Author Topic: Help improving Lehman results  (Read 1625 times)

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Offline ness

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Help improving Lehman results
« on: June 05, 2006, 07:27:33 AM »
First, I want to say this is truly a great resource for the hobby pizza maker.

I've read extensively, and have been expirementing with the Lehman recipes at home. I've been somewhat dissapointed with the results, and would appreciate a little advice on how to improve things.

I've done the following:

100% Pissbury bread flour
62% hydration
1.75% (2.4 t) Kosher salt
1% oil (<1 t)
0.25% (<.5t) Rapid Rise yeast

Dissolved water, salt in KA mixer. Blended flour yeast, added approximately 3/4 of that to water and blended 2 minutes. Did 20-minute rest. 5 minutes on low, added oil and remining flour and did 5 more minutes, with the last 3 on medium. Formed 4 nine-inch balls, rested 15 minutes, then into individual Glad containers in the fridge for 18 hours.

Did an 18-hour cold ferment on the first batch. 2-hour counter rise the first time got a near doubling of size. The second pass, I let it rise a little longer in the fridge - around 36 hours. I did > 2 hours on the counter and got at little more than 2x-sized rise. 500+ degrees on quarry tiles for 6-7 minutes.

The problem is I'm not getting much oven spring. My crusts ended up fairly dense, with the largest bubbles no more than 2-3 mm, and the bulk of them smaller. Kind of heavy and tough crust.

I feel I had the hydration right, as the ingredients were carefuly weighed on a quality scale. Not as confident about the rest, especially my understanding of the rise portion.

SO, any feedback on what I could do to improve would be greatly appreciated. THanks

John











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John


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 12:06:35 PM »
John,

From what you have reported, it is clear that you have not followed the instructions I usually use and recommend for making the basic Lehmann dough. Your post was similar in many respects to one I read recently from member RetroRayGun in which he indicated that he had essentially used the varasano (Jeff) approach as the core of the dough making procedures he used to make the Lehmann dough. Interestingly, his results, and his complaints, were similar to yours. See, for example, Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3162.0.html. Rather than repeat my reply to Retro or to analyze what you did that might have differed from what Retro did, you may want to take a look at my reply to Retro and also this thread, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html, where I have described the basic processing steps I myself use in making the basic Lehmann NY style doughs. You will note there that I try not to operate above the Stir and 1 speeds, and at the 2 speed for the shortest time possible, and I try to keep the knead part of the dough processing as short as possible (usually no more than 6 minutes for a typical dough batch size), or just until the dough is at the proper stage to proceed. I do not use autolyse or similar rest periods very often with the Lehmann doughs. I find it to produce a too breadlike crust with too soft a crumb. (I do like the results for the natural preferment autolyse versions of the Lehmann dough, however).

When you look at the material at the Lehmann thread I referenced, I think you will see that you most likely kneaded the dough too long and at too high a mixer speed. As I mentioned to Retro, the autolyse and similar rest periods are supposed to have the effect of shortening the total knead time. It is possible to incorporate autolyse in the Lehmann formulation but the approach I would use would be different from the approach you used. My advice is to try the Lehmann formulation using the approach I recommend and see if you like the results. If you decide then that you would like to add the autolyse feature, you can easily do so.

Peter

Offline ness

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 07:29:44 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Peter.

I actually read the both the posts you referred to, and even saved the pizzagirl one for later reference. However, I also read many, many more and basically lost your specific Lehman approach in the process. Your diagnosis makes sense, and I'll definitately give your method a try.

One more question: I'm not sure what I'm looking for as far as the rise. What can I expect in the fridge, and what about afterward on the counter?

Thanks again.

John

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John

Offline ness

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 07:35:29 PM »
Actually, I just found the 'how perfect..' thread, which answers my question.

