Author Topic: I'm new but confused  (Read 1636 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline caltheide

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Lake Arrowhead CA
I'm new but confused
« on: October 20, 2012, 02:13:58 PM »
Well this is my first post and it will probably show my lack of knowledge when it comes to great pizza making but here goes....I am very confused about which flour to use for pizza.  Most recipes and pizza cooking shows I've seen advise using a High Gluten flour, the higher the better, but from quite a few postings I've seen here the recommended flour is OO flour.  I looked on line and King Arthur Flour recommends both a OO flour and a Sir Lancelot Hi Gluten flour for pizza yet they are at opposite ends of the gluten spectrum, their OO with very low gluten/protein in it and Sir Lancelot having a very high gluten content.  So I don't understand, the pizzeria's all say use the highest gluten flour you can buy but King Arthur and a lot of posts here recommend OO which seems to be almost like cake flour.  Why such a difference in opinion and which is the best?  Thanks for any help in this area.


Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 02:25:23 PM »
Why such a difference in opinion and which is the best?  Thanks for any help in this area.

Welcome. Your confusion is completely understandable. The term "pizza" covers a wide range of very different styles such New York, Chicago deep dish, American, Neapolitan, etc. Even within a single style, debate rages here about what constitutes the ideal crust and different methods of preparing the dough for that style. Flour selection is often important in achieving a desired style.

You can't select a flour unless you have a clear idea what kind of crust you are building. And even then, you might have to try a number of different flours or combinations thereof before you hit your target. You'll find all kinds of help here once you can describe your ideal crust.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 03:19:19 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline dellavecchia

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2628
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 02:34:27 PM »
EDIT: Bill posted above just as I was, and most of what I posted below he already covered.

Welcome to the forum. I completely understand your confusion. The choice of flour is dependent on what type of pizza you would like to make, how you will ferment it, and at what temperature you would like to cook it. In the case of the two flours you are referencing, they are the extremes in their categories. If you want a crispy, cracker-like pizza, go for the KA 00. The low gluten content will ensure the texture of a bread stick. If you want a chewy, New York style pizza, the high gluten KASL will get you there. If you just want to have some fun making pizza and cooking in your home oven, you can choose to go the middle route and just use KA All Purpose. The gluten content is in the middle of the extremes you referenced.

So there is no one best flour, just the best flour for your oven and what type of pizza you want to produce.

John

PS. Not all 00's are created equal. The KA 00 is a huge exception - most 00 flours are higher in gluten.

Offline caltheide

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Lake Arrowhead CA
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 02:57:09 PM »
There is a place I get pizza I really like.  It is a thinner crust, but not cracker thin, which is crunchy outside and moist and chewy inside.  It seems to be my favorite crust.  I don't like a crust that is so thick and chewy you pull your teeth out as you yank it from your teeth and I also don't like the thin very crisp cracker crust.  I actually shouldn't say "I don't like" cause I love all pizza but I do love the kind of thin, but not too thin "crunchy" yet moist and slightly chewy interior the best.  I've tried to get the recipe to no avail.  Plus I think the employees really have no idea, they just use what they're told to.  Thanks to all who reply, I can use all the help I can get.

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10300
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 02:59:59 PM »
Welcome caltheide,
 To break this down to a most basic, general explanation...you will usually see 00 flour used in Wood Oven Neapolitan pizza making and the Sir Lancelot Hi Gluten flour you will very often see this used in thin crust New York style pizza cooked in deck ovens(or in our case, home ovens and outdoor grills).
As the others have wisely mentioned, there is a lot in between and many here also like to work with combinations of different flours all within one recipe to get the results they want. Very interesting and lots of fun...enjoy!

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6937
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 03:44:48 PM »
To break this down to a most basic, general explanation...you will usually see 00 flour used in Wood Oven Neapolitan pizza making and the Sir Lancelot Hi Gluten flour you will very often see this used in thin crust New York style pizza cooked in deck ovens(or in our case, home ovens and outdoor grills).


Bob, KASL is almost never used in deck ovens.  Pizzeria owners are way too smart to spend that kind of money on flour. It's generally only misinformed home bakers that fall for the hype and pay top dollar for a flour that isn't ideal for NY style pizza.

Cindy, is the Pizzamania you go to in the LA area?

http://thenewdiner.blogspot.com/2007/09/pizza-mania.html

If so, it's NY style- and not really all that good NY style at that.  If that's what you want to mimic, though, it's pretty easy to do.  Tell me about your oven. Electric or gas? If gas, does it have a broiler in the main compartment? What temperature does the dial go to?  What stone are you working with? Brand? Thickness? Material?

What's your current recipe?

Do you go to Pizzamania often?  If you do, could you time a bake on one of the pizzas? A bake time will go a long way in recreating their results.

Offline caltheide

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Lake Arrowhead CA
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 02:30:02 PM »
We go to the Pizzamania in Whittier.  We donít go real often since we live so far away, only when visiting relatives in the area.  And even though we do love their pizza I would like it better if it had the crunchy crust like the pizza place where we live.  Itís that crunch, not cracker crisp break, I am so desperately trying to recreate. 

