Author Topic: Pie lacks crispness  (Read 2084 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2015, 03:12:45 PM »
Bob,

It is interesting to see all of the comments, observations and suggestions of the members who have posted in this thread, including from me. Just about everything you did has been the subject of discussion, from the moment you put the flour into your food processor to start the process all of the way until the pizza came out of your oven, and even several minutes later. You have gotten the full treatment. And I mean this in a good sense. We have a lot of knowledgeable and talented member on the forum, and they are generous in trying to lead you to pizza nirvana.

The reality is that there are a lot more variables in a home setting that come into stark relief as compared with a commercial setting where everything is more closely structured and regulated. It is because of the many variables in a home setting that I have learned not to dismiss out of hand what members like Chau and other stars on the forum say about pizza making. This is especially true where the opinions voiced came out of actual experiments or tests, not from a book or article. I personally will always analyze things from a science and math standpoint, including from books and articles on pizza making, because that is the way I have always done things. But I know from experience that just doing things, including things that lead to failure, turns out to be the best teacher.

The challenge for you at this point is to determine what to do next once you have had a chance to digest all that has been said, while at the same time realizing that you can't adopt every suggestion and tip made by the members. That said, I'd be interested to hear from you as a new member how you have reacted to everything that you have seen in this thread and what you think you will try next.

Peter


Offline bregent

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2015, 05:51:38 PM »
>It is interesting to see all of the comments, observations and suggestions of the members who have posted in this thread

Hi Peter,

Yeah, it's pretty awesome and I never expected to get this much attention to my question. I've been a casual, infrequent pizza maker for 20 years, but only started getting serious 2 weeks ago. I never realized how many variables are involved and the interaction between each. So it's easy to understand that two people can go in different directions and end up with similar end results. I have not discounted anything anyone has told me.

My next plan is to bake the two doughs I have Monday and/or Tuesday, with the exact same handling and oven temperatures as before. Again, I made these with the exact procedure as before and only modified the formula by mixing in 35% AP. The goal is to see if it resolves some of the tough/leathery rim problems. I'll post the results.

After that, and depending on those results, I'll make one of the suggested changes below to see if that helps crisp things up:

Reballing
Higher Hydration
Lower Hydration
Lower Oven temp

After that, who knows :)

Thanks again,

Bob




Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2015, 06:40:42 PM »
Bob, I haven't been following this thread super closely but did want to say that if you replace 35% of your current flour with AP flour and kept everything else the same, you would essentially have a wetter feeling  dough.  Assuming, you were using BF, AP is a weaker flour and absorbs less water.  This is equivalent to upping your hydration.  So in a sense, you will be able to see if you can get a crispier crust by upping your hydration, just by replacing 35% of your flour with AP flour.  My feeling is that you will not but let's see what happens.

Also I don't know if this has been mentioned, but a tough leathery crumb is usually due to over mixing.   You can make a wonderfully soft crumb using AP, BF, or HG flour.  It all depends on how you mix it, how much you mix it, hydration level, other crumb softening ingredients, and how you bake it out.  If you are using a food processor to mix your dough, it is really easy to over mix.  You can easily over mix the dough and still end up with a tough crumb even afrer replacing 30% of your flour with AP. 

Also AP flour, and a higher hydration will work against a crispier crust.  If you want a crispier crust this is how you can achieve it.  Either use straight BF or HG flour, drop your hydration by a few points, cut your  food processor mixing time down dramatically.  It really only takes a few 10 second bursts to sufficiently develop the gluten.  Btw it's easier to get a crispier crust using the food processor to mix your dough rather than a traditional mixer, but it's also easier to over mix and get a tough crumb. 

Good luck and do post up some more pictures of your experiments.

Chau
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 06:43:32 PM by Jackie Tran »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2015, 07:05:24 PM »
Bob,

What Chau says about the food processor is correct. Several years ago, I posted about the way that I use my food processor oust effectively, at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2189.msg19291#msg19291 . That post was in the context of a NY style dough but what I posted applies to many other styles.

