Author Topic: Getting Really Close  (Read 527 times)

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Offline rparker

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Getting Really Close
« on: January 28, 2015, 05:38:31 PM »
Sooo, I'm getting really close to that extra crunch thing I like. Seems like each thing has resulted in a 2% improvement. It adds up.

More importantly, I can manage my dough batches with more consistency by controlling the mix amounts, IDY and water temps with reasonable confidence. That's including doing two versions of pre-ferments, depending on what I'm after. I've done a pie a day on average for about 5-6 weeks now. That's a great deal of practice. I can't stress enough how nice it is to be able to make a batch of dough and know that it will be stretchable and not too tough to chew. Thank you folks so very much for all the tips and pointers. They've helped more than you can imagine. It's very tough to put everything together sometimes, no matter how much you read.

I'm down to the final crunch on the crust thing. Today's batch used sugar for the first time and oil for the second time. I thought I had better heat saturation than I did, which resulted in a very slow bake. I didn't want to over-cook my top, so left the blast of heat off of it and did the best combination of temperature and time I could. It came out very nice, and is my second or third best crunch yet. I'll post pics below.

I do have some questions. Some of these may seem odd, but remember that I've been doing an experimental bake a day. Most were with the goal of getting crunch, but some were just to see what happens and learn. As such, these may seem scattered. :)

Oh, and my formulations are mostly 100% FS, 65% water, varying IDY (.19% to .50%, depending on goals) and salt at 1.75%. Last two batches also had 2% oil and last batch had 2% sugar. I'm favoring a TF in the low .080's.

(fwiw, .075 just seems a tiny bit thin for me. I do like a good bit of sauce, and I think thicker helps support it. (.100 and above seems too thick at times.)

#1: What, if any, affect does Vital Wheat Gluten(VWG) have on the strength of a finished, baked skin and it's ability to support toppings?
#2: When folks on here say that they add sugar for assistance with browning, do they mean just coloration, or do they mean coloration and additional crunchy texture?
#3: Does an increased yeast amount for a 1-2 day old bake have an effect on moisture for the bake. (yes, I freely admit that this is seemingly a strange question.) 
#4: Although I strive for consistency, I find that my pre-ferments vary in pungency. (more being better, I think) This I feel does have an effect on flavor. If you just knew you did everything the same as last time, what would you look at first? (let's say a 33% pre-ferment, "pinch" of yeast and equal parts water and flour for 16 hours)
#5: What do you use for bench flour? (Not peel flour - I use semolina for that, very nice. the only time I have launch issues is right after bragging that I don't have launch issues. Great. tomorrow's bake is jinxed.  )
#6: Let's say that I had a friend who had a friend that knew someone who used the drop the dough ball into the bowl of flour thing, but was too afraid to damage the dough ball and doesn't quite get enough of the flour off before bake. This friend has too much flour on the bottom of his pies. What would be your best guess be if guessing as to why my friend was so inept at getting flour off a dough ball?
#7: If you were running a 65% hydration on FS and curiosity compelled you to try mixing some of that Caputo "00" in at 50/50 and 75(FS)/25, how much would you lower water so that you didn't make the ugliest dough ball in pizza dough ball making history? (That was another question for my friend's friend. That pancake actually rose well on the counter 3 days later and baked up OK at 675F....from what my friend said.)
#8: What's the current preferred starter for NY style? I've seen Ischa (sp?) mentioned about a zillion times.


Today's bake. Mis-managed heat on a cold day resulted in 10 minutes on the BS. Temps got below 500F left side of stone and 540F top center stone. Very nice pie, though. 

« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 03:23:08 PM by rparker »
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 05:49:32 PM »
#8: What's the current preferred starter for NY style? I've seen Ischa (sp?) mentioned about a zillion times.

Shortly before you came to the forum, one of the most intense debates ever seen here centered not on the preferred starter for NY-style, but rather if you could even rightly call a pizza NY-style if it was made with a starter. Whether or not a NY pizza can be made with a starter, it is exceedingly rare.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline rparker

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 06:32:29 PM »
Shortly before you came to the forum, one of the most intense debates ever seen here centered not on the preferred starter for NY-style, but rather if you could even rightly call a pizza NY-style if it was made with a starter. Whether or not a NY pizza can be made with a starter, it is exceedingly rare.
Ah, I see, and thanks for the warning. Probably part of the reason finding specifics via search was not the easiest thing to do.

Thanks, Craig.
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 07:29:25 PM »
Also - I'm not trying to discourage you from using a starter in NY (I was arguing that it would be OK). Any one you like is the best one to use.
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Online JD

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 07:30:51 PM »
Man... you sure like to write  ;D

Very nice pizza rparker

Offline rparker

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 12:11:23 AM »
Man... you sure like to write  ;D

Very nice pizza rparker
Ironically enough, not the case. Gets pretty frustrating after a spell.

