Author Topic: Quality NY toppings & techniques  (Read 53408 times)

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Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #120 on: September 30, 2005, 11:41:37 PM »
Pete-zza:

LOL... I do remember that one quite well. 

So what do you attribute the dough extensibility to?  How does his salt compare to your preference in the Lehman recipe?  Did you find that with the sugar, you received additional browning? 

You'll notice that Reinhart prefers the New Haven crust, and he uses 4.4% oil and 2.2% sugar... still a bit high for my preference as well.  If working with a flour that uses malted barley, the sugar could be even more noticable.  And since many may use bread flour, the oil would make even a softer crust.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2005, 11:52:27 PM by giotto »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #121 on: October 01, 2005, 12:39:49 AM »
giotto,

If I had to point to possible causes of the extensibility, I would say it is the high levels of sugar (2.81%), yeast (0.71%, or a bit over 3/4 t. for the 16-inch), and oil (6.58%). Once the sugar and yeast get going, I think the dough ferments faster than where little or no sugar and small amounts of yeast are used. I know I am preaching to the choir, but I have always been an advocate of using very small amounts of yeast and have been able to get good results with a long, cool fermentation. I still don't know why so many dough recipes call for so much yeast--sometimes a full packet for a single pizza. Maybe it's because everyone is in a rush and wants results almost instantaneously. Using large amounts of yeast will do that, but at the expense of flavor and texture.

It is well known that oil contributes to the extensibility of a dough, by coating the gluten strands. Maybe 6.58% oil provides too much lubrication and results in an overly extensible dough. The hydration of the Reinhart dough is about the same as I use for the Lehmann dough so there has to be another reason why the Reinhart dough was considerably more extensible than the Lehmann dough. The finished dough temperatures were about the same for the two doughs, except the Reinhart dough was kept at room temperature for about an hour before it was refrigerated. I think that increased the dough temperature and, along with the sugar and yeast, caused the dough to ferment faster, and this continued even in the refrigerator. I go to the refrigerator as soon as possible with a Lehmann dough.

The salt level in the Reinhart recipe is the same as with the Lehmann recipe. I can't say that the sugar contributed all that much to the color of the crust. I thought it would be more. My last Lehmann crust had more color, yet no sugar was used in the dough. I know that there was plenty of sugar in the Reinhart dough because I could taste it in the crust.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #122 on: October 01, 2005, 03:43:48 AM »
Pete-zza:

I know what you mean regarding over usage of yeast in pizza recipes.  It sure doesn't help when I see more and more professionals continue to propagate ridiculous amounts of yeast when publishing thin pizza recipes to consumers.  Man, a packet of yeast for 1 dough... I wish I could get a dollar for each recipe that has that one in it!  When Cheese Board Collective published a commercial yeast recipe, I was reminded that starters are certainly their forte. The good news is that I'm starting to see more recommendations for placing dough in the refrigerator.

The extensibility difference is very interesting to me.  I've watched dough practically hit the floor because I messed up somewhere in one of my recipes.  Once I forgot the salt.  Einstein would have been proud. I didn't test an old yeast once and sure enough it was bad; yet the puppy was really extensible to boot. 

Your salt was no different between the 2 recipes, which surprised me.  I know one pro who uses more than double sugar to salt with % similar to yours.  And he has nicely elastic dough, not extensible.  His use of oil though is comparable to your Lehman recipe.  Additionally, I met a vendor tonight who doesn't use sugar, and I noticed their dough was quite extensible (just pushed it out by hand) and their use of active yeast had almost no rise in their wood fired oven. 

Your point about oil leads me to suspect it the most. If you ever pinpoint it, I'd like to know. Thanks for covering the differences in more detail!
 ::)  



 

« Last Edit: October 01, 2005, 04:00:12 AM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #123 on: October 04, 2005, 02:02:04 PM »
I'd like to summarize what is happening in a recipe under the American Style thread, which is relevant to various applications discussed earlier in this thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.msg17248.html#msg17248

What is happening here chemically is that increased amounts of sugar are being used to assure browning of the top of the crust to compensate for lower levels and lower temps in the oven.  In turn, some toppings become more presentable with decreased heat exposure, which can be advantageous with elongated times of 6+ minutes in home ovens. And the bottom of the crust is left with an increased exposure to heat, which is often welcome for a crispy screen bottom. 

