Author Topic: Can a KA sourdough starter be used in combination with IDY for a great tasting p  (Read 2358 times)

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Offline norma427

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Offline Pete-zza

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Most of this discussion has been theoretical, but I can tell you as a practical matter that I have made over 200 pizzas using this method and the flavor is light years ahead of any thin or cracker I have ever eaten.

Tom,

I think the key elements in your case were the use of a lot of starter and a small amount of commercial yeast. And, to be honest, if it weren't for the fact that Prof. Calvel had discussed the use of both a natural starter and commercial yeast, I would have thought long and hard about posting on the subject, even when I knew that others were doing the same thing, as I earlier noted. But, even in Prof. Calvel's case, he recommended the combination of starter and commercial yeast for the cooler months of the year, from September to May. That implied that the reason for the commercial yeast was for leavening purposes, as a belt and suspenders solution, not for flavoring purposes. But, even then, he was careful to note that the amount of commercial yeast should be small.

In your case, you used a lot of starter, 20%. When I played around with natural leavening systems for various types of pizzas, including cracker style pizzas, I, too, used around 15-20% starter. That amount came from a forum member who was a baker (and still is) who used natural leavening systems for making pizza. I suspect that the dominant flavor contributions came from the starter rather than the commercial yeast, although I defer to the opinions of those who have done more testing on this subject than I. That is all the more reason for Norma to test using combinations of natural starter and commercial yeast, given the vast range of her pizza making experiences and having developed strong opinions on what seems to work and what doesn't and what she likes and doesn't like.

FYI, another good example of the use of a natural starter for a cracker style dough is discussed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21326.msg214946#msg214946. In that example, bakeshack (Marlon) used 20% starter (but no commercial yeast).

Peter

Offline norma427

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Norma wanted to further investigate the success I had, to see how it applied in a NY style, and I thank you Norma for giving it a try, and for your unending quest for knowledge, from which we all benefit. Not to mention your unending kindness.....

Tom

Tom,

I enjoyed conversing with you about your methods in using the KA starter and IDY in different doughs.  I  was especially interested in what you were trying to do with a KA starter and IDY in a NY style dough.  I enjoyed our conversations and exchanges of ideas of about your doughs and if a KA starter and IDY could bring better flavors to a NY style pizza.  I really don't know, but don't think the KA sourdough starter has been used too much in any style of pizza here on the forum.

Norma

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Offline norma427

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Peter,

I called Williamsburg Pizza in Brooklyn a little after 12:00 PM today and told the man I spoke to that I had planned to come and try their pizzas, but something had happened that I could not get to NYC a few weeks ago.  I then said I will be coming to try their pizza at some point in time because I heard their pizzas are good.  I said I was curious though about an article I had read on the web.  I asked if they did use a homemade yeast for their dough.  The man I spoke to had a heavy Italian accent and said yes they do use a homemade yeast for their dough.  He then handed the phone to another man that I asked the same question again. That man said the same thing.  I then asked if they might use a natural leavening for their dough, but the man said he can not give out any secrets about their dough.

I then called Williamsburg Pizza on Broome St. after I got home from market today.  I said about the same things and asked if they use a homemade yeast for their dough.  The man I spoke to said yes.  I then asked if it was a natural leavening system and he said he knows about what ingredients go into the homemade yeast, but did not know exactly.  He said his boss would soon be coming in and then his boss would call me.  The boss never called me back.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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The KA sourdough starter and IDY dough ball looked like it had about doubled in size until I got home from market today.  I put the dough ball into the oven with the light on to warm it up faster.  I got the toppings ready and then went outside to turn the motor on for the Blackstone.  I had checked the propane tank and it seemed a little low in propane because the tank was light.  I then had to take the propane tank off of the BBQ grill and hook it to the hose on the Blackstone.  I thought a breaker must have tripped in my shed because the motor did not want to run at all.  I tried another extension cord, but that did fix the problem of the motor not running.  I then took the Blackstone top apart and tried to run the motor without the key or top platter.  It ran and turned with the key in.  I then checked the bearings mod and it was dry.  I got some grease and greased the bearings.  Not to take any more chances, (since it soon would start getting dark) I put my regular pizza stone on the platter instead of the firebricks.  The Blackstone heated up faster than I thought it would.  I turned the heat down a little and went inside to open the dough ball and dress the pie.  The poppy seed spacing then showed the dough ball more than doubled in size.

The KA starter and IDY dough ball opened like a dream into a skin.  The pizza was dressed with a new mozzarella, my regular sauce from market and Ciao pepperoni.  When I got back outside the temperature on the pizza stone was a little higher than I wanted, but thought I don't want the pie to stick to the wooden peel. 

