Author Topic: Hack my pizza!  (Read 1748 times)

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Offline grovemonkey

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Hack my pizza!
« on: November 14, 2006, 05:09:29 PM »
here is the link for the photos http://picasaweb.google.com/grovemonkey/Pizza5

Let me explain the situation and hopefully you can give me some advice.

630 ish grams of a standard all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups of water at 45 degrees C
2 teas of dry bakers yeast
3 Table of olive oil
2 teas of salt
1 1/2 teas of sugar

This made 3 dough balls.  I proofed the yeast for 10 min with the sugar added before I put the yeast in and oil added to the water after the yeast was added.  at the end of 10 min I mixed up the oil and then began adding flour.  I mixed in the flour around 100 grams at a time whisking until it got thick enough to use a wood spoon.. did the rest with a wood spoon until I got all about 400 grams and then added the salt. 

Once I got the dough mixed with the salt for about 4-5 minutes I just used the spoon to mix through the dough scraping the edged.. the dough was very wet so I added up about an extra 2-3 tablespoons of flour.    Then I let it stand for about 10 minutes and neaded for about 5 minutes then it sat for about 15 minutes rest and then divided into 3 balls, oiled and put in some zip lock bags. 

Tossed them in the refrig to sit.  Here is the story with each ball. 

Ball one sat in the refrig for about 5 hours.. it rised up real big for the first few hours came down to about double the size then I snagged it from the refrig.  That dough ball didn't make it through the night.  at this point, I should explain my home cooking setup.  In Japan, big ovens are rare.. I don't have one but I have a dual purpose microwave/convection oven.. it does both and even has a steam function that I never used.. I usually crank it up to 250 C and it takes about 15 minutes to get that hot and it beeps when it is that hot.  I usually hand press out the dough in a circle on the heavy metal sheet then put on sause and cheese.  I usually don't pre-heat the sheets in the oven because I don't have a peel.  when I press out, I usually don't mess with the lip and try to keep this nice an fat, usually at some point in the stretching process I will put it up on my knuckles and try to stretch the dough a bit more. 

The photos represent a pizza made with the dough with the following history.  Dough went in for two days then I put the dough ball in the freezer for a few days and took it out.  The dough unthawed in the refrig.  When the dough came out of the refrig it was very wet so I just hand neaded it for about 30 seconds and the dough was very, very pliable.   Very stretch dough and very aromatic..  With this pizza, I managed to heat up a metal sheet along with the oven at the same time.. I slid the pizza onto the sheet that was hot at around 250C for around 10-13 minutes.  The photos represent the result.  It seemed like it was undercooked.  I figure at least by around 3-5 minutes.  The whole crust had a very bread-like taste to it and small air pockets.  Even though the aroma was great, the taste was a bit plain for me.  My wife said she really liked it.  Any suggestions..?


Offline Arthur

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 05:30:03 PM »
Grovemonkey,

I'm not sure if being in Japan and the equipment you have has any limitations on my advice, but there are a few things you can do to improve the taste of your pizza (in this order)

1) heat of oven - you need to get your oven a bit hotter if possible (and certainly preheat the oven longer).  You pizza should take 6-9 minutes or so.
2) flour - now fully depending upon the pizza you are used to, I personally think that high gluten flour (read the forum on KASL) had a much better taste.  If you can get your hands on that - or at least unbleached flour or bread flour, that would be better.
3) get a scale and weigh the ingredients (incl water) - in your progress with pizza making it's important to keep some things constant.
4) read this forum over and over again.

Arthur.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2006, 05:31:57 PM by Arthur »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2006, 06:41:33 PM »
Grovemonkey,

I have several thoughts but before expressing them I would like to know how big (diameter) your pizzas are.

Peter

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2006, 07:30:39 PM »
Arthur, thanks for the info.. I'm working on getting a pizza stone and peel, fyi.  The bread is an issue, it's just standard bread from the store and it doesn't say anything about percentages though the back say 83 % of something (hey it was in japanese) so I was wondering if the bread is around 17%.  In fact this bread is not unbleached and I just got some organic unbleached bread but it's not of the brands that float around website and Caputo pizza bread 25kilos runs about 85USD for your info. 

As for the diameter.. hmm.. I appreciate your question pete-zza.  I'm thing they are around 10 inch because the device I used as a peel was actually a tin lid from pot set that I *cough* *cough* modified.... maybe 12.. 

Getting this oven hotter is a pain.  I have browned the crust before so I know it can be done with my 2cd dough ball I had.  I took this out sooner because the cheese looked done.. I'll just let it heat up longer.  It will continual maintain the temp at 250C. 

On a previous dough ball from this batch I took a brush and just wetted the edge of the but I forgot to do that on this pizza you see with the photo.  Wasn't sure if the the wetting of the dough edge before putting it into the oven might have been the reason the crust was prettier.. :)

Offline Arthur

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2006, 08:58:20 PM »
In fact this bread is not unbleached and I just got some organic unbleached bread but it's not of the brands that float around website and Caputo pizza bread 25kilos runs about 85USD for your info. 

You'll probably have better luck with the unbleached flour.  In my opinion I wouldn't bother with the Caputo in your oven.  I have both a wood burning oven and an electric oven and the other day I had some left over Caputo dough that I tried in my electric oven and it was pretty bad.  I've only been successful with high-gluten (KASL) and unbleached flour.