You also don't want to knead the dough to the point where it can pass the windowpane test. Tom Lehmann and other dough experts recommend slightly underkneading the dough. He told me this many years ago in an exchange I had with Tom. You can see our exchange at Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg5319#msg5319 .

This thread also covers a lot of ground on the above matters:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=12877.msg125013#msg125013

Peter

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2015, 07:51:33 PM »
Thanks guys, points well taken.

I ran the processor for 15 seconds after the dough came together. Do you think that's enough to have over processed?

Peter I did read your discussion with Tom about the window pane test. I watched a video with Tom the other day where he pulls a small amount of dough from the mixer, balls it, and then pulls apart with his thumbs to see if it tears. Is that a better test for a dough that will be cold fermented?

Offline woodmakesitgood

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #55 on: June 07, 2015, 08:04:28 PM »
Thanks guys, points well taken.

I ran the processor for 15 seconds after the dough came together. Do you think that's enough to have over processed?


Does the dough appear smooth after only 15 seconds?
Should be smooth...
Charles

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #56 on: June 07, 2015, 08:39:33 PM »
Thanks guys, points well taken.

I ran the processor for 15 seconds after the dough came together. Do you think that's enough to have over processed?

Peter I did read your discussion with Tom about the window pane test. I watched a video with Tom the other day where he pulls a small amount of dough from the mixer, balls it, and then pulls apart with his thumbs to see if it tears. Is that a better test for a dough that will be cold fermented?
Bob,

With experience, you will get to know when the dough is in the proper condition after kneading. But when using a food processor with a NY style dough, you would like the dough to aggregate into a single ball as it spins around the bowl. I usually use the pulse feature and when it looks like the dough is close to being done, I might use the full speed for several seconds (based on the amount of dough) and then stop. If there is still a bit more kneading needed, I would finish it by hand. You can stop even sooner if you are concerned that the dough might overknead, and finish by hand.

The test that Tom uses is for a professional application but it should also work for a dough made at home. I usually can tell if the dough is right but I will sometimes use the test that Tom recommends. We have some members who knead the dough just to the point where everything comes together, and they then stop. It might even be a bit on the shaggy side, and reliance is usually placed on a long fermentation to more fully develop the gluten (biochemically rather than physically). But you don't want to underknead too much either.

Peter

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #57 on: June 07, 2015, 10:45:56 PM »
Bob if you are currently experiencing a dry leathery chewy crust and crumb I would bet that the main culprit is the 15 sec of continuous mix in the FP.  As Peter suggested I would use the pulse function to get the ingredients together and then no more than 10 one sec pulse bursts.   In this case it is much better to err on the side of under kneading the dough using the FP.  Let the dough rest after that for 20-30min then you can gently ball the dough up and allow it to bulk ferment as you normally do.  Weigh it and press in into a clear plastic container with a piece of masking tape on the side.  Mark the level of the dough and plan to divide it and make individual balls once the dough has risen no more than 20% or so.  You should get a much improved result. 

I forgot to mention again that I would omit the sugar. 2-3% oil is ok and you will probably end up extending your bake time a bit in order to get a golden brown crust. 

Good luck,
Chau
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 10:47:30 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #58 on: June 07, 2015, 10:56:53 PM »
Peter,

I know you value Tom Lehmann's expertise. With that said here's something he said about hydration in order to get a crispier crust. I have also spoken with other pizza buddies today, who are professionals, and both favored to go higher in hydration.

http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/crispy-crust-dough-or-oven-heat.13525/

Quote
This is a case where more water is better. To get the crispiest crust possible, use as much water as you can, and still be able to handle the dough in a reasonable manner, then hand stretch to form the pizza skin, and don't work to get the thinnest dough skin possible, a little thicker is actually going to give you a crispier crust than a super thin one. Prepare your pizzas on a wood prep-peel using dusting flour under the dough to ensure good release from the peel (I like to use equal parts of white flour, semolina flour and fine corn meal, but if all else fails, you can use just corn meal, or talk to your flour supplier to see if you can get some food grade wheat bran, it works great as a peel dust), then bake your pizzas right on the hearth. As for dough formulation, just make sure you don't have any sugar, milk, or eggs in the formula/recipe as these will cause early browning in the oven, leading to shorter baking times.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I have made hundreds of pies, using hydrations from 58 % to as high as 72%. The higher hydration doughs always yielded a a crispier, crunchier and airier crust whereas the lower hydration ones where denser and a tad chewier. Nicky Giusto educated us on numerous different doughs, using different hydrations in March and the higher ones were the most desirable crusts, coming out of the ovens that day.

