Author Topic: thin- airy crust HELP !!  (Read 12171 times)

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Offline Jimmy V

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thin- airy crust HELP !!
« on: January 08, 2007, 09:10:07 PM »
I absolutely cannot  seem to  get a decent  thin- "airy" pizza crust. I have tried litteraly hundreds of recipes and Im ready to give up. the bigest problem I have is the surface of the pizza dough where the sauce meets the dough, is "gummy". I have tried pre-baking  the crust which does help a little but the crust seems to dense like card board.
 I have varried the yeast, the water, the flour, tried high gluten flour, bread flour, bench rise, refridgerator rise, 2 hour rise, 24 hour rise. Its driving me nuts, if this is  so scientific, I guess I'll throw in my apron and peel. I just want a simple  yet proven thin- "airy" crust. 
Do ANY of you have a simple recipe for me to try ?  I'd really appreciate it. Thanks


Offline grovemonkey

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 12:01:39 AM »
explain your typical recipe, amounts, and oven set up, if you could.

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 10:02:48 AM »
these measurements are in grams.
water -  ---------------115
K.A. Bread flour------185
salt---------------------4.5
yeast------------------16.0
I used a Kitchen Aid mixer, mixed it for 10 minutes, let it rise in refridgerator, and baked it at 550 on a stone.
crust was thin but dense, and "wet" where the dough and sauce meet.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 01:47:58 PM »
Jimmy V,

Is the amount of yeast you indicated in your dough formulation correct? At 16 grams, that would be 8.65% by weight of flour. Also, what form of yeast are you using, and what size of pizza are you making? Please also indicate how much time the dough spends in the refrigerator and how you prepare the dough once it comes out of the refrigerator.

And what style of pizza are you trying to achieve, thin NY style, thin Chicago style, etc.?

Peter
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 01:49:49 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 02:42:07 PM »
Not for sure that was the right amt. of yeast  I gave up on tryng to achieve a decent crust over 6 months ago. Seems like its more like rocket science than  cooking to me. Im not looking to put pizzaria's out of business, I just want a recipe that works. I know its trial and error, But if I have to make another 100 pizzas to get it right, I'll just order out.
The Crust I want is more of a New York style = Thin, yet airy, not "gummy" where the sauce and dough meet.  on the above recipe  I let the dough sit in the fridge over night. I then take it out  let it warm to room temp. punch it down and roll it out.
The yeast amt. may be incorrect.
At any point, Im ready to completely start over with a new recipe.

Offline Randy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2007, 03:14:06 PM »
Jimmy, use Steve's New York recipe on the link below.  It is easy to follow and well documented with pictures.  If you don't have high gluten flour then use Harvest King flour which is available just about everywhere.  You may have to add slightly more flour but it should get you what you want.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/newyorkstyle.php

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2007, 03:29:54 PM »
Thanks Randy..that sounds like a good place to start. I realize pizza crust is definately not easy, Ive seen chefs like Emeril, Bobby Flay etc. make So-Called New York style crust, they didnt even come close and they are famous chefs.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 03:39:06 PM »
Jimmy V,

I have a few thoughts. As a starting point, you might want to take a look at the dough recipe and related instructions at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19563.html#msg19563. The dough formulation given at the above post is for a so-called Lehmann NY style, which is one of the more popular NY styles among our members. You might also want to read some of the other posts in the above thread since they cover pretty much all of the aspects of making the basic Lehmann NY style. Several variations of the Lehmann NY style are also presented here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193. If you are handy with math, a simple Lehmann dough calculating tool is available at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html. Using that tool, you can make any size NY style pizza you want simply by entering the recommended values in the entry blocks.

More recently I have been experimenting with a new dough making method using a standard KitchenAid mixer. The results have been very good and have been detailed at this thread, using the basic Lehmann dough formulation in most cases as test dough recipes: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg33251.html#msg33251. I am now using the techniques described in this thread as my basic dough making method for the NY style, and others as well. While the method described in the first post (Reply 8) referenced above works well, I think the new method is much better.

If you would like to try a cross between an American and NY style, yet retain a thin crust, you might want to take a look at the pizzas described at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.msg15310.html#msg15310.

