Author Topic: Quality NY toppings & techniques  (Read 57221 times)

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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


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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #140 on: November 19, 2005, 12:41:08 AM »
Pete-zza:

I totally understand your thinking of high hydrations; but interestingly enough, the wetter the environment, yeast does better in a higher hydration environment according to bread books.  In fact, you'll have a hard time finding a book where 75% - 80% is not used for rustic breads, where rise and spring are very important.  A couple of examples of these high hydrations are KA's Baker's Companion (where they suggest their Ciabatta is so wet, you can't knead by hand) and Reinhart's Crust & Crumb.  As mentioned in another post, I recently got a first hand chance to visit a San Francisco all natural bakery, and sure enough, their rustic breads were almost 80%, and they had good rises and amazing air holes (from trapping bubbles) with lower amounts of instant yeast than recommended by various authors.  They did use starters, but only for their sour doughs. Otherwise, delayed fermentation was used with lower yeast amounts.  Over-fermentation is something to be careful of to reduce spring.

In breads, however, the high hydrations make sense because they want moisture in the rustic bread environments for a more moist interior and yeast fermentation.  I'm finding, however, that 65% - 67% to be plenty for pizza dough to give me a great texture, combined with longer knead times to give the chewiness as I believe you've noted as well. When I work at higher hydrations than this, I'm not sure if I am seeing enough of a result with pizza crust to justify the additional effort. 

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #141 on: November 19, 2005, 10:08:13 AM »
giotto,

I fully agree with what you say about hydration. Some time ago, I attended a King Arthur event held locally where I saw one of their bakers make a ciabatta bread dough. He said that the mistake most people make is to add too much flour, so that they can handle it, and he showed how to use a bench scraper to turn the dough rather than use his hands.

When it comes to using very high hydration for pizza dough, the fermentation is faster than normal and, if you hold the dough too long, you can experience extensibility problems. I held the Morgan/Gemignani dough for about 2 days, the maximum mentioned in the recipe, and it was very extensible even though it didn't rise much during fermentation and used some ice cold water (about half of the total water) and was held at a colder than normal refrigerator temperature. On the surface it looked like little was happening, but beneath the surface there apparently was a lot going on. But because the dough was dry I had no problem shaping and stretching it to the desired size. Next time it might be better to use a cold fermentation somewhere between the specified minimum of 10 hours and 2 days.

Peter


Offline RockyMarciano

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #142 on: January 08, 2006, 11:33:42 PM »
its all about the cup n crisp margarita pepperoni

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #143 on: September 22, 2006, 08:10:58 PM »
Craig Ponsford is a preeminent baker in the SF area and a big proponent of yeast preferments for non-sour dough breads. I really respect guys like Craig and ACME bread's Sullivan because they work with more variations in a week than I can work with in a life time. Craig employs different temps, aging, and flours (rye, wheat, all purpose, etc.) to produce such a myriad of tastes.

Craig was forced into commercial yeast-based preferments when he helped the US win the specialty breads category in France in 1996 (Ciabatta, baguettes, etc.). His goal initially was to strengthen the French flours to meet his needs. Since then, he believes a poolish is almost the purest if you wish to bring out the closest taste to the real wheat. That’s an important distinguishing element, since these guys use natural starters for their sourdough.

Because the Ciabatas are so special, I decided to follow Craig and Sullivan's yeast preferment recommendation for a similar rough crust, amazing inside crumb, and natural taste of the Ciabatta.

Commercial yeast is aggressive. SO the amount of yeast they use is negligible in their preferments (between 1/16 tsp and 1/364 tsp). The goal is not to change the taste in the flours. But to bring them out. The yeast impacts rise and texture, while the change in temperatures result in acidity from bacterial fermentation.

These guys get way up there in % hydration, since they take about 18 minutes to produce their results at lower temperatures (about 425F). So I opted for a final result under 70%, which will be used with a higher temp in my oven.

I went with a cross between Craig’s Biga (which is stiffer, includes some whole wheat and sits in cold temperatures), and Sullivan’s poolish (which is more watery and left at room temp for a milder flavor). Their unbleached flours stay within the 11.5% protein levels. I went with a 12.7% KA bread flour, and later mixed it with a small amount of Giusto’s all purpose.

ACME shoots for a higher ASH rating and ensures that minimal oxygen is injected during his mixing period with rest periods to give an amazing cream coloring. Resting actually breaks down the tight gluten structures at this point, and reduces long kneading times which can introduce oxygen and oxidize the flour’s unsaturated fats and bleach its pigments. When these are oxidized, you lose the vitamin E content and alter their flavor.

I mixed 10 oz each of water and KA Bread Flour by hand with 1/32 tsp active yeast. After a couple of hours, it went into the refrigerator to keep the yeast activity down, and improve the chances for some minimal acedic acid.