While honey equates to about 50% more carbs than normal sugar of equal amounts, its refined nature is often preferred for kids, since it takes more of a delayed effect in the body.  At 2 tsp total sugar, we're only talking 1g sugar per slice.  The amount required for desired browning can vary by flour employed.

As a kid, this was a means that was often employed when working with lower temps. My aunt used to take the pizza off the pan and place directly on the lower racks.  To this day, she still employs sugar and lower racks and temps to get her result... an idea that I have often employed with New York pizza.

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #124 on: October 07, 2005, 10:31:48 PM »
I was reading Tony Gemignani's latest book, and noticed the incredibly high hydration levels for New York Pizzas.  I'm not a huge advocate of hydration levels over 70%.  But he gave me a list of personal names that suggested it was definitely worth taking another crack.  Since I was in the midst of returning to old habits after reading Randy's thread under American style, I decided to give Tony's suggestion a try since I had not experimented with over 70% hydration in quite some time.

Man, talk about nailing it on the head, despite a few mistakes on the way. 

- I started with over 75% hydration level accidentally, and compensated with additional flour to get it down to a manageable level.  I know from experience that some of the best breads in the San Francisco area get some awesome moisture with elevated hydration levels. 

- I was in the early stages of a starter. It was still mostly an organic rye flour, mixed in with some Caputo flour. So instead of tossing 1/2 of the starter away at this stage, I decided to break-up a small portion of it for this pizza and mix it in with enough King Arthur Bread Flour to give me a total of about 9 oz of flour.

- I added my usual tsp of salt, a small amount of sugar/honey (about 1/2 TBL combined) to 6 oz of cool water.  I FORGOT that I had proofed a 1/2 tsp active yeast (which by the way is more yeast than normal for me) with 1 or so ounces of water.  SO now I was up to 8 oz of water with the amount that was in the starter.

- I added the water + the proofed yeast into the flour mixture.  Brought it together, let it rest a few minutes.  Added a tad of palm oil/olive oil, and gave it a 1 minute mix. When I went to lift it out to hand knead it... forget it.  Then I realized my error with the proofing of the yeast.  So I added enough flour to bring this beast to over 19 oz.  In all, I was at around 10.5 oz of flour and 8 oz of water.  I was thankful for the rye flour in the starter.

- Normally I don't like to add flour once I start to mix, since all ingredients are based on the weight of the flour.  So I evaluated my dry ingredients.  Well, I wasn't worried about the sugar level, since malted barley is in the King Arthur flour.  And I just figured with this much water, I would not be tossing this puppy anyways... so I left the 1 tsp of salt go.

- I kneaded about 50% by hand to establish the right amount of flour.  I left it out for an hour or so.  It was getting late so I decided to put it in a stainless steel container and leave it with the lid loose in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to dry it out a bit.  I then re-established it into a ball, put the top on, and left it in the refrigerator.

- The next day, 1/2 tsp active yeast proved to be a lot as I suspected.  The thing had ballooned out.  I remembered the same happening with Pete-zza under Randy's American thread.  What the heck, as pointed out in the A16 Neapolitan thread, I don't mind kneading it a small amount to strengthen the structure during fermentation. I then re-formed it into a ball and put it back in the refrigerator.

- 48 hours later, I wondered what to do.  I wanted a 14" pizza, so I cut it down to about 16.5 oz.

It was slightly moist on the inside with a wonderful dry presentation on the outside (just like a wonderful old world levain bread in San Francisco)... and it was crispy on the bottom, with great spring in the cornicione... I cooked it at 515F, 1 minute no toppings, 6.5 minutes with simple prosciutto/pepperoni toppings, using a screen sitting in the middle of the oven.  The camera darkened the background and slightly lightened the foreground.

(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/rye-starter-and-KingArthur-bread-flour2-resize.JPG)

Even after it was cooled off, I sat back in the living room and enjoyed the last of my cornicione... That's when you really know you got it right... when you can enjoy a crispy outside with a moist inside even when it has cooled off.  The taste was undeniable... it wasn't sweet, it wasn't sour, it was simply right.  Accidents happen, and sometimes it all works out for the best!
 :o
« Last Edit: October 07, 2005, 11:18:34 PM by giotto »

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #125 on: October 07, 2005, 11:49:22 PM »
giotto,
That crust looks awesome. I haven't had much luck with high-hydration in low temp ovens. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

Which strain of starter did you use? How was the taste? How was the handling of the dough at such high hydration levels?

