Author Topic: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration  (Read 1255 times)

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Offline I Have Feet

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Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« on: September 08, 2012, 07:43:32 PM »
Well, after making some pizzas yesterday with a significantly lower hydration than I typically work with (63%) I decided to go in the other direction and try a couple pies with a very wet dough (80%).  Baked a bianca and a margherita, and I'm rather pleased with the results.  Here are the specs:

100% Roger's All Purpose flour
80% water
2.5% salt
0.3% active dry yeast

Mixed using stretch-and-fold technique, then gave an overnight room temp bulk ferment.  Shaped dough balls in the morning and let proof around 4 hours before baking under my electric broiler. Both pies finished in ~2:50.

Some of my own thoughts:

- I'd use slightly less yeast with this high a hydration next time
- The spotting was perhaps the best I've achieved yet, especially considering the < 3:00 bake times.
- However, the spotting on the upskirt of the margherita could be more charred.  It was the second pie and I could've waited a bit longer for the stone to return to full heat under the broiler.
- I'd like to get a bit more tangyness to the flavour of my crust. It's nice as it is though. Subtly sweet and wheaty like a traditional baguette.
- The crumb was very soft and tender.

Well folks, please have a look and offer any feedback you might have. I'm ready to have any illusions shattered about my pies being half decent. :P

Cheers!

Brendan
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 07:45:23 PM by I Have Feet »


Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 07:44:07 PM »
Brendan

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 10:08:59 PM »
There is not a lot of fault to be found in those pies. The coloration is nice and the crumb is beautiful. Nice job! 80% HR - impressive, and RT ferment - I like that.

You won't ever get much tang out of baker's yeast no matter what you do with it.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 06:48:23 PM »
Thanks so much Craig!

I've seen you mention in other posts that you prefer a room temperature ferment to a cold ferment.  Why do you think that is better?

Have you always used wild yeast or did you start out with ADY/IDY? I should have another go at growing a starter. I've tried a couple times before but it has always died before it was ready to bake with. Mostly because I messed up on the feeding schedule. It rather frustrated me as I'm generally a fairly skilled baker and so I feel like I should be able to do it. Eventually I'd like to get to the point of using wild yeast almost exclusively.

Have you ever tried using a piece of scrap dough to increase flavour complexity? (i.e. Where you reserve a small piece of a batch of dough in the fridge and then mix it into the next batch within the next few day.) I've tried this with baguettes and like the results, haven't got around to doing it with pizza yet. The ultimate idea is that every batch a piece gets saved and so the flavours get more and more complex over time. (Though I assume there would come a point where the unpleasant flavours would outweigh the good ones.) I don't bake daily enough to have fully tried this out yet.

Cheers,

Brendan
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 09:58:28 PM by I Have Feet »

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 07:31:39 PM »
Yes, I started with ADY. I wasn't getting the flavor I wanted, so I went to SD. I've tried old dough, but I don't see any advantage to what I'm doing now.

With respect to cold fermenting, I believe you develop more flavor in a shorter period of time at ~64F than you do with days in the refrigerator. More importantly, I think it negatively impacts the performance of a SD dough when baked - oven spring, texture, digestability, etc.
Pizza is not bread.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 08:45:09 PM »
Brendan,

In line with what Craig reported, one of our members, pizzanapoletana (Marco), an expert in Neapolitan doughs, has often said that the ideal temperature for a room-temperature fermentation is 18-20 degrees C (64.4-68 degrees F). As it so happens, if you are using an Italian 00 flour, that flour is especially adapted to room temperature fermentation. Marco also once equated a room temperature fermentation for one of his doughs to about 3-4 days of cold fermentation (last paragraph of Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3057.msg25932.html#msg25932).

As far as using the old dough method, I have tried that a few times but unless you are able to do that on a regular basis, it is not something that is easy to do. Several years ago, when there were only a few of us playing around with the Neapolitan style pizza, I tried to replicate the old dough method that was reportedly used by Anthony Mangieri at UPN (in NYC) but using my standard electric home oven. I described my results at Reply 55 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9547.html#msg9547 and also at Reply 63 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg9680.html#msg9680. Later, I used the old dough method to try to replicate the famous New Jersey De Lorenzo dough when one of our members felt strongly that De Lorenzo was using the old dough method. As it turned out, De Lorenzo was not using the old dough method. But I tried it nonetheless and reported on my results at Reply 73 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.msg44522.html#msg44522, Reply 76 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.msg44531.html#msg44531, and Reply 86 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.msg44598.html#msg44598. As I noted in the last reply, I did not deem the old dough method to be a practical one for the individual home pizza maker. Notably, Marco was also not a fan of the old dough method, as he made clear in Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,861.msg8679.html#msg8679.

You are also correct that there is a limit to how far (i.e., how many generations) you can take the old dough method. Professor Raymond Calvel mentioned this problem in his book The Taste of Bread, as I noted in the last paragraph of Reply 84 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9339.msg81757/topicseen.html#msg81757.

Peter

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 11:33:57 PM »
Thanks so much for all that, Peter!

Brendan

Offline masa

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 10:31:03 AM »
Those Pizzas look great, I am interested in what kind of Oven you use ?
Thanks
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 12:01:03 PM by masa »

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Today's pies, experimenting with hydration
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 02:04:54 PM »
Thanks Masa!

My oven is just a lower end electric oven, the kind you'd expect as standard issue in a rental apartment. I'm using a lodge cast iron pizza pan as my surface and cooking under the broiler from about 3" away.

The cast iron is more conductive than a stone and so gets better colour on the bottom, allowing me to keep the bake times to around 3 minutes-ish. Another benefit is that the cast iron can be put on the stove top. I will preheat it on the large stove element while the oven preheats for 20 minutes. At that point the cast iron is screeching hot. Then I flip on the broiler, put the pan in position and shape and top my pizza. I make sure to put the pizza in while the broiler element is bright red. If it starts to turn off mid way through the bake I'll open the door a crack for a few seconds until I hear it click back on. I find the benefits of having the broiler on for the full bake outweigh the slight heat loss from opening the door.

Cheers,

Brendan


 

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