Author Topic: Still Soggy After All These Years  (Read 2247 times)

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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Still Soggy After All These Years
« on: November 04, 2012, 09:14:53 PM »
I've been baking quite a number of pizzas lately in my Blodgett 1048.  Everything seems to be going well except that the center of my 18" pies become soggy a few minutes after removing from the oven.  While the pies are crispy initially, the tips become limp as wet noodles by the time one starts on the second slice.

Baking time is about 4:30, salt 1%, Hydration 64%, Pendelton Power, no sugar, 1% EVO, 48 hour proof, .3 IDY, 82 degrees out of the mixer, 70 degrees when opened.

I've even resorted to putting zero sauce, cheese only, and no other toppings in the center 6 inches--no luck.  Even the rim becomes soft when cooling.

How do I keep and maintain crispiness?
RE


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 09:32:54 PM »
What do you do immediately after you take the pizza out of the oven?  Rack or plate?
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 09:36:54 PM »
RE,

What bake temperature are you using, and have you tried a longer bake time? And what is the weight of the dough ball you are using for your 18" pizzas?

Peter

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 11:51:42 PM »
I cool on a cooling rack for 3 minutes before panning and cutting.

I've been using a 720g dough ball.  During the last bake, however, I used 790g each for the seven pies I made, this seemed to help somewhat.  The stones IR at 650-700 degrees.

After the pie cools, either whole or sliced, then reheated, there is a fantastic crunch that is out of this world and it lasts, too, not going soft.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 11:54:41 PM by Pizza De Puta »
RE

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 07:38:09 AM »
Sounds to me like a perfectly typical NY style.  That's why some people prefer to eat at the restaurant while the pie is fresh, others prefer to eat at home long after it has cooled and softened,  and many, many others buy it by the slice so that it is reheated for that perfect bottom.

I would think that if there were some way to make a NY style pizza have a lasting crisp crust, it would have been done long ago.  A lot of our present varieties of pizza may owe their original genesis to trying to do so.  Thin & crispy, fried pan style, deep-fried pizza... all looking for an elusive crunch.

IMO, your present efforts are beautiful, and I don't think you can really better them by changing the crust characteristics. Not saying don't try - you may come up with your own unique trademark pie.   :chef:
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 07:47:42 AM »
I think you've got way to much dough for a 4 minute bake.  It's been a while since I've done one, but pretty sure my 18" New York style balls are about 575 grams.  I'm on my phone so can't double check.  Do you know your thickness factor?
-Jeff

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 07:55:04 AM »
I cool on a cooling rack for 3 minutes before panning and cutting.

I've been using a 720g dough ball.  During the last bake, however, I used 790g each for the seven pies I made, this seemed to help somewhat.  The stones IR at 650-700 degrees.

After the pie cools, either whole or sliced, then reheated, there is a fantastic crunch that is out of this world and it lasts, too, not going soft.

RE,

Based on a dough ball weight of 720 grams for an 18" pizza, the corresponding thickness factor is 0.10; for a 790-gram dough ball, it is 0.11. Both of those values are on the high side for what is typically considered a NY style if that is what you are after.

In retrospect, I might have asked you what kinds and amounts of cheese, sauce and toppings you are using.

Since you directed your post to Tom Lehmann, I will let him respond to it.

Peter


Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 10:10:00 AM »
Using 1 1/2 cups of sauce and 400g of cheese.

Doughball sizes are within the recommended parameters of the calculator on this site.  I couldn't imagine using less than 700g for 18", the crust is paper thin at that point and want's to tear.

I love the reheated qualities of this formulation.  By the reheated slice, it is easily the best pizza I've ever eaten.  I'm just much less enthusiastic about a whole pie, fresh from the oven, with only one bake.  Our taste testers and "tasting victims" at the charity events we've sponsored wave the crust around in the air and declare it the best, then ask when and where we are going to open.  I find the sogginess a bit embarassing and don't want to proceed with opening until I can solve this dilema.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 10:19:00 AM by Pizza De Puta »
RE

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 10:25:03 AM »
Well, would it be possible in your workflow to bake the pizza 3/4 of its normal time (to the point of crust development, but not coloration), pull it from the oven, rack it for a minute or two to let the steam escape, then put it back in to finish it? 

I think it's the escaping moisture that is giving you the soggy aspect. If you allow it to escape, then essentially toast the bottom while finishing the top you might get the texture you crave.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline norma427

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 11:03:45 AM »

RE,

I also find my bottom crusts become limp, or softer, after they are placed on an aluminum pizza pan (after cutting on a pizza cutting board).  I keep my whole pies or slices in a heated, humidified, lighted revolving pizza cabinet.  All I have to do is put a slice back on the deck for about 15-30 seconds and the bottom crust is crispy again.  Some of my customers like the softer bottom crust, but more of my customers like a quick reheat to get the bottom crust crisper.

