough gluten formation to allow me to hand stretch. Perhaps too much water, or not enough kneading or too much yeast? Or maybe a combination of all these that can be varied depending on the specific ingredients youíre working with. This will require more experiments, more testing and more pizza. And thatís not a bad thing.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 05:38:10 PM by juniorballoon »


Online scott123

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 03:26:33 PM »
JB,  wow, my fingers hurt just looking at this post.  What a journey!

You sound incredibly excited, and I'm happy for you, but, at the temp you're working at (in your home oven), the recipe you're using and the equipment your working with- believe it or not, you're only scratching the surface of your pizza potential.

Going from a 15 minute bake to a 5 minute bake is a paradigm shift in pizzamaking.  It sounds like you kind of winged it on the grill and got lucky. I think it's time for an ir thermometer so you can dial in the right 5 minute baking temp every time.

You should also work on your regular oven setup to be able to match this magical bake time. Is 450 as high as your oven will go?

Tell us about your stone. Brand, material, thickness?

Bags are really not ideal for dough storage, btw.  There's varying options, but, for people starting out round tupperware-ish containers are your best bet. Just make sure they're large enough for plenty of expansion.

I could give you advice on what perhaps could be a better hydration for your flour (it's KAAP, correct?), but I think there's a bigger issue here.  Neapolitan pizza is a 2 minute or less bake.  Longer than that and it's NY style pizza. I think, with your excitement over your 5 minute bake, it's safe to say that you're a NY style fan.  There's nothing wrong with aspiring towards Neapolitan pizza, but, until you've got equipment that can hit that time (usually a wood fired oven), you'll do yourself a huge favor if you completely embrace NY style, with the ingredients and the ratios it entails.

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 12:05:22 PM »
I posted this here in the Neapolitan forum not so much because I was trying to make a true Neapolitan pizza, more becasue the recipe called it a Neapolitan dough. And I knew if I posted to this site I'd continue learning. I have read that Neapolitan pizza in a wood fired oven cook for 2 minutes or less, but didn't know that if it takes longer it morphs into a NY style. I'm sure I'm missing something and there's more to it than that as well. Honestly I'm not sure what kind of pizza I am a fan of. My old dough was probably in the NY style, fairly thin and crispy, but I like all kinds of pizza and have tried making deep dish with some success.


I actually don't know how high my oven will go. I've never tried to go above 450. I looked online for some specs for a GE Profile, model num JB700DNWW, but didn't find any Max oven temp info. I'll have to just try it and see what it will let me do.

I have an 14 3/4 x 3/8 Onieda. I think it's made from clay. Out of the box it was a light brown, it's now as black as can be.

The bags were a pain, tupperware containers sound easier to deal with. Does the dough need air to ferment properly? When I sealed mine in zip lock I wondered if I should squeeze all the air out or leave some. I left some.

My flour for this pizza was KAAP Bread flour. I understand this is a higher protien flour. My usual mix was half KAAP Bread flour and half Bob's Redmill Semolina. I believe that semolina is even higher protien than the KAAP bread flour. Is there a listing somewhere here that has the realtive protien level of the different types of flour?

Bring on the hydration advice. For this dough I measured out 20 oz of flour and 13 oz of water with 4 tsp of salt and 2 tsps dry active yeast. Mixed the dry components first and then added the water. It seemed a bit dry and I added another 1/4 cup or so.

I look forward to trying to make a one day dough that I can work as well as the 3 day. I think I will always orefer the 3 day, and when I've planned ahead I'll use that method, but for more spur of the moment pizza, knowing how to get a one day dough as workable as the 3 would be a good thing. I am guessing, since the one day is less time I would need to add some kneading to increase the gluten structure?

As for future aspirations? I would love to have a pizza oven, but I know on my budget that is a ways off. Someday.

jb



Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 02:04:54 PM »
I can hear Eddie Vedder singing....."It's doughvalution babyeee!"

duh na na na na na, duh na na na na na....

Pizzas look quite good. --k
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 04:58:30 PM »
Welcome to our wonderful world of pizza obsession!
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 08:21:13 AM »
The method I use for adding ingredients is opposite yours, I add the flour to the water. I find it hydrates better that way.
Don

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 10:41:49 AM »
The method I use for adding ingredients is opposite yours, I add the flour to the water. I find it hydrates better that way.
Don

+1
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 10:46:15 AM »
The method I use for adding ingredients is opposite yours, I add the flour to the water. I find it hydrates better that way.
Don

+2

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 11:04:17 AM »
The method I use for adding ingredients is opposite yours, I add the flour to the water. I find it hydrates better that way.
Don

Do you add the salt and yeast to the flour before you add that to the water? I remember reading another post where, at lesat as I understood it, adding salt during hydration changes things somewhat.