Anyone have any thoughts on my other random questions?

Craig, somehow I didn't think you would be. I need to perfect a few other things before I get in to that game. Next up is some of that LDM from Central milling that Norma and others were having some success with before lengthy discussing on blisters. I have some on order that I hope comes in tomorrow. I'm getting a preferment going now.

I tried the Tom lehmann technique of light layer of oil between the sauce and dough, but forgot to today. One more sugared dough ball tomorrow. I figured why use plain oil when I can used some garlic, salt & herb infused oil I made for garlic knots.    Experimenting is a hoot.
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

Offline norma427

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 01:35:22 AM »
Roy,

When I think of all the variables when making the kind of pizzas you would like to achieve, staying on one dough formulation until you see what really happens is important. Then go on to changing one variable at a time to see what happens. Each oven has it's own baking properties.  I could bake my same formulation for market in a different oven and get entirely different results.  I know that sounds kind of mixed-up, but to give you an example I had problems when I my stones were switched at market.  My pies did not bake right, and my pies were nothing like they were before.  All I had to do was change my water temperature and IDY amount and my pies were baking okay.  I had to do that because the temperatures at market were falling from cooler weather.  If I were to bake the same dough formulation in my Blackstone oven at different temperatures I would get different results.  Even when using my same market dough in my BS at around the same temperatures I would get different results.

I use sugar and oil in my doughs for market, but I found out that is how my pizzas bake best.  Other members might disagree, but I like Tom Lehmann method of adding the oil last the best.  In Tom's opinion adding oil to a NY style dough does make a better tasting NY style pizza, that carries the flavors of sauce and cheese better.

Different brands of sauce and cheese can give different results.  Amounts of sauce and cheese can can different results too.  Even thinning or thickening of you sauce will give different results.

I am a bad one to tell you all of these things, because I also have jumped all around when trying different formulations, but I finally saw the light when making my market doughs, that I only should only change one variable at a time. 

Sometimes I was lucky when trying new formulations that they worked out.  I gained experience in making pizzas but I still mess things up sometimes. 

When using a Blackstone different baking temperatures and formulations can lead to much different results. 

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 09:09:37 AM »
Craig, somehow I didn't think you would be. I need to perfect a few other things before I get in to that game. Next up is some of that LDM from Central milling that Norma and others were having some success with before lengthy discussing on blisters. I have some on order that I hope comes in tomorrow. I'm getting a preferment going now.

FWIW, I'm not recommending it either. You are right to get the fundamentals perfected before adding in the additional complexity of SD.
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Offline rparker

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 12:31:04 PM »
Norma, thanks for the replies, again.

I should point out that I do the vast majority of my experiments one item at a time. What I do differently is that I normally have 2-3 experiment paths going at any given time. I started this when I got most of the worst tough chew and hard to stretch issues out of the way. I doubled my efforts once I got the mix amount issue with my KA solved a couple weeks ago. There are times I do a few odd things all at once just to see what would happen, but it's a rare occurrence. I don't even like changing the TF and hydration at once.

Having said that, today's experiment is a fazzari based formulation. I added VWG, sugar, total preferment % and lowered the TF all at once, and I'm paying the price. Yesterday's first ball from the batch was a good bake. It also saw changed temps by accident, and now I gotta figure out which element(s) made the difference(s). In fairness, I did name this batch "The Kitchen Sink" in my dough-batch log even before I mixed it. It was a fun experiment.

The different ovens doing different things to the same formulas makes total sense.

All those other factors getting added to the puzzle and affecting the delicate balance of a good pizza is something I've been getting better and better at. It takes some practice. The same heaping spoon of the same sauce on the same size skin has a funny way of looking like too much just one day later. Being brave enough to trust my eyes has been a shortcoming of mine more than once.

Craig, thanks for that. Always nice to know when I'm having a moment of sanity ....... as rare as it is.  ;D
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

Offline gfgman

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2015, 10:10:20 AM »
For what it's worth on sugar.  It's been discussed that sugar helps with browning.  Anytime I've had a lower sugar amount in my dough balls, the pie hasn't browned as well.  I've seen formulations that don't have any sugar, but that is foreign to me.  For my tastes, if I don't have the full amount of sugar I always use, the finished crust doesn't taste right. 


Offline rparker

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Re: Getting Really Close
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 12:15:18 PM »
For what it's worth on sugar.  It's been discussed that sugar helps with browning.  Anytime I've had a lower sugar amount in my dough balls, the pie hasn't browned as well.  I've seen formulations that don't have any sugar, but that is foreign to me.  For my tastes, if I don't have the full amount of sugar I always use, the finished crust doesn't taste right.
Thanks for this. I'm starting my second batch using sugar today. (Either sugar or honey - cant decide - have 3 hours until preferement is ready)
One question. When you say "browning", does that include the quantity and quality of the crunch? (eg -The more browning, the crunchier the crust.)
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.


 

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