Author Topic: Hydration revelation  (Read 6279 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bisquick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #140 on: March 01, 2015, 02:46:57 PM »
Yes I've experienced the same thing when it comes to pizza's not being pretty but having an excellent flavor.  I've also had pizzas that looked beautiful - nice golden brown color, good texture - that had a very bland flavor. As for New York pizza, if I'm not mistaken, the reason for the hydration being on the lower end of the scale is that most recipes for New York pizza call for a decent amount of yeast,  about 1/2 teaspoon to about 8 ounces of flour, resulting in a nice "yeasty" flavor. (I've assumed the flavor of NY pizza is "yeasty" by the recipes I've seen - I've never actually been there and eaten one. )  If you made a pizza with a high yeast/flour ratio at a hydration of say 70%, the yeast would most likely overpower the flour and the dough would over-proof rather quickly, leaving a puffy, gassy, mess that lacked flavor. (The artisan method calls for a very small yeast/flour ratio,  and at a high hydration you do get a puffy, gassy dough ball but one that has a lot of flavor and good gluten structure. A high amount of yeast at that hydration would seriously compromise the gluten network.) I understand that one way to control yeast in higher amounts is to use a low hydration and keep the dough refrigerated for a good majority of the fermentation, perhaps only allowing the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour after mixing (to kick start the yeast) then putting the dough in the refrigerator and bringing it out about 1 hour before you bake it to bring the yeast to room temperature and allow the dough to finish proofing. Again this is just my understanding of how most NY doughs are made, and I'm basing this on the recipes I've seen online. This is not to say that every shop in NY makes their dough this way, nor I am saying that there is any standard recipe or method that would qualify or disqualify a pizza as a New York  pizza.  I agree, it's all about personal preference.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #141 on: March 01, 2015, 03:32:27 PM »
We're cool, Bisquick. I'm just glad you didn't get mad at me for what I said earlier. I didn't mean to be rude or a jerk or anything, but I realize a lot of what I say comes off that way. Sorry.

Today's dough
100% Full Strength flour
60% Ice cold water
0.30% ADY
1.75% Salt
1.5% Oil

I made this dough three days ago. It was good today, but it was nowhere near as good as it was yesterday. Although yesterday's pizzas (not pictured anywhere) were aesthetically not even close to right, the crust tasted so right. Consequently, I really like this formulation. I will probably try 61% hydration next time, but I don't think I will like it more than I like this dough.

I managed to stretch this one very evenly, and it almost stayed at 18". Even though I think I may have had a little more rim than a typical NY style pizza (in New York), I think I actually prefer a little more rim. I've kind of conceded the fact that I may never again be able to stretch NY style dough how I really want to because my hands and fingers just don't work very well anymore, and I don't expect that to improve.

Even though I think I like my NY style pizzas a little thinner than this (maybe), I also think most pizzas you'll get in NYC are probably a little thicker than this.

I've been using Tomato Magic for the sauce since yesterday, instead of my usual 7/11, and I think I may make that a permanent change. I had never used Tomato Magic before yesterday, so it's very possible that I may change my mind, but I really don't care for tomato peels in the sauce (which 7/11 has). This sauce was:

56 oz Tomato Magic
2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano

I may have actually only used 1 tsp of basil, but I can't remember for sure. I think I may add a tiny bit of sugar to future batches; just enough to counter the bitterness (or acidity?) of the tomatoes. Honestly, I think I'm a long way from having a truly great sauce, but it's still very good just because I use good tomato product.