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #126 on: October 08, 2005, 01:47:59 PM »
JF_Aidan_Pryde:

The rye appeared to play a vital role in containing the hydration levels.  It created a firmness, which remained intact while the hydration enabled a steaming effect on the inside.  When combined with the awesome effects of the honey/sugar mixture, the heat attracted to the crust, giving it a dry crispy layer on top of a moist texture on the inside.

The S. exiguus (wild yeast) did not have much time to form, since my starter was relatively new and had not shown much of a rise on its own.  So I was left with a commerical and more aggressive dry Active yeast to do the job.  My experience in the past is that while Active yeast does not multiply as quickly as Instant yeast, a 1/2 tsp of Active yeast for 10 oz or so of flour will produce incredible spring; but at a cost of dealing with dough during refrigeration that will still grow like a fire in an old dried out barn on a very windy day.

My goal was to create a wholesome taste, with a complexity just slightly stronger than 2 days of delayed fermentation in the refrigerator.  The strain that forms during bacterial fermentation (Lactobacillus) can actually have the greatest impact on taste.  Since my starter was new, I knew that even in the San Francisco area (where the Lactobacillus is named after the region), the sourness would remain in check.  This is something you can easily control.  For those into more of a sour taste, there are some excellent wild yeasts commercially available from the San Francisco area that you can ferment according to your tastes in your region.  For a simple natural taste, an alternative would be to create a two day sponge with 2 oz of rye flour, or simply mix it with 10 oz of King Arthur or other bread flour (some friends prefer Gold Medal's yellow bag bread flour), along with honey and other ingredients mentioned above, and leave it to ferment for 3 days in the refrigerator (kneading once a day).

Salt along with manufactured flour ingredients and kneading techniques can play as much a role in the structure of a dough as the protein levels of its flour. Recently, I worked with only a King Arthur bread flour, and I was able to toss and stretch it in the air without a single tear using salt, sugar/honey, a 63% hydration, and kneading techniques mentioned above, with very good results.  In this case, I only used 1 tsp of salt with Bread flour because my initial plan was to create a 16 oz dough.  This is exactly why I don't like to haphazardly add flour while mixing my dough.  Everything (salt, water, etc.) is a percentage of the flour.  So when I ended up with 19 oz of dough, and over 70% hydration, I knew this puppy was going to stretch into place without ever lifting it from my board.  And that's exactly what it did... after I left it out in a ceramic bowl, with a sprinkling of flour, for 2 hours before finally forming it into a crust (and of course, it started floating toward the ceiling again). I'm going back to using less than 1/2 tsp dry active yeast in the future when employing a commercial yeast.

My mother starter is formed now, which is now comprised of Rye flour, Caputo flour, a touch of pineapple juice (to protect the wild yeast from the effects of acids produced by bacterial fermentation), and a 50% hydration level completed with spring water.  So it will be interesting to see what happens when I mix it in with King Arthur's flour this time around. 

 



« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 02:11:37 PM by giotto »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #127 on: October 08, 2005, 02:55:51 PM »
giotto,

Your last post reminded me of a couple of well known people in the dough and food-related trades: Amy Scherber, of the Amy's breads fame, and Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse fame. One of the first starters I ever made was an Amy Scherber one using rye flour, which apparently creates a hospitable environment for wild yeast. Alice Waters uses rye flour in one of her basic pizza dough recipes, specifically, in a sponge. I have seen the recipe many times on the internet and have cut and pasted it below for informational purposes. There's no reason that I can see why less yeast and refrigeration can't be used. Or even a longer sponge fermentation.

Make a sponge by mixing together
     1/4 cup lukewarm water
     2 teaspoons active dry yeast
     1/4 cup rye flour

Let it rise 20 to 30 minutes, then add
     1/2 cup lukewarm water
     1 tablespoon milk
     2 tablespoons olive oil
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour.

Mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board.  It will be soft and a little sticky.  Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won't stick. Add more flour to the board as you knead but no more than is absolutely necessary. A soft moist dough makes a light and very crispy crust. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough. Put in a bowl rubbed with olive oil, and oil the surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm place, approximately 90 to 110 degrees F.  An oven heated just by its pilot light is a good spot. Let the dough rise to double its size, for about 2 hours, then punch it down. Let it rise about 40 minutes more, then shape and bake it. This recipe makes one 12-inch to 14-inch pizza, or several small ones.


