Author Topic: Noob success(ish) story  (Read 770 times)

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Offline DustinA

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Noob success(ish) story
« on: August 06, 2013, 03:44:57 PM »
I joined the forum a few days ago and have been furiously reading everything I can about dough, cheese, sauce and everything else that goes into a quality pie.

This was my first attempt with my newly obtained knowledge and it turned out incredible.  I was literally dancing around my kitchen island in glee.  I'd finally made a decent pie!

I apologize ahead of time for my lack of baking percentages and weights, I'm still learning that.

I decided to experiment a bit with the amount of water that I used in my dough as well as sugar substitutes and different yeast variations. 

*note* I used the Peter Reinhart sauce recipe with a 5lb can of escalon crushed tomatoes.

Dough recipe

3 cups KABF
(1) .6 oz package of Fleischmann's  cake yeast (these are usually found in the dairy aisle so as to keep cool)
2 tblspn Olive Oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 cup warm water

I started off by mixing the brown sugar and honey into the warm water until dissolved.  I then added the flour and salt into my mixer and combined them with the paddle attachment.  Once that was incorporated, I crumbled the yeast in the dry ingredients, added the olive oil then the water mixture and used the dough hook to mix all the ingredients together.  I let the machine knead the dough for about 5 minutes before turning it out on my counter top.  It came out with a fairly wet consistency, which is what I was after.  So far, so good.  I rolled it into a tight ball and set it into a lightly oiled Pyrex container and covered with plastic wrap.  I let it rise at room temp (about 75 in my house) for about 2 hours.  I then divided it into two balls and gave them a second 2 hours rise.

Once the dough was ready, I preheated my oven to 425 and started to stretch out my skins.  I used a 60/40 blend of bread flour and corn meal as a dusting agent.  I wanted some semolina but my grocery store doesn't carry any.  They were surprisingly easy to manipulate compared to other doughs that I had tried and I pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to get that windowpane type consistency that I'm always after.  Once I had the skins stretched out and on my pan, I added the sauce (that reinhart recipe is something else, wow.) and used a blend of Parmesan, provelone and skim mozzarella.  Into the oven it went.  It had a really nice oven spring and once I saw the edges starting to brown, I slipped the pizza out of the pan and onto the lower rack to make sure I had a nice, crisp bottom.

After the cheese had started to brown, I popped it out and let it cool for three minutes before cutting. 

Ok, ok, ok.  I actually waited all of about 30 seconds before cutting into it.  I could barely even wait to start eating it before I thought to take a picture.  Sorry if that grosses anyone out, it was just really really good.

The results were fantastic.  The best I've personally ever made.  The crust had a really nice crunch to it when I cut into it and reminded me a lot of Dewey's crust as far as the texture and taste go. I do want to experiment with a 24 - 48 hour cold fermentation time and I also want to try whole milk mozz.  I will be decreasing the amount of garlic powder in the sauce.  It tastes amazing on a plain cheese pizza, but it was so garlic-y on my second pie, I couldn't have told you by tasting it that there was any pepperoni on it.




Offline derricktung

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 04:02:11 PM »
Congrats on your first success of a pizza!  It sounds like you've absorbed a lot of information here, and hopefully will continue to do so while learning more and helping other new members as well!

Great pics, and looking forward to seeing more successes!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 04:03:37 PM »
Dabell,

Very nice job. It looks like your voracious reading is paying off. Continue to read and continue to experiment and you will only get better at your pizza making.

Peter

Offline DustinA

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 08:58:59 AM »
For experimentation number two I have lowered the temperature of my water to roughly 70 degrees and have set the dough into the fridge over night. Most cold fermentation a that I've read about on here use 55 degree water and a 48 hour cold rise, but I've got company coming over tonight and wanted to have this dough ready on a 24 hour rise so I split the difference on the water temperature so as not to over retard the dough.

This morning, I pulled the dough from the fridge and noticed that I had achieved a nice rise over night. The dough had risen to the brim of the bowl which gave me about a 25% rise which is what I was after. The dough still had a slight firmness to it so I know there is still more to go.

I turned the dough out onto my counter, divided it into 4 balls, stuck each into an oiled quart bag and stuck them back into the fridge to let them finish rising.

Does anyone know if preforming the balls before or after they Start the cold rise makes a difference in the end product?

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 09:15:44 AM »
Does anyone know if preforming the balls before or after they Start the cold rise makes a difference in the end product?

In general assuming you have enough room in the refrigerator, I think it's better to form the balls sooner so you get a nicer rise on the end product. But it is possible for the balls to get over-risen, in which case you need to re-ball and wait for them to rise again. 

Offline DustinA

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 08:06:45 AM »
Alright, so my second attempt at the dough with a cold rise was a solid "meh".  I gave it a full 24 hour fermentation time and set it out at room temperature for an hour before working with it and it just felt dead.  It wasn't bad by any means, it just didn't measure up to my first try. It wasn't as light and airy as my initial warm rise experimentation.  I know I didn't kill the yeast as I was still getting air pockets and a rise out of the dough when brought to room temp.

Back to the drawing board.   ;D

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 08:39:26 AM »
Pizzamaking is definitely an up and down thing! Sometimes you do exactly the same thing on two different bakes (or you think its the same thing) yet one is great and the other is "meh".  It can be weather, water temperature, measurement error, or just the stars. You just have to get back on the horse, so to speak. 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline DustinA

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Re: Noob success(ish) story
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 09:53:32 PM »
Third attempt came with some 'aha' moments.  I tried taking the sugar level from 2 tsps to 2tblspsns to see what would happen, went back to a warm rise and lost the parmesan cheese.  I lost the crispiness of the crust from my first go around with the additional sugar, but gained a huge improvement in the overall taste of the dough.  Next time I will split the difference and see where it gets me.  I also discovered that the really spikey garlicky flavor I was getting last time was actually due to the parmesan cheese that I was using in my cheese blend.  I used some of the sauce from my first attempt this time around and it was absolutely delicious.  The whole milk mozzarella and muenster blend that John Schnatter from Papa Johns talks about is really, really good.


 

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