Author Topic: Tonights pizza  (Read 9693 times)

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Offline giotto

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2004, 02:38:49 AM »
Randy:

I was happy to see the comment earlier regarding the use of a pizza screen, without a pizza stone.  I find the pizza screen to be a big plus.  First, it ensures that the entire pizza gets cooked due to the open design.  And second, by moving the pizza around in the oven, I can come up with that slightly crispy crust every time.

I took a picture of a friend holding a slice of a pizza that I cooked on a screen.  You'll see some slight black marks along the bottom of the crust.  If you don't have a screen, you can do what I did with this version of my pizza, which is to move the entire pizza (no screen or pan) right on the lowest shelf over the bottom burners for a couple of minutes.  Normally I cook the pizza at about 530 F.

I noticed that you put salt together with your yeast right off the bat.  Yeast doesn't like salt too much... it's one of the methods to slow down the yeast activity to leave the natural sugars for your palette.  I'm wondering what difference, if any, you would experience if you placed all salt to the 2nd half of your flour.  This method has been quite effective for me.

(http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/slice3a.jpg)
 ::)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 04:02:03 AM by giotto »


Offline giotto

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2004, 03:57:25 AM »
I too find that by using a bit of my Grande mozzarella and shredded aged feta cheese as my final toppings, I get a much nicer presentation.  

I sure do enjoy dinner, NY style, at home with friends these days.

                                  (http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pizza3a.jpg)  


(http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/top3.jpg)  
 ::)

« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 09:35:34 AM by giotto »

Offline Randy

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2004, 11:59:53 AM »
Giotto, for years I added yeast towards the end of the process but yeast is much more tolorant these days.  Try SAF perfect rise yeast if you are still using plain active yeast.

Great pictures.

Randy
« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 02:38:41 PM by Randy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2004, 02:04:25 PM »
Giotto,

You are basically right about salt and yeast not being entirely compatible.  Because of this, bakers have come up with possible solutions.  One solution that has been recommended (by Neapolitan pizza experts, among others) is to combine the salt and yeast with equal amounts of water in separate containers, and, similarly, divide the flour for the dough in two and put into separate containers (for a total of four containers).  The salt-water mixture is then combined and kneaded with the flour from one of the flour containers, the yeast-water mixture is combined and kneaded with the flour from the other flour container, and the two separate doughs are brought together in a final step and kneaded into a single dough ball.  

An alternative approach, one that I almost always use--no matter what a recipe says to do--is to mix and knead all of the dough ingredients except for the salt and, toward the end of the kneading process, add the salt called for in the recipe and knead a bit longer until the salt is fully incorporated.  This is a technique borrowed from professional bread makers.  What is important is not to forget to add the salt, which is easy to do in the haste to move on to the next step.  

The above applies principally to the use of wet yeasts and dry yeasts other than instant yeast.  Randy and others are correct in that it is OK to combine instant yeast with the other dry dough ingredients, including salt.  Apparently the instant yeast is more tolerant of salt than the other forms of yeast.  I have tried both approaches when using instant yeast--adding the salt last and mixing the salt with all the other dry ingredients at the beginning (usually flour, instant yeast, and sugar), and have not detected any difference in the two approaches.   From what I have read at PMQ, based on tests they have done, all of the standard forms of wet and dry yeasts operate in much the same way from the standpoint of chemisty, so there should be no noticeable differences (e.g., in fermentation or taste of the final baked crust) from using the different yeast forms.  The main difference between the various types of yeast is basically availability, convenience of use, and perishability.  I have gone entirely to instant yeast as a result of what I have read on yeast and my own personal experiences.  Of course, there will always be some who will prefer one form of yeast over another based on their palates and experiences.

Peter

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2004, 04:47:30 PM »
Giotto,

Have you posted your recipe for your dough already? ;D
I would love to see it. I probably missed it somewhere on another thread though...
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

Offline giotto

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2004, 07:38:57 PM »
Well, I used to use the 1st approach noted by Pete-zza; but I've found that his 2nd approach gives me comparable results, with a slight twist from the 1st approach.  

The difference is that I like to apply the salt to a 2nd set of flour, which I stage into the kneading process.  I do this for a few reasons.  It gives me a far more thorough mixture, it can be done with even inexpensive machinery (although, I've watched some of the best tasting pizzas produced in stages with Hobarts that can easily handle 50lbs of flour and produce more than 70 large pizza doughs) and it complements some work that I am doing with starter doughs.

I've always liked the idea of instant yeast and how it can lessen my efforts at times.  But the availability of active yeast has kept me driving the distance.

Regarding recipes, I like to know what works together and discover those little secrets that bring them all together.  From there, it's a matter of meeting individual tastes.  I need to take the time to bulletize this information.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 07:53:47 PM by giotto »

Offline Steve

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2004, 08:02:29 PM »
I've always liked the idea of instant yeast and how it can lessen my efforts at times.  But the availability of active yeast has kept me driving the distance.

Instant yeast = rapid rise yeast = bread machine yeast.

It's all the same, just marketed differently.
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Offline Randy

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2004, 09:50:28 PM »
Except bread machine yeast has ascobic acid added.

Randy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Tonights pizza
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2004, 10:41:11 PM »
As I understand the different types of yeast, instant yeast and bread machine yeast are the same, and have ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) added to further speed up the action of the yeasts and to strengthen the dough (by preventing the gluten bonds from breaking down).  So-called "RapidRise" yeasts, such as sold by Fleischmann's, for example, is a different strain of yeast altogether from the other yeasts mentioned above.  They work much faster, by about 50 percent (basically eliminating one of the rise times), but their cells also die faster, making them less desirable for doughs, such as pizza doughs, that may be subjected to long periods of fermentation.  Like instant yeast, RapidRise yeast requires no hydration and can thus be combined with the other dry ingredients.   RapidRise yeast also contains ascorbic acid.   Active dry yeast does not contain ascorbic acid.  

The lines are getting blurrier all the time as yeast producers modify their yeasts.  For example, some active dry yeasts that normally call for hydration (like the SAF Active Dry Yeast) can be mixed in with half of the flour and other dry ingredients, and it can also be used in bread machines.  The RapidRise yeast can also be used in bread machines.  

Peter


 

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