My advice is to check out some of the photos and see if any of them look like what you are after. There are other NY style dough recipes on the forum, including the one referenced by Randy, so if you don’t see anything that looks like what you are after, come back and let us know.

Good luck.

Peter

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2007, 04:00:30 PM »
WOW, thanks Pete, sometimes the amount of info can be over-whelming> I think I'll sart with that basic recipe, and use that pizza calculator too. Is there a preference between Active or dry yeast ?
Also, I have a smal bag of King Arthur ( Perfect Pizza Blend) flour, anybody ever use that ?

Offline Randy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2007, 04:35:35 PM »
I am sorry to say the KA pizza blend may not be you best flour for the pizza you are looking for. Stay with High glutrn or KA bread flour or the Harvest King.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2007, 04:51:28 PM »
Jimmy V,

I wanted you to be aware of most of the options available to you. Also, since you indicated that you have literally tried hundreds of recipes, I assumed that you wouldn’t mind reading a few more.

I personally use IDY but there is no reason why you can’t use ADY if that is what you have. If you decide to use ADY, you should rehydrate it in a small amount of warm water, at around 105 degrees F, and let it set for about 10 minutes. It can then be added to the rest of the formula water, which can be on the cool side. The IDY can be added directly to the flour.

I have not personally tried the King Arthur Perfect Pizza Blend, but it has not been particularly well received by our members who have tried it and reported on their results, as noted, for example, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1263.msg11331.html#msg11331 and
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,152.msg1044.html#msg1044.

Peter

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2007, 05:46:00 PM »
Randy and Pete, thank you both for the info. I have some Instant yeast in my fridge that I'll try. As far as the flour, I'll go to the store and get some King Arthur bread flour and use that. I'll be trying a recipe by this weekend and i'll let you know  the outcome. Thanks again.

Offline Randy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2007, 05:52:04 PM »
Petr's advice is sound.  Once hooked, you will be back for more information I am sure.
Best of luck.

Offline doughboy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2007, 05:57:23 PM »

Peter

I have been watching and reading this thread with enterest as I too have been having problems with getting the big airy crust.  I have nice crust that is chewy and somewhat airy with small bubbles, but have had little sucess with the big bubbles. I am not unhappy with the taste and overall texture.  My question is directed at the use of idy and ady, you said that the ady should be rehydrated and the idy can be added to the dough.  I have been using idy and rehydrating with 105degree water and sugar, could this be my problem???  I don't seem to get the big jump of bubbles in the oven.  I add the sifted KA bread flour to the water/sugar and autolayse for about 30 min and then complete the hand kneading, let double volume and knock down and place in ref. and use the next day, sometimes the same day.  I have increased my idy to a full packet of redstar to get the jump in bubbles, hopefully thats not too much.

 I preheat almost 60min,500degrees, place on a stone, bottom of the oven and then move to top to finish off the topping, comes out great looking and tastes great also, but nooooo big bubbles....I mix everything by hand and weigh with a scale.  I consistently pretty much the same dough everytime now, or close to it......

thanks

Offline Randy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2007, 07:02:25 PM »
It would be most helpful to post the recipe you are using doughboy and your shaping method..

  I made my American tonight and had huge bubbles with a very nice oven spring.  If I can do it, you can do it.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2007, 07:22:33 PM »
doughboy,

I agree with Randy about seeing the dough recipe you are using. That is usually a good starting point for me to assess matters. I don't think it is the hydration of the IDY that is behind the lack of bubbles. I don't usually hydrate IDY but I have done it before where I was using so little of it that I was afraid it wouldn't be uniformly dispersed within the flour. I have also read of professionals who hydrate IDY, apparently with good results, so that seems to lend support to the notion of hydrating IDY even if it isn't necessary. However, unless you are making a very large batch of dough, enough for several pizzas, a full packet of IDY seems an awful lot for a cold fermented dough and may be adversely affecting the fermentation of the dough. If you are adding all of the sugar to the water along with the IDY, I would cut back to only a pinch or two. The bulk of the sugar can go into the rest of the formula water, along with the salt.

I's also like to know how long you are kneading the dough and whether you are temperature adjusting the water to get a finished dough temperature in the range of about 70-75 degrees F. And when you say bubbles, are you referring to big surface bubbles that tend to appear on the rim of the crust or to the openness of the crumb, that is, the interior of the crust? As Randy noted, it would also be helpful to know how you are managing and shaping the dough once it comes out of the refrigerator.