Peter 

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #128 on: October 08, 2005, 08:23:23 PM »
Pete-zza:

Interestingly enough, Alice Waters, ACME bread and the Cheese Board (Pizza) Collective are all related through their Berkeley (across the bay from San Francisco) backgrounds.  The owner of ACME (Sullivan) was first mentored from Alice Waters when he was very young.  Now Alice serves Sullivan's Levain bread (although Rye is recommended, whole wheat is used for the natural levain... both are excellent to begin a starter).  They all have one motto, keep it as natural as possible (similar to Bianco). Giusto's organic flour is employed.

The Cheese Board collective serves only 1 pizza every day, which varies widely and always stems from their sour dough starter...  They have buckets of starter each labelled to show their fermentation stages.  A line always forms and no one knows what they are going to get until they enter inside... They only know the international cheeses are excellent and no meat is employed.  Places 5 miles from them can't survive under these conditions.

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #129 on: October 12, 2005, 09:10:56 PM »
Higher fiber flours produce some interesting results.  Because fiber is initially counted as a carb, it is one of those ingredients that needs to be subtracted out to show a lower net carb since it is handled differently by the body.  I noticed that Rye flour can have a relatively high fiber content, from 4x to 7x that of regular unbleached flours. 

This time around I decided to see what would happen if I immediately mixed 10% rye flour with King Arthur Bread flour, and then after 2 days in the refrigerator, compare it to my experience above with a 2 day old poolish/starter comprised of rye flour which was later mixed to the same flour.  Although when I mixed in the poolish with the flour, I did leave it in the refrigerator for an additional 2 days, and I did use a touch more yeast (1/2 tsp vs. 3/8 tsp this time for 10 oz of total flour), and the hydration of the dough was a bit higher with the poolish as well... so I'm not exactly comparing apples to apples. 

In both cases, even though the rye flour used was not much different from my bread flour in protein, the increased fiber is basically like adding a significantly stronger wheat flour into the end result... even with only 10% rye, the crust is stiffer and denser, even though the dough felt light after minimal kneading (mostly by hand).  The color of the dough is noticably different when even 10% rye is used.  Rye in general seems to produce a denser loave in breads.  I felt that the poolish was more moist, with a little better overall results; but that's likely due to the increased moisture, yeast and time in the refrigerator.  I like the way Rye can stiffen-up the outside of the crust and hold-up to more toppings. But not everyone agreed who tried the experiments because flours like Rye do come at a cost of feeling heavier and sturdier in the end.

(http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/rye-pie.JPG)

It will be interesting to see companies continue to work with net carb products.  I've worked with a lower net carb flour before and suffered from a much different level of stiffness. In general, I'd use Rye much as I would use a vital gluten flour... sparingly, and increased yeast does help.
   


Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #130 on: October 15, 2005, 02:51:41 AM »
I am partial to some of the bread flours due to taste and ease of modication for softening (e.g., King Arthur, Gold Medal Better for Bread), and I've worked with various highly recommended high gluten flours (Giusto's, Pendelton/Fischer, etc.). 

After tossing this puppy a few times in the air, this KA bread flour (with just over 60% water) was then stretched real thin with nice elasticity... never a rip.   

I like to have a good outer edge to chew on.  So a 16.5 oz dough creates a real nice thin pizza with an enjoyable outer edge, as illustrated here. I like how honey seems to darken crust much less than sugar, and yet accents the taste. 
(http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/KA-slice.JPG)

The result was certainly light and airy, despite just some drops of oil and under 1/2 tsp active proofed yeast:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/KA-whats-left.JPG)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2005, 03:47:38 AM by giotto »

Offline chiguy

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2005, 05:10:14 PM »
Wow, Giotto
You are making some great looking pies with bread flour and your techniques. I have tried the using starters a couple of times with average results. Thanks for posting the pics and description of your process.  Chiguy

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #132 on: October 18, 2005, 02:19:41 PM »
Thanks, Chiguy. 

A few words of inspiration keep things progressing forward.  I'm a firm believer that all things are not always what they appear to be.  And sometimes convenience paves an incorrect path.  But that's not to say that the toughest bout with inconvenience produces the best advice.

By studying commercial yeast preferments from some of the highest quality dough manufacturers here in the U.S., in addition to flour milling break throughs, I have realized that some of my own pizza dough views have certainly been short-sighted by what appears to be righteous and utlimately cool to shun. 

