Author Topic: First NY, Lehmann/Pete-zza Recipe - pointers on handling dough? (pics)  (Read 1390 times)

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Offline Wazatron

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So last night I made my first NY style pizza, and while not a failure (tasted good) it wasn't a success either.

For starters, I used the first recipe listed in the thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.0.html (Pete-zza's take on Lehmann's recipe).  I followed it to the T (ingredients-wise) and gave it a full 24 rest. 

One strange thing, is I couldn't get the window pane test to work, even after 20 minutes of mixer-kneading.  Whether the test is relevent or not is for another thread, but the dough seemed to tear easily, even when pulling off a hunk to attempt the window pane test.  Is this normal?

Other than that, the dough seemed great - especially the day of cooking.  One other thing I did was bisect the whole ball and make 1 pizza, tossing the other ball back in the fridge for another 24 hour rest (and dinner tonight).

My biggest problem was making/shaping the pie.  I've looked quickly through some other posts, but I haven't found anything specifically dealing with handling the dough and actually making the pizza.  Could someone point me in the right direction?

Basically I had a devil of a time getting the dough big enough.  The edges were still way too thick by the time the center was beginning to tear, and I only got it out to about 6 or 7 inches (shooting for 8 or 9 based on the 16 inch recipe).  I did give it time to rest, but again it seemed I was risking ripping the center too much in trying to get it any bigger.  I tried some tossing, but (while not good at it to begin with) it seemed to make it more oblong than circular.

I'm certainly not expecting to make perfect circles being such a nubie at the NY style, but I'd love to at least get it out to the appropriate size!  :-D  I eventually gave up and threw it in the oven.  It blew up like a bread bowl! haha!

I got really nice air pockets, and the taste was really good.  It was a bit on the bread-y side, but I think that's due more to the fact that I didn't get it rolled out enough and didn't get it crisp enough.

A pretty sad looking pizza... I admit.  :-\  Any pointers, or board references would be greatly appreciated!!!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2006, 05:39:03 PM by Wazatron »


Offline Christopher

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hey, Waza,
how long did you let the dough sit at room temperature before baking?
the stretching of the dough should start with creating the rim by flattening the dough in the middle and then with your finger tips press out from the center until your pizza is about 10 inches and then you can pick it up to toss or roll it on your knuckles allowing gravity to do the job. takes some practice, but does help. i am sure you could keep spreading the dough out with your fingers until it was 16 inches.
i personally have never had a dough window pane after mixing. only after it is autolysed or fully fermented can i get the windowpane. i think Lehmann says it is not necessary for pizza dough. i personally hand knead because i do not own a mixer and have relied on autolyse to build the structure followed by light kneading followed by stretching and folding.
hope this helps,
Christopher

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Wazatron,

If you haven't already done so, I'd like to suggest that you read the following thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html.

The Lehmann formulation you used was the first one I attempted. By mistake I used too much yeast although the results were very good. However, to be more faithful to Tom Lehmann's formulation, I thereafter used the much smaller amount of yeast as called for by the Lehmann formulation. Either way, your results should have been much better. For clarification purposes, I noted the changes to the original post through edits and directed readers to subsequent posts in which the correct amount of yeast was recited. As for the window-pane test, if you look at Reply 2, you will see an exchange I had with Tom Lehmann in which he told me to forget about using the window-pane test. I resisted doing so for some time (as noted in subsequent posts) but ultimately I did stop using the window-pane test. I believe he sometimes uses the window-pane test for demonstration tests, as well as a test in which he uses both hands to stretch a piece of dough. I have posted before on the latter test and will try to find the post and link you to it if I can find it.

If there is a particular Lehmann formulation that you would like for any particular size of pizza and for any number of pizzas of the selected size, let me know and I can give you a formulation to use. I suspect is is already on the thread somewhere, but I don't mind repeating the information if it will help. But if you didn't read the abovereferenced post, I'd like to suggest that you do so. Maybe you will see there what you did that produced your particular results. If you don't find the answers there, please provide further detail and I will see if I can help.

Peter

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Wazatron,

I found the post I was looking for and have excerpted below the relevant portion, in Tom Lehmann's own words:

You want to mix the dough just enough so that when you take an egg size piece of dough, and form it into a ball, then holding it in two hands, with the thumbs together (pointing away from you), and on top of the dough piece, gently pull the thumbs apart. The dough skin should not tear. If it tears, you should mix the dough a little longer. The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance. Do not stretch the dough out between the fingers to form a gluten film. This test for development is for bread and roll doughs, not pizza. Pizza dough is not fully developed at the mixer, instead, it receives most of its development through biochemical gluten development (fermentation). After the dough has been in the cooler for about 24 hours, you should be able to stretch the dough in your fingers and form a very thin, translucent gluten film.

Peter


 

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