What's up, guys, reporting results from this journey of myself to understand a little more about gluten and it's strength factors. I'm trying to make American style pizza, similar to Pete's Papa John Clone. In my previous experiments, I was aiming for a 3 day fermentation, to guarantee the flavors and aromas from long-cold fermentation. Experiments where not being productive, because the mistakes I made while learning, and my little understanding of the whole complex pizza making process, made the learning process harder to manage than in a daily basis of experimenting.
So I decided I would start making same day doughs, with 2 hours of ambient room fermentation, and picking up the results and knowledge on the same day, and when I understood more, I would plan a longer fermentation.
Well, I'm giving more attention to these 4 factors in my dream's pizza now: Strength, Flavor, Moisture, Airness.
Strength: this is the one I'm about to tackle, on the same day dough.
Flavor: I understand that the best way to tackle this one is by the use of a long fermentation, pre- ferments, or additives in the mixing ingredients (like more or less sugar, salt, honey or herbs) or adding additives before baking (like butter, infused oil, etc). I plan to tacke Flavor after getting the same day Strength, Moisture and Airness I want.
Moisture: I'm looking for a pizza crust that doesn't make you thirsty, although the sauce, cheese and ingredient's moisture will help on this, but I would like the crust to be the least dry possible. I want it to release a bit of moisture when you bite it.
Airness: I would like the crust to be spongy and not that dense.
Going back to my almost solved Strength issue:
I tried the new 12 % protein, and got a dough that got tighter in the mixing and kneading process When hand kneading, it felt less sticky to the touch, and was easier to hand knead. I used too much yeast, because the dough got too big in the 2 hours fermenting, it went from a shaped ball of (Base: 8.5 cm/ Height: 5.3 cm) to a fermented ball of (Base: 15 cm/ Height: 5.75 cm)
. It had a lot of gases, and when I touched it, it deflated, and left the top skin of the dough very wrinkled; this gave me a hard time when shaping the dough, because the wrinkled skin surface started to form folds on itself, when using my fingers to shape. Another thing that led me to think that I had used too much yeast, was the fact that I docked the shaped dough 3 times, and still got a big bubble in the oven.
These are the baker's I'm using:
I'm reducing the yeast to 0.35%. I hope these eliminates the wrinkles the skin got from containing too much gas, and the big bubble that formed during baking.
One question regarding to Strength: I'm reading the "Pizza Bible", and Tony the author mentions something about autolyse, his words:
"THE AUTOLYSE METHOD To give breads and pizzas a better crumb and stronger structure, some bakers like to “presoak” their flour in water (for 30 minutes, or even up to 6 to 8 hours to maximize absorption), a technique known as the autolyse method. This gives the flour a headstart on hydrating before you add the other ingredients. The enzymes in the flour begin to break down its starches and proteins, which helps gluten develop."
By gluten develop, I guess he means that the dough becomes more extensible, rather than elastic right?
Pic1: Dough while mixing, with the yeast added at last.
Pic2: Dough scars, when tight shaping the ball
Pic3: Dough ball before fermenting
Pic4: Dough ball after fermenting.
Pic5: Dough deflated, after fermentingm with wrinkles
Pic6: Folds formed on dough skin during the shaping
Pic7: Massive bubble
Pic8: Airness and thickness. Airness was ok but not the one I wish =)-