The pizza baked well with good oven spring.  The flavor of the crust was very good and different than other pies I have made.  The inside of rim crust was very moist and the edges of the rim crust were nice and a little bit crisp (something like an eggshell but not exactly).  I guess the KA sourdough starter and IDY crust “knocked my socks off, and made my toes wiggle”.   8)

Thanks Chau for us about finding your first love again and sharing your formulation!  I don't know if I have found mine, but the pie sure was good

Norma
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 08:41:34 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Offline jsaras

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Looks fantastic!
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline norma427

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Norma
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Offline Donjo911

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I'd buy that pie from you! And I have 4 dough balls on my counter for tonights bake already! :-D :drool:
Noma, You're awesome in the actual definition of the word! ;)
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You start with the people with the funny names.

Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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I'd buy that pie from you! And I have 4 dough balls on my counter for tonights bake already! :-D :drool:
Noma, You're awesome in the actual definition of the word! ;)

Don,

Lol!  I hope your bakes go well tonight!

Norma
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Offline CaptBob

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That's beautiful Norma!! Great job!!

Bob
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 08:53:13 PM by CaptBob »

Online scott123

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According to this article, http://bedfordandbowery.com/2013/12/williamsburg-pizza-has-arrived-on-the-lower-east-side/ , the Williamsburg Pizza location in lower Manhattan allegedly uses a "homemade yeast". Would that be a natural leavening system?


I asked if they did use a homemade yeast for their dough.  The man I spoke to had a heavy Italian accent and said yes they do use a homemade yeast for their dough.  He then handed the phone to another man that I asked the same question again. That man said the same thing.  I then asked if they might use a natural leavening for their dough, but the man said he can not give out any secrets about their dough.


How do I put this?  I've had a few friends speak to the Williamsburg employees and owner at different times and ask them various questions about their ingredients and processes, and, on almost every occasion, conflicting information was provided, and, when pressed for clarification, the answers invariably showed a deep lack of understanding relating to the topic at hand.  Occasionally you'll find a friendly kind of subterfuge that some pizzerias utilize in an attempt to keep people guessing.  Is that what's happening here?  I'm not sure.  I'm positive it's not malicious.  It's either that the employees don't really know all the ins and outs and are just guessing or they're having fun with people.  Regardless, anything you hear about Williamsburg's ingredients or process should be taken with the biggest grain of salt imaginable.

Just the fact that Norma had two employees at two different locations (one of which I'm pretty sure is the owner) tell her they used 'homemade yeast,'  but decline to answer the question on natural leavening- not even being aware that homemade yeast, by it's nature, is natural leavening- that should be the biggest red flag ever in terms of the reliability of the information.

Williamsburg is about as classic of a NY style slice as one can possibly imagine- absolutely no natural leavening.  Regardless of whatever anyone in the organization might say.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 09:14:04 PM by scott123 »

Offline norma427

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That's beautiful Norma!! Great job!!

Bob

Thanks Bob!

Norma
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Offline mitchjg

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Beautiful job and nice toes!

So, what recipe did you use, ingredients, temp, workflow, blah blah?

- Mitch

Addendum: OOPS:  I missed the prior page entries with the formula you used and the flour.  Sorry about that part

- but, nevertheless, beautiful job and nice toes!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 09:25:59 PM by mitchjg »

Offline TXCraig1

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Williamsburg is about as classic of a NY style slice as one can possibly imagine- absolutely no natural leavening.  Regardless of whatever anyone in the organization might say.

If using natural leavening is a cardinal sin against the very foundations of NY-pizza, why would they lie about using "homemade yeast," or let it stand uncorrected after it was published that they did (in more than one place)?

Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Norma,

I agree with the others that your latest pizza looks superb. Do you intend to repeat the experiment using only the KA starter, to see if you get the same results? And do you intend to try the same formulation at market at some point, using your deck oven? And I see that you were able to easily use the preferment dough calculating tool :-D.