One small company, for example, advertises that stone is the only way to retain the minerals when breaking the wheat kernel.  But the reality is that roller setups are not equal.  While some take several large rollers and types to extract the flour, others now create marvelous results by ensuring their extract rate with just 2 sets of rollers. Interestingly enough, this has given less civilized nations throughout the world an opportunity to perform their own quality functions otherwise not feasible. 

In other cases, technology related to flour conditioners and various ingredients employed by manufacturers are not relied upon by companies like Sonoma's Artisan Bakery to meet their exact structural requirements. Instead, procedures are employed with simple delay-fermented dough and commercial yeast poolish mixtures to "control" their own gluten structure, acidity, and taste.  While ACME also follows this procedure, wild-ass yeast is made from wine grapes to produce a strong sour dough. I fully appreciate the need to control the precise nature by knowing the rules that enable customization... Only then can one reach freedom. So I was pleasantly surprised to see companies identify their exacting cream-colored requirements for an 11.5% protein flour, so they can basically build their own structure within 1 to 2 days. Top this off in another case where the weather bureau is contacted before making final adjustments, and I realize that short cuts are not the end objective.

What's most impressive about all this is that our next generation is requiring manufacturers to bring things up a notch. When I see chemists who know how to make a better quality flour join General Mills with break throughs that revert to more simplistic processes, then I have some hope.

Here's an example of a 16 oz New York dough made with a simple King Arthur (KA) bread flour that has already been given a board stretch and a couple of tosses.  And now it's being checked in the air to validate the varying degrees of thinness from the back (where the crust will start) to the front (middle of dough) for a New York pizza.  Nice elasticity and no ripping even at the thinnest point-- very similar to a much higher protein flour that was used on a previous day.  The primary difference was KA had a better taste.  This step was a prelude to the final pizza shown above.

https://home.comcast.net/~localyokel/dough-in-air.AVI
« Last Edit: October 18, 2005, 05:14:44 PM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #133 on: November 06, 2005, 12:51:05 AM »
It's always interesting what we can learn by eating out.  And I'm still caught by surprise every now and then at the low numbers I hear regarding yeast.  Tonight I learned from a nearby wood-fired Pizzeria that they use 2 oz of fresh yeast for 30 lbs of flour.  Hmmm... that's about .8 oz of active yeast... So for a medium-sized Pizza, I would use about 1/30 of 2.5 tsp for 8 oz of flour... 

As I watched them TOSS, SPIN and Re-TOSS , never using more than one hand (Tony Gemignani style), I enjoyed the chewy texture that they are known for... Only to find out they use an ALL-Purpose flour.  I then heard my friend hit the floor... Must have been the heat of the oven...

I'll never stop eating out... If for no other reason, just to see friends sit in awe before hitting the floor.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2005, 01:24:37 AM by giotto »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #134 on: November 18, 2005, 01:03:36 PM »
Having recently analyzed the NY style dough recipe in the book Pizza by Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani, I decided to make a 16-inch version of the dough in order to compare it with the typical Lehmann NY style dough I make. In order to do this, I first had to convert the Morgan/Gemignani recipe to baker's percents, which I did by weighing the flour and water called for by the recipe (I used KASL instead of bread flour) and converting the remaining ingredients from volumes to weights.

The basic recipe calls for making three dough balls, each weighing 15 ounces, or enough to make a 12-inch pizza. From this information alone, I was able to calculate a thickness factor of 0.133 (TF = 15/(3.14 x 6 x 6). This thickness factor corresponds to a "thick" pizza on the scale of thickness factors that I (and Tom Lehmann) use. By contrast, a Lehmann NY style dough has a thickness factor of about 0.10-0.105. So, I knew that the crust would be quite a bit thicker than the Lehmann crust. Using the thickness factor I calculated for the Morgan/Gemignani NY style dough, together with the baker's percent, I was able to scale the recipe to the 16-inch size.

From the baker's percents I calculated, I observed that the hydration was over 70%--which is considerably higher than most NY style dough recipes I have seen. The last time I saw a baker's percent that high for a NY style dough was in a recipe posted on the forum eons ago by member Pierre. And I recall at the time telling Pierre that the hydration couldn't really be that high. But I digress. Sticking with the 70+% hydration, I calculated that I would need 26.7 ounces of dough to make my version of the Morgan/Gemagnani dough for a 16-inch size. A typical Lehmann dough for a 16-inch is around 21 ounces. Again, the numbers told me to expect a thicker crust using the Morgan/Gemignani thickness factor and recipe.

