Author Topic: Help a newbie, some questions!  (Read 1461 times)

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Offline husker3in4

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Help a newbie, some questions!
« on: October 04, 2006, 01:33:03 AM »
Hello all, Ive been reading here for a few days and have made a pretty good crust, but not quite the quality I want it. I want to make a new york style crust, and have some questions. Please answer if you have time :)

What is "Dusting Flour"? I know when I pull my dough from the refrigerator it is a bit sticky and has some oil on it. I have just been using a bit of the same flour I used to make the dough to rub on the outside of it before I stretch it. Is there some other type of flour or flour mixture I should be using?

What does "Bench Rise" mean? I have been assuming that means take my dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for an hour or two. But does it also mean to remove the dough from the ziploc bag its in and let it sit on some flour with a towel over it? or in a bowl or something? Should the dough be exposed to air at this point? and is room temperature correct for bench rising?

I have been using a pizza stone to cook with. It works well, except the whole sliding from the round cutting board onto the heated stone. Even when I use alot of cornmeal on the cutting board it still is hard to slide, and half the time my pizza gets out of shape because of it. Is there an easier way? Can I get the same results from using a special type of pan I dont have to prehead, but can still bake at 500 degrees for about 8 minutes?

I see recipes calling for high gluten flour, what effect does gluten have on the dough and where can I find this type of flour? I have been using Robin Hood flour, or whatever brand I can find at my local Wal-mart or other chain store. Any suggestions on where I can find the correct flour for these recipes? Also, any specific type of yeast that works better than others?

Last question, is there a simple way to convert the percentages I see in some of the recipies here? I'm very adept at match and when I see recipes that ask for 100% flour, 60% water, 2.5% yeast etc, I dont know what that means. I'd love to try some of these recipes but I have no idea what that means. I can figure out some of the larger percentages against the flour percentage, but the smaller ones and I am lost.

Sorry for all the newbish questions, but I was really amazed at how technical and indepth this forum is, you guys really know your stuff!

Thanks :)


Offline chiguy

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 02:57:30 AM »
 Hi Husker3n4,
 That's alot of info at once i will anser the first few. The dusting flour is generally a sprinkle of flour on the peel prior to placing the pizza skin on it and dress the pizza. Dusting flour is sometimes called a releasing agent. in your case you are using corn meal as your dusting/release agent.

 A bench rise can mean a couple things, it can be described as a same day rise on the bench/table where the ball is dusted with flour & or covered. It can also be a final rise on the bench after a initial rise either room temperature or refridgerated. I usually let a refridgerated dough warm up on the bench for 1 1/2 hours. Not necessarly for additional fermentation but to make stretching easier and also to prevent bubbling that can occur when baking a cold skin. RAW DOUGH SHOULD NEVER BE EXPOSED TOO AIR. This will develop a skin on the dough. It can be dusted with flour, sprayed with oil or coved with a towel to prevent a skin from forming.
 I advise to continue to use the pizza stone, a pan will be a step backwards. As far as the peel, continue to use the cornmeal if you like. A pile of flour on the bench can also help coat the dough ball prior to shaping. This will help with the pizza from sticking. Take the dough ball and lightly coat one side in the flour pile do the same for the other side of the dough ball. At this point i placed down on the bench and press down the center and stretch outward as i form my lip. After this is done it is ready for the dusted peel. You can test the skin by shaking it a little, if it moves nicely the pizza should not stick. Also do the shake test prior to sliding the pizza in the oven.
 High gluten flour is the standard for most N.Y. style street pizza.It was discussed here the other day.http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3831.0.html
 You should be using a high quality bread flour at the very least for a N.Y. recipe.As far as bakers % if is reserved for ones who have a scale and for precise formulation of a recipe. It is fine to use measurements, and there are plenty recipes here for you to try.               

                                                                                         Goodluck ,Chiguy
« Last Edit: October 04, 2006, 03:05:17 AM by chiguy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2006, 08:21:38 AM »
husker3in4,

As a new member, you may want to take a look at the forum’s Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html. Just reading that Glossary a couple of times will teach you an enormous amount about pizza ingredients and pizza making. The Pizza Glossary may well be the most comprehensive glossary of its type found anywhere.

