Author Topic: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages  (Read 1718 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sb 44 champs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: S. Louisiana
Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« on: October 03, 2012, 09:38:12 PM »
Newb Q. I just rec'd Peter Reinhart's "American Pie" book. All of the dough recipes are in volume measurements. Should I just go with that or should I try and convert to bakers percentages? Is it necessary to do that?


scott123

  • Guest
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 10:25:25 PM »
Here's the simplest answer of all, don't use Reinhart's book :)

What kind of style are you looking to make? We can steer you towards a good recipe.

enter8

  • Guest
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 10:32:16 PM »
In the interests of a useful reply to the OP, here are some threads (c/o Pete-zza) that have baker's percentage conversions of Reinhart recipes:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8100.0.html, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13442.0.html, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8143.msg70018.html#msg70018, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13320.0.html, and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13037.0.html

According to a thread found at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14750.0
there is a member here, DanCole42, who has apparently converted all the dough recipes in "American Pie" into baker's percentages. You might consider PMing him.  


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22293
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 11:08:10 PM »
enter8,

Thank you very much for fetching all of those threads. Here is another post, at Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg63672.html#msg63672.

Peter

Offline sb 44 champs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: S. Louisiana
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 06:09:13 AM »
Here's the simplest answer of all, don't use Reinhart's book :)

What kind of style are you looking to make? We can steer you towards a good recipe.
Honestly, I don't know what kind of dough I want. I don't really care for thick crusts. I like a crust that is a little chewy w a crisp undercrust. as for as toppings, I go with the less is more approach. I like Neapolitan pizza's so that's what I've been doing lately.
Haven't really found a pizza dough that I really like so I've been trying different recipes. Most recently I followed this recipe. I placed the dough in the fridge for a 24 hr rest then a 2 hr rise at room temp and it was a pretty good dough. Fairly easy to work with. But I'm still experimenting.
Flour (100%):    206.63 g  |  7.29 oz | 0.46 lbs
Beer(60%):    123.98 g  |  4.37 oz | 0.27 lbs
IDY (.3%):    0.62 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.21 tsp | 0.07 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    3.62 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.65 tsp | 0.22 tbsp
Oil (.5%):    1.03 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.23 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
Sugar (.5%):    1.03 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.26 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
Total (163.05%):   336.91 g | 11.88 oz | 0.74 lbs | TF = 0.0772
I usually grill my pizza's on my Big Steel Keg and I'm in the beginning stages of building a gas fired pizza oven made from either a 55 gal drum cut in half or a ECB bullet smoker.

Offline sb 44 champs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: S. Louisiana
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 06:40:36 AM »
If I wanted to cold ferment any pizza dough, from 24-48 hrs, how would I determine the yeast and hydration amounts?
Also, I've seen some references regarding over-fermentation. How do you know if that has occured?
Thanks
Eddie

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 05:08:19 PM »
Most recently I followed this recipe.

Eddie, it would help to know what flour you're using to confirm that the water quantity is correct, but, other than that, it is an extremely solid NY style pizza recipe- far far superior to Reinhart's.

No offense, but, thanks to books like American Pie and ill informed pizzeria owners, this forum gets a huge number of new members that have a misconception of what Neapolitan pizza is. The ingredients and the recipe play a part, but it's the bake time that predominantly defines the style.  If you're baking pizzas in 60-120 seconds, that's Neapolitan pizza. If you're baking them longer, that's New York style. Each requires a different approach, ingredients and equipment.

If I'm wrong and you know exactly what Neapolitan pizza is, then you should be using a Neapolitan recipe and ingredients, along with finding equipment that can give you the fast bake critical to this style.  I've never seen a Big Steel Keg produce a Neapolitan pizza, and, honestly, I'm not entirely certain that it can.  If it is possible, it would take some pretty serious tweaking in order to achieve.

If Neapolitan truly is your goal, then your homegrown oven might be a means to that end. Since you're building this from scratch, as opposed to the LBE owners that modify an existing piece of equipment, you may have the opportunity to place the heat source in an alternate position.  If this is the case, I'd shoot for the side rather than beneath the hearth.

If, on the other hand, the 'margherita' pies you've been buying are just NY style pies mis-marketed as Neapolitan, then your life gets incredibly easier. You've got a great recipe and, with the BSK, the right equipment to do NY well. You might need to alter the BSK to get the proper amount of top heat, but it will not be anywhere near the kind of headache required to get a Neapolitan bake time.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 05:59:41 PM by scott123 »

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 05:37:22 PM »
If I wanted to cold ferment any pizza dough, from 24-48 hrs, how would I determine the yeast and hydration amounts?
Also, I've seen some references regarding over-fermentation. How do you know if that has occured?

Yeast activity is affected by temperature, time, minerals in the water, yeast age and by salt and water in the dough, along with a host of other factors.  Determining exactly how much yeast to use to ensure that your dough is ready exactly when you need it is probably one of the most difficult aspects to baking. I can establish a yeast quantity that will work perfectly for me, with my environmental variables, but if I give this recipe to you, it might not be ready in the same amount of time because your environment is different.

The only way to master it is to do it.  Use the yeast figure in the recipe, ferment it the time they specify.  If the dough doubles in that time frame, you're good to go. If it doesn't, then give it more time and/or a higher temp. If it more than doubles and/or begins to deflate, then, next time, either use less yeast or a lower temp. Record everything- recipe, water temp, air/flour temp, dough temp, yeast age, time out of fridge, time in fridge. As you make more and more dough, you'll have more data to refer to when you want to change something up and you'll be in a better position to be able to predict yeast behavior.

