Author Topic: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation  (Read 26046 times)

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Offline Randy

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2007, 03:26:54 PM »
I have not yet tried this style cracker crust but your pictures and description make this recipe hard to resist.

Randy


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2007, 03:38:28 PM »
Randy,

It still isn't the easiest pizza to make, although the last one was the easiest so far even though it was based on the use of a natural preferment. With each pizza in this thread, and with some helpful tips from Novermber, I have gotten to understand things better. Unfortunately, I don't have a frame of reference for the cracker style since I have never had a commercial cracker crust pizza as best I can recall. It took me a while just to learn the distinction between crispy and cracker-like. If I hadn't stumbled across the Lehmann cracker-style recipe, I may not have decided to take another stab at the cracker style.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2007, 03:39:21 PM »
Today I made another preferment version of the last cracker style pizza I made and reported on in Reply 17. As part of my experimentation with the basic recipe, I made a few more changes.

First, I used King Arthur bread flour, which I supplemented with the Hodgston’s brand of vital wheat gluten (VWG). I used November’s Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/ to calculate the respective amounts of the KA bread flour and the VWG I would need to achieve the same protein content (14.2%) as the KASL. I used the KA bread flour simply because I had run out of KASL. I chose not to alter the nominal hydration (47%) of the last dough recipe to compensate for the addition of the VWG (the usual recommendation is to add 1 ½ times the weight of the VWG in added water), which had the effect of lowering the total formula hydration to about 44-45%. That was intentional since I wanted to test the lower hydration rate to see if it would yield an ever greater cracker quality of the finished crust.

Second, I used a more active Camaldoli starter this time, at a rate of 12% of the total formula flour, which was about half its prior rate. I was hoping that the dough would make it out to about 1 ½ days of room temperature fermentation, but even at the reduced amount of the starter, the dough doubled in about 12 hours and was quite gassy. I elected to let it ferment to about 32 hours anyway, at an average room temperature of about 78 degrees F, so that I could bake the pizza for lunch today. I punched the dough down and reshaped it at about 28 hours, with the expectation that it would soften again when time came to roll out the dough.

Third, I used a 14” perforated dark anodized (PSTK) pizzatools.com cutter pan rather than a preheated pizza stone to bake the pizza. This change was for experimental purposes only, to see if I could replicate the results from using the pizza stone. For a photo of a perforated cutter pan, see http://www.pizzatools.com/productdisplay.aspx?catid=51&c=Cutter_Pans_Perforated.

The dough formulation I used this time was as follows:

Total Formula:
Flour (100%):
Water (47%):
Salt (1.5%):
Oil (5%):
Sugar (1%):
Total (154.5%):

Preferment:
Flour:
Water:
Total:

Final Dough:
Flour:
Water:
Salt:
Preferment:
Oil:
Sugar:
Total:

186.36 g  |  6.57 oz | 0.41 lbs
87.59 g  |  3.09 oz | 0.19 lbs
2.8 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
9.32 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.07 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
1.86 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.47 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
287.92 g | 10.16 oz | 0.63 lbs | TF = 0.065975
 
 
9.84 g | 0.35 oz | 0.02 lbs
12.52 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs
22.36 g | 0.79 oz | 0.05 lbs

 
176.52 g | 6.23 oz | 0.39 lbs
75.07 g | 2.65 oz | 0.17 lbs
2.8 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
22.36 g | 0.79 oz | 0.05 lbs
9.32 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.07 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
1.86 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.47 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
287.92 g | 10.16 oz | 0.63 lbs  | TF = 0.065975
Note: The flour used was KA bread flour (6.05 oz.) as supplemented with the Hodgston’s brand of VWG (0.17 oz., or about 1 ½ t); the thickness factor used was 0.065; the Camaldoli preferment was used at 12% of the weight of the formula flour, with 56% water content; the water temperature was 66 degrees F; the finished dough weight was 10 oz. and the finished dough temperature was 84.4 degrees F; the bowl residue compensation was 1.5 %.

The dough was prepared in the same manner as the last cracker-style pizza I reported on in Reply 17. Unlike the last dough, however, the dough this time was harder to roll out. It wasn’t because of any dryness of the dough but rather because of a high degree of elasticity. I suspect that reshaping the dough after 28 hours was the culprit. Next time, I will not punch the dough down before using it. To overcome the elasticity of the dough, I simply let it rest for about 5-10 minutes a couple of times as I was rolling it out to its final size of about 14”. The final dough was docked using a dough docker (see Reply 1 for a photo) and put into the perforated cutter pan. I spread the skin all of the way to the outer inside edge of the pan without attempting to form a rim this time.