For beginning pizza makers interested in making a NY style pizza, I have been referring them to the following thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19503.html#msg19503. Several of the questions you raise have been covered there, as well as many that you didn’t ask. The dough making techniques I personally use for the NY style are described in Reply 8 and elsewhere in the thread.

For a general discussion of baker’s percents, you may find it useful to go to http://www.theartisan.net/TheArtisanMain.htm, click on Site Search, enter “Bakers Percentages” (without the quotes) into the search box, and look at the first item in the results. Another useful discussion of baker’s percents is the King Arthur article at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/4a1eb4311b0be08b2b590b39ac3f2c77/download/bakers_percentage.pdf. To get an idea as to how baker’s percents can be used in a pizza setting, you might look at Reply 29 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5431.html#msg5431. Once you understand baker's percents, thickness factors, and the like, you will then be in a good position to use the dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html. The tool was originally designed for use in making the so-called Lehmann NY style dough but can be used for many other dough formulations where baker’s percents and thickness factors are known.
 
As an alternative to using a pizza stone, you can use what is called a “pizza screen”.  There are many places that sell pizza screens, and doing a simple Google search will turn up many of these sources, but an example of a pizza screen is shown here: http://www.foodservicedirect.com/index.cfm/S/307/N/2755/Aluminum_Pizza_Screens.htm. As you might imagine, much has been written on this forum about pizza screens, including their many pros and cons, but a screen will not produce the same results as using a pizza stone. For some guidance on pizza screens, you might look at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3309.msg28001.html#msg28001. There is also a discussion of using pizza screens in different ways at Reply 45 at the thread referenced in the second paragraph above.

Peter

EDIT (3/15/13): For the Wayback Machine link to the King Arthur article on baker's percents, see http://web.archive.org/web/20090106001715/http://www.kingarthurflour.com//professional/bakerspercentage.pdf
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 05:17:39 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline husker3in4

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2006, 11:04:02 PM »
Thanks, I got alot from the links you posted. A couple more questions, is there an easier way to get the dressed pizza from my round cutting board to the pizza stone? Right now I coat the stone with white cornmeal and try to slide it off. It usually ends up half deformed and have only done it successfully once. Would it work as well if I dropped the shaped skin onto the heated stone, then quickly dressed the pizza and then baked it?

Lastly, where can I find this fabled King Arthur flour? Any regular grocery stores carry it? Or do most of you who use it order it from their website or something?

Offline tonymark

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2006, 11:18:01 PM »
I would use king Arthur Bread Flour until you really get your technique down.  This should be available at most grocery stores.  Maybe not a small grocery in a small town.

As for sliding off the prepared pizza.  A pizza weighted down a large amount of sauce, cheese and/or toppings will be more difficult to slide from a peel.  Let your dough ball rest in a bowl of flour for a few minutes to dry the bottom right before stretching and placing on a peel.

It is pretty tricky getting a pizza to slide off a thick (1/2 inch or more) cutting board without deforming and losing toppings.  You could purchase a pizza peel (thin wooden board with handle) on line or a restaurant supply store.  They even sell them at Target and maybe even Walmart.  You could just prepare your pizza on a clean piece of cardboard dusted lightly with flour and it should easily slide off.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline husker3in4

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2006, 12:14:33 AM »
Hi tony, actually live in a city of 750,000 with superwalmarts and super targets everywhere. The walmart I usually go to doesnt carry it.  I will keep a lookout for it at other stores and a pizza peel.

What has been your experience with a screen? I am assuming I could lay the dough right on the screen, dress it and then put it in the oven, right?

Offline tonymark

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Re: Help a newbie, some questions!
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2006, 11:46:13 AM »
I have never used a screen.  I know Pete-zza uses them in the summer and other times.  I believe the pizza should go right on the stone, but others have good results with a screen.

If you live a big city,  look in the phonebook or Google "local" for restaurant supply stores with retail sales.  They should have a good selection of peels (metal and wood).  You probably will end up with better quality than what is available at a big box retailer.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!