Determining hydration is another area where you can just work with what the recipe tells you (adjusting for the protein content of your flour), but if you really want to master pizzamaking, you've got to dive in and experiment with varying quantities of water and see what kind of impact they have on the finished result. For every oven setup/bake time, flour and recipe, there's going to be a hydration level that gives you optimal oven spring. Like, yeast, a recipe author can give you a ballpark, but they won't have your oven, and, if you want a perfect end result, you'll have to tweak the water content until the oven spring is optimal. Hydration also has a strong subjective aspect. Some people prefer the taste of lower hydration doughs while others prefer higher hydration doughs.  Dive in, play around and see what you like.

Over fermentation is a subject that is both complicated, personal and style specific.  For NY, I like doughs that have doubled in a 48 to 72 hour time frame. You will find some that like to push their doughs farther.  Many people consider deflated dough to be overfermented, but it really depends on the fermentation time. Unless the dough has been fermented for quite a few days, deflated doughs can generally be re-balled and will bake up just fine. If at all possible, it's best to use an amount of yeast that will double your dough in your desired time frame, and not take it to a point of deflation, though.

Offline sb 44 champs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: S. Louisiana
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 07:46:06 PM »
Scott,

All I have access to is KABF, KAAP, and Gold Medal bread and AP. As for as yeast, all I can get is Fleishman's.  I have IDY, ADY, and the pizza dough one. These are just in the packets with an expiration date of Apr of next year. My kitchen oven will not allow me to get the temps needed to cook a true neopolitan pizza. My KEG, on the other hand, can get pretty hot, in excess of 700 degrees.
The pizza oven I will be making should be able to get in excess of 800+ so my goal is for 1000, not necessarily always at that temp but would like to be able to do a pizza in the 90 second range.

The last dough I made, was made with beer in place of the water. After all the ingredients were added and the dough ball was made, I placed it in a gallon zip lock back and in the fridge for 24 hrs. When I took it out, it was on the flat side. Not sure if that's how it should have been or not. I placed it in a covered dish and let it rise for 2 hrs. After the 2 hr rise, it was double in size from the original ball (before it went in the fridge). It was fairly easy to work and the taste was good but not the best. Being in Louisiana, there are only a hand full of pizza joints that actually cook in a wook fired oven. I've been to one place in New Orleans, which is where I had my first Neopolitan pizza. IMO, it was fantastic but didn;t have anything to compare it to and still dont.

The one problem I do have is the kneading. I don;t have a stand mixer yet so I've been doing it by hand. And I guess the issue is not knowing when the dough has been kneaded enough. My dough balls always have a rough exterior/texture so I assume I did not knead it long enough. I will be picking up a mixer next week so i will be putting it to use during the week as I want at least a 24-48 hr cold ferment.

There is so much info on the web, and on this site. It's almost too much as it is difficult to dicepher all the info and apply it to a recipe. That's one of the reasons why i bought the book. Wanted something in print to compare to what I've read online.

I've taken recipes I find online and play around with the pizza dough calculation tool but I'm basically guessing at the quanty of yeast. I've been trying to keep the hydration at 61-63%, salt at 1.75% and if I do add sugar it's usually 1% or less.

It's been fun playing around but at the same time it gets a bit frustrating trying to get a decent dough. It's amazing that most recipes all have the same ingredients, just different quantities so i guess that plays a part as well as the cold fermentation time in the final dough (taste and workability speaking).

I've been reading alot on this site and compiling a recipe bank of the different recipes for the different pizzas. My goal is to just find a couple of recipes that I really like and experiment from there. I don't want to keep trying different recipes as I really find there is not a lot of difference in taste.
Anyways. since there are some good football games on this weekend, I might put together a couple of pizzas on Sunday and give the Neopolitan pizza another try.

Thanks for all the info.

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 05:57:23 AM »
My kitchen oven will not allow me to get the temps needed to cook a true neopolitan pizza. My KEG, on the other hand, can get pretty hot, in excess of 700 degrees.
The pizza oven I will be making should be able to get in excess of 800+ so my goal is for 1000, not necessarily always at that temp but would like to be able to do a pizza in the 90 second range.

Neapolitan pizza requires intense bottom heat AND intense top heat.  The typical scenario is an 850 deg. firebrick floor and 1100ish firebrick dome, with an intense fire/red glowing coals on the side.  You can switch out the floor material with something more conductive, and achieve Neapolitan undercrust charring at lower temps (with steel, as low as 650), but there's no material that can help you overcome an insufficiently heated dome.  Your KEG will never give you the necessary top heat for Neapolitan pizza.

Once you have an oven with the necessary bottom and top heat for Neapolitan, then I'd seek out a Neapolitan recipe and ingredients (such as Caputo 00 pizzeria flour).   Until then, though, a Neapolitan recipe in the Keg will never turn out as well as a NY recipe will. It's just the way these recipes/ingredients are engineered.

For now, embrace NY. Here is my current recipe:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20732.msg206639.html#msg206639

Until you can track down better flour, go with Gold Medal better for bread. For better for bread, go with a hydration of 61%.

As far as kneading goes, I knead by hand.  As expressed by quite a few members in the other thread, kneading by hand takes some elbow grease, but it produces comparable results to kneading with a machine- and some might say even better results, although I think it depends on the machine.

I minored in ceramics in College (which involved many hours of kneading), so I'm pretty comfortable kneading and have no issues with the 3-4 minutes of kneading that I recommend for a cold fermented dough.  If you're looking to expend less energy, you can toss a rest in the process.  1 minute knead to make sure that the dough is well mixed, then a 15 minute rest, then 1 more minute of kneading. A rest should let you trim off about a minute of knead time.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 06:12:31 AM by scott123 »


Offline sb 44 champs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: S. Louisiana
Re: Converting a standard recipe to bakers percentages
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 06:57:31 AM »
Scott, thanks for the info.
I will give your recipe a try.