Tom Santos, from General Mills called me today, after I had left a message on his voice mail the other day. Tom sure seems to know a lot about pizza dough and flours.
Tom asked me how he could help me and I said that I can't seem to find Pillsbury 4X patent flour at my local flour distributors. He asked me why I wanted to use the Pillsbury 4X flour and I told him I had gone to Trenton, NJ and thought that maybe one of the pizzerias I ate at might be using Pillsbury 4X flour in their dough. I told Tom that I was trying to make a Trenton style tomato pie and couldn't get the crust right in texture. I did tell Tom that I used bakers percents for my dough formulations. Tom asked me what kind of flour I was using now and I told him what I am using and what kind of pizzas I make with the flour I am using. Tom asked me different things about my formulations and also how I mix the dough. Tom told me I am really adding the oil wrong in the dough if I want to have a stretchy skin. I thought what the heck am I doing wrong that I didn't find out here on the forum. Tom told me when I was adding the oil to the water first, I would be coating the protein too fast and then the dough wouldn't be as stretchy and also it would give me a different texture in the final pizza. Tom told me to try adding the flour, yeast, salt, water (and if any sugar is added to add them all together) and then mix only 45 seconds and no longer than a minute, then add the oil and continue to mix. He said that then would give me a better stretching dough and final pizza. I don't recall if Tom's method of mixing has been mentioned on the forum before or not, but if it was I sure didn't remember it. Tom said he has been all around the US and tried pizzas and helps pizza operators make their dough and pizzas better. Tom also told me that if I am using sugar to only use about 1% sugar and about 3% oil and to have a lower hydration dough for a Trenton Style tomato pie. Tom said he is familiar with Trenton tomato pies. I told Tom I cold ferment my dough balls for one day.
I also asked Tom if I couldn't find Pillsbury 4X flour in my area what other flours, or flour would be comparable. He told me Full-Strength is almost exactly the same as Pillsbury 4X. Tom said both flours have a protein of 12.6%. I then asked what was the difference if both flours have a protein of 12.6%. He said it was just a difference in the milling process and either flour should work for the kind of pizza I want to attempt. Just not too long ago I started using a leftover bag of GM full-strength for bench flour, so I will have to wait until next week to purchase a bag to try. I told Tom I never could get a formulation right when trying GM full-strength.
I wish I could have talked to Tom longer because he sure seemed to know a lot about pizza doughs.
This is an article I found about Tom Santos, Tim Huff and Bill Weekley. I find it kind of amusing what is said in the article that they are known as the “Doughminators” and are on a mission to rescue pizza places from crust catastrophes. The article also says that the pizza business accounts for such a large percentage of flour sales, but Tom, Tim and Bill found out that many pizza people don't know their dough. http://www.blog.generalmills.com/2012/03/the-doughminators-to-the-rescue/
Are there any other questions anyone wants me to ask Tom about this style of dough?
This is the list of protein values of flours sold by General Mills.http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/flour/category/pizza
I forgot to ask, but really don't understand what patent flour is.