I didn't weigh the cheese this time, but I know it was in the ballpark of what I like. And although I think Josh's pizzas mostly look awesome (and better than mine), I think I've confirmed to myself that I like more cheese than he uses.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Bisquick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #142 on: March 01, 2015, 04:35:02 PM »
I know what you mean about coming off as rude, but don't worry. I didn't interpret your post as rude or sarcastic. I don't take offense in this forum even if I think someone is intentionally being rude or sarcastic, mainly because to me pizza making is a hobby, (albeit a fun and tasty hobby) just as skiing or playing video games or sewing is a hobby.  It's fun and I think we all want the same thing - good results for our efforts.  When it comes to sauce, I think a person just has to experiment to find what they want.  I worked at a pizza restaurant when I was younger (Cassano's Pizza) where I mixed the sauce and it was, no kidding, nothing but tomato paste and water.  They use tomato paste and water as their sauce, 100% provolone cheese, (no mozzarella), a sprinkle of oregano on every pizza, and brick ovens to bake.  It was thin crust pizza with a texture nearly identical to Donato's but a different flavor entirely. (I suspect the difference in flavor was mostly because of the provolone cheese, as I also worked at Donato's, and their sauce didn't appear to be much more than tomato paste and water, with perhaps a bit of garlic and salt.) I've made personal sauce with nothing but tomato paste and water, and I've also bought canned tomato sauce and added salt, sugar, garlic, and even black pepper in varied amounts.  It all depends on what you prefer - how strong you want the tomato to be.  Remember that the more you add to a mix of tomato paste and water the more you take away from the pure flavor of the tomato.  Honestly, as a teenager I was shocked to see a professional restaurant use nothing but tomato paste and water as a sauce, but now being older I understand why they did so.  The tomato is the main ingredient of the sauce, and as I understand it, the first pizza sauces ever made were not really sauces at all, just mashed tomatoes, as the peasants who invented pizza had an abundance of tomatoes because the higher class thought they were poisonous. One thing I guess I should point out is that even though Cassano's sauce is just tomato paste and water, they did emphasize that every pizza absolutely must get topped with oregano unless the customer specifically asked that oregano be left off.  From this I assume that oregano is an important part of their flavor profile, meaning that even a basic sauce of tomato paste and water would probably benefit by the addition of oregano without taking away from the flavor of the tomato. By the way the pics look very nice.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 04:41:54 PM by Bisquick »

Offline JD

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1887
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #143 on: March 01, 2015, 04:44:55 PM »
As for New York pizza, if I'm not mistaken, the reason for the hydration being on the lower end of the scale is that most recipes for New York pizza call for a decent amount of yeast

Where did you get this information?

I think hydration is typically lower because there are so many pizza shops in NY and finding talented labor is hard to come by. A lower hydration dough is easier to teach with than a wet dough IMO.


I didn't weigh the cheese this time, but I know it was in the ballpark of what I like. And although I think Josh's pizzas mostly look awesome (and better than mine), I think I've confirmed to myself that I like more cheese than he uses.


Ryan, I probably should have mentioned that part of the reason I use less cheese is to get the most for my money. Using 250g, I can make 11 pizzas. 275g is the next step up which would get me 10 pizzas, and to me I'd rather have one more pizza than a little extra cheese. I guess I settled on 250g as being the lowest I would go while still feeling like my pizza is balanced.

I actually think your pizza is more traditional looking than mine, I need to cut back on my rim size, at which point I may need more cheese!

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #144 on: March 01, 2015, 05:07:31 PM »
I was going to start a Cassano's thread a couple years ago, before I was banned, largely in hopes of trying to help a friend from high school here in central Ohio who now lives in Bellbrook, who really likes Cassano's. But she unfriended and blocked me about a month ago, so screw her.

Regardless, a Cassano's thread may be in order soon. If I start working on cloning Cassano's, will you be willing to help me, Bisquick?

Also, I think half of what I said in my last post may be total BS. I'm really not sure, and I don't think I'm ever going to be.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #145 on: March 01, 2015, 05:19:40 PM »
Speaking of sauce for Cassano's and Donatos: I always figured Cassano's was pretty much tomato paste, maybe with some sugar or something. And regarding Donatos, I can make a sauce that is essentially identical to Donatos. It's really easy, but I don't have my recipe handy at the moment. It starts with Kroger brand tomato paste, "Italian style." The "Italian style" paste is different than their regular paste in that it has at least a little bit of seasoning added to it. When I took one of my Donatos clone attempts to a friend who works at the Y last summer, as soon as I walked in the door with the pizza, she said, "It smells like Donatos." And it did.

I think my Donatos sauce recipe is on these boards somewhere. Probably in a thread called "Donatos Take & Bake", in the general pizza making section, I believe.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Bisquick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #146 on: March 01, 2015, 05:28:22 PM »
Where did you get this information?

I think hydration is typically lower because there are so many pizza shops in NY and finding talented labor is hard to come by. A lower hydration dough is easier to teach with than a wet dough IMO.

 

Ryan, I probably should have mentioned that part of the reason I use less cheese is to get the most for my money. Using 250g, I can make 11 pizzas. 275g is the next step up which would get me 10 pizzas, and to me I'd rather have one more pizza than a little extra cheese. I guess I settled on 250g as being the lowest I would go while still feeling like my pizza is balanced.

