I've been out of pizza-making for some time now because of growing kids and a demanding home and work schedule. I used to frequent this forum regularly and have really enjoyed all the exceptional input that came from all of you dough guru's. I will never forget all the generous time and care that you members have given for my sake - I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart!
With all this said, I would like to pick your brains again!
In the recent past, I was measuring by volume in my dough recipes, but before I put my pizza-making on the "back burner", I bought a nice scale and began to weigh my ingredients. I don't remember if I was getting this issue of sticky dough then, but I am now. I made the following recipe from the dough calculator section:
scott 123 easy new york pizza
Note: You will need a Standard Home Oven for proper baking of this dough.
Bakers' % in grams in ounces Recommended
Flour 100% 622 g 21.9 oz King Arthur Bread Flour
Water 61% 379 g 13.4 oz Water
Yeast or Starter 0.5000% 3.109 g 0.110 oz Instant Dry Yeast
Salt 1.75% 10.88 g 0.38 oz Salt
Oil/Lards/Shortening 3.00% 18.7 g 0.7 oz Vegetable Oil
Sugar 1.00% 6.218 g 0.2 oz Sugar
Other 0.00% 0.00 g 0.0 oz -No Others Needed
Totals 1040 g 36.68 oz
I made this and several other similar formulas and they all seemed to have been on the sticky side. I had trouble balling them up without the dough sticking to my fingers, and after the cold fermentation, had trouble retrieving them from my lightly-oiled proofing container without ruining the integrity of the dough. I was a little suspicious of my old scale, so I purchased a new one, and unfortunately, this was not the answer. I wouldn't think that hydration at 61% would produce a dough that would stick to your fingers. I am using a kitchen aid mixer with a hook attachment. I first mix the dry into the wet (minus the oil) with a spoon until it is necessary to use the mixer. I then put the oil in and mix on #3 speed for about 5 minutes and fluctuate speeds briefly if dough ball gets stuck to hook. I have read about hand-kneading after electronic mixing, but have not tried that yet. I'm very afraid of throwing more flour at the problem because I feel that that might jeopardize the hydration required for NY dough and throw this recipe out-of-whack. I am very precise in my flour and water weights and use measuring spoons for yeast, sugar and salt. I use KA bread flour and open my dough with a half and half mixture of flour and semolina. The dough seems a little too extensible and sags easily. Furthermore, launching the pies is sometimes difficult and adds to the frustration.
Maybe an autolyse would be useful. Is there such a thing as a hydrometer for measuring dough hydration? Being from Wisconsin, I have never had the opportunity to experience first-hand what a NY is supposed to taste like - I have had some very good pies around here that claim to be NY pies, but how am I to really know? - That is why this is so important to me! Please help!! Thanks in advance!