Thanks,
jb

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 12:03:18 PM »
Do you add the salt and yeast to the flour before you add that to the water? I remember reading another post where, at lesat as I understood it, adding salt during hydration changes things somewhat.

Thanks,
jb

Personally, and several other members do the same, I use the direct method. Water to the bowl, then salt, then starter, then flour.

I add the water to the bowl. Then I add the salt to the bowl and stir thoroughly until the salt is completely dissolved. I then add the starter to the bowl and break it up with a spatula and gently stir it to ensure it is more evenly distributed in the water. I then add the flour and start the mixing process. --k
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 12:09:37 PM »
Personally, and several other members do the same, I use the direct method. Water to the bowl, then salt, then starter, then flour.

I add the water to the bowl. Then I add the salt to the bowl and stir thoroughly until the salt is completely dissolved. I then add the starter to the bowl and break it up with a spatula and gently stir it to ensure it is more evenly distributed in the water. I then add the flour and start the mixing process. --k

Exactly how I do it too with the exception that I use a whisk to stir in the starter until it is completely dissolved and a little frothy.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 12:37:37 PM »

Have a look at Glutenboy's thread/ method. Not bad at 2 days, but it really peaks at six days out. I love it!

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7761.msg66669.html#msg66669

Offline mishon

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 12:52:39 PM »
Exactly how I do it too with the exception that I use a whisk to stir in the starter until it is completely dissolved and a little frothy.

CL
I was under the impression that combining yeast with salt around the same time is not recommended.  For example, in the instructional video by Antonino Esposito, he adds salt to the mixer when the dough is close to formed.  What's the consensus?
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buceriasdon

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 01:20:45 PM »
I use IDY and find mixing my amount used in with the flour that it is buffered by the flour.
Don


I was under the impression that combining yeast with salt around the same time is not recommended.  For example, in the instructional video by Antonino Esposito, he adds salt to the mixer when the dough is close to formed.  What's the consensus?

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2012, 02:10:45 PM »
I was under the impression that combining yeast with salt around the same time is not recommended.  For example, in the instructional video by Antonino Esposito, he adds salt to the mixer when the dough is close to formed.  What's the consensus?

It's important to keep in mind there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to pizzamaking.

I've never had a problem adding yeast directly to the salt-water. And like others here my Neapolitan-ish formula uses a heavy amount of salt when it comes to pizzamaking (2.80-3.00% generally for me).

Adding yeast to a salt-water solution could have a negative impact on yeast performance, but the amount of salt dissolved in the water would have to be much higher than the amounts we are using for pizzamaking. --k
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2012, 02:23:59 PM »
I was under the impression that combining yeast with salt around the same time is not recommended.  For example, in the instructional video by Antonino Esposito, he adds salt to the mixer when the dough is close to formed.  What's the consensus?


mishon,

The way that Craig and pizzablogger do it is the correct (and recommended) way for a natural leavening system. You can do it the same way if using commercial yeast (fresh or dry) although instant dry yeast (IDY) can be combined with the flour as Don noted (that is, it doesn't have to be rehydrated). You normally don't want to add the salt and yeast to the water at the same time for other than a very brief period since, as the article at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html discusses, salt can have a retarding effect on the yeast because of the way that salt can leach liquids out of the yeast cells. The best and safest way do it is to let the salt hydrate directly in water and then add the leavening agent when there is very little likelihood that the salt will leach out yeast cellular fluids.

Sometimes salt is added to the dough toward the end of the dough kneading process if the flour is a strong flour. Otherwise, the dough may be overly strengthened by the salt. French bakers also added the salt later in the process. They weren't concerned with the fact that doing so caused the the dough to be bleached out by oxidation of the dough, which would have been prevented if used up front (because salt is an antioxidant).

Peter
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 12:01:30 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline mishon

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2012, 02:29:26 PM »
Thank you, gentlemen.  Very educational.  Please forgive the newbie.

Michael.

P.S.  Pete, the link is broken.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 02:34:27 PM by mishon »
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Offline SinoChef

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2012, 12:22:46 AM »
Quote
Sometimes salt is added to the dough toward the end of the dough kneading process if the flour is a strong flour. Otherwise, the dough may be overly strengthened by the salt.

When I do GB's method, the reaction is almost instant and very noticeable. The dough almost stand up in the bowl.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Doughvolution
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2012, 07:34:42 AM »
P.S.  Pete, the link is broken.

Michael,

Thanks for catching that. I have corrected the link.

Peter


 

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