Author Topic: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it  (Read 1754 times)

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Offline Mezentius

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"If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« on: December 04, 2006, 10:58:33 AM »
Ever have one of those moments when you realize just how much you don't know about something you've taken for granted?  That was my first impression when I discovered these forums.  I've been making pizzas every week now for about 15 months.  It has become as much a tradition to me as anything else and I'm willing to go to pretty extreme lengths to see to it that I get my weekly pizza.  And like traditions, it has become a sort of rut.  I still love my pizzas but now I realize that there is so much more that I could be doing.  My weekly pizza is an odd concoction that doesn't have an easy parallel here.  One might call it a vegetable based deep dish without the deep dish.  For one, I'm a vegan so the cheese used in my pizzas is a vegan "cheese" called VeganRella which while retaining a lot of mozzarella's characteristic flavor, does little to mimic its elasticity (which is a function of the milk protein casein).  Secondly I don't have a deep dish pan; I used to cook on a stone (which I still have) and have been using an Airbake perforated aluminum pan recently for convenience sake (and the fact it is slightly larger).  My pizzas are generally 15 inches in diameter, only limited by the size of the pan itself.  However I haven't let the diameter of the pizza restrain my use of toppings.  I usually use the following combination on my pizzas: 1.25 cups of asparagus chopped into 4-5 pieces per stalk, 18oz roasted red peppers diced, 20 oz broccoli florets cut into small sections, 20oz+ mixed mushrooms (about 3/4 cremini by weight with the rest being shitake and enoki) cut into thin slices, 3oz or so dried porcinis (reconstituted), 1 medium vidalia onion diced, 1 summer squash cut in thin slices, 1ish zucchini cut in thin slices, 220 grams or so sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted and chopped), lots of basil/oregano/pizza spice/etc, 1/2 block of VeganRella cheese, and Trader Joes Rustica sauce as a base.  I don't have a picture handy but this represents a rather large "mound" of vegetables piled atop the crust which unfortunately doesn't have the sides to really hold.  It is pretty spectacular to behold before it goes in the oven as the vegetables shrink considerably after the high heat cooking to probably half their initial volume (and unfortunately a lot of that water just drips onto the crust which I literally have to drain as I take it out of the oven). 

The dough I've been using is a whole wheat dough of roughly these proportions: 4 cups white whole wheat (king arthur), 1/3 cup oat bran, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2/5 a cup of vital wheat gluten, little less than 1 tbsp Fleischman's active dry yeast, and enough water to get a workable dough.  The biggest problem with the dough has been the tackiness when kneeding it which results in me using a considerable amount of bench flour.  I don't have a stand mixer and I haven't ever let the water and flour mix and then sit (autlyse I believe you are all calling it).  I've experimented once with an overnight rise but I believe I use too m uch yeast in my recipe for that as the dough had receded by the time I investigated in the morning.

So I want to improve my pizza.  I've already ordered a dark, anodized 16inch deep dish pan with straight 2 inch sides.  I have a digital scale for use measuring out the dough and ingredients.  Ideally I would like a white whole wheat dough recipe that is sufficient to make two 16" pies with a nice semi thick/chewy crust.  I'll be using an oven that isn't terrific but gets the job done with a fairly legitimate max temp of 550 degrees (I've been baking mine for 20 minutes at 500 and finishing at 550 for 12 minutes).  Any other ideas would be appreciated; I hope to contribute some photos in the near future.


