Author Topic: Close, but not quite...  (Read 234 times)

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Offline Goodelleric

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Close, but not quite...
« on: February 03, 2016, 06:11:17 PM »
Howdy!

I'm not exactly a newbie, but think this is the appropriate forum for asking for help as I assume I'm making some newbie mistakes!  I've had great success over the last few times I've made pizza with the dough recipe described in reply 65 by Pete-zza in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5635.html#msg5635 (Thanks Pete!)

My latest venture was making 6 full sized pizzas for my girlfriend's extended family.  They were a huge hit, and tasted great!  Her 7 year old cousin made the sauce (with a bit of help) and had a lot of fun topping his pizza.  Even the 12 year old pre-teen had fun.  Toppings included pepperoni, bell peppers, italian sausage, whole milk mozzarella, and parmesan.  While the pizzas were good enough and tasted great, I think improvement can and should be made. 

For reference:  I use a kitchenaid mixer for mixing the recipe above, and a baking steel @550 for cooking using the broiler with the steel near the top of the oven. The dough sat in the fridge in a bulk rise for 2 days before baking, and was removed and separated on the counter and covered for 3-4 hours before final shaping.  I had some issues a couple years ago on my first pizza attempts with dough that was VERY elastic and tough to handle, so I err on the side of minimally touching it, and usually just stretch it if possible without ever pressing on it. 

Places where I'm having success:
  • Taste - The pizzas are delicious!
  • Cooking - I'm very happy with the baking steel/broiler combo.  The 6 pizzas were cooked basically back to back and each took probably 6 minutes
  • Dough - It tastes great, has been very consistent so far, and seems to handle very well compared to my past attempts based on recipes elsewhere (some with volume measurements, some without the gluten, etc).  I suspect I'm also getting more skilled and re-trying some of the past recipes they'd work fine, but I'm happy with this recipe for right now.

Places where I'm having issues:
  • Bubbles - As you can see in the picture, my crust is bubbling up like crazy!  I suspect my handling could be improved, and am looking for advice in that regard. Should I be peppering the dough with a fork after shaping?  Popping bubbles?  I popped most of the big ones but still ended up with a very "poofy" pie.
  • Shaping - My current shaping is "good enough," but it's not anywhere near as fast or round as the folks in pizzerias are making.  Does anyone have any advice or a link to a good video on shaping the dough?  I usually end up with a really thin spot in the middle and end up just tugging around at the edges to even it out as best I can.
  • Proofing Containers - Right now I just use a big mixing bowl for a bulk rise, then remove the pizzas to the counter on parchment paper for the final rest/rise at room temperature.  Do you all have any favorite containers for individual fridge rises?  The mixing bowls take up a lot of space and I'd rather have something with a real lid than loosely fitting plastic wrap.
  • Stuffed Crust - At the request of my girlfriend's aunt, I attempted a stuffed crust pizza by basically folding the crust over some mozzarella.  She seemed to like it but I wasn't too happy with how it turned out.  Any advice for next time?

« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 06:13:43 PM by Goodelleric »


Offline Giggliato

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Re: Close, but not quite...
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 03:32:28 PM »
Those pizzas look pretty good. You could try using a rolling pin on one of your next pizzas and see how you like it, if you're not a fan of puffy crusts.

I did notice that your sauce was a bit light, more sauce would mean more weight on your pizza, which would mean less rise, but it would change the taste. Your toppings also seemed to be centrally distributed. You could try placing more of your toppings around the outer edges. Which would reduce the edge rise.

Offline Goodelleric

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Re: Close, but not quite...
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 08:43:34 AM »
Those pizzas look pretty good. You could try using a rolling pin on one of your next pizzas and see how you like it, if you're not a fan of puffy crusts.

I did notice that your sauce was a bit light, more sauce would mean more weight on your pizza, which would mean less rise, but it would change the taste. Your toppings also seemed to be centrally distributed. You could try placing more of your toppings around the outer edges. Which would reduce the edge rise.

I appreciate the input, I'll give more sauce and widening the toppings a try.  I told my girlfriend I was looking at ways to improve the pizza and she didn't want me to change the crust at all.  Guess that settles that!  Now I've just got to get my shaping a bit more even and circular. I'm making another batch tonight, so will try a few new shaping techniques and see what happens.

Offline Goodelleric

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Re: Close, but not quite...
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 01:05:22 PM »
Made another batch of pizzas for friends last night and it solved pretty much all of my problems.  No fresh pictures as I was pretty busy, but here's a picture of leftovers.  I used plastic bread bags for an individual rise, that helped a lot with forming as there weren't any seams in the dough.  I also pushed out some of the bubbles before stretching.  Added a bit of sauce per the above advice and it worked well.  The crust is just a bit denser than I'd like, but that's a focus for another day.  I'm making another batch for another part of my girlfriend's family this weekend, the new ease of handling thanks to the bags will hopefully make the process smooth, and practice is always good!


 

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