Author Topic: Cut a slice! It's nice !  (Read 4170 times)

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Offline pizzaluvr

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Cut a slice! It's nice !
« on: August 29, 2004, 11:36:30 PM »
I made two pies tonight that took me by surprise!  Up until now, in my battle to make a true thin n ' crispy pizza, I have been disappointed with my efforts.  Tonight, while I didn't end up with a T&C, I did have two outstanding pizzas I will now try to refine.   This was the first time I have incorporated cake flour into the dough recipe.  While I think I may have used too much, it nonetheless seems like the right track for me to continue...


Observations:

Crust Taste / Texture:

The taste is one of a tender, slightly-crispy pizza.  The texture is bread-like on the fat end of the slice, not too chewy.  The bottom of the slice is somewhat crispy, as long as it was allowed to cool on a rack.  If you don’t, it quickly becomes soft and soggy.  The height of the cooked dough doubled, so I need to press it out thinner next time.  


I’m constantly trying to make a thin and crispy pizza.  This was not one that I consider thin and crispy, but surprisingly, it tasted like “good” pizza!   I was impressed.  

Next time, I will only use ½ cup of cake flour instead of one cup, and see what that’s like.

The cheese blend was also a surprise.  It browned nicely and had a smooth, not too-stringy texture.   I’ve tried part-skim mozzarella before and think it’s awful.  It’s too translucent, although it does make it stringier, if that’s what you’re after. I opted for whole milk mozz.

The dough was the wettest dough I have worked with so far.  It wasn't that hard to deal with, especially since it had been in an oil coated bag.  It had very little elasticity when being worked out.  



Total prep time: 8 hours.  

·   1 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in ¼ cup 130F water along with 1 tsp sugar.  Let sit 10 min, until it’s doubled and foamy.
·   3 cups King Arthur non-bleached bread flour (blue band)
·   1 cup Pillsbury  Soft As Silk cake flour (comes in a box)
·   2 tsp salt
·   (optional)  3 tsp King Arthur “Pizza Dough Flavor” (can be ordered on their website.  It’s got yeast extract, cheese powder, and other stuff).


Add all ingredients in a mixer and mix for 5 min using a dough hook.  Let rest 5 minutes and mix another 5 minutes.  Adjust dough for moisture, either adding flour or water.  I ended up mixing mine for about 20 minutes, until it was “right”.

Half the dough ball and round up into two balls.   Put in separate oiled freezer bags and seal.  Set on counter and leave alone for 4 hours.  

Start making the sauce:  

·   1 - 32 oz can Cento brand crushed tomatoes (yellow can).
·   1 tsp dry oregano
·   1 tsp dry basil
·   ½ tsp garlic powder
·   ½ tsp salt
·   ¼ tsp black pepper
·   2 tbs red wine vinegar


Mix all ingredients in a ceramic bowl.  Do not cook. Cover it and put in fridge.

After 4 hours, remove and punch down dough and return to bags for another 3 – 4 hours on counter.

One hour before the dough is ready, preheat oven to 550F.

Grate and mix the following:

·   1 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese
·   1 lb Monterey jack cheese
·   ½ cup parmesan cheese



Get all your toppings ready to go, along with the sauce.
 
Remove one dough from a bag.  I let it fall right onto the pan I use to bake it on. (My pans are dark coated flat commercial pizza pans).
Shape it into a circle with our hands and fingers, trying to make it as thin as you can without tearing it.  

Add sauce, cheese, toppings, and sprinkle with ½ tsp dry oregano.  

Place on lowest rack in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove and quickly slide pizza onto a wire rack or wire mesh pizza disc and keep it elevated, so it can breathe and the steam can come out of the bottom of it (about 5 minutes).  Replace back onto pan and slice and serve.

*One pizza was half-plain, half bacon.  The “adult” pizza was bacon, fresh garlic, crushed and drained pineapple, chopped jalapeno bits, dry oregano sprinkled.


