Author Topic: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough  (Read 1616 times)

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Offline ryansm

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Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« on: June 25, 2013, 02:30:43 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I just had my first experience with Pepe's this weekend, and was hugely impressed. Naturally, the first thing I did when I got home was to do some research on here to try and figure out what's going on  ;)

The thing that stood out most to me, perhaps, was how beautifully salty their crust was. The saltiest crust I've ever had, by far. I make all of my doughs with 2.2% salt, and nothing I've ever made (probably 50 or so pies by now) has ever tasted that salty.

I've just started looking for members' formations for similar pies, but I've definitely not seen anything higher than 2.0-2.2%. Do you think Pepe's is using a higher percent of salt than this, or was I maybe picking up on something other than salt when I tasted it? It wasn't salty tasting at all, but seemed as well seasoned as a dough could be before becoming salty--nearly flirting with the border, I suppose.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Ryan

PS:
As I said, I've just started researching potention formulations to try out, but so far, this one by polishpizza looks the most impressive: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23549.msg239407#msg239407

I'd also really appreciate if anyone more familiar with this topic could point me towards better/competing formulas or share their results with this one. Thanks again!!!


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 04:59:24 PM »
Referring to the saltiness, are you talking about the whole pizza? Or are you specifically saying it was that salty just when you were eating the crusts? Because if it was just the crust, then the only you can do is up your salt % a little. If you talking about the whole pizza, it could easily be the cheese and the sauce contributing to the salt factor.

Also as it pertains to that recipe you selected, I think it is just fine to start. All the recipes people are using for this style are very similar. The biggest differences come from flour choice, workflow, and baking environment.

Offline ryansm

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 05:20:59 PM »
I'm talking about just the crust alone, fully separate from any of the toppings. Another thought I just had was that perhaps it was perceived as more salty because it was a more dense crust than NY style, with lots of air bubbles in the puffed rims.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 07:34:22 PM »
Pepe's was originally made by a small bakery in Amsterdam, NY, but that is long gone. I resently talked to someone at a place that was contracted to make Pepe's dough at one time, but they are no longer making it. It is probably made by contract, whoever bids the lowest gets the contract for however long the deal lasts. Finding the maker, unless you have some inside knowledge, would probably be damned near inpossible, my advice, wing it on your own. Personally, I found Pepe's dough to be ok, although a little bland. Member @Norma has plenty of info on Pepe's dough.

Offline norma427

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 11:27:05 PM »
Ryan,

If you want to see the one Pepe's dough formulation Peter gave me to try, it is at Reply 242 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17632.msg174362.html#msg174362 

If you look through that thread you can see what happened. 

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline scott123

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 02:33:09 AM »

Dave and Norma, Ryan is referring to Pepe's pizzeria in New Haven, not the Pepe's dough balls that Norma was experimenting with.

Ryan, I'm very sensitive to salt, and can always taste it at the 2-3% levels you find in Neapolitan pizza.  When I tasted Pepe's, I couldn't detect anything higher than 2%. I know you said that this isn't topping related, but I'm thinking it could be. Pepe's is very big on Romano- and that can drive up the salt.  It's also possible that they haphazardly sprinkled the the Romano and some got on the outer crust. Or maybe the person making the dough that day got the measurement wrong and added a bit more salt.  I think, though, that it's safe to say that, on a typical day, Pepe's is not a high salt (>2%) dough.

Btw, that recipe you have is a bit dated.  It's a solid recipe for NY, but this is more appropriate for a home oven Pepe knockoff:

Makes 3 17.5" pizzas:

[size=inherit]Full Strength Flour (100%):
Room Temp Water (58.04%):
IDY (.53%):
Salt (1.87%):
Total (160.44%):
Single Ball:
907.84 g  |  32.02 oz | 2 lbs
526.91 g  |  18.59 oz | 1.16 lbs
4.81 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.6 tsp | 0.53 tbsp
16.98 g | 0.6 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.04 tsp | 1.01 tbsp
1456.53 g | 51.38 oz | 3.21 lbs | TF = 0.0712
485.51 g | 17.13 oz | 1.07 lbs
[/size]

Measure dry (no yeast). Measure wet (+ yeast). Mix wet to dissolve yeast. Dry into wet. Mix, on lowest speed, in a spiral mixer 7 minutes, scraping down sides every few minutes.  Dough consistency should be between cottage cheese and smooth. Scale. Ball and place in lightly oiled dough pans. Refrigerate two days. Remove from fridge 3 hours before baking. Total time between making the dough and baking should be as close as possible to 48 hours. Dough should be just touching the sides of the container after removing from fridge. If not, use more yeast next batch. If it's risen up the container sides, use less yeast.

Bake on steel plate positioned on the highest oven shelf (4" from broiler) with a foil wall around the plate tilted at an angle to bounce radiation from the broiler towards the edge for of the pie. Pre-heat plate for 60 minutes at 550.