In the AM, I left it out for 2 hours and then mixed it with about 50% more flour and a water hydration that would bring it to 67% hydration. I started with about the flour and gave it a 20 minute rest period before adding the yeast and just under 3% salt with the rest of the flour. Turning the first hour, I turned over the dough a few times on a floured board, which minimizes any stickiness. I put a couple of doughs in a tin in the refrigerator, and left out a 13 oz dough.

Amazing color, and check out this amazing extensibility with a lower protein flour.

https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/extensibility.JPG

https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/poolish-mix.JPG

Well, it’s sitting out at room temp now, and tonight I’ll give the left out dough a shot. I’ve worked with similar procedures before and have no question of their results. So if it doesn’t come out right, I only have myself to blame. Commercial yeast is not what develops the taste. But it can compete with the sugars extracted from the starches, and this can adversely impact the minimal bacterial fermentation process; when over developed, the structure also weakens. So the important thing is to not over-ferment, and enjoy the natural taste of the wheat.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 08:12:39 PM by giotto »

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #144 on: September 22, 2006, 11:33:13 PM »
Well, these slices pretty well sum it up (oven was brought to 540F and screen was immediately put in):

https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/poolish-slice1.JPG

https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/poolish-slice-last.JPG

The upside: It was light and definitely had a chew to it. It smelled like a good artisan bread and tasted like a good pizza crust, without any tainty or sour taste. During the dough making process, I added 1/4 tsp active yeast and made over 39 oz of dough. It never took on an alcohol smell and had no visible bubbles after leaving it out 7 hours today. I was planning on making this 13.3 oz dough into a 12" pizza; but it stretched so quickly that I turned it into a 14.5" pizza. It held the toppings very well: 2 small organic heirlooms diced up fresh (no need to remove skin or pre-cook these), pancetta, 4 oz of Grande mozzarella and a light sprinkle of thin white sauce.

The downside: Hard to believe; but it was a bit too chewy. I normally pre-bake my dough for 1 minute; but I skipped this step; I was supposed to wait 45 minutes after laying out the dough, which I've never done. Either of these could have made it even more airy. Then a friend reminded me of another important point... man are we screwed after Heirloom tomato season is over. I wait every year for them. Maybe I can smoke them to preserve them like I saw on Tyler's show in Italy.

Conclusion: All in all, I'm able to come close to the taste and airy texture when very little yeast and all steps are combined at once and then followed by delayed fermentation in the refrigerator. HOWEVER, even though I normally follow the same procedure for adding flour in baby steps as I did here in the final phase (including a 20-60 minute rest time), the chewy texture is much more pronounced when you go through this process, which was the reason that Ponsford implemented it in the first place.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 11:48:30 PM by giotto »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #145 on: September 23, 2006, 11:23:55 PM »
giotto,

I couldn't quite figure out all of the quantities of ingredients you used to make your pizza dough, but the approach seems to be one that is gaining in favor. Some while back, acting on an approach described by Tom Lehmann, I made a home version of a take-and-bake pizza dough in which a "biga" (my best description) was used to increase the crust flavor in a dough that was not subjected to a prolonged cold fermentation. I, too, noted a chewy character to the finished crust, as well as a crust flavor that seemed to me to be reminiscent of a baguette. While I was pleased with the results overall, I am still not certain that that is what I want in a pizza crust. If you are interested in the results of my efforts along these lines, please see Reply 362 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg23239.html#msg23239.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #146 on: September 24, 2006, 05:20:50 PM »
So often, I find people tainting the heck out of their crusts, over acidifying them, adding milk, beer, etc., just because they can't get a decent taste to begin with. Oh, what I would have done for a taste akin to a good baguette when I first started out. The chew though is something to tame.

Offline jamesw6777

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #147 on: August 20, 2008, 09:33:01 PM »
Pete-zza when you let the dough rest for one hour then refrigerated for twenty four hours, would it make a difference if you just let the dough rest for 15 minutes before refrigerating ? I am a newbie and I plan to make this recipe and I want to get it right.
JAMES

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Re: Quality NY toppings & techniques
« Reply #148 on: August 20, 2008, 09:54:32 PM »
James,

I assume that your question is in reference to my 16" version of Peter Reinhart's NY style dough as discussed in Reply 112 in this thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,524.msg17203.html#msg17203). If so, I don't think it will make much of a difference if you use 15 minutes as the rest period before placing the dough in the refrigerator. In fact, that is what the Reinhart recipe specifies (at page 115) for a cold fermented dough. To be honest, I don't really recall why I gave my dough an hour rest. In re-reading the instructions for the Reinhart recipe, it is possible that I erroneously followed the instructions for the same-day dough, which calls for an hour rest. That helps explain the increased stretchiness I experienced with the dough. Your dough may do better in that regard because it won't ferment as fast as mine did.

Good luck.

Peter


 

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