Author Topic: Please help me to improve my recipe.  (Read 1638 times)

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Offline Ben

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Please help me to improve my recipe.
« on: March 13, 2006, 07:07:01 AM »
Hi there!

I've been reading the board for a while now and finally made it to a registered member  :D
I'm from Germany - so please be patient when I'm making spelling mistakes (though, please correct me...)!

My recipe right now looks like this:
I'm using: flour; salt; sugar; water (lukewarm); fresh yeast; oil         for the dough
                tomatoes out of the can for the sauce (with some salt in it)
               and finally Emmentaler cheese (don't know if you guys know that one)

What I do first is that I mix the fresh yeast with the water and give some sugar to it. Then I mix the flour with some salt and finally mix it all together. I than knead it for about 5-10 minutes and put it into the oven (~120 Fahrenheit) for 40-60 minutes.
When it's done I knead the dough with my hands until it has the appropriate seize and thickness, put on the sauce, cheese, salami and stuff...

I bake it at about 430 Fahrenheit for at least 20 min until it looks fine to me.


Hopefully you can give me some tips on how to improve my recipe! If you need to know anything else, just let me know...


Finally, let me say that I can imagine that all those questions have been answered on the board already, but it's really hard for me finding a start...

Ben


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 08:03:57 AM »
Ben,

It would help if you can post your complete recipe, including ingredient amounts, type of flour, the amount of dough the recipe makes, the number of pizzas, etc. It would also help if you can describe what equipment you use (oven, pizza stone, pan, etc.).

Peter

Offline Ben

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 08:40:46 AM »
Hi Peter!

Somehow, I wasn't thinking of that, sorry... but here we go:

for 2 pizzas:

350g wheat flour type 405
about 250ml water
240g tomatoes (filling quantity)
a little sale
a little sugar
a little oil
a cube of fresh yeast (I don't have one home right now, so I can't tell you how much it is  ::)


The only equipment I'm using is a round sheet (with holes in it; it's for pizza baking), which I put in the oven.

Ben

Offline chiguy

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006, 10:17:54 AM »
 Hi Ben
 I think the first thing that needs to be addressd is the fermentation time which at 60min is not long enough. Although you are not specific, the recipe itself does not appear to be a problem. Being that you are in Germany i am unaware of what type of flour you have access too. At this point the only thing i would suggest is that you increase the fermentation time as much as 2 hours.
 Also you should not try and Re-knead the dough after it has fermented, this alters the gluten structure and makes the dough difficult to stretch out by hand. When the dough is rekneaded it takes about 30minutes for the gluten too relax before it can be hand stretched again. The dough should be kneaded only prior to the fermentation process.
 
 You may also consider using the autolyse process in which the dough is kneaded shortly into a ball then allowed to rest for maybe 20 minutes then kneaded for a few more minutes. This process of Autolyse is a rest period that helps develop the gluten in the dough. It is discussed here often here at pizzamaking.com and used by many members, myself included. Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006, 11:04:39 AM »
Ben,

I know from what members have posted on the forum before that it can be very challenging to make pizzas in Germany, either because of the limited flour choices, limited tomato choices, and ovens that may be much smaller than those in the U.S.

In your case, your 405 flour is equivalent to what we would call all-purpose flour in the U.S. If that is indeed the case, then using about 250 milliliters of water (250 grams) of water for 350 grams of flour yields a hydration ratio (the weight of water divided by the weight of flour) of about 71%. Unless your metric system for volumes in Germany is different from the standard metric system of measurement, the hydration ratio should be closer to 60% for the 405 flour, or 210 milliliters (200 grams) of water. You also indicate that you are using a cube of fresh yeast. As best I can tell from a Google search, a cube of fresh yeast in Germany weighs 42 grams. If that is correct and you are using the entire cube of fresh yeast, that would be far too much. For a same-day dough, I would  think that 7 grams would be sufficient.

I agree with Chiguy that 60 minutes of fermentation is perhaps not long enough, although if you are using a full cube of yeast as discussed above, together with lukewarm water, you will get an extremely fast rise, maybe even within 60 minutes. If you want to use an overnight fermentation (e.g. 24 hours) in the refrigerator, that is also possible, in which event you can reduce the amount of yeast even more and use cool water.

One change you may want to consider from the baking perspective is to use a pizza stone, provided your oven is big enough to accommodate one. From the quantities mentioned above, I estimate that your recipe would produce enough dough to make about two 12-inch (roughly 29 cm.) pizzas. Maybe you have already seen this site, http://www.pizzastein.com, but you will see that a 40 cm. x 30 cm. x 3 cm. stone is available in Germany. That would be a roughly 16" x 12" x 1" stone in the U.S. If you study the information available at the pizzastein website, you will also find recipes and other useful pizza making ideas. I would be careful, however, about using the amounts of water called for in the dough recipes because they seem far too high in my opinion.

I know that we have a few German members on the forum, so perhaps they can assist you and, if necessary, correct any misperceptions I may have on the subject.

Peter

Offline Ben

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006, 12:30:55 PM »
Hi!

I was just making a dough using a hydration ratio of 60% - the dough looks fine!
I've been using a quarter of the yeast-cube (You were right, Peter, it's 42grams) as I think otherwise I won't manage to use the whole thing in a month.
I will keep the dough in the refrigerator for fermentation process for 24hours, as you adviced me.

What temperature do you recommend for baking? Until know I was baking the pizza at 430 Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes - you think I should go up with the temperature?

I already stumbled across the pizzastein and really think I'll buy one, as I took measure and saw that it would fit.  :D

btw: what tomatoes for the sauce do you guys use? Is it this mixed stuff out of the can, or something else?

Thanks for your kind answers - I really think I'm gonna like this board!  ;D

Ben :pizza:

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Please help me to improve my recipe.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2006, 01:29:07 PM »
Ben,

I don't normally use a pan, but I think it would be safe to go to 450 degrees F. To get better or additional bottom crust browning, you might be able to slide the pizza off of the pan at some point on top of one of the oven racks.

I think you would be happy with a good pizza stone, especially if you would like to get a decent oven spring and a more airy crumb. With a pan, it takes too long for it to get to a high enough temperature fast enough to give you the kind of oven spring that you will get with a stone.

As for tomatoes, we have so many good choices in the U.S., both domestic and imported. Many of us use a high quality canned tomato (e.g., crushed with puree) and add our own seasonings. If you look under the Sauce Ingredients board, you will see several examples of the many possibilities. You may get enough good ideas even if you don't have access to the range and types of tomatoes that we have in the U.S.

Peter


 

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