« Last Edit: August 29, 2004, 11:45:42 PM by pizzaluvr »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2004, 01:00:28 AM »
pizzaluvr,

Nice job. ;D

What you did, in effect, was to create a variant of a combination of flours that is commonly used to simulate Italian 00 flour.  You used bread flour and cake flour.  Pamela Sheldon Johns, a cookbook writer who wrote a book about Neapolitan pizzas, recommends two versions: a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour (in a 3 to 1 ratio) and all-purpose flour and white pastry flour (in about a 6 to 1 ratio).  Julia Child came up with her own version (whether she realized it or not at the time), using a combination of all-purpose flour and white pastry flour (in a 2 to 1 ratio).  A version I came up (which I personally like better than the others) includes bread flour and white pastry flour (in a 2 to 1 ratio).  I even tried a combination of cake flour and vital wheat gluten (2 teaspoons per cup of cake flour).  As you can see, you can combine almost any one of the basic flours with either cake flour or pastry flour.  I haven't mentioned high-gluten flour specifically, but DiFara's, the well known Brooklyn pizzeria, uses a combination of high-gluten flour and 00 flour.  To me, his version is more of a cross between Neapolitan dough and New York style dough.

Your dough recipe is also similar to most 00 dough "equivalents" in not including any sweetener (usually sugar) or fat (usually olive oil) in the dough.  This is the classic 00 Neapolitan approach.  And your use of a long knead time and two long rise periods is also consistent with what is often done with 00 flour "equivalents" (and classic Neapolitan pizzas as well).  Most such recipes don't call for refrigeration, but once you move up the protein/gluten scale by using bread flour,  refrigeration becomes an additional option.  I have used refrigeration for "equivalent" doughs using bread flour many times with good results.  The bread flour will allow you to use a period of refrigeration of up to 24 hours, and possibly longer, particularly if you depart from the classical Neapolitan approach by adding a bit of sugar to your dough ingredients.

Like you, I was very pleased with the results of using "equivalent" flour combinations.  I have done side-by-side comparisons of pizzas made with 00 doughs and "equivalents" and they are quite close.  The doughs that use bread flour will usually yield a crust that is darker in color than those using 00 flour, but the characteristics will otherwise be quite similar, albeit not quite as soft as one using only 00 flour.  In my case, I baked the pizzas on a stone, but there should be no reason why you can't use screens or pans.

Peter

 

Offline giotto

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2004, 03:00:21 AM »
You can also try putting fork marks through the dough (not the outer crust) before placing it in the oven. This helps reduce unwanted thickness.  

Offline giotto

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2004, 12:42:16 AM »
I noticed that in each of the DOC cases that Reinhart experienced in Italy, the Neopolitan pizza in Italy was based on  American flour + 00 flour.  
« Last Edit: August 31, 2004, 01:57:29 AM by giotto »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2004, 10:52:43 AM »
Many of the pizzaoli in Italy have gone to combinations of 00 flour and imported flours, including the Manitoba Canadian flours.  Having gone to the websites of several Italian flour millers, I have noticed that they specifically identify the Manitoba flour as a component of their blends.  I haven't yet been able to determine the specific reason behind creating the blends, i.e., whether it is to increase the protein/gluten content of their flours, supply and demand considerations, or to offer other alternatives to end users, such as American and other tourists who are used to higher protein/gluten flours.  If memory serves me correct, I believe the Italians import about a third of their flour needs from the U.S. and Canada.  Some people in the U.S. trade regularly scoff at the idea of importing flours from Italy that include American and Canadian flours in the blends.

I suspect that some of the Italian 00 flours, such as the Molino Caputo brand that I am told by the U.S. importer is used throughout Italy (I was told that it is the Cadillac of 00 flours), needs no blending since it is already fairly high in protein content (11.5-12.5%).  But this is not a hard and fast rule.  I know the chief pizza maker at Naples 45, one of the two New York City pizza establishments certified by the VPN, and, from what he told me, he blends both the Caputo 00 and 0 flours.  When I was last in the restaurant, I could see the 50 pound bags stacked in front of the kitchen area.  As I understand it, in his case, he blends the flours to achieve a specific formulation from a certain area around Naples where he was raised.  Peter Reinhart didn't sample the pizzas from Naples 45, although he might have since the restaurant's Neapolitan pizzas get generally high marks for their authenticity.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2004, 11:13:25 AM »
I too was told that it doesn't get any better than Caputo flour, when trying to make a Neapolitan pizza.  My references to Reinhart were specific to Naples-- not sure either if he visited Naples 45.  You might want to check with him via your email correspondence that you have going with him.  Be curious too what Bianco thinks of it.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2004, 01:48:57 PM »
In Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie, he made reference (at page 34) to a Naples 22 restaurant in Manhasset.  I did a Google search on that name but couldn't find it anywhere.  The reference was in respect of use by "Naples 22" of water imported from Naples.  I knew that Naples 45 at one time imported its water from Naples, but that is no longer true.  The water now comes from someplace outside New York City.  I did ask Peter in an email whether he meant Naples 45 instead of Naples 22 and he replied that Naples 22 and Naples 45 are under common ownership.  I have not been able to confirm that independently.

