Author Topic: Working out some better dough, better sauce  (Read 3606 times)

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Offline GuzziJason

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Working out some better dough, better sauce
« on: January 27, 2013, 10:56:55 PM »
Hi folks -

I recently made some tweaks to my dough and sauce, and I though I'd share.

The sauce: I've had problems in the past getting the consistency right, and I think I've finally worked it out.

First, I run the tomatoes through a juicer with a course screen (I have an Omega VRT350, which comes with fine and course screens). In this case, I used Pomi chopped tomatoes, but next time I think I'm going to try some whole peeled tomatoes. The juicer did a good job of separating out seeds. I would imagine the result is similar to putting the tomatoes through a food mill (I don't have a mill, so just guessing).

Next, I took what came out of the juicer and use a fine mesh strainer to eliminate a good amount of water.

Finally, I add seasoning - a bit of salt (the Pomi tomatoes are not packed with any salt) and some fresh minced oregano.

The results are excellent! Relatively low moisture, yet smooth enough to easily spoon on and spread around the pizza.

The attached photos show:
  • the juicer screen
  • separating out the water
  • side-by-side drained water and processed tomatoes



Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 11:01:41 PM »
And the dough:

I've started experimenting with using a poolish in an effort to get more flavor. I've also increased the salt and sugar from my previous recipe (1.0% -> 1.5% and 1.0% -> 2.0%, respectively).

For the poolish, I took 100g each of KABF and water, and combined that with a little more than half of the IDY called for in my recipe, which works out to approximately 1/6 teaspoon (if anyone has a good way to accurately measure small quantities of yeast, I'm open for suggestions!) The poolish was allowed to ferment overnight for 10 hours.

When the poolish was ready, I mixed together most of the flour, and all of the remaining water for my recipe, and autolyzed for 30 minutes. Then, I added the poolish, salt, sugar, and additional yeast. This results in a fairly batter-like dough, that I kneaded with a hook for about 2 minutes. Then I added oil (2%), kneaded for 3 more minutes, added the reserved flour to tighten up the dough to more of a ball, and kneaded for approximately 5 minutes more. Overall hydration was about 63%. The resulting dough was divided into 3 individual balls, and put in the fridge.

4 days later, I made the first two pies (photos attached). Dough was allowed to sit at room temp for about two hours before baking. The dough was very supple and extensible. Flavor was excellent - very happy with that, but the oven spring left a little to be desired. Bottom of the pies was nice and crisp. Overall, I was pretty happy.

I decided to let the 3rd ball age a bit more...

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 11:03:24 PM »
And, the 3rd pie - this was after a full 7 days in the fridge. Oven spring seemed a little better, and I got some decent crust bubbles, which I happen to love. I've always seemed to noticed that I have better luck getting crust bubbles with older dough. I know some people don't like the bubbles, I'm always disappointed if I don't get any - I find the texture and flavor the provide is necessary for my ideal pie!

I was very happy with today's result. I just wish the dough didn't need a full week in the fridge to get to where I need it. If that's the way it is though, so be it. I'm open to suggestions on how to speed up the process, however! :)

Cheers!

__Jason

Offline Ev

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 07:06:38 AM »
Nice looking pies, Jason. I'm sure they were very tasty! To shorten the process without sacrificing quality, you simply have to make dough more often, say 2 or even 3 times a week, so that there is always some ready or at least a day or two away.  :)

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 12:39:10 PM »
LOL! The thought did cross my mind. I think I would need a walk-in cooler in my kitchen  :-D

One thing I was wondering about, though... before I started working with the poolish, I used to make the dough and then let it rise at room temp for an hour or two, then punch it down, divide, and put in the fridge. I did not do this first rise again after adding the poolish - I just kneaded the dough, and then divided and put in the fridge.

What - if any - effect would this additional rise have at this point? Would it serve any useful purpose?

__Jason

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 12:54:07 PM »
I agree that the pies are looking good. As far as accurately measuring small quantities (yeast and slat come to mind), I bought this $20 scale that weighs to the hundredth of a gram: http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Digital-Pocket-Scale/dp/B003STEIYY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359395578&sr=8-1&keywords=acpro-200

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 01:14:46 PM »
One thing I was wondering about, though... before I started working with the poolish, I used to make the dough and then let it rise at room temp for an hour or two, then punch it down, divide, and put in the fridge. I did not do this first rise again after adding the poolish - I just kneaded the dough, and then divided and put in the fridge.
Jason,

If you let the dough rest at room temperature before putting the dough balls into the refrigerator, and all else being equal, the dough balls will ferment faster than if they were placed in the refrigerator without the rest. That means the dough balls will be ready to use sooner.

Peter

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 01:42:52 PM »
Thanks, Peter - that makes sense. I think on my next batch of dough, I'll go back to allowing it to rise once prior to dividing, and see how that works out.

__Jason

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 01:46:30 PM »
I agree that the pies are looking good. As far as accurately measuring small quantities (yeast and slat come to mind), I bought this $20 scale that weighs to the hundredth of a gram: http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Digital-Pocket-Scale/dp/B003STEIYY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359395578&sr=8-1&keywords=acpro-200

Barry


Oh, wow! I already ditched one scale that had 5-gram precision in favor of one with 1-gram precision. I think I may just have to supplement that one with the even-more-precise scale that you suggest.