In making the dough, I followed the Morgan/Gemignani recipe as closely as I could. In so doing, I initially ended up with a dough that was too wet to handle. I gradually added flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough was capable of being handled without sticking all over my fingers. I estimate that I added a bit less than 1/4 cup of additional flour to get to this state. I calculated that the additional flour also lowered the hydration from over 70% to about 69%--still high but less than what I calculated from the recipe. It also increased the final dough weight to 27.7 ounces.

Since the recipe calls for using part of the water as ice cold water, the finished dough temperature came to a bit over 77 degrees F. That suggested that the fermentation would be restrained somewhat. And that turned out to be the case. For the first 24 hours in the refrigerator, the dough hardly rose at all. It spread out fairly quickly into a large pancake-like mass--which I blamed on the very high hydration and resultant extreme softness of the dough. Part of this subdued behavior no doubt was also because my refrigerator compartment was just under 40 degrees F, which is several degrees lower than normal and which I attributed in part to the fact that we were hit with a cold snap in central Texas that lowered all temperatures, inside and outside. The dough didn't really start to expand in volume until sometime between 24 and 36 hours. Even then, it didn't rise by more than 25%. After about 46 hours, I removed the dough from the refrigerator. It was a bit difficult removing the dough from its container, a plastic storage bag, but I managed to remove it without mangling it in the process. In light of this experience, I would recommend that a rigid container be used in lieu of the plastic storage bag recommended by the instructions for the recipe.

I let the dough sit at room temperature (covered with a sheet of plastic wrap) for about 2 hours before shaping it into a skin. By that time, the dough was very soft with signs of a few large bubbles in the dough. But the dough wasn't wet. As I tried to shape and stretch the dough, I immediately saw that it was extremely extensible, so extensible, in fact, that I couldn't pick this dough up and toss it and stretch it. It had to be shaped and stretched entirely by hand on my work surface. But that wasn't a real chore, and I was able easily to stretch and shape it into a 16-inch skin and place it on a 16-inch screen. After dressing the skin in a standard pepperoni style, I baked it on the top oven rack position for about 6 minutes and then shifted it onto a pizza stone that I had placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degree F. The pizza remained on the stone for about 2 minutes.

The photos below show the finished product. The pizza was very good. As expected, the crust was light with a nice open and airy crumb. The crumb was also very tender, no doubt due in part to the fact that the recipe calls for an amount of oil that is almost 4% (by weight of flour). The high hydration also undoubtedly contributed to the nice crumb and texture. The crust itself was chewy at the rim and had good flavor. I was surprised that the rim wasn't considerably larger than it actually was. Maybe the high hydration was a factor, much like a high-hydration ciabatta bread can be flat like a slipper.

The biggest difference between the Morgan/Gemignani crust and a Lehmann crust is that the Morgan/Gemignani crust is considerably thicker than the Lehmann crust and more "bready" because of the greater thickness and the soft and tender crumb. A NY style purist might even argue that it is too thick and too soft and not leathery enough to be an "authentic" NY style. But for those who actually prefer a thicker and soft crust, and pay no attention to labels, then the Morgan/Gemignani dough is a very good choice in my opinion. As for myself, I would be inclined next time to use the NY "thin" thickness factor I usually use (around 0.10) and rework the Morgan/Gemignani formulation using the baker's percents I calculated to achieve results that are more in line with what I usually get in making the Lehmann doughs. Another possibility would be to just make an 18-inch pizza out of the dough. But there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Morgan/Gemignani recipe. It is a good recipe and I liked the results it produced.

Peter

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #135 on: November 18, 2005, 01:06:33 PM »
And the slice photos:

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #136 on: November 18, 2005, 06:15:29 PM »
Pete-zza:

As I've said before, this thickness formula knows nothing about size of cornicione (depth or height of outer edge), nor does it take into consideration thickness changes from one end of a slice to another.  I would not assume that a 15 oz for a 12" is comparable to producing a 27 oz (or even 26 oz) dough for a 16" pizza.

Just by  eyeing it, I can see that a 15 oz dough for a 12" pizza is a 1.25 oz to 1" ratio.  This is equivalent to a 20 oz dough for a 16" pizza.  Your formula has jumped from a ratio of 1.25 oz to 1" of crust to over 1.6 oz to 1" of crust when you resized it.  By working with ratios, I have been able to maintain comparable pizzas as I go from 14" to 15" and down to 12".