I actually think your pizza is more traditional looking than mine, I need to cut back on my rim size, at which point I may need more cheese!


I based the hydration and yeast info of NY pizza's on the recipes I've seen online.

As for a Cassano's clone, all I can do is offer this info - The dough seemed to be a decent hydration because a good portion of the time it was very sticky in the middle - so sticky in fact that large pizzas (16 in.) would stick to the wax paper we would take off when we went to make them. The doughs also tended to stick the the pizza boards sometimes, which made sliding them into the oven quite the spectacle.  Their sauce was tomato paste and water and the cheese was 100% provolone. (I grated it.) They topped each pizza with a sprinkle of oregano. They proofed their doughs in a proofing cabinet for about 1 1/2 hours at 90 degrees with some amount of humidity. I remember opening the proofing cabinet and the heat coming from it being very moist and tolerable. They baked in all brick ovens, at what temp I don't know. I do remember the average pizza took about 10 minutes to bake.  As for the amount of oil , salt, or sugar in the dough, I really don't know. I would think a place that used nothing but tomato paste and water for their sauce would lean towards more traditional pizza, meaning they probably don't use a lot, if any, sugar in their dough. I know that standard amount for salt in any bread or pizza dough is right around 2%. I would guess that a dough that sticky probably doesn't contain a lot of oil, and I would also guess that with little oil a ten minute bake resulting in a tender crust would probably mean a baking temp of around 475 degrees?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 06:27:50 PM by Bisquick »

Offline Bisquick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 51
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #147 on: March 01, 2015, 06:26:58 PM »
Where did you get this information?

I think hydration is typically lower because there are so many pizza shops in NY and finding talented labor is hard to come by. A lower hydration dough is easier to teach with than a wet dough IMO.

 

Ryan, I probably should have mentioned that part of the reason I use less cheese is to get the most for my money. Using 250g, I can make 11 pizzas. 275g is the next step up which would get me 10 pizzas, and to me I'd rather have one more pizza than a little extra cheese. I guess I settled on 250g as being the lowest I would go while still feeling like my pizza is balanced.

I actually think your pizza is more traditional looking than mine, I need to cut back on my rim size, at which point I may need more cheese!

The formula for NY dough that I was referring to is mentioned here in this link http://www.generalmillscf.com/Home/industries/pizzeria/support-tool-categories/technical-support/dough-formulas

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #148 on: March 01, 2015, 06:52:27 PM »
The formula for NY dough that I was referring to is mentioned here in this link http://www.generalmillscf.com/Home/industries/pizzeria/support-tool-categories/technical-support/dough-formulas

"Sheet, top and bake at desired temperature (suggested 450 to 500F) until done."
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #149 on: March 01, 2015, 07:04:00 PM »
General Mills is trapped behind knowledge.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.


Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #150 on: March 27, 2015, 06:46:47 PM »
Since it seemed that I was no longer welcome on the Vinnie thread, I stopped following it and decided to go back to doing what I was doing before the Vinnie thread existed (after making a few deep dish pizzas).

I just made my first New York style pizza in a month or so. I made the dough yesterday. Some changes included 61% hydration, longer mix time, a couple more ounces of dough per dough ball, more cheese, and maybe another thing or two.

Since I had been at the Y for over a few hours before baking this pizza, I could barely stay upright and I couldn't think very straight when it was time to make the pizza. Thankfully my dough didn't blow while I was gone.

Once the oven was ready, I began preparing to make the pizza. Since I used 22 ounces of dough, instead of 20, I was kind of worried that the pizza might end up a little too thick. That didn't happen, because my pizza actually stayed the size it was supposed to be this time. Yes, finally I made a fully 18" pizza in my oven.

Anyway, despite the fact that I was really beat (and am still really beat), this one turned out really good. I took three or four pictures, which I may share later. I think I learned a lot, too. Or maybe I re-learned things I had unlearned. Overall, I feel like this is the best New York style pizza I've made in a long time. And the dough was only 24 hours old. I have one dough ball left, for tomorrow.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #151 on: March 28, 2015, 11:16:46 AM »
100% Full Strength Flour
61% Water
0.3% ADY
1.75% Salt
1.5% Oil

24-hour dough (but intended to be 48-hour dough).
Baked at 550 for 7 minutes.
350 g of cheese. (Sorry Josh, 250 g just ain't enough for me. Nor is 350 g, probably.)