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2006, 10:48:24 PM »
I'll try the unbleached with the other variables remaining unchanged and see what that gets me and post the results.  That was in my plans anyways so should be interesting to see how a variation in the flour will effect the end result. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 10:44:06 AM »
grovemonkey,

Thank you for the additional information.

I estimate that your dough formulation produces around 39 ounces of dough, with each of the three dough balls weighing around 13 ounces. If you are making 10"-12" pizzas, they will be fairly thick--medium to thick. Using less dough per pizza or making larger pizzas will itself reduce the breadlike character you mentioned.

I also offer up the following suggestions.

First, I would reduce the yeast level quite substantially. Assuming that you are using active dry yeast (ADY) that requires activation in warm water, I estimate that you are using about 1.2% ADY by weight of flour. That is higher than you really need for a dough that is to be cold fermented in the refrigerator for a day or more. I suggest you reduce the ADY to about 1/4-1/3 t. Also, if you are using water at 45 degrees C (113 degrees F), that is too high to use with ADY. I suggest that you use a small amount of the total formula water at about 105 degrees F to rehydrate the ADY, for about 10 minutes. You can add a pinch of sugar to the water/yeast mixture if you'd like, but not all of the sugar. My practice is to either add the sugar to the flour or dissolve it in the remaining water (before adding the rehydrated yeast). The amount of the formula water that is not used for rehydrating the ADY should be kept on the cool side. Once the ADY has been rehydrated, it can be added to the remaining (cool) water.

Second, I would suggest reducing the amount of oil. I estimate that you are using around 6.7% by weight of flour. At that level, you are likely to end up with a tender crust with a somewhat breadlike character. If you don't like that characteristic, I would reduce the amount of oil to around 1 T. and see if that helps.

Third, I would eliminate the two rest periods. The rest periods you have been using are variations of a classic autolyse as commonly used in bread making and now finding popularity in pizza dough making. A common result of using such rest periods is to produce a soft, breadlike crumb in the finished crust. Many people actually work very hard to achieve that effect, but it sounds like you may not be as strong a proponent. If eliminating the rest periods doesn't improve the results, you can always reinstate them in future efforts.

Fourth, I would avoid freezing the dough as much as possible. When dough freezes, the ice crystals that form during freezing cause the cells or the yeast to rupture and release cellular fluids, mainly glutathione, that can act as reducing agents and cause the dough to become slack once defrosted. That may be why you found the dough to be so pliable after defrosting. If you use the reduced yeast level mentioned above, you should be able to store the dough longer in the refrigerator so that freezing becomes unnecessary over a period of a few days.

Fifth, if you plan to use a metal pan or sheet to bake your pizzas, you might want to liberally coat it with oil before placing the stretched out dough onto it. That should help produce better bottom crust browning. From what you have indicated, your oven heats up to 250 degrees C (482 degrees F). That should be high enough to bake the pizzas although it may take a bit longer. I agree with the other posters that using a pizza stone is a good idea, but until then I think you should use the pan/sheet as you try to perfect your dough.

I don't think using unbleached flour will produce a noticeable effect on your results. Using a higher gluten flour might do so, but that is a matter of personal preference and may be moot in any event if you don't have access to higher gluten flours in Japan. I estimate that the hydration of your dough is around 63%, although it may be a bit lower if you are adding a few tablespoons more to reduce the wetness of the dough at the end of the mix/knead cycle. If that is the case, I think your final hydration is in line with the type of flour you are using. Your salt and sugar levels look quite normal.

I might add that I would personally use a different sequencing of ingredients than you have been using to prepare the dough, but you might want to stick with your methods for the next iteration of your dough formulation to see if you notice any meaningful improvement in your results.

Good luck.

Peter

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2006, 11:17:43 AM »
Pete,

I'll have to look at your info in details.  I actually made another batch with this unbleached.. in fact I was running through the normal proceduce when I realized I forgot to add the oil.  I had already incorporated all the bread and was needing the batch.  That oil amount made a huge difference in the pliability of the bread cause this bread was of a very different consitency.  Not sure if it was only the oil as the flour is a different brand.  I ended up adding 1 T of olive oil to the mixture and just neaded it in.  seem to loosen things up a bit more but the dough was still drier than the last batch.  I'm curious to see how that turns out. 

In regards to the freezing point, I can understand this as the second dough ball which stayed in the fridge for about 2 days and wasn't frozen produced a tasty pizza that seems to be better than the ball that was frozen. 

I'll try tweaking the yeast level and temps also.. I'm interested to see what those will do to the overall recipe with only 1 T of oil and the effect of oil the pan. 

This batch I made tonight doesn't bode to well with me but I'm going to see if it is raised up in the refrig.  For me, that will be a good sign. 

Steve、 thanks for the 5 tips and the info.  I'll cook up a batch following your tips and let you know how this goes, at least I have something basic to work with that I can gradual refine. 

Thanks!

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Hack my pizza!
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2006, 06:21:18 AM »
Did another batch with some all purpose unbleached flour and that was interesting.. same as the above recipe except I forgot the oil..  These dough balls stayed in the fridge for 2 days and I let them thaw for around 40 minutes on the first pizza and around 1 1/2 hours on the second.  They were both good and none of the bready nasty dough flavor I had with the last photo set... these 2 pizza were made thin!  very thin compared to my last and I used a bigger oven space and a different (homemade sauce).   This dough was hard on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.. the dough seemed fairly chewy but about half as chewy as the nap. restaurant near my house.   They do a mean pizza with the oven there.. take a look at the photos http://picasaweb.google.com/grovemonkey/Pizza2a