As for what Chris Bianco may think about the Caputo flours, I can only say that the U.S. distributor of the Caputo flour (or one of them) told me that Chris Bianco doesn't use the Caputo flour.  The importer said he was going to get in touch with Chris Bianco to offer him some samples.  It may well be that Bianco doesn't want to rely on foreign sources for his flours or he believes that he can come close enough just blending domestic flours as he has been doing, and possibly at a lower cost.  

Peter  

Offline giotto

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2004, 05:36:57 PM »
Pete-zza:

Interesting.  I'm going to take my first crack at mixing with a pastry/cake flour.

I'm going to stick with Giusto's for now and mix these two:

- Giusto's white Pastry, Cake and Cookie Flour - Unbleached - Organic  (9% protein according to Giusto's)

- Giusto's high protein - organic (13.5% protein according to Giusto's)

I saw that you have played with high gluten & white pastry before, and with the higher glutens, it naturally gave you better browning.  I was thinking 50/50 to get about 11.25% overall to ensure some decent browning.  I'm worried about adding sugar or oils, not for DOC reasons or anything, but the gluten level is pretty low and my impression is that the cake flour gives me what I need.  Did you find it important to add sugars/oils in this sort of mixture to reduce hardening and get decent browning?  I want to avoid a dead crust (which often happens when too much oil is added to the dough), and obtain a drier yet soft interior.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2004, 06:17:10 PM by giotto »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2004, 07:59:47 PM »
Giotto,

Sometimes I might use a little bit of olive oil to oil a bowl, but I did not add sugar or olive oil to the dough itself.  I was trying to get a dough that would yield a crust like one based on using 00 flour, for those times when I did not have any 00 flour on hand.  I recognized that there might be times where the addition of some sugar might be desirable to extend the duration of fermentation, but usually I found no need for doing this.  I also tried to follow pretty much the same processing approach as used with my basic 00 dough recipe (which I am willing to provide upon request), except for using a period of refrigeration and making allowances and adjustments to reflect the use of different flours.  (My experience has been that doughs made with 00 flour do not tolerate refrigeration well because of insufficient natural sugar to sustain the yeast over long fermentation times. The 00 doughs seem to do best under room temperature conditions).  Making the same recipe today, I might apply some of the tips and techniques I have learned since I last made the recipe, like adjusting water temperature to control finished dough temperature.  

If it will help, I have set forth below the recipe I used, together with my notes about the recipe and my experience with it.

Bread Flour/Pastry Flour Pizza Dough Recipe

1/4 t. instant dry yeast (SAF Red brand)
1 1/4 c. lukewarm water (around 68-72 degrees F)
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/4 c. white pastry flour (not whole grain pastry flour)
2 t. sea salt
Olive oil, for oiling the bowl and sheet

Mix the flours and the instant dry yeast in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Gradually add the water and mix the ingredients together at low speed (#2) until they come together in a rough dough mass.   Knead the dough in the stand mixer at low-medium speed (between #2 and #4) until a dough ball forms around the dough hook.  Add the sea salt and continue kneading until the salt is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, elastic and shiny.  The dough will have been sufficiently kneaded when a small piece of the dough, about the size of a walnut, can be flattened and stretched out about 3" in all directions without tearing and light can be seen through the stretched-out dough (the windowpane test), about 10-12 minutes total at low-medium speed.  Put the dough ball into a very lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, and refrigerate for several hours, and preferably for 24 hours. If the dough is to be refrigerated much longer than this time, then it may be useful to add a small amount of a sweetener to the original dough ingredients to continue to feed the yeast during the prolonged period of refrigeration.  When ready to use the dough to make pizzas, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 3 or more pieces.  Gently shape the individual pieces into round dough balls, place them on a lightly oiled sheet, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let the dough balls rise until about doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.  Finish by shaping the dough balls into pizza rounds, and add the selected toppings.  Bake each of the pizzas in turn on a pizza stone that has been preheated for 1 hour at the highest oven temperature possible (usually 500-550 degrees F for a home oven).