Before putting the pizza skin into the oven, I brushed it with a bit of light olive oil. The skin was then pre-baked in a preheated 500 degree F oven, at the lowest oven rack position, for about 4 ½ minutes, or just until the skin started to turn light brown. I then removed the pre-baked skin and dressed it the same way (just about identically) as the last pizza. The dressed pizza was then returned to the lowest rack position of the oven, still in the cutter pan, and baked for about 5-6 minutes longer, or just until the cheese was turning light brown. I then moved the pizza (still in the cutter pan) to the top oven rack position for about 2-3 minutes, to get additional top crust browning.

The photos below show the finished product. As with the last pizza, the one I made today was crispy and flavorful. Even with the different flour combination and preferment values, I would say that the results from using the perforated cutter pan were quite comparable to what I achieved last time using the pizza stone. If I didn’t have a pizza stone, I would be perfectly satisfied with using the perforated cutter pan. Moreover, based on what I have learned about cracker-style dough formulations and baking techniques, I think I may even be able to get better performance using perforated disks than I have before. 

As a footnote, I might add that this time I took “before” and “after” weights of today’s pizza. The weight of the ingredients that went into the pizza was 23.40 ounces. The baked weight of the pizza was 19.70 ounces. So, there was a 15.8% difference. It might be tempting to consume the entire pizza at one sitting, but 19.70 ounces is still a lot of pizza, no matter how you slice it (pun intended).

Peter
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 05:19:01 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2007, 06:06:00 PM »
Peter,

558.5 grams is remarkably light considering the mass of a Pizza Hut "THIN 'N CRISPY" cheese pizza (749g):

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c22QM.html

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2007, 06:36:02 PM »
November,

Maybe it is the amount of cheese Pizza Hut uses. I used 6.46 ounces (Grande whole milk mozzarella), along with 1.7 ounces of pepperoni slices (one of those Hormel mini-packs with 30 slices), and 5.40 ounces of pizza sauce. The dough weight before forming into a skin was 9.85 ounces (as compared with 10 ounces when first made).

As you can see, my pepperoni slices still don't want to stay in place ;D. One of the things I discovered is that when a skin is pre-baked, bubbles form in the pre-baked crust and create an uneven surface. When the cheese is placed over that surface and it becomes molten, it causes toppings to shift along with it. I would still like to make a cracker-type pizza without having to pre-bake it or use a super low hydration in the dough. The last two pizzas were mainly to test the idea of using a preferment to make a cracker-style dough. I have one left to make, based on the Ischia starter. Then I will go back to commercial yeast.

Peter

Offline Randy

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2007, 07:05:14 PM »
". . . Unfortunately, I don't have a frame of reference for the cracker style since I have never had a commercial cracker crust pizza . . ."

Peter

I have tried several Pizza Inn cracker crust that is the basis of DKM's recipe but the modern cracker you buy today is not as good as DKM's recipe both in flavor and in texture.

I have not had the chance to try the famed Chicago cracker crust or the Roundtable pizza.

Randy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2007, 07:47:57 PM »
As I alluded to in my last post in this thread, I used the Ischia starter as the basis for another dough to make another cracker-style pizza. I made that pizza today.

As usual, I made some changes (besides the starter used) and these were mainly in the way the Ischia starter was activated and how the dough was processed in preparation for making the pizza. In particular, the Ischia starter was activated along the general lines recommended by Ed Wood, that is, by feeding the Ischia starter with flour and water after the starter was removed from the refrigerator and allowing it to sit at room temperature for about 12 hours. At the expiration of that time, I combined the starter with the remaining ingredients to prepare the dough. The dough formulation I used was identical to the last one I used with the Camaldoli starter. Only the starter and its mode of activation were different. Unlike the dough that was made using the Camaldoli starter, the dough based on the Ischia starter rose at a much slower rate, even though the amount of the Ischia starter, as a percentage of the total formula flour, was the same as I used for the Camaldoli starter. As it turned out, the total fermentation time of the Ischia dough was over 50 hours. I estimate that the dough rose by about 25% over all that time.

The long fermentation time did not impair the dough or its handling qualities. I was able to easily roll the dough out to 15” with no difficulty. However, I processed the dough skin differently this time.