Peter

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2007, 09:59:34 AM »
O.k. its me again. I have a question about rising in the fridge. I am going to try 2 new recipes here they are :
recipe #1
 Bread flour-------------- 275. grams
Dist. Water --------------154. grams
oil ------------------------- 2.75 grams
salt------------------------4.13  grams
Active yeast -------------.47  grams
Mixed with a dough hook on Kitchen Aid mixer for 15 minutes. then in fridge.

Recipe # 2
Bread flour ----------------202 Grams
Dist. Water ---------------127. grams
oil --------------------------- 1/2 tsp.
salt -------------------------3.55 grams
active yeast -------------- 1/4  tsp.

on this batch ( took this recipe from GROVEMONKEY )  I added all ingrediants except 25 % of the flour and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I added remaining flour kneaded it by hand, then put that batch in the fride also.

Im goin to throw a few pizzas together in about 6-8 hours from now. one question is this  - after being in the fridge for 16 hours, neither batch has risen at all. should they have risen in the fridge ? Do you guys think Im wasting my time with these  2 recipes ?
As I undersatnd one recipe, I should remove the dough from the fridge and get to room temp, punch down and wait about 2 hours  before baking. But if they dont rise I wonder if Im wasting my time. Your thought ????

Online Pete-zza

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2007, 10:39:56 AM »
Jimmy V,

You didn't indicate whether and how you rehydrated the ADY, but I wouldn't be surprised if you don't get much rise out of the dough using Recipe 1. The amount of yeast you are using, 0.47 grams, comes to 0.171%, which, along with a hydration of 56%, isn't going to be doing much for you. If it is cool where you are, you would want to use more yeast, maybe double or triple the amount you used. Since you have already made the dough, I would let the dough warm up for as long as possible when it comes out of the refrigerator. Even low-yeast doughs will warm up and rise if given sufficient time. If your kitchen is cool, you can expect it to take quite a while for this to happen and you may need to give it a bit of help by finding a warm place for it.

On paper, Recipe 2 looks like it should perform better than Recipe 1 because it has more yeast (0.47%) and a higher hydration (62.9%) but, even here, the yeast is on the low side for ADY for this time of year. I think you will have to treat the dough much the same way as with Recipe 1. I wouldn't recommend punching either dough down before shaping. It's OK to gently press the dough down in preparation for shaping but I would be fairly gentle with the doughs.

I hope you will let us know how the doughs turn out.

Peter


Offline Randy

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2007, 10:43:24 AM »
since you already have pizza dough in progress, let me make a few comments about that to get you going.

First, you did not mention what water temperature you were using.
Considering the small amount of yeast that you used, and guessing that you used to room temperature water then no and that short of time in the cooler I would not have expected it to rise.  This is especially true since you did not use an instant yeast like bread machine yeast or SAF gourmet yeast.  If I were you I would plan on removing the dough from the cooler at least three hours in advance.  Divide the dough ball as soon as you take it out of the cooler.

I am also surprised that you are using distilled water.  I would also recommend that you switch to a instant yeast in the future or bloom the active dry yeast before incorporating it into the recipe.

next time, you might try using one of the well documented pizza recipes on this siteLike One of Peter's.
when Peter makes his post, all will become clear.

Best of luck

Offline Jimmy V

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Re: thin- airy crust HELP !!
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2007, 11:50:32 AM »
I just pulled the dough out of the fridge, recipe #2 is very dense ( almost hard) recipe #1 is a little softer, neither has risen. The water temp was at 104 F when i added the yeast. As I mentioned I did in fact take one recipe from this site posted by " GROVEMONKEY" and he did  use Distilled water and I also used the exact amount of yeast he indicated to use. again, that was recipe # 1.
For recipe # 2  what I did was go to the LEHMANN pizza dough calculator tool, I punched in 2 pizzas, 14 inch, desired thickness etc. the calculator gave me the numbers I posted in recipe # 2.
This is why I get sooooooooo fustrated, I go with proven recipes and calculations only to find out " you should have done several things different"
 Can someone out there,  ANYBODY,  just give me a recipe that doesnt involve having a Maters degree in science so I can simply make a thin crust without going nuts ?