Author Topic: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips  (Read 4880 times)

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Offline ernestrome

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Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« on: May 26, 2006, 09:07:04 AM »
Hello everybody. I am alex and i have already made some SD pizza bases, but i was hoping to get some more tips from you guys.

I have a decent starter. It is pure and has never been contaminated with IDY, which i found unnecessary in preparing it. But, i do not intend to start any arguments about IDY or not, it is not really impt to me! (so why did you mention it - :))

My process at present is to prepare a sponge using 1cup flour (unbleached strong white, we do not have the same range of flours available here in the uk as you US folk do, or at least i have not found them)
1/2cup water
About a quarter cup to half a cup of the kept starter (which is stored in the refrig).

This is then left until it has doubled in size, I normally leave it overnight which is longer than it actually takes, and so may be slightly past most active.

This sponge is then combined with
2 1/2 cups of strong flour
1 cup water (+- 1/4 cup to achieve desired consistency)
tbsp olive oil
tbsp melted butter
2tsp salt
1tsp sugar

Now it is at this point that my questions really begin. Firstly i have read here that i should add the dry ingredients to the water to ensure gluten development, is this correct?

I always add water to the dry mixed ingredients and then the oil, i like to adjust water to get a good dough because oftentimes i find it too wet if i use recommended amounts. I think my previous house was quite damp and so the flour may have already been a little wet, i lost a bag or two to mould so i think this may be the case. I make it as wet as i can, and have to flour the dough balls when rolling after they have proofed a little.

Does this dough sound ok for pizza crust? It is really just my basic bread dough, but pizza crusts i have made from it seem ok.

Do i need to store the prepared dough in the refrigerator for a period of time, or is it ready to go once mixed and proved and knocked down? I find i have to knock down my dough several times to develop good texture and flavour.
My last bread mix i refrigerated half before baking and left the other half at room temp, to be honest i did not notice much difference between them.

I'm not sure if ti is important, but i hand mix and knead because i can't afford a dlx or n50 or anything like that  :)

If anybody in the uk would like to swap starters with me, i ahve some dried that i would be willing to swap or even just send to people.

Thanks
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006, 09:10:34 AM by ernestrome »


Offline ernestrome

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2006, 09:40:41 AM »
Btw, i am trying to make quite a thin base pizza, as my gf prefers that.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 10:17:26 AM »
ernestrome,

From the recipe you posted and your instructions for making the dough, I don't see any reason offhand why the dough shouldn't work to make pizzas. As for the sequencing of ingredients, you can use either of the two approaches you mentioned although it is far more common to add the dry ingredients to the water (e.g., most commercial mixers are designed to work that way). In your case, I would dissolve the salt and sugar in the water, then add the sponge and work that into the salt/sugar/water mixture, and gradually add the flour. By gradually adding the flour to the water, I think you get better hydration and gluten development than if you try to do it the other way around and you can also use a spoon to do the mixing for the most part. I would add the melted butter and oil after the rest of the ingredients have been combined and mixed/kneaded together. If you have been experiencing problems with doughs that are too wet, you can hold back a bit of the water and decide later whether it is needed after you see how the dough turns out.

As for cold fermenting the dough rather than leaving it at room temperature, I don't think it will make much of a difference if you use enough of the sponge and it is strong enough to make it through the desired period of fermentation. However, since you are using a natural sponge, I think you are likely to get greater crust flavor from a room-temperature fermentation--all else being equal--because the enzymes and yeast work faster at warmer temperatures.

When I have used bread dough making techniques to make pizza dough, I have found that the finished crust can be quite different from those made using techniques intended specifically for pizza dough. For example, I have made poolish/biga/sponge-based doughs and the finished pizza crusts had baguette-like texture, taste, crunch and crispiness. While I liked the results from a flavor standpoint, I personally preferred those based on pizza dough rather than bread dough. I will add, however, that there is a growing trend toward using preferments to get more flavor out of conventional pizza crusts, including take-and-bake pizzas where the dough development times tend to be shorter than with most other pizza doughs.

Peter

Offline charbo

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 12:30:58 PM »
Pete-zza,

Would you expand on what you perceive as the difference between pizza dough and bread dough?

cb

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 12:41:00 PM »
Thanks for your reply Pete.

I would echo charbo's question, what differentiates a pizza dough from a bread dough. I think i actually started out on this sourdough journey last year with a pizza recipe, but it was for quite a thick base. I make pretty much the same dough for everything, i gotta start taking measurements!  :-D

Also i had never heard a starter called a preferment before i started hanging around here :)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2006, 02:20:00 PM »
ernestrome,

I will be posting shortly on the question raised by charbo.

Preferment is simply a generic term that applies to a lot of techniques (e.g., poolish, biga, sponge, etc.) that are commonly used in bread making and, more recently, in pizza dough making. You might find it useful to look at the Pizza Glossary at the forum for definitions of many of the terms used on the forum. The Pizza Glossary is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2006, 02:46:08 PM »
charbo and ernestrome,

The question raised by charbo is a great question. Unfortunately, the lines between bread dough and pizza dough have become blurred, especially as a result of the membership on this forum applying bread-making techniques to pizza dough making. A good example of the foregoing is the use of autolyse. Autolyse was developed--by Prof. Raymond Calvel in France--for bread making, but many of our members are using it for pizza dough making. Although I am aware of a few anecdotal instances where pizza operators have used autolyse-like rest periods (such as the riposo in Italy), I am not aware of any professional pizza operators using the classic autolyse as devised by Prof. Calvel even though he developed the technique in the 70s. 