Regarding what Iím doing, here is exactly how Iím making my pizza currently.  It has changed somewhat since first starting.  I am using a modified Ina Garten recipe.  4 cups bread flour, 2 teaspoons ADY (she uses 4t but I let my dough sit overnight and have read to cut in half if letting sit overnight), 1 tablespoon honey, 1 ľ cup warm water and 2 Ĺ teaspoon salt.  I proof the yeast with Ĺ cup water and the honey till bubbly.  When proofed I add the oil and mix then add this to 1 cup of the flour in a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer bowl along with the rest of the water.  I mix using the whisk attachment till smooth.  I remove the whisk and cover and let stand covered for 20 Ė 30 minutes.  I put on the dough hook and start adding in most of the flour and salt and mix till it leaves the sides of the mixing bowl but sticking just a little to the bottom.  I knead on low for 10 minutes.  I then form into a loose ball, cover with a little oil and place in an oiled plastic tub and let sit on the counter for about an hour.  I then put in the refrigerator overnight.  I take it out about 2 hours before needing, divide into four, ball, place on an oiled sheet pan till needed.  I hand roll out about 30 minutes before topping because I read somewhere it will give a little bit more chew to the dough.  I bake in an electric home oven, setting the temperature its highest, 500, on unglazed tiles I buy at Lowes on the highest rack.  They are probably around an 1 1/2Ē thick.  I preheat the oven/stone for an hour.  I use a peel to place in the oven but I think Iím going to starting putting on screens because by the time I open the oven, pull the rack out a little and slide the pizza onto the stone I think Iím losing too much heat.  I bake around 8 minutes.  Iíll still place the screened pizzaís on the stone.

I have read some good things on this site regarding setting the oven on broil the last 10 minutes before placing the pizza in which made me start thinking Iím taking too long with trying to get the pizza in and losing too much heat so I think Iím going to get some screens.  I also read somewhere on the site that the oil should be added last but I donít know why.  I also read the dough, after kneading, should be around 80 Ė 85 degrees but I have never taken the temperature and have no idea what my doughís temperature is or why it should be that temperature.  Iím guessing it has something to do with yeast reaction but I could be wrong, I need to research that more.

As much as I love pizza and have eaten it all my life and now want to make my own I never realized there were so many types, New York, Neapolitan, wood fired, deck oven, etc. so I donít really know the differences between them all, only that I really love the not too thin, not too thick, crunchy crust with a moist soft interior.  Thank you for helping.

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6937
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 03:32:01 PM »
Cindy, do you have a name for your local place with the crunchy pizza? Is there any way you can time a bake? I can, with the photo, help you achieve a pizzamania pie, and the adjective 'crunchy' helps us, to an extent, to be able to reverse engineer the local spot's pizza, but, without more information, we're basically flying blind here.

Get a digital scale and use it for measuring flour and water. It's the only way to guarantee consistent results.

Oil plays a role in crispy/crunchy crusts.  Add some oil (maybe 3%) to the dough.

Are you sure these tiles are 1 1/2" inches thick or are they just 1/2" thick?

With your crunchy goals, you don't need a fast bake time, but tiles might be too slow.  You really should have a traditional cordierite pizza stone. A kiln shelf works perfectly in this role.

When you're using a peel, you don't pull out the rack.  You slide the peel in the opening and giggle the pie off onto the stone.  Screens slow down undercrust bakes and also may impact crunchiness adversely. I'd avoid screens.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 03:34:19 PM by scott123 »

Offline SquirrelFlight

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 192
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Tigard, OR
  • Who needs nuts?
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2012, 11:47:43 AM »
I'm not 100% sure, but this sounds a lot like the pizza style I'm trying to recreate, which is one that is fairly popular in the Pacific NW (I grew up in Oregon, so it has a lot of nostalgic value to it).

You may want to check out the thread on DNA Dan's Malty Laminated crust: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13389.0.html

Offline theppgcowboy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 114
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 10:44:34 AM »
One of the best things you can do right out of the starting block is get a scale, a digital scale.  Work with weights instead of volumes.  You will get consistency every time.
http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Scale-Bakers-KD8000-Weight/dp/B001NE0FU2/?tag=pizzamaking-20 is a great example of the type of scale you should get.


Offline caltheide

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Lake Arrowhead CA
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 05:20:32 PM »
I actually do have a nice scale but have never used it for pizza.  Since reading this forum that is definitely how I will do my next pizza.  In fact I just finished a worksheet to help me with conversions, weights, etc.  I love the pizza shown in the link by squirrelflight.  I think it is one of the best pizza crusts I've seen.  I love the blistered effect, I think the blisters would make the crust nice and crunchy. In researching canoli dough I found the best way to get the big blisters/bubbles is to add an acid, like wine or vinegar and refrigerate the dough right before frying.  This seems to be similar to what Dan Malty is doing with beer and refrigerating the dough. Thank you both for the great advice.  Cindy

Offline caltheide

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Lake Arrowhead CA
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 05:30:17 PM »
I meant Dan in his Malty Style Pizza.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1915
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 05:41:17 PM »
I figured it out before you clarified; thought you were just being creative.

Offline SquirrelFlight

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 192
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Tigard, OR
  • Who needs nuts?
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 11:52:42 AM »
Did Malty Dan just get a new nickname?   ::)

Offline Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10300
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: I'm new but confused
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 12:08:35 PM »
Malted DNA..... :o
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"