Author Topic: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust  (Read 934 times)

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Offline bigMoose

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bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« on: February 22, 2014, 02:40:26 PM »
This recipe owes it base to Aawshads Thin.  But with some changes in ingredients and workflow.

Basic crust recipe for a 14 inch pie in a cutter pan was:

198g        100%  Flour Consisting of 168g All trumps high gluten flour and 30g Masa Harina (corn flour)
 89g          45%  Warm Water
  9g            4%  Olive Oil
0.25tsp     0.5%  Sugar
0.5 tsp     0.75% IDY
0.8 tsp        2%  Salt   

I prepared this in my food processor with the dicing blade in the bottom, starting around noon the day before an evening bake.  IDY was dissolved in the warm water.  All dry ingredients were blitzed in the processor.  I drizzled the oil onto the flour with the processor running.  The flour began to look like cornmeal.  I then drizzled in the water/yeast mixture.  I ran for only about 15 seconds after all the water was in.  I then formed a dough ball with my hands and wrapped that mass in plastic wrap and placed in a sealed plastic storage bowl on the kitchen counter.

The morning of day two I placed the dough ball in my "proofer" which consists of my largest stainless bowl over my ol' man's heating pad on the kitchen table.  It gets to around 100 degrees inside my proofing bowl.  The dough ball received about 5 hours of extended temperature proof. 

I then took the warm dough ball out of the plastic wrap and hand sheeted it with a tapered rolling pin to about 16 inch diameter.  It is fairly easy with the warm dough.  The aroma was fantastic, a yeasty beer smell!  I then used one of those $9 olive oil sprayers to mist the top of the sheet with olive oil.  I folded it in half.  Misted the top and folded it again.  It was now 1/4 of it's original size, and had 4 layers.

I now again hand sheeted the dough to fill a 14 inch cutter pan.  This sheeting was more difficult than the first.  Perhaps I should have put the dough back in the proofer for an hour or so...

I now folded the dough in half and half again (like Peter does) but put plastic wrap between the layers so it wouldn't stick to itself.  This quadrant of dough now went into a gallon sized zip lock bag, and went into the freezer for 10 minutes.  Then I placed it in the refrigerator till I was ready to use it in the evening.  I refrigerated it with the hope of preserving the layering.

I preheated my oven and stone to 550 deg F for hours.  I retrieved the dough from the fridge, oiled the cutter pan with a light coat of olive oil, unfolded it in the 14 inch cutter pan, and trimmed it.  I DID NOT dock it.  Note the picture later.  Next time I might lightly dock it, or watch it more closely.  Note that this dough went right from the fridge to the oven.  I think this is important.

Toppings for this Mexican pizza were home made fennel sausage, some red onions, plenty of fresh Jalapeno peppers and a Mexican cheese blend.  I baked it for 8 minutes in the cutter pan on the stone.  I was preparing another pizza and didn't watch the oven and it bloomed into a pita, or as one guest said "bigMoose's Hat!"  I successfully popped the blisters and moved the toppings back on the high spots.  I let it cool for 4 or so minutes.

When I went to cut it and the cornice shattered, I knew I finally had "something" after months of pursuit of the "cracker crust..."  When it crunched in the middle with the pizza cutter I was in heaven.  Every part of the crust was crunchy.  I have included shots of the layering.  You can actually count the 4 layers in many places in this crust! 

For serving, the pizza was topped with shredded lettuce and diced red onions.  Picante sauce and sour cream were provided.  I served this last night as one of 5 different pizza styles to 8 guests.  They loved it.  One visiting foodie suggested that I paint the dough with refried bean paste before the bake.  I think that is a good idea.

I think I have my "go to" recipe and work flow for cracker crust.  ... time will tell.  ;D


Offline norma427

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 03:36:41 PM »
Dave,

What an interesting experiment!  I love the layering you achieved.  :chef:

Norma
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Offline thezaman

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 06:08:50 PM »
looks really good Dave. does it taste like the pizza hut cracker you are so fond of???

Offline bigMoose

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 06:51:39 PM »
I had made this recipe without getting the good crunch many times before as I shared with you.  One of the folks that came last night liked my Mexican interpretation with the subtle flavor the Masa Harina gives the crust.  So I tried my new workflow on this dough ball and ... wham I found the crunch! 

To verify the dough flavor and crunch, I have to repeat this experiment with 100% Alltrumps and a normal cracker crust, tomato/cheese/pepperoni pizza.   I am pretty sure we can get that crunch and equal or better flavor.  The flavor we can dither with more ferment time, but that crunch was so elusive.

I think it will take me a week though before I can make another pie... I have to work off last nights pizza fest!

Offline Tampa

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 07:19:22 PM »
bigMoose - I don't know anything about this type of pizza, but save me a slice.  That looks really good!

New creative pies like yours are my favorites

Dave

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 02:53:59 PM »
Note that this dough went right from the fridge to the oven.  I think this is important.

Yes, that is very important. Looks like you've come a long way since we met, Dave. From what I remember, you said you hadn't had very good luck with this style prior to that day.

Offline bigMoose

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 03:14:31 PM »
That is correct Ryan, I have so struggled with the laminated crispy crust.  Never got what I considered a passable crust until this one.  Man was I blown away to actually count 4 layers in the cornice, and it crunched too and through the center.  Proof will be if I can reproduce it as a normal sauced pizza.  But you are right, we have come a long way.  So many tests and variations, and so much help from here on the board.  Interesting how much of "success" is in the work flow. 

This quest is just like my sourdough bread journey.  The recipe is almost the same as 4 months ago.  The workflow is vastly different, and more complex.  But the loaves are repeatable and up to my standards.  I am going to make a few loaves and have a real chef critique them soon... so I may have more to learn!

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 03:25:30 PM »
Yeah, I think I said something similar in one of my latest Tommy's posts. If I remember correctly, my AHA Tommy's dough is very similar to my very first Tommy's dough. For three years I went in a huge circle, then ended up almost right back where I started, in terms of dough formula. But now I know so much of the secret is in what you do with the dough, not necessarily the dough itself. At least for that style.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 03:39:52 AM »
VERY nice job on the layering. Makes me want to get back to some cracker crusts I have been neglecting

jon
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Offline pythonic

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Re: bigMoose's Mexican Laminated Cracker Crust
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 02:49:55 PM »
Make a chimichange pie next.  Deep fat fry a skin and add your toppings.  LOL

Looks very good, nice work.

Nate
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