I have real issues with making NY style pizzas as thick as they should be. I'm not sure why, but my brain always seems to tell me it should be thinner, even when I know it's too thin. Even with the added dough this time, since the rim was a little thick on this one, the rest still ended up pretty thin, but probably not as thin as they were coming out when I used 20 oz of dough (and the pizzas were coming out more like 17"). I think maybe the reason my pizzas were shrinking so much is because I just wasn't using enough dough for 18" pizzas, and the dough knew it. Or something like that.

Regardless of all that, I definitely like the 22 oz results more than the 20 oz results. People on here, including me, tend to get maybe a little too focused on making NY style as thin as possible. I've had a lot of pizza in New York, and none of it was anywhere near as thin as I had been making my NY style pizzas, or even as thin as the one in the pictures below.

I think my hydration revelation has been both confirmed and whatever word means the opposite of confirmed. I do like a slightly stiffer dough than most members for NY style (because I want mine to be like pizza you get in New York), but I think a big part of why my hydration was so low when I started this thread was because the flour I was using at the time can't hold as much water as the flour I use now. I may still try increasing the hydration even more, but I'm inclined to think most NY style pizza (in New York) does not have a higher hydration than what I've been doing.

I think it's easy to tell from these pictures that my dough was less than two days old. There's just something magic about two-day-old dough to me, and this pizza didn't have that magical quality. Still a very good pizza, though.

This one also gave me some ideas regarding the Vincent dough. However, I'm going to keep it to myself because a lot of people on here take offense to being told they might not be right when they're probably not right, even though the entire premise of their thread is based on the fact that they are already aware that they don't know a lot of what they need to know. Similarly, even if almost all of someone's contributions are based on untested hypotheses, they tell you how wrong you are about things you're most certainly not wrong about, right after you've been more critical of your own work than anyone else could ever be. And if you try to explain to people what they need to know, instead of lying to them by telling they're doing everything right (even though they're obviously not doing everything right), which doesn't help them at all, you get flamed and ostracized.

I literally don't have time to BS people or be BSed by people, because I will probably no longer be physically able to do this stuff in a year, if I'm even still alive by then. If I'm doing something that you think may be wrong, I'd like you to tell me; for both my sake and yours. But even if you do tell me, it doesn't mean I'm just going to take your word for it. In fact, I might counter what you say. And if I do, it's not to be obstinate or argumentative. Rather, it's because to get better at things, you usually have to be critical; critical of your own ideas, as well as other people's ideas. It's not the same thing as being negative or condescending, and I'm really sick of being treated like it is.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #152 on: March 28, 2015, 03:53:50 PM »
Wow. Both of these pizzas were really good. This one wasn't anywhere near aesthetically beautiful, but it tasted awesome. If you want some really good pizza, do what I did here.

This one had 400 g of cheese.
Baked at 550 for just under 8 minutes.
Sauce is 28 oz of Tomato Magic, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp oregano. Sauce is really good, but I think maybe a little garlic could make this sauce a little better.

This crust is really awesome. I've never thought this about any kind of pizza, but this crust just melts in the mouth.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline quixoteQ

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 335
  • Location: Boston
  • Give me Shackleton Every Time
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #153 on: March 28, 2015, 05:53:51 PM »
Those look great, Ryan.  One of the (many) reasons I searched out this site in the first place was to find a way to deal with my depressingly terrible oven, and one of the solutions given to me was to thin out my pies.  Well, it worked for the most part.  The pies cook more thoroughly in less time, the cheese bubbles and releases the oil somewhat better, and I get a much better rise on the hot steel hearth.  But I prefer a thicker NY style. 
Josh

Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2386
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #154 on: March 28, 2015, 07:13:50 PM »
Thanks.

Aw man. Nothing worse than a bad oven. The oven that was here when I moved in (January 2014) was horrible. When I think of some of the pizzas I made in that oven, I become very unhappy that I served them to guests. I didn't necessarily know it for a while, though, because I was also getting used to the different water and everything, but it turns out that the oven was horrible. Thankfully I was able to get a new one, which I love.

The oven I have now is a General Electric gas oven. (Is that an oxymoron?) I love it, if you're in the market for a new oven and want ideas.
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline quixoteQ

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 335
  • Location: Boston
  • Give me Shackleton Every Time
Re: Hydration revelation
« Reply #155 on: March 28, 2015, 10:54:37 PM »
I'm always interested in checking out oven models.  I have a baby coming my way in a couple of months so I may have a hard time convincing my wife that new major appliances are needed, but hey, worth a shot.
Josh