First, after I had rolled the dough out to 15”, I folded the outer edge of the skin under the skin and crimped it shut to provide a rim. After docking the bottom of the skin, I flipped it over and docked the top side also. So, the rim was seamless when viewed from the top. Next, as before, I brushed the top of the skin with a small amount of olive oil, to impede migration of the sauce into the dough.

After the skin was sauced, I added the cheese (shredded Grande mozzarella cheese) and pepperoni slices. I pressed the slices of pepperoni into the cheese to better anchor them. It will be noted that I did not pre-bake the skin before dressing it. Instead, the dressed pizza went directly into the oven onto a pizza stone that had been placed on the bottom oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at about 500-550 degrees F. After about 4 minutes of baking on the stone, I lowered the oven temperature to 450 degrees F, and continued the baking at that temperature for about another 3 minutes, or until the cheese was melting and the top crust was starting to brown. I then removed the pizza from the stone to the top oven rack position, where the pizza baked for about another 2 minutes, to achieve additional top crust browning.

Ordinarily, I would have removed the pizza from the oven at this point. However, this time, I turned off the oven and moved the pizza back onto the stone, for about another 3 minutes. I then placed the pizza back on the top oven rack position for about 2 minutes. The objective of this exercise was to allow the pizza to dry out more and form a more crispy crust, but at a temperature that was low enough as not to cause the cheese to break down too much or become excessively brown. These extra steps proved to be beneficial in providing a crispier crust. However, I believe that pre-baking the crust is better for the cheese. If a low-quality cheese is used with a long bake time, it is likely to break down and release fats, even at lower temperatures. Using more cheese, or using larger pieces, or using the cheese cold, may help mitigate the breakdown problem.

The photos below show the finished product. As with its predecessors, today’s pizza was crispy and cracker-like, although not to the same degree as the last two preferment-based pizzas that were pre-baked before dressing. However, the slices were firm and not droopy when held out straight, and the rim was definitely crunchy. Also, I thought that the pizza had a nicer overall appearance, particularly with the rim folded under the pizza (which is best seen in the third photo below), which created a cleaner shape without ragged edges. The pizza itself was as tasty as the ones that preceded it. As the pizza cooled, I found that the slices actually became a bit crispier and more cracker-like.

The next step in my cracker-style pizza education is to buy a cracker-style pizza from one of the pizzerias near me. None of the local independent pizzerias make that style that I am aware of, but I believe that the big chains in my area, including Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Pizza Inn, sell thin-and-crispy/cracker-style pizzas. I am looking forward to learning from the experience.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2007, 06:26:22 PM »
The photos below are of a 14” pepperoni crispy/cracker-style pizza that I purchased today from Domino’s to compare against the cracker-style pizzas I have made and reported on in this thread. I decided to go with Domino’s rather than Pizza Hut or Pizza Inn because I had read, and also been told, that the Domino’s cracker-style pizza was one of their best pizzas.

I was, of course, interested in seeing how the pizza would be prepared. The answer came almost immediately when I saw the gal who was to assemble my pizza take a par-baked crust from a covered stack of them on the shelf above the make-line area. I asked to see one of the par-baked crusts and saw that it was a perfectly round and perfectly flat (rimless) crust, about an eighth of an inch thick, very lightly browned (but not entirely uniformly), and with docking holes on both sides. The docking holes were about 1 ½” apart. After the gal dressed the pizza with sauce, cheese (diced) and pepperoni, she put it into or on what appeared to be a dark or seasoned disk or shallow pan, which then went into one end of their Middleby Marshall conveyor oven. It came out the other end in about 6-7 minutes. I was told that the stack of par-baked crusts, which were at room temperature, would last for one day. The rest were kept in the cooler until ready to be brought out to room temperature to be used. I was also told that all the pizza doughs are delivered from commissaries. Nothing is made in the store itself. It became clear very quickly that none of the workers knew anything about their pizzas—only how to assemble and bake them. When asked how I wanted the pizza cut, either in slices or "Chicago-style" in rectagular pieces, I opted for the sliced form, so that I could compare the slices with my own.

As for the Domino’s crust itself, I found it to be like a cracker, but on the soft side without much body, rather than on the crunchy side that you could hear when you bit into it, although it had some flakiness. From the taste standpoint, it occurred to me that maybe the crust didn’t have any yeast at all but possibly a chemical leavening system or only baking soda. I could not tell what kind of flour was used. Sometimes I can tell by the taste of the crust, but when I tasted only the crust without any sauce or cheese, it had a chemical taste that masked the taste of the flour itself.