Now, if Bob is after a true NY-style crust, with a little chew, crunch and pull, then yes, I'd go with Chau's recommendation of lowering the hydration, using a high-protein flour and kneading it a tad more. For pro flours you may want to look here...

http://store.thepizzabible.com/collections/all

I agree with Chau that an AP crust with a higher hydration won't give the desired result at all. The oven also matters and the way it's baked.

With all that said, I have a 65% dough for an artisan-style, rustic pie in the reefer right now. I might take a video to show the crunch and crispiness of the crust.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 04:27:27 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2015, 02:15:48 AM »

Now, if Bob is after a true NY-style crust, with a little chew, crunch and pull, then yes, I'd go with Chau's recommendation of lowering the hydration, using a high-protein flour and kneading it a tad more.


OK, now I am confused. The last pies I made with 100% Guistos high perf flour lacked crispness, but were also very tough. Won't kneading more make it even tougher?

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2015, 06:46:56 AM »
OK, now I am confused. The last pies I made with 100% Guistos high perf flour lacked crispness, but were also very tough. Won't kneading more make it even tougher?

Bob,

I think you will realize after you do more experimenting that it isn't easy to achieve each characteristic of a pizza you might want.  Different methods might be able to get to where you want to be though.  :) Whether the different methods might be a dough formulation, the flour/flours, mix methods, oven temperature, sauce to cheese ratio or another one of the many variables that go into making one style of pizza it gets quite complicated. 

To give you an example I have played around with many dough formulations, mixing methods (at home in my Kitchen Aid mixer and in a Hobart mixer) and the pizza I am now working on always doesn't turn out exactly the same.  The one variable that does stay almost the same for me is the deck oven I use at market, but that can vary in temperature too (all depending on how much the oven doors are opened and shut and how much the pizzas are rotated when they are in the oven).  When I took the same dough that I normally use at market and baked it in the Blackstone oven at a different temperature it turned out completely different.  The dough I am currently working on is the Sprite dough.  I have no idea if that dough will turn into the same pizza today since the dough was made at market.  This is a link to the pizza I will like to achieve all of the time at reply 1672 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg382946#msg382946  I am not posting the link to tell you that is the kind of pizza you want to achieve though, but to show you I can't even replicate the same pizza different times.  Even though I experiment a lot it is hard to get the kind of pizza I would like.  There are so many variables in making pizza.  I think because all of the variables that can go into making one style of pizza is why you got so many replies from many experienced pizza makers of what to try. 

Norma

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2015, 10:37:37 AM »
OK, now I am confused. The last pies I made with 100% Guistos high perf flour lacked crispness, but were also very tough. Won't kneading more make it even tougher?

Bob:

As I ponder this, you may benefit from putting the Giusto's aside and using some KABF (or Better for Bread, a la Ryan's conviction - I don't care).  Although it seems thrift to mix KAAP with Giusto's, etc, you are spending much more money on sauce, cheese, etc than you are on the dough.  And, it will give you immediate feedback as to whether or not the Giusto's flour is not for you or if you have a workflow/recipe issue going on.  You can always use the Giusto's bread flour for bread!  ......Just a thought......

Another thought, I think Peter expressed this, is that the toughness may be coming from over-baking.  The Giusto's flour is unmalted.  When you bake a pizza with unmalted flour, the tendency is to bake too long to get it to brown.  By the time it finally browns, it can toughen up.  Again, getting a bag of malted bread flour will give you immediate feedback.
Mitch

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2015, 02:24:47 PM »
Bob,

I think you will realize after you do more experimenting that it isn't easy to achieve each characteristic of a pizza you might want.  Different methods might be able to get to where you want to be though.  :) Whether the different methods might be a dough formulation, the flour/flours, mix methods, oven temperature, sauce to cheese ratio or another one of the many variables that go into making one style of pizza it gets quite complicated. 