(Peter's Note: This recipe uses a combination of bread flour and pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour and cake flour or all-purpose flour and pastry flour.  To that extent, and like many of the other flour combinations, it is intended to be an alternative to using 00 flour.  The recipe also calls for a small amount of instant yeast, no sugar or olive oil (other than for oiling purposes), and, in addition, calls for a long period of refrigeration after kneading and before the initial rise.  In many respects, the recipe is a cross between some of the other mixed-flour recipes, including the Julia Child recipe and the Johns recipes, and the Alton Brown all bread flour recipe (with high-gluten flour).  Although not necessary, in making pizza dough in accordance with this recipe, I have used a proofing box to bring the refrigerated dough up to room temperature and through the rising.  This saves a considerable amount of time. It is also possible to use two dough risings in this recipe with a period of refrigeration (e.g., overnight) in between the two risings.  The resultant crust will be somewhat thicker and softer than with a single rising preceded by refrigeration but the flavor will be very good.  However, the recipe as specifically given above will be a bit closer to emulating a crust using 00 flour.  Whichever approach is used, because this recipe does not call for any sugar or olive oil (other than for oiling purposes), both of which normally contribute to the golden brown color of pizza crusts, the color of the pizza crusts will be lighter--almost a light tan color. Consequently, you will have to look for the melting or browning of the cheeses used, or check the bottom of the crust for light browning, to know for sure that the pizza is done. In making this recipe, I quite often omit all olive oil, even for oiling the bowl in which the dough is to rise.)

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2004, 08:24:21 PM »
Pete-zza:

Thanks for info.  I noticed that Reinhart suggested that his Italian accounts had used bread flour as well.  No oil, no sugar and standard 1 to 3 ratio between water to flour in volume seems pretty standard for Neapolitan, and you're sticking with this with the higher % of bread flour.  I was going to use 50/50 as well to get the browing.  What the heck, I'll keep the sugar out as well.

I'm worrying about the use of refrigeration though, as did you.  I need to think about this.  Your non-stop knead time at higher levels for quite some time seems like oxidation can crop up.  With the lighter flour, I should be able to go at the lowest level the whole time to simulate the hand mixing. I'm thinking that I'll stop after it comes together for a few minutes to let it hydrate.  

I know Naples pizzas are generally small, and you're making 1 1/4 C flour pizzas.  Is there a problem in making larger pizzas?  
« Last Edit: August 31, 2004, 09:44:57 PM by giotto »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2004, 10:34:33 PM »
Giotto,

The basic recipe I have used for 00 dough calls for a total of about 30 minutes of kneading, without an autolyse period (although such periods are sometimes used in Italy).  I could never quite understand why so much kneading was called for.  The only explanation I could find was that the long knead time was necessary to develop the small amount of gluten.  When I have looked at Italian 00 dough recipes at Italian websites (translated) the long knead time is there--as well as two long rise times totaling 6-8 hours.  Likewise the Johns all-purpose/pastry flour version.  In my bread flour-pastry flour blend, I assumed that a shorter knead time would work--just long enough to develop the gluten and get it to the stage where it would pass the windowpane test.  At the time I first came up with the recipe, I didn't have any idea as to what percentage hydration might be used.  This is one of those places where I relied on "feel" and made adjustments to flour and water as necessary to get the dough to the stage where it was smooth, shiny and elastic, and without tears on the outside of the ball when I stretched the sides of the dough downs into the bottom.

There is no problem in making larger pizzas, so long as the thickness is kept the same.  I was just following the classic Neapolitan style where the pizzas are more individual-size rather than family-style.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Cut a slice! It's nice !
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2004, 03:57:23 PM »
I recently tried making a Neapolitan style pizza dough following the recipe set forth in Peter Reinhart's book American Pie.  As is characteristic of an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough, no sugar or oil is added to the dough in the Reinhart recipe.   The Reinhart recipe also calls