I concluded that the crusts of my pizzas were crispier and more cracker-like than the Domino’s pizza crust, and with a better overall taste. I may have to try some other cracker-style pizzas in my area to get a more representative sample, but for now I have concluded that my favorite cracker-style pizza of the ones I have made and reported on in this thread to date is the one that was made by layering two skins, as described in Reply 1. That layering method creates a crispier crust with a flaky texture that you can hear when you run the pizza cutter through it or bite into it, which are features that I like in the cracker-style.

BTW, the price of the Domino's pizza was $13.63 (obviously I was coupon-less).

Peter
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 03:49:05 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2007, 12:19:59 PM »
From this webpage, it looks like the dough for the Domino's thin crust pizza includes both yeast and a chemical leavening system, plus baking soda: http://www.dominos.com/home/menu/ingredients.jsp (under Crunchy Thin Crust).

CRUST (THIN CRUST): Flour (Wheat, Malted Barley), Water, Soybean Oil, Yeast, Salt, Dextrose, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Corn Meal (used in preparation).

Both the sodium acid pyrophosphate and monocalcium phosphate are chemical leavening agents used in baked goods to get them to rise. According to wikipedia, the monocalcium phosphate is acidic in nature and provides a better balance towards the other common leavening agent, baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), that is alkalic in nature. This apparently adjusts the pH of the final end product.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 08:52:03 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2007, 01:50:18 PM »
Today, for lunch, I did a side-by-side test of reheated leftover slices from the Domino’s pizza and the last two cracker-style pizzas I made and discussed in this thread. I liked mine better, primarily because I thought the textures of my crusts were better, especially the one that was pre-baked, and they did not have the chemical taste of the Domino’s crust. I suspect that had I started my cracker-style pizza eating career eating Domino’s thin crust pizzas, then they would have become the benchmark against which to compare all others, and I might have preferred the Domino’s pizzas over the others. I have learned never to underestimate the power of conditioning.

I decided today in light of this thread, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,102.msg698.html#msg698, with the not-too-promising title of Pizza Inn sucks, not to try the Pizza Inn version of the cracker-style pizza. Instead, I think I will follow Randy’s oft-administered advice and try the DKM cracker-style pizza.

Peter


Offline BTB

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2007, 09:54:44 AM »
Peter, I've followed with great interest your remarks and various trials regarding cracker crust style pizza recipes.  I look forward to every "episode."  Such style had been one of my favorites when I previously lived in the Chicago area (now in Florida).  In Chicago, such a style was represented by the Candlelite, Marie's, Giovanni's and several other great pizzerias than I can't remember right now.  I know of no national chain (e.g. Domino's, Pizza Hut, Pappa John's, Pizza Inn, Shakey's, etc.) that come even close to the delicious cracker crust thin pizzas that I used to enjoy for so many years.  For any of you who are still enjoying such great pizza styles, hold onto and savour the moment. 

I had mainly in recent times been trying to duplicate (with mixed success) some of the great Chicago deep dish pizzas that I had also tremendously enjoyed, but then tried the DKM cracker crust recipe (last Spring).  While the pizza looked nice (I think I posted a picture somewhere here), it was a flop.  We were all disappointed in the result (flavor, texture, lack of crispness, difficulty in rolling out, etc.).  I was so unhappy with it that I hadn't attempted another since.  It probably wasn't the recipe itself but something that I didn't do right in putting the ingredients all together or the process, I'm sure.  But my interest has been rekindled in reading about your recent efforts (the pictures caused great salivation on my taste buds).  I plan in the near future to try some of the recipes that you had recently attempted.  At this time, what is your best thinking on which to try?

I must admit, I am totally in the dark about what you are referring to when you used the "preferment."  I read some of the threads about starters, but got more confused than enlightened.  Do you simply mix the flour and water for the preferment and wait till it bubbles or what?  I don't want to get deeply involved with such, but am curious.