John
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John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 08:02:14 PM »
John,

I should have been clearer in my reference to the basic approach I use for the Lehmann doughs. The pertinent post is Reply 12 at the pizzagirl thread. Subsequent posts elaborate on specific points or address questions posed by some of our members.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

Peter

Offline billneild

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2006, 09:54:16 AM »
Pete - From what I have gathered here the trick is to avoid over-kneading.  Since I tend to use a food processor for pizza dough and since it kneads at warp speed I assume that "less is more" here too.  I generally get it to come together (no oil yet), then add a small amount of oil and give it about a 10 second spin to get the oil incorporated.  Since I am using the Lehmann recipe I would appreciate a comment or two on what variations will tend to make the crust chewier and airier.  Less processing time?  Less oil?  I like how the pizzas are coming out but I'm always looking for ways to upgrade.  Thanks.

Bill

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 11:03:12 AM »
Bill,

Before you became a member of the forum, I posted on the matter of using a food processor to make the Lehmann NY style dough at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2189.msg19294/topicseen.html#msg19294. As you will see there, the biggest potential problems with food processors in making pizza dough, beyond being limited to a rather small dough batch size, are overkneading and overheating the dough. But, as noted at the above thread, both of these areas can be controlled reasonably well. I personally think a food processor is a great machine to have on hand to make pizza dough, especially for dough batch sizes that are too small for a stand mixer.

In order to increase the chewiness of a finished crust, the easiest way to do that is to move up to a higher protein flour, for example, from an all-purpose flour to a bread flour or from a bread flour to a high-gluten flour (like the KASL). You can also supplement a low-protein flour with vital wheat gluten (VWG), which will simulate, but not exactly reproduce, a higher protein/gluten flour. It is also possible to achieve increased chewiness by adding semolina to the basic flour. Remember, however, that there is a fine line between chewy and tough. So, you have to be careful how much VWG or semolina you add to the basic flour. I have written elsewhere on how much VWG to use; for the semolina, you might not want to exceed about 25% of the total flour, although I have seen formulations calling for up to 50%. My experience with high semolina levels is that the pizza slices do not respond well to reheating. The slices are leathery tough.

As you move up the protein scale, and assuming that you are using a relatively high hydration and proper kneading (i.e, not underkneading or overkneading), the gluten structure will be more substantial and better developed to retain the gases of fermentation. So, along with increased chewiness you should get a fairly good open and airy crust and crumb. As an added side benefit, you should also get a bit more crust flavor as a result of the higher protein levels. Reducing the amount of oil will increase the chewiness a bit but because the Lehmann dough formulation calls for only 1% oil, you are not likely to notice the difference. The oil will provide a bit of flavor to the finished crust and help improve the extensibility (stretchiness) of the dough, but, at 1%, these effects will be slight also.

If you think about it, the Lehmann formulation naturally has all of the above characteristics: high-gluten flour, high hydration, little oil, and no sugar. You could reduce the salt a bit to get a slight increase in the rise of the dough, but you may sacrifice some flavor in the finished crust as a result. I haven't tested this possibility before with a Lehmann dough, but may want to try it sometime just to see what happens.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 06, 2006, 01:36:35 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline ness

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 03:52:22 PM »
Welp, I modified the technique as Pete-zza suggested, and I'm here to report the results.

Here's a couple details. First, I did considerably less mixing. I've got to admit I was a little worried about this, but I did want a less chewy/tough dough and I was using bread flour...I probably only mixed for a couple minutes after the addition of the oil, and followed with about 1 minute of hand kneading.

I had also increased the IDY to 0.4% (from 0.25%) because I just wasn't getting the volume rise I was reading about and seeing in other posts. Our fridge is quite cold, and I suspect that was part of it.

I also did a two-day rise, which was longer than my previous attempts.

I've got to say the results were excellent. The rise I got was approximately 2x -  noticeably better than before. The results varied somewhat between the 4 nine-inch pizzas I made, but the best two were lighter with larger bubbles and better flavor and texture (less crispy).

I'm quite happy with the results. Here's a couple photos (I hope). I did two Marheritas and two hamburger/mushroom/olive.

Thanks so much for the help. I'm very encouraged by the results from today.


« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 04:09:39 PM by ness »
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John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help improving Lehman results
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 04:22:02 PM »
John,

Congratulations.

I think you will find that with experience and practice your pizzas will get better and better.

Peter