I have found that weight of dough is not a deciding factor in the end result and should not be used to determine actual thickness.  For example, I generally use 16.5 oz to 17 oz for a 14" pizza, and I put most of the weight into the cornicione/outer edge, which immediately forms a slender slice with an even thinner ending as posted in the past.  Recently, I have switched to a 14.5 oz because I wanted a much shorter and smaller cornicione; but no one can tell the difference between my pizzas in the thickness factor. 

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #137 on: November 18, 2005, 07:58:07 PM »
giotto,
 
The thickness factor approach I use is not of my creation. I learned about it from reading several articles and from questions posed to Tom Lehmann and Dave Ostrander by pizza operators who wanted to know how to determine how much dough to use to make pizzas of different sizes. I use the term “thickness factor” for convenience and because of its simplicity but Tom Lehmann says that the technical term is “density loading”. It is not a linear system and is based on surface area. Surface area has mathematical meaning and precision. The dough for a pizza with a large surface area and given thickness will weigh more than the dough for a pizza with a small surface area and the same thickness. But the scaling is not linear. I don’t know the precise origins of the approach but I suspect that somewhere along the way pizza makers experimented with different dough weights and once they got the results they were looking for in terms of crust thickness, they were able to come up with thickness factors that could then be used to calculate the weights of pizzas of different sizes (and styles) but with the same thickness characteristics. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I can only assume that factors such as the rims and the way they are shaped and sized were taken into account in the process. In a sense, those factors are subsumed in the thickness factors themselves.

For those who are interested in how the thickness factor, or loading density, works, they can take a look at these items (from PMQ.com):
http://www.pmq.com/mag/2004november_december/lehmann.php
http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/8095
http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/15360 .

I will admit that if the recipe I followed produces a dough that is shaped and stretched differently from the way I normally make my NY style doughs, or the rim is of a different shape or size, then it is possible that my thickness factor calculation could be off. However, I don’t think that such is the case. I shaped and stretched the Morgan/Gemignani dough the same way as I do with all my Lehmann doughs, rim included. I have made Lehmann pizzas from 9 inches up to 18 inches using the thickness factor approach and gotten consistent results in terms of thickness characteristics. I sometimes joke that a lot of my pizzas look alike. And that is the reason why. I might add that I have never suggested that anyone lock themselves into fixed thickness factors. I have suggested that they experiment with different thickness factors to get the results they want. Thickness factors are guidelines but, in my view, they are a good thing, and with a solid mathematical underpinning.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 18, 2005, 08:06:32 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #138 on: November 18, 2005, 10:55:56 PM »
Pete-zza:

I'd simply describe a 15 oz dough for a 12" pizza quite differently in the way of thickness based on other experiences.  I'd describe it as closer to my 17 oz dough for a 14" pizza as well as to Tony's own New York style pizzas, which consist of a slender line crust that ends thin, with a pronounced outer edge.  And I would recommend closer to 21 oz of dough to get the same results for a 16" pizza.

Your description of the breadier result is interesting because it is similar to what Tony produces. I often contributed it to his Pendelton flour, which even at lower proteins and lower hydrations is just bready.  The higher the hydration, the better the environment for yeast and potentially the better the spring.  Rustic breads, such as Ciabatta, are often over 75%.  I recently tasted a thoroughly hole-driven airy Ciabatta bread that used 78% by one vendor, and I've had the same result in my own breads.  But that's because Ciabatta is handled very carefully after huge rises with incredibly high hydrations.  But it makes sense to explain a breadier result with higher percentages as well, since pizza dough will go through tougher handling, less proofing, and will be more dense (and therefore breadier).
« Last Edit: November 18, 2005, 10:58:48 PM by giotto »

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #139 on: November 18, 2005, 11:23:47 PM »
giotto,

Your examples of using 17 ounces of dough for a 14-inch and 21 ounces for a 16-inch are more in line with what I use for a NY style. Sometime I'd like to repeat the recipe but using 21 ounces for a 16-inch. I am pretty confident that the resultant pizza will be good because I can tell from what I made that the good features will carry over to the thinner pizza. That would be the best test to compare against a 16-inch Lehmann pizza. I might also learn more about the effects of high hydration. I wondered whether too high a hydration can actually work against a high oven spring at some point, simply by force of the weight of water.

Peter