Author Topic: Chewier  (Read 1883 times)

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Offline ghost

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Chewier
« on: January 04, 2006, 12:47:58 AM »
So if I want to make a pie chewier, I don't want to change the thickness or the size of the resulting pie,
what would I adjust?  I'd like it to look the same, just have a softer chewier texture.


Offline scott r

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Re: Chewier
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 01:56:27 AM »
Ghost,

To me softer and chewier are almost opposites?  If you can be a little more speciffic it will be easier for us to help you.

Your pies should be softer if you use oil, more oil , or a lower gluten flour.

Also pies can get more airy (softer?) by kneading less, or by increasing hydration (to a point).

Offline Wazza McG

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Re: Chewier
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 04:31:58 AM »
Hmmmm, would you consider 15 minutes in a Bread Machine on dough mixing mode too long to get good voids around the crust rim on a New Yorker? 

I'm using a 63% hydration and  get a good rise, however, I fail to get those varying voids that I see - I am thinking it must be heat related that stops me from achieving them. 

Also, I think the term chewier could lead people to believe it to be more like a bread consistency as large voids would be termed light and airy.

Would I be right in saying that a New Yorker is light and airy on the rim of the crust with a delicate crunch?

Ghost - to answer your question from my limited experience;  increase your oil by 20% and lower your hydration by 3% - use measuring devices and document your changing recipes until you get what works for your combination of ingredients.  Changing flours can throw your recipe out of whack -  00 flours = recipe 1, High Gluten Flour = recipe 2.  I have even noticed the difference from 00 flour to another 00 flour as well, the hydration on each flour is different (gluten governed) and is quite critical when you are trying to achieve great result that are consistant.

Hope this helps,

Wazza McG
« Last Edit: January 04, 2006, 04:49:37 AM by Wazza McG »
Fair Dinkum - you want more Pizza!  Crikey ! I've run out out them prawny thingymebobs again!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Chewier
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2006, 10:41:41 AM »
ghost,

scott is right. When it comes to achieving chewiness in a NY style crust there is a fairly fine line between chewy and tough. So, some experimentation will normally be required to achieve the degree of chewiness you are after, especially in a home setting where there are so many variables. The most typical ways that chewiness in a baked crust is achieved are as follows, pretty much in the order noted:

1) Use a high gluten flour, such as the King Arthur Sir Lancelot or comparable brand. The high protein content of such flours inherently contributes to chewiness and is one of the reasons high gluten flours are so often used by pizza operators to make NY style pizzas. If only bread flour or all-purpose flour are available, then vital wheat gluten (VWG) can be added to such flours, following the recommended amounts/rates specified by the producer of the VWG.

2) Add semolina flour to the base flour selected. A typical range is up to about 25% of the total flour (by weight), although one pizza operator I spoke with who makes a semolina-based NY style uses about 50%. A crust using semolina flour will sometimes start out being a bit crispier but as it sets it becomes chewier. Some people use cornmeal instead of semolina flour, but cornmeal imparts a distinctive flavor component that isn't nearly as noticeable as when using semolina flour and may not be desirable. Cornmeal may also produce some grittiness in the crust, which may also not be desired.

3) Slightly underbake the pizza, provided this can be done such that the top and bottom of the pizza are done at the same time. You might be able to compensate in part by using the broiler element in your oven to finish the top of the pizza before the crust dries out and becomes too crispy.

4) Reduce the hydration (the weight of water relative to the weight of flour) and/or reduce the amount of oil and/or sugar, both of which tend to impart softness and tenderness to the crumb when used at levels that exceed around 4-5%. Some NY style dough recipes are already light on the oil and sugar, so in such cases there is little that needs to be done. However, some NY style dough recipes call for a fair amount of oil and/or sugar. Reducing the amounts of those ingredients should contribute to chewiness. Some care is required in changing the levels of water, oil and sugar, especially in the case of the hydration, since you may end up with a tough crust rather than a chewy one.

5) Allow a finished pizza to rest for a few minutes directly on a flat surface rather than on a rack. This forces steam back into the pizza crust and can increase the chewiness. However, there is an equal chance that you will also get a somewhat softer crust.

Another approach to achieving increased chewiness that is rarely mentioned but provides a nice degree of chewiness in my opinion is to use a preferment as the leavening agent for the dough. Doing this produces a sourdough type of crumb that has a high degree of stretchiness and elasticity at the same time. You can tug and pull the crust and see the strands of the crumb stretch but not break. They just spring back when you release the crust. These qualities inherently contribute to the chewiness of the crust. A nice side benefit of such a crust is that the chewiness remains in any leftover slices (if you have any). That is because a sourdough-based crust has better keeping qualities than most crusts made with commercial yeast with a dramatically lowered staling rate.

If you find a solution that works best for you, I hope that you will report back to us on your results since many of our members may also be looking for a chewier NY style crust.

Peter



« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 09:29:15 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Chewier
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2006, 11:06:36 AM »
Wazza McGee,

I don't know what type of bread machine you are using or its sequence of operations, but in my machine (a Zojirushi) fifteen minutes of kneading would not produce good results from the standpoint of achieving a nice open and airy crumb. Some machines acknowledge that pizza dough is different from bread dough by providing a separate pizza dough cycle but most bread machines are designed to make bread dough, not pizza dough. In my case, I had to use very cold water to reduce heat buildup in the dough (bread machines are among the worst offenders in this regard), and I had to alter some of the machine sequences and to reduce the total knead time to a fraction of what the machine would do if left to its own devices.

I might have also mentioned in my last post that using an autolyse may also produce a more bread-like crumb with a less chewy quality. This should not be surprising since the concept of autolyse came out of breadmaking, not out of pizza making. Having said that, however, I found that using autolyse in the context of a preferment-based Lehmann NY style dough produced a very nice crumb with a high degree of chewiness--much better, in fact, than when I have used autolyse with a dough leavened with commercial yeast.

I would say that you described the NY style accurately, although in my NY style pizzas I also like a slightly crispy bottom. However, as one who is not a native New Yorker I do not feel particularly qualified to speak on such matters. So, you may want to rely on the descriptions of a real expert on the NY style.

Peter


 

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