To give you an example I have played around with many dough formulations, mixing methods (at home in my Kitchen Aid mixer and in a Hobart mixer) and the pizza I am now working on always doesn't turn out exactly the same.  The one variable that does stay almost the same for me is the deck oven I use at market, but that can vary in temperature too (all depending on how much the oven doors are opened and shut and how much the pizzas are rotated when they are in the oven).  When I took the same dough that I normally use at market and baked it in the Blackstone oven at a different temperature it turned out completely different.  The dough I am currently working on is the Sprite dough.  I have no idea if that dough will turn into the same pizza today since the dough was made at market.  This is a link to the pizza I will like to achieve all of the time at reply 1672 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg382946#msg382946  I am not posting the link to tell you that is the kind of pizza you want to achieve though, but to show you I can't even replicate the same pizza different times.  Even though I experiment a lot it is hard to get the kind of pizza I would like.  There are so many variables in making pizza.  I think because all of the variables that can go into making one style of pizza is why you got so many replies from many experienced pizza makers of what to try. 

Norma

Hi Norma, I do understand that it's not easy and there are many different ways of achieving a certain goal. My previous question was simply asking why Mike suggested a longer kneading time - what effect that will have on a specific characteristic.

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2015, 02:34:15 PM »
Bob:

As I ponder this, you may benefit from putting the Giusto's aside and using some KABF (or Better for Bread, a la Ryan's conviction - I don't care).  Although it seems thrift to mix KAAP with Giusto's, etc, you are spending much more money on sauce, cheese, etc than you are on the dough.  And, it will give you immediate feedback as to whether or not the Giusto's flour is not for you or if you have a workflow/recipe issue going on.  You can always use the Giusto's bread flour for bread!  ......Just a thought......

Another thought, I think Peter expressed this, is that the toughness may be coming from over-baking.  The Giusto's flour is unmalted.  When you bake a pizza with unmalted flour, the tendency is to bake too long to get it to brown.  By the time it finally browns, it can toughen up.  Again, getting a bag of malted bread flour will give you immediate feedback.

Hi Mitch,

I agree, at this point since my crust lacked most of the qualities I'm after,  it might be best to start at square one. So is KABF malted, or I need to add malt? Also, my oven temps have been  675 dome, 600 stone. Should I target a lower temp? Thanks.

EDIT: Looked at the ingredients list on KABF and see that it does contain malt.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 03:46:22 PM by bregent »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2015, 03:00:31 PM »
Bob,

Here's a pie I made yesterday with a 65% hydration. Flour was Grain Craft's/Pendleton Power flour.

However, I switched mixers recently and the new one (KA Pro 600) does a much better job with its Powerknead spiral hook than my old Cuisinart SM-55, which was also a good machine.

I have no experience in using a food processor for pizza dough so I can only talk from stand mixer experience, but the crust I made in the new one came out differently than with my old mixer. It was softer.

With all that said, this pizza below had a great crunch, was crisp on the outside yet creamy on the inside, had a nice crunchy bottom and baked very well.

The reason I suggested a tad longer kneading time to get some chew going was just in case you're after a more authentic NY-style crust. I'm not sure if that's achievable with a food processor so maybe others who have more experience can chime in.

Hope that clears it all up a bit. Didn't mean to confuse you.  :)
Mike

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Offline woodmakesitgood

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2015, 03:06:52 PM »
Essen, what was the bake time and temp?
Looks tasty...
Charles

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2015, 03:39:11 PM »


With all that said, this pizza below had a great crunch, was crisp on the outside yet creamy on the inside, had a nice crunchy bottom and baked very well.

The reason I suggested a tad longer kneading time to get some chew going was just in case you're after a more authentic NY-style crust. I'm not sure if that's achievable with a food processor so maybe others who have more experience can chime in.


Looks great. Is Oakland in your delivery area  ;D

Thanks for the knead time clarification - makes sense. Also interested in oven time/temps.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2015, 03:40:44 PM »
Mike,

My recollection is that in another thread (I believe it is your thread on the NY style of pizza) that you said that you put a pizza on the upper of your two stones to get increased crispiness. Did you do that this time, and would you have gotten the increases crispiness if you were using only one stone?