Just for general information, here on the Gulf Coast side of Florida there are two great examples of cracker crust pizzas that can be had at Paul's Chicago Pizza in East Clearwater and Charlie and Millie's in Seminole.  If anyone knows of any others (besides the "chains"), please post about them.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 09:39:39 AM by BTB »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2007, 12:38:56 PM »
BTB,

I am glad to hear that you have been enjoying the several “episodes” so far. I try to be very accurate in the reporting of my experiments and results because I don’t want people to think that it is really easy to adapt a dough recipe intended for a commercial setting to a home environment where the oven doesn’t have the right BTUs to produce results comparable to what a commercial deck oven or even a conveyor oven can produce. At some point, after I have tried a few more cracker-style dough formulations (including another Lehmann cracker-style formulation and one by John Correll), I intend to summarize my findings on what I think I have learned about the cracker style in a home oven setting. I will be pacing myself with the production of cracker style pizzas so that I don’t overdose on that style and have to seek remedial treatment.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about the preferment versions of the Lehmann cracker style. That was somewhat of a diversion on my part from the Lehmann dough formulation that I started out with on this thread and was prompted by a recent post by forum member mischael about whether is was possible to make a cracker style crust using a starter/preferment. I enjoy converting dough recipes using commercial yeast to starter/preferment versions, so it was natural for me to do this with the cracker style also. I had already used natural starters/preferments with the NY style, Neapolitan style, deep-dish style, thin Chicago style, and crispy style (e.g., DeLorenzo clones) so I already had a good feel as to how to do something similar with the cracker style. About the only basic style left for me at this point is the American style and, since that is just an extension of the NY style, I know intuitively that it should be easy to use a starter/preferment with that style also.

The major takeaway for me after doing all of the starter/preferment crusts is that a starter or preferment is really just another form of leavening agent, albeit with additional contributions to crust flavor and texture. For most people, I think that using a commercial yeast is the way to go for most pizza styles, although I think it is perfectly appropriate for people to experiment with starters/preferments in order to achieve the objectives that they have set for themselves. You can learn an awful lot from using starters/preferments. It’s like getting a graduate degree. It expands your knowledge base and maybe even your end results but isn’t really an absolute requirement.

In my case with the recent cracker style pizzas, I simply fed my natural starters with flour and water and used them after they had reached the state of readiness, as evidenced by the starters bubbling and rising in their containers. My starters had been in the refrigerator for several weeks before I fed them, so they were not at the level of peak activity, although the Camaldoli starter was more active after its additional feeding. So, it took longer for the doughs to ferment. But, even at that, I have learned that it is hard to keep a good starter/preferment down. The doughs might look lethargic, even dead, but they are still alive and will usually end up producing good results.

As I noted earlier, my favorite Lehmann cracker style in this thread to date is the one that used layering, as discussed in Reply 1. It is a bit tedious to do the layering, but that is the price I am willing to pay to get the results I am after. I have tentatively concluded that there are basically two cracker style formulations reported in the literature—a “low hydration” formulation, such as the DKM dough formulation, and a “medium hydration” formulation, such as the Lehmann formulation. The medium hydration doughs are much easier to roll out than the low hydration doughs. I also think that the medium hydration formulations are more forgiving in the sense that they don’t require precise and accurate ingredient weights. The hydrations can vary by several percent and not affect the end results. I also originally thought that the low hydration formulation would not require any pre-baking of crusts, but from my recent readings at the Cracker Style boards of the forum it appears that that is not always so and can vary depending on who made the pizzas and under what set of conditions. By contrast, I think that the medium hydration formulations almost always require pre-baking of the skins, except when the layering method is used. So, there are tradeoffs for both types of formulations. I suspect I will have more to say on this subject when I have gotten a few more cracker style formulations under my belt (assuming my belt still fits). I think my next experiment (“episode”) will be with the DKM formulation, using Harvest King flour (which Randy and scott r say is a great flour for the DKM style), using my Cuisinart food processor to make the dough (based on Steve's experience and recommendation), and my 14” pizzatools.com dark anodized cutter pan. I am leaning toward pre-baking the skin (docked) but without using the layering method as elsegundo and DKM do.

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2007, 02:52:39 PM »
Peter, thanks for the information.  I am looking forward to reading more about your "cracker crust adventures" as this style of pizza can be so good and definitely needs to be developed and studied more.  A couple of observations:  when I was at Marie's in Chicago this past summer (famous cracker crust pizzeria on Chicago's north side), which is a large restaurant with the pizza making table and oven in the front window, I observed that the dough was rolled out at the table, the crust was NOT pre-baked before the sauce, toppings and cheese were put on, and that the dough was not a dry one like the DKM forumulation, but appeared more like what you described as a “medium hydration” formulation.  My recollection of the preparation process at a couple of other "cracker crust" pizzerias that I observed was similar.  I am not adverse to pre-baking the crust, but wonder why some of the pizza places that specialize in such can do without the pre-baking.  Maybe it's their special ovens.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2007, 04:04:33 PM »
I am not adverse to pre-baking the crust, but wonder why some of the pizza places that specialize in such can do without the pre-baking.  Maybe it's their special ovens.