Dust wooden peel with 33/33/33 flour/semolina/corn meal
Stretch skin"
    finger press/rim form
    edge stretch (this is critical)
    knuckle stretch

to around 18" (it will spring back a bit) and place on peel

Quickly dress the pizza, shaking between each topping to make sure the skin doesn't stick
Launch
Wait 1 minute
Turn on broiler
Wait 1 minute
Rotate pizza 180 deg. with metal peel
Crack oven door if broiler shuts off. Broiler should be on for about 80% of the 7-8 minute bake.
Turn every 1.5 minutes, checking bottom color and top.
Retrieve, using metal peel, onto cooling rack
Allow to cool 8 minutes
Transfer to 18" metal pizza pan
Slice and serve

Cheese is sliced whole milk Boar's Head but any quality wholesale brick cheese will work. Sauce is ROA1 code tomatoes with a little salt.  As far as I can tell, both the Sclafani's and the Cento Italian tomatoes have this code. Non meat pies get a drizzle of evoo.  Everything gets a liberal dusting of Romano.

Dialing in the right amount of broiler time will take some trial and error. Also, the 550 preheat direction is for an oven that runs a bit on the cool side.  The steel plate should be around 540 for the bake. If your oven runs hotter, you might want to go with a 525 pre-heat.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 09:33:41 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline norma427

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 07:24:14 AM »
Dave and Norma, Ryan is referring to Pepe's pizzeria in New Haven, not the Pepe's dough balls that Norma was experimenting with.


Scott,

I had wondered about that after I posted last evening.  :-D

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline ryansm

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 08:52:17 AM »
Oops, yes, I should have specified Frank Pepe's in New Haven, sorry for any confusion!

As for the salt issue, it stood out quite strongly to me when I was eating, and everyone at the table agreed. I think I have a pretty sensitive palate, and what I tasted was a salty crust, not any hard cheese (though that's a good suggestion!). Anyway, I could have just been having an off day; that seems more likely than them aggressively oversalting their dough. But in either case, I quite liked it!

And Scott, thank you very much for your detailed response and updated formula and prep instructions! I really appreciate your generosity and willingness to help.

I live in a top floor apartment, and it's been quite hot and humid lately, so I haven't been doing much pizza making, but I'm hoping for a cool spot within the next week or so when I can try this out.

Offline communist

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 10:30:04 AM »
of the 7-8 minute bake.
  Scott, is that correct?  At 530 on steel, my crust starts to burn after 4 or 5 minutes.  Thanks  Mark

Offline scott123

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 12:11:15 PM »
Sounds good, Ryan. This is definitely not the time for indoor pizza making.

Mark, steel is a little more complex than I had originally perceived it to be.  When I worked with Polishpizza (Frank), using the recipe above and a 540-ish stone (preheated for an hour and a half just to make sure it was saturated), we were getting 7 minute bakes. Since the recipe/process wasn't that different than others getting faster bake times with steel (such as yourself), it was/is a bit of a mystery.  My best theory is that mild steel can vary a bit in density/carbon content/conductivity and that one steel plate will have slightly different bake properties than another.

This might also explain Kenji's 4 minute 450ish degree bakes with steel.

This potential variation in steel is part of the reason why I continue to recommend 1/2" over 3/8", which one or two people have managed to squeak by with.


Offline ryansm

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 09:24:59 PM »
Scott, could you tell me more about the benefits of Full Strength flour? I've always used All Trumps in the past, and I'm very accustomed to working with it. I just picked up a bag of Full Strength today, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on its benefits/downfalls and how it's different from All Trumps, aside from protein %. Thanks!

Offline scott123

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 07:12:15 PM »
Ryan, the goal for NY and NH style pizza should be to have enough gluten for good rise and a somewhat chewy texture, but not so much gluten that the dough borders on tough.  Unless you're incredibly careful, 14% protein flour tends to produce too much gluten, whereas 13% protein tends to, no matter what you do, give you just the right level of protein development.

Another huge benefit of Full Strength is that, as far as what's reported on the forum, Full Strength is what Pepe's uses, so if you use what they use, it's a good basis for cloning endeavors.

Offline ryansm

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 11:02:06 AM »
Scott,

I had a chance to try out the formula you gave me, and it was a huge success! Thank you so much for your help!

The only change I made was to scale the salt up to 2.2%, based on my own preferences, and it turned out brilliantly. The Full Strength flour was a joy to work with! As I mentioned earlier, I've previously used All Trumps, and I found Full Strength to be better on all counts.

Considering this is from an apartment oven that I despise--we're worst enemies, actually--I'm quite happy with the results.  :)

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 12:47:28 PM »
This looks very good. Is it worth trying this without a steel plate?

Wife will kill me if I purchase another pizza-related item right now.

John K

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 03:13:43 PM »
Wife will kill me if I purchase another pizza-related item right now.
John,

You might tell her that it is work related but that you can't discuss it any further because of the patient-physician privilege >:D.

Peter

Offline Pizza Rustica

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 03:30:08 PM »
Ryan, those look great. How is the chew/feel of the Full Strength? Here on the west coast its hard to find. Can you provide a summary of your formula/process, thanks.
Russ

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 10:55:37 AM »
John,

You might tell her that it is work related but that you can't discuss it any further because of the patient-physician privilege >:D.

Peter

 >:D

Offline scott123

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Re: Salt Content of Pepe's Dough
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2013, 09:56:42 AM »
FWIW, I'm a little late with this, but, after recently having a chance to try Pepe's again, I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the crust is saltier than NY (but Sally's wasn't).

It was actually so salty that the pepperoni slice wasn't enjoyable.

I'm thinking 2.25% salt for a pepperoni friendly clone.


 

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