Thanks!

__Jason

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 02:04:31 PM »
Oh, wow! I already ditched one scale that had 5-gram precision in favor of one with 1-gram precision. I think I may just have to supplement that one with the even-more-precise scale that you suggest.

Thanks!

__Jason

Yup. I have two scales.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 02:44:08 PM »
I noticed they had a 100g model as well:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012LOQUQ/?tag=pizzamaking-20

I decided to go with that one. For an additional $3.50, I figured I'd pick up a calibration weight to go with it. Now... to figure out how to hide it from the wife - if she sees I've bought yet another digital scale, she'll think I've gone mental! LOL!

__Jason

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 06:16:24 AM »
Thanks, Peter - that makes sense. I think on my next batch of dough, I'll go back to allowing it to rise once prior to dividing, and see how that works out.

__Jason


Jason,

This morning I came across this Pizza Today article by Tom Lehmann on the above topic: http://www.pizzatoday.com/magazine/2011-november-dough-doctor#.UQetj2t5mSM. Keep in mind that the article is in the context of a commercial pizza operation where a large number of dough balls is involved. The potential problems are fewer in a home setting where only a few dough balls are involved. But I wanted you to have the benefits of Tom's views on the subject.

Peter

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 04:40:49 PM »
Thanks, Peter - good info. However, the way I read that, it sounds like Tom is referring to letting the dough rest after balling, and then transferring to the refrigerator. That's not exactly what I had in mind. Rather, I was intending to let the bulk dough rest/rise at room temp, and then punch it down and divide it into balls before moving to the fridge.

The reason I *didn't* do this when I started working with the poolish is because I was concerned with both over-rising the dough, or over-working the gluten. Over-rising seems to be a non-issue in my case. Not sure about the effect on gluten, however.

Edit: sorry - I think he's actually referring to moving the dough to refrigeration in-bulk rather than individual balls, but that doesn't really matter for my purposes.

__Jason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 06:42:12 PM »
Jason,

Your approach is a bit different because you bulk ferment first and then divide and scale, but the common feature is giving the dough (bulk or individual dough balls) some fermentation before going to the refrigerator or cooler.

With respect to your edit, I am certain that Tom is talking about doing the division and scaling of the dough as it comes out of the mixer. In a commercial setting that is the standard method. It is rare to see a bulk ferment and then the division in a commercial cold fermentation application. It is, however, very common for room temperature fermentation applications, for example, for Neapolitan style doughs.

Peter

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 04:36:18 PM »
Well, I finally got time to make another batch of dough. This time, prior to balling, I let the dough rise for 2 hours @ ~80. It looks nice - we'll see how it is after a few days in the fridge.

Interesting side note: I received the new 100g scale (with 0.01g precision) that was discussed upthread. At the same time, I decided to purchase the 100g calibration weight. Out of the box, the scale was off by a small amount (about 0.15g, if memory serves). It's nice to be able to recalibrate it. Also, using this scale, I found that I wasn't using nearly the amount of IDY (by weight) that I *thought* I was using before. So, I think this batch of dough has a bit more yeast in it overall than my previous effort, which may be good because as I noted, my last batch lacked some oven spring. A bit more yeast may help.

At this point, I'm using the small, precise scale for the small ingredients - yeast, salt, sugar, oil, etc. For the flour and water, I'm sticking with my big scale. For those of you who are O.C.D. about precisely measuring your ingredients, I strongly recommend the smaller scale - it really eliminates any guesswork!

__Jason

Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 10:03:31 PM »
Made the first pizza from the 4 dough balls I made on Sunday. I usually like to "age" the dough for more than 2 days, but for the sake of science, I decided to bake one today. It was good, but I don't think the crust was quite what it could be with more time in the fridge.

This one was a white pie with chopped fresh plum tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Baked for 6 minutes @ ~575. I figured the thickness factor at ~0.07.

__Jason
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:05:36 PM by GuzziJason »

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 01:03:03 AM »
Looks like a great pizza. Nice job. Glad your new tools are working out too.

Online Tscarborough

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2013, 05:44:15 PM »
Looks very nice and tasty.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2013, 05:47:35 PM »
Looks good, Jason. That combo is one of our favorites. I'll be interested to hear how the taste and texture develop as you let it go for a while more in the fridge. What's your plan for the other 3 dough balls?

Barry
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Offline GuzziJason

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Re: Working out some better dough, better sauce
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 09:17:35 PM »
Thanks! I do like this combo too - it can be good with some dollops of ricotta cheese on it also.

For the next pies, I'm planning to make another batch of red sauce - this time with Cento "Italian style" whole tomatoes (not the DOP or certified, though... these are what I happened to find at my local grocery). I'm going to keep it simple - a margherita style, and then perhaps a good ol' fashioned cheese and pepperoni. I very rarely do pepperoni on pizza for whatever reason - usually, I use ham instead - I love a good ham & cheese pizza!  I don't want to get too crazy with the toppings at this point - I have to keep reminding myself that this is a just a dough experiment :D

I too am curious to see how the dough develops. I've kind of done this experiment before, but not with so much documentation/note taking. I want to get to a point where my results are consistently reproducible.

__Jason