Offline chiguy

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 11:15:26 AM »
 Hi Mezentius,
 You did not mention how much water you were using?? I believe that the types of flour you are using are contributing to the doughs tackiness. Whole Wheat, Oat bran, Vital Wheat Gluten, do not have a very good absorbstion rate. I believe Whole Wheat flour will make the crust fairly brittle. I believe it is common to use up to 30% Whole wheat flour combined with a all purpose wheat flour.
 Also a 16x2inch deep dish pan is a monster, i hope you have a family to help eat it.Also you won't need high temperatures when baking in a black anodized pan, it will really absorb heat. Here are a couple Q & A's from Tom Lehmann the dough doctor the first is about low carb doughs, the second link are on mutigrain crust recipes.
 http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003november_december/lowcarbdough.shtml
 http://www.pmq.com/mag/2006june-july/article.php?story=lehmannsterms  
                                                                         Chiguy

EDIT (1/25/13): Since the links to the two articles referenced above are no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine links to the same articles at http://web.archive.org/web/20100313175324/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003november_december/lowcarbdough.shtml and http://web.archive.org/web/20080121222727/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2006june-july/article.php?story=lehmannsterms
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 06:23:53 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Mezentius

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 06:30:00 PM »
I use approximately 2.5 cups of water when making the dough but this again is very approximate.  I typically proof the yeast for 7-10 minutes in warm water (110 degrees or so) with about 3/4 tsp of sugar before adding it to the flour and begin mixing immediately.  At the tail end of mixing by hand, I add the oil and then immediately begin kneading (also my original recipe left off the 1 tsp of salt I use).  I knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes before putting it into an oiled, covered bowl to rise for 2-3 hours.  After this initial rise I punch it down and let it rise for another hour before dividing the dough.  I have seen all sorts of tips on these boards about specific hydration percentages, resting the flour/water mixture for awhile before kneading, rises of 24 hours or more in the refrigerator, etc.  Any in particular you think I would find useful?  Also as to the size of the pizza: my pizza is usually split over four meals.  Also I am a relatively young guy and a long distance runner running about 60 mpw (or equivalent in cross training).  Thanks for the links though; I am checking them out now.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 06:42:23 PM »
Mezentius,

There has been a fair amount written on the forum about whole wheat flour. I'd like to suggest that you do a forum search, using the search button at the top of any page, to find posts that might be relevant to what you are trying to achieve. I would use the terms--whole wheat--in quotes.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 07:15:20 PM »
 Mezentius,
 I am not sure of the exact Hydration of the mixes of the flours you are using but i estimate that it is between maybe 67-70%. You may consider doing a autlyse/bowl rest(20 minute) after the flour is just mixed together to better hydrate the flour.
 As far as fermentation there are a few different procedures, but all usually use considerably less yeast, under 1% to total flour weight. Some procedures are,
 Retarded/refridgerated fermentation, Natural yeast starter, Room temperature rise maybe as much as 8-12 hours. It is all relative to dough temperature, room temperature, hydration, the salt which inhibits yeast activity, yeast amount. And then there is Emergency dough which is alot of yeast and only a few hours of fermentation. I can say that in my opinion the emergency dough produces the least crust flavor. I know you were originally using whole wheat flour but seeing YOUR LOVE FOR VEGTABLES i thought these sauce and deep pan pizza recipes from our member LES may be interesting.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2013.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1931.0.html
                                                                        Chiguy   
 
   

Offline charbo

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2006, 07:30:57 PM »
Mezentius,

I assume you are aware that the oat bran is compromising your gluten development.

Whole wheat absorbs water more slowly than refined flour, so an autolyse is pretty important.  It will reduce the stickiness during kneading.  I would also start measuring the water.

I have found that the bottom of a whole wheat crust can be too hard when cooked directly on tiles, but not when cooked in a perforated or solid pan.

Perhaps you can cook off some of the water in the vegetables by microwaving them before dressing the pie.

Offline Mezentius

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Re: "If it ain't broke..." but I want to fix it
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 08:02:58 AM »
Thanks a lot for the ideas and links so far.  Forgot about the search function initially as its only available for members.  I will refine my dough recipe with exact measurements in weight and see what happens this thursday when I begin making it.  I am going to go for a 24 hour, refrigerated rise using more or less the same ingredients I've been using but with hopefully a better technique and some tips I've picked up from here.  Thanks for the links to Les's creations; the're fantastic.


 

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