Peter

Edit: The post I had in mind above is Reply 957 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8093.msg381065;topicseen#msg381065

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2015, 04:31:48 PM »
Hi Mitch,

I agree, at this point since my crust lacked most of the qualities I'm after,  it might be best to start at square one. So is KABF malted, or I need to add malt? Also, my oven temps have been  675 dome, 600 stone. Should I target a lower temp? Thanks.

EDIT: Looked at the ingredients list on KABF and see that it does contain malt.

Right, it contains malt, as does KAAP, Better for Bread and the Power flour.  It is not black and white, but I think you hit unmalted much more often with organic flours.

Most NY style pies are baked in the 500s.  As you move up in temperature, the pie will bake with a more soft crust.  At 600 on the stone, I would imagine it would still be crispy.  But, since you are seeking crisp and feeling unsuccessful, perhaps back down to 550 and see what happens.

You have a lot of moving parts, so as results change, it may be hard to track and attribute the causes.  If it gets too much, then you may have to do "one thing at a time."
Mitch

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2015, 04:56:16 PM »
Mike,

My recollection is that in another thread (I believe it is your thread on the NY style of pizza) that you said that you put a pizza on the upper of your two stones to get increased crispiness. Did you do that this time, and would you have gotten the increases crispiness if you were using only one stone?

Peter

Edit: The post I had in mind above is Reply 957 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8093.msg381065;topicseen#msg381065

Peter,

I thought you meant this one here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8093.msg381057#msg381057

Either way, I start out on the bottom at a higher temp to get the crust to set, usually 3-4 mins, depending how fast the bottom colorizes/browns. Then I move it up to the top stone and finish it off. I also open the vent in my oven when moving the pie up.

I got very good crispness when only using one stone, also. When I only baked on one stone I kept the vent closed or covered, I should say, to keep the air temp in the oven more constant. Now when I move the pie up it most likely too hot so opening the vent is just what makes it work.


Bob & WMG,

The baking temp was 600F bottom and about 500F (give or take a few degrees) on the top. Baking times are above but don't hold me to it since every oven is different. Mine runs a bit hotter, I guess.
Mike

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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2015, 01:46:49 AM »
I baked two pies tonight from the dough I made 3 days ago. Dough was similar to the last with the following exceptions.
I used a mix of 65% Giustos HP bread, 35% central milling AP. Used slightly warmer water this time which yielded dough temp 77 vs 72.

I opened the dough 45 minutes after removing from reefer, it was quite a bit cooler than previously when I waited almost 2 hours. It stretched out nicely and I decided to go 14 inches rather than 13.
I lowered the oven temp for the bake to 525 - the stone and dome temp were roughly the same.

The first pie was baked for 10 minutes - I used the last of the pre-shredded mozzarella I had on hand. The top crust browned only slightly.
The second pie was baked for 8 minutes, then moved to the broiler. I turned my back for just a few seconds and it started to burn slightly. I used galbani cheese from a brick.

The results were much better than last time. The first crust was very soft and the second one was only slightly crispy. But both had crusts that were much more tender. Still had some chew, but not leathery. Both very enjoyable and the thickness from stretching to 14 inches was perfect.

Now, to reformulate and try for a more crispy crust.



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Re: Pie lacks crispness
« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2015, 02:17:22 PM »
Just an update on my progress.

I've made a few more doughs, now with KABF, keeping the hydration at 63%, moving back to the kitchenaid, removing the sugar, and using new package of instant yeast. Also processed the dough with higher finished temperature of 85F. No pics, but the results have been very good. Crust is still a bit pale, but crispy with good chew.

One point to mention: I split a batch into 4 doughs. One of the doughs was in a smaller container and I had to re-ball it after 48 hours. I opened all 4 up 24 hours later, and the one I re-balled was much more elastic and could only open it up to 12", compared to 14" for the others. I found it interesting that even with 24 hours of rest, the re-balled dough had remarkably different characteristics.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone for their advice.

-Bob