Author Topic: Make ahead skins  (Read 1368 times)

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Offline San Jose Dale

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Make ahead skins
« on: October 02, 2012, 04:00:19 PM »
I've been using my WFO for about 6 months now and getting great results. I've decided Neapolitan is my favorite and most suited for my oven. When having lots of friends, where I have made as many as 15 pies throughout the evening, I find the most time consuming, while hungry folks are waiting for the next pie, is shaping the skins. Does anyone have a good method to preshape a bunch of skins, and perhaps stash in the refrigerator, until ready to use? If so, what do you use to keep the skins separated? Or, is this just a bad idea, and I should just learn to stretch the skins faster?

Any advice is appreciated,

Dale


Offline mkevenson

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 05:25:19 PM »
Dale, sounds like you really like and are taking advantage of your WFO. I was at a wine tasting facility over the weekend, I went because of the WFO and pizzas that had been written up in our local news paper, but to the point, it was lunch time and the chef had at least 6 tickets for pizza constantly while I was there eating and watching him at his craft. He formed each skin one by one, dressed the skin and baked in the WFO. I have seen this same process at other kitchens and in videos. It would seem that if it were better to pre stretch the skins, these chefs would do it. Of course it may also be because they know that the public likes to see them work?

Mark
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Offline bakeshack

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 05:25:47 PM »
What is your method for stretching the dough?  The easiest way is to use gravity.  Neapolitan dough should be very soft and when you pick it up, it should stretch itself pretty quickly.  Also, how many pies can you bake at once?  It won't do you any good stretching all of the dough if you only cook 1 or 2 pies at a time inside the oven.  Most of the members here cook 1 or 2 pies only since it cooks so fast, you can easily burn it.  In 90 secs or less, you can finish the 15 pies quickly even if you bake them 1 at a time.

Marlon

Offline San Jose Dale

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 05:33:12 PM »
I use gravity, the ceiling, the walls, slap it on my chest..... :) Yes I agree its a very soft dough, but to have the skins made ahead, I can save time, the mess, etc. Just wondering if anyone does this. I cook only one or 2 at a time, in 90 sec. The cooking is by far quickest part.

Offline bakeshack

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 06:38:04 PM »
I use gravity, the ceiling, the walls, slap it on my chest..... :)

If you can do that, then pre-stretching the dough and keeping them in the fridge without drying them out or keeping the flour you use to separate the skins from sticking and burn in the oven, should not be a problem for you.  Good luck. 

Offline San Jose Dale

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2012, 06:47:23 PM »
Ya, that dough seems to stick to everything. I read a Jamie Oliver tip, to separate skins with oiled tinfoil, and keep everything sealed in plastic wrap...

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 07:02:27 PM »
Now this might not be for everybody ....but as soon as I get my WFO I plan on buying a monkey and training him to stretch out the dough balls for me.   ;)
All part of the show...ya know?!   8)
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 07:10:21 PM »
Dale,

Tom Lehmann is frequently asked by professionals how to pre-prepare skins in anticipation of being slammed but I do not recall that the questions were in relation to high-hydration doughs that want to stick to everything. For example, see Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18052.msg183111/topicseen.html#msg183111. Tom sometimes also suggests pre-making the skins and using cardboard rounds or parchment paper as separators for separating the pre-made skins in a stack. In both cases, the skins go into a cooler (they are covered in some fashion) and are later subjected to a warm-up period at room temperature prior to using. I have read that some professionals dust their pre-made skins with flour to mitigate the sticking problem. However, they may need to use a fair amount of flour.

You might also want to go over to the PMQ Think Tank forum and search the archives there, where you may find more on this subject. You can also pose your questions there (you will have to register) but if you do so, you might want to emphasize the fact that your dough is quite sticky and for use in making Neapolitan style pizzas.

Peter

Offline San Jose Dale

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 07:15:34 PM »
good info Peter, thanks.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 09:22:04 PM »
Oiled tinfoil is like flypaper to high hydration doughs, aside from oiling the dough.  Use wax paper and lots of flour, but I think it is a waste of time.  If you want to pump them out faster, do it like the pros and break the task down amongst 2 or 3 people:  skin prep, topping the pie, and oven tender.  If only 2 are available, skin prep/oven tender and topper seem to be the norm.


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 09:42:26 PM »
prestretching and stacking is going to defeat the whole purpose.....think about it.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizza dr

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2012, 02:31:47 PM »
The easiest solution to this problem is to get some help.  Generally, if I have a few friends over, I will open one ball  and sauce ( if necessary), I then have some one else top them making sure they are not overloaded. 

While they are topping that pizza I'm opening another ( usually just with fingers at this point) and let it rest.  I then cook the pie and have my helper cut and serve. 

Then its on to the next... It goes pretty fast especially if you can move your operation next to the oven. 

My helper can be anyone from my wife to my 12 year old.

I couldn't imagine how you would stretch a neapolitan style dough out more than a few minutes without untoward effects IMHO. 

Scot 

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2012, 03:14:10 PM »
The easiest solution to this problem is to get some help.  Generally, if I have a few friends over, I will open one ball  and sauce ( if necessary), I then have some one else top them making sure they are not overloaded. 

While they are topping that pizza I'm opening another ( usually just with fingers at this point) and let it rest.  I then cook the pie and have my helper cut and serve. 

Then its on to the next... It goes pretty fast especially if you can move your operation next to the oven. 

My helper can be anyone from my wife to my 12 year old.

I couldn't imagine how you would stretch a neapolitan style dough out more than a few minutes without untoward effects IMHO. 

Scot 

well said, +1
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Hotrodheb

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Re: Make ahead skins
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 12:46:19 AM »
Dale, for our pizza parties, I usually give the newbies a quick rundown on how to stretch the dough and the rest of the assembly and then let them all make their own pizzas. I do take care of all the cooking though. I have three wooden peels, so three people can be assembling pizzas at the same time. While most of the pies are no where near round, everybody seems to enjoy them. Had one party where we had about 20 people here, and it moved along fairly well.

BTW, I live in Campbell, so pretty close to you.