Another difference is the tightness of the crumb. Unless one is making high-hydration dough for a ciabatta or artisan bread, bread dough (especially commercial dough) will usually be kneaded to produce a tight crumb, with small holes (voids) that are of like size and shape. By contrast, the usual recommendation from dough experts like Tom Lehmann is to slightly underknead dough that is to be used to make pizzas. Along with fairly high hydration levels, the finished crumb ideally should have large holes of irregular size and shape. The cut-off hydration level for pizza dough is around 70%. Above that level, it will be almost impossible for the normal pizza maker to handle, shape and stretch a dough into a normal-sized pizza round and then dress it and bake it. The dough handling problem is not a real problem with a ciabatta or similar dough, which can have a hydration level above 80%.

Standard preferments like poolish, bigas, sponges, etc. are most commonly associated with bread making rather than pizza dough making, although as I mentioned earlier, such preferments are starting to be used with greater frequency with pizza dough making. When used in the context of pizza dough making, the finished results will depend on the nature and amounts of the preferments. The amount of the preferment is a critical factor. According to pizzanapoletana (Marco), a natural preferment (like the Criscito) will act as a leavening agent when used in small amounts (below 5% by weight of water), but above that amount the dough will, according to Marco, be bread dough, not pizza dough. It is when I have used large amounts of preferments that I have gotten the results I described before in which the finished crust is more like a bread crust (like a baguette) than a pizza crust. If you are interested, I reported on some of the results at Reply 343 at page 18 of the Lehmann thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.340.html. and at Reply 362 at page 19 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.360.html. The pizzas described and shown in those posts were both made using large amounts of preferment (better than 40% of the total dough weight). While I liked the crust flavors very much, I found both pizzas to be too crispy. I subsequently learned that crispiness is a common result when using large amounts of preferments.

Another difference between bread dough making and pizza dough making is that many bread doughs are allowed to proof a second (or final) time before baking. This is sometimes done with certain pizza dough applications (e.g., deep-dish and standard pan doughs or on screens/disks where a thick, soft crust is desired), but often the final "proof” step is eliminated. Certainly this is true with respect to most cold fermented doughs, and some same-day bulk doughs, where essentially the only rising of the dough is on the bench before dressing and baking.

There is also sometimes a difference in ingredients used to make bread doughs as opposed to pizza doughs. For example, if a bread is to have long keeping, anti-staling qualities, it is common to use fair amounts of sugar and oil, both of which have softening effects and serve to keep the bread from drying out too soon. Sourdough breads using sourdough preferments or starters have the same keeping, anti-staling qualities because of the antibiotic effects produced by biochemical activity in the dough. Most pizzas are consumed right after baking, so keeping and anti-staling qualities are rarely considerations.

I’m sure there are other differences, but the ones mentioned above are the ones that immediately come to mind. The nice thing about our forum is that our members, several of whom are also avid bread makers, are always trying to improve their pizzas no matter where the inspirations come from. In that respect we are in the forefront because most professional pizza operators are not interested in using autolyse, natural preferments and other useful bread-making techniques to make better tasting pizzas. It’s far too much work, and time- and labor-intensive.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2006, 03:11:12 PM »
After posting my last reply, I recalled that one of our members, sebdesn (Bud), made a pizza dough based on a three-stage French levain method, which is a bread dough technique (and also attributed to Prof. Calvel). For those who are interested, it is described in Replies 9-14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2238.msg20807.html#msg20807.

Peter

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2006, 07:18:56 AM »
That's an amazing answer pete. I found the glossary yesterday and it was a great help.

I have a sponge made so i am going to try adding the dry to wet, and then i am going to store them the dough balls in the fridge til sunday and bake them.

Now, i fi can find some unglazed quarry tiles when i am out today...   :)

Offline charbo

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006, 11:29:45 PM »
Pete--zza,

Appreciate your extensive response.  Maybe you should put a similar exposition in a permanent place in The Forum, or write a book.  I can't find these issues discussed in any one book.

I think of pizza as a flat, yeast-leavened bread with a baked topping.  There are so many recipes in various books and websites that it's hard for the novice to see any other pizza essence.  Once the essence is defined, we can explore why we might, or might not, want to deviate from it.

cb


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 07:26:41 AM »

 According to pizzanapoletana (Marco), a natural preferment (like the Crisceto) will act as a leavening agent when used in small amounts (below 5% by weight of water), but above that amount the dough will, according to Marco, be bread dough, not pizza dough.

Peter


That is correct but we need to put that in context: Basically a starter added to a dough, mixed and fermented to be a pizza dough, needs to be up to 5% as the only purpose will be to leaven and to add a slightly acetic taste.

When a starter is added in larger percentage, then it will have a preferment effect so bringing all the characteristic of the preferment to the final dough.

Pizza and bread dough are different even if we are talking about commercial yeast dough. The main difference should be identified as follows:

-Direct method for pizza vs Indirect for bread.
-mixing technique and times differences.
-fermentation times and stages with great difference.
-fermentation status before baking completely different

Also, for the final product, will be also important a proper baking temperature.

Ciao

Marco

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Basic Crust/Base Recipe Help Tips
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2006, 10:15:49 AM »
In the U.S., the distinction between bread dough and pizza dough is often blurred even further because it is common to see frozen bread dough sold in supermarkets be specified for pizza use in addition to bread use. Some bread bakers will also sell pieces of fresh bread dough to their customers to be used for pizzas. Many "pizza" recipes also specify that purchased bread dough be used rather than making your own pizza dough. So, it is natural enough for people to assume that bread dough and pizza dough are identical or nearly so. After all, they both use flour, water, yeast and salt and maybe a bit of sugar and oil.

Peter