Norma
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Offline scott r

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 11:09:10 AM »
at 4:30 with a doughball that size there is just too much moisture to bake away in a very short amount of time.  4:30 is not really a NY style pizza (I dont care what scott123 says :) )   You are making coal oven speed pizzas (or faster!), but you dont have the intensely dry environment of a coal oven to help dry out and crisp up your pizza.    I was just at a bunch of coal oven pizzerias in NYC and new haven, and even all of those places were making 5 minute + pizzas (I was timing them).     Here is what you are going to want to do to get a crispier pizza while minimally changing the crust characteristics you like, and keeping the doughball size you like.  

1) slow down the bake slightly.... try dropping your oven temp by just 50 degrees at first.
2) bring down the hydration of your dough. just one or two points should help.  It will also help you to stretch a less tapered crust (part of your problem)
3)  when you stretch your pizza, make sure its not too thin in the center and thick at the edges.  To get a more uniform thickness try some new stretching techniques.  I noticed that at most of the coal oven pizzerias there was really not much if any time on the Knuckles.   Too much knuckle time will create too much taper in the dough and a very huge rim with a very thin middle section if your not careful.   Instead, spend more time stretching on the bench.

Finally, if none of this works you can drop down the size of your doughball, but you are going to have to get your stretching procedure more together to avoid the very thin middle/thick outer sections.  
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 11:17:15 AM by scott r »

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 08:14:47 PM »
Good Advice, Scott.

Today we made seven pizzas for a charity event.  Using straight Power flour and 700g balls, I reduced hydration to 63% from 64%, then spent more time shaping the pie on the bench focusing on a tight, even base and a smaller rim, less time on knuckles.  Baking time up to 5 minutes now, and made sure the crust was brown, brown.

The tips held up better and were less soggy.

Epilogue:  Reheated a couple of slices an hour after delivery on the still hot stones of the Blodgett.  Pepperoni, linguicia, mushroom.  Unbelievable.  We need to open, I'll be 300 lbs if I don't stop eating this way.
RE

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 08:21:51 PM »
Good Advice, Scott.

Any pics to share PDP ?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 09:39:57 PM »
Any pics to share PDP ?

No, I got the camera ready but we boxed and rushed out to deliver them hot.  Frustrating.
RE

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 10:21:02 PM »
No, I got the camera ready but we boxed and rushed out to deliver them hot.  Frustrating.

Next time my friend, I wan't to see pix. :chef:
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 10:20:05 AM »
RE,

I thought that Tom Lehmann might have responded to your original post. I suspect he may have seen it but saw that so many other members had already posted on the subject that he couldn't devote the time needed to read all of the posts, and hence passed on responding. In any event, I think that he would have responded along the lines that scott r did (and as I would have responded had I decided to post on the subject).

If you are still interested, you can go over to the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewforum.php?f=6 and use its search function. You might use the search terms "soggy" and "Lehmann" (without the quotes). The PMQTT search function doesn't always use all of the search terms, and you may have to wade through posts that are not pertinent, but with patience you should eventially find the most useful posts, including Tom's posts. I have found that using the term soggy will pull up posts that pertain to the baking aspects of pizza making as well as sogginess that emerges after the pizza is done baking, and especially pizzas that are to be delivered to customers. If you are not interested in the sogginess of delivery pizzas, you can further narrow your search string.

Peter

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 09:35:20 PM »
Thank you for the search tips, Pete.  I read old posts for several hours and can summarize what I found regarding the causes soggy centers:

1.  Dough too thin.  The thinner the dough the quicker and more susceptible it is to saturation.  Usually due to overstretching or insufficient dough ball size.

2.  Cook time too short.  Longer baking times make for dryer crust.  The less moisture left in the crust after baking the more liquid it can absorb before saturation.  

3.  Compaction of dough.  From sheeting, overpressing, or insufficient yeast rise tends to trap moisture and lends itself to sogginess.

4.  Sugar and oil.  Both encourage browning and shorter bake times, leaving more moisture in the finished crust.

My last test bake had less sogginess due to slightly lower hydration and a concerted effort to stretch more on the bench and less on the knuckles, preserving more dough in the center.  My next bake on Monday will increase doughball size 50g, increase yeast, and decrease oven temp slightly to achieve a flat 5 minute bake.
RE

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2012, 09:16:29 PM »
Much better after these adjustments.  Pics posted in the NY Pizza Section/Veterans Day.
RE

Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Still Soggy After All These Years
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 12:07:41 PM »
Another thing you may want to consider is the amount of water in your sauce. Since I don't know whether you are using whole plum tomatoes, 6 in 1, or a Bonta type tomato to make your sauce, liquid factor that is required for each is different..with the plum tomatoes requiring the least, if any, and the Bonta requiring the most.

Basically, just consider the "hydration" of your sauce as another factor that can possibly be leading to sogginess.

Good Luck!

Anthony
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