BTB,

I personally think it has to do with the ovens that professional pizza operators use rather than the dough formulation per se. Commercial deck ovens are more shallow than the typical home oven and have high BTU outputs, and commercial conveyor impingement ovens circulate a lot of heat around the pizzas.

A dry dough should not be an impediment to making a good cracker style pizza, especially in a commercial setting with the right equipment, such as sheeters/rollers and stamping tools. As noted at this post, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5642.msg47874.html#msg47874 (Reply 5), and the posts surrounding that post, forum member John Fazzari and his family are able to successfully make cracker style pizzas using a dough with 37% hydration and without docking or pre-baking the crusts (which would not be practical in a volume environment such as John alluded to in the above thread). I don't know if John has ever tried making his cracker-style pizzas in his home oven, but if so he may be able to offer some insights on the limitations to that method, if any.

Peter

Offline BTB

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2007, 07:11:08 PM »
I thought I would share some photos of some of the cracker crust-like pizzas that I and some others had been mentioning.  These pictures are from the Candlelite Pizzeria on the far North side of Chicago.  It had always been one of my favorites for a thin crisp crust pizza. 

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2007, 07:14:26 PM »
And the first picture here is of the great pizza served at Marie's in Chicago followed by that from Zaffiro's in Milwaukee, which is famous for their cracker crust pizza also.

Offline BTB

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2007, 07:18:21 PM »
And like the Cubs vs. the Sox, the Chicago South Siders will argue that their Vito & Nicks is the best pizza in the world.  While excellent, I would consider their style to be borderline cracker crust.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2007, 07:47:22 PM »
BTB,

Thanks for the photos. It looks like I will have to start using the "Chicago" cut rather than the slice cut. I don't want people to think that I am some sort of hick.

Peter

Offline fazzari

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2007, 11:11:37 AM »
Peter
I know you've read just about everything, but have you seen this description by Tom Lehman:
http://pmq.com/mag/2002summer/doughformer.shtml

I'll add a little more later when I have some time
John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New Tom Lehmann Cracker-Style Dough Formulation
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2007, 11:27:39 AM »
John,

Yes, I am well aware of the Lehmann article and have read it several times and referred others to it on several occasions. The part that applies to the cracker style crusts is this:

This forming method involves the use of a dough sheeter to form dough balls into flat dough pieces for use as pizza crusts. It may also involve the use of large dough sheeters for producing an endless ribbon of dough from which individual pizza skins are cut out using special circular cutting dies. This forming method generally produces a crust with thick, heavy internal cell wells. This is created by the way the dough passes through the sheeting roll(s), disrupting the gas cells, and degassing the dough along the way. If this dough is to be used to create an open cellular structure, it must be allowed to proof (rise) for a period of time (20 to 70 minutes) between the forming and baking stages. As the dough passes through the sheeting roll(s) it receives additional work, much like additional mixing. This work has a tendency to further toughen the dough through gluten development, which can result in unwanted snap-back, or dough shrinkage after forming. This may need to be addressed through the use of certain additives containing dough-relaxing materials such as L-cysteine, glutathoine, deodorized vegetable powder, or sodium metebisulfite. If one of these materials is not used, the formed dough piece may need to be set aside for 10 or 15 minutes, allowing it to relax a bit, and then passed through the sheeter again to bring the shell/skin out to full diameter.

One type of crust comes to mind when I think about sheeting. This is the old, cracker-type crust. You know which one I mean, this is the one where you will have a lap of crumbs after eating your "crispy" pizza. I was raised in Chicago, and during my youth, this was the predominant type of pizza made there. You can still find it there, but you've got to look for it. It just isn't everyplace like it used to be. The thing about this type of crust is that it's made from a low water absorption dough with a high protein (typical pizza) flour. The resulting dough is extremely tough and difficult to shape. Add to this, the fact that the dough is usually formed very thin, and then folded once or twice, and reformed again. This makes for a very tough and difficult dough to form by any other method, except for sheeting.

Sheeted doughs are created to be flat across their entire surface. With this in mind, the finished crusts also tend to be somewhat flat, lacking a high, rolled, or raised edge unless it has been mechanically formed into the dough piece. In many cases, sheeted crusts exhibit a uniformly flat, poker chip appearance unless allowed to proof for a short time after forming.


I look forward to your additional comments.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 11:50:37 AM by Pete-zza »