On the Williamsburg Pizza matter, today, I decided to do a Google search using the expression "homemade yeast" (in quotes as shown) to see what would turn up. As you might imagine, I found many baked goods such as "homemade yeast bread", "homemade yeast buns" and "homemade yeast donuts" but I also got several hits for just "homemade yeast". The latter hits were predominantly for making natural starters using flour, water and wild yeast. I also found ways of culturing yeast with malt extract to make beer. However, it appeared that the equipment used had to be sterilized at every stage, and some cooking and cooling was also required. I also found an unusual way of using commercial yeast, potatoes, cornmeal and other ingredients to extend the usefulness of the commercial yeast. That method is described at http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-Paying-for-Yeast-Make-Your-Own/. I'm sure that if one digs deeply, there are other ways of making something that might be called "homemade yeast". But if I were to guess, I would say that Williamsburg Pizza is perhaps using a natural starter based on flour, water and wild yeast. The wild yeast might literally be wild yeast, as captured locally, or in some other form, such as sold by outfits like sourdo.com and even King Arthur. The other "homemade yeasts" don't make any sense to use in a commercial pizzeria setting.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Beautiful job and nice toes!

So, what recipe did you use, ingredients, temp, workflow, blah blah?

- Mitch

Addendum: OOPS:  I missed the prior page entries with the formula you used and the flour.  Sorry about that part

- but, nevertheless, beautiful job and nice toes!

Mitch,

Thanks nice comments about the pie and my toes!  It you want to know anything else I did, let me know.  I used Craig's method of frothing the KA sourdough starter into the water and also used his method of making the dough ball smooth and not sticky. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Norma,

I agree with the others that your latest pizza looks superb. Do you intend to repeat the experiment using only the KA starter, to see if you get the same results? And do you intend to try the same formulation at market at some point, using your deck oven? And I see that you were able to easily use the preferment dough calculating tool :-D.

On the Williamsburg Pizza matter, today, I decided to do a Google search using the expression "homemade yeast" (in quotes as shown) to see what would turn up. As you might imagine, I found many baked goods such as "homemade yeast bread", "homemade yeast buns" and "homemade yeast donuts" but I also got several hits for just "homemade yeast". The latter hits were predominantly for making natural starters using flour, water and wild yeast. I also found ways of culturing yeast with malt extract to make beer. However, it appeared that the equipment used had to be sterilized at every stage, and some cooking and cooling was also required. I also found an unusual way of using commercial yeast, potatoes, cornmeal and other ingredients to extend the usefulness of the commercial yeast. That method is described at http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-Paying-for-Yeast-Make-Your-Own/. I'm sure that if one digs deeply, there are other ways of making something that might be called "homemade yeast". But if I were to guess, I would say that Williamsburg Pizza is perhaps using a natural starter based on flour, water and wild yeast. The wild yeast might literally be wild yeast, as captured locally, or in some other form, such as sold by outfits like sourdo.com and even King Arthur. The other "homemade yeasts" don't make any sense to use in a commercial pizzeria setting.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks!  I was lucky on that dough and Chau's formulation helped me in the first place.  I do intend to try the KA starter alone in the same formulation at some point in time.  I also intend to try the same formulation at market not this coming Tuesday, but maybe the following Tuesday.  Tom is sending me one of his KA sourdough starter and IDY dough balls to market on Tuesday.  Tom was kind enough to offer to send me one of his dough balls.  Tom told me he has problems opening his dough balls and also has problems with not enough oven spring.  Tom is using a different formula and different mixing methods.     

What you posted about your Google searches is interesting.  I wonder how we are ever really going to find out if Williamsburg Pizza does use homemade yeast, and if they do, what kind it really would be.  I know using the KA sourdough starter today did not give any sourdough taste, but the taste of the crust sure was different. 

Norma
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Offline mitchjg

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Hi Norma:

I think I do have a question.  It is "how long was the yeast in contact with the flour before you put the final dough in the fridge?"

The reason I ask is that the IDY % of 0.16 looked a little low to me.  When I have made dough like this ("this" being SD + yeast), I usually followed Varasano's method of mixing which goes like this:

1 Mix all the ingredients together, but hold back 25% of the flour.  Mix only for a minute or two on low speed.
2 Rest dough, covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Start the mixer again at a low speed.  After about 5 minutes start adding the rest of the flour gradually.
4 By the time you hit 10 minutes, you have a nice dough ball, but still a bit shaggy.
5. Rest for 15 minutes
6. Give the dough maybe a minute of hand kneading.  It is now nice and smooth.
7. Divide into dough balls and let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes and then cold ferment.

When I follow this process, using 0.25% IDY, the dough is usually nice and ready to go at about 3 days.

If you add up all the times, above, the yeast is working at room temperature for about an hour before hitting the fridge.

I am wondering if you were able to be ready after 1 day using 0.16% because it was at room temperature for more than an hour.

Hope all that makes sense.

It has been several months since I made a batch of dough this way, I may go at it again for fun and to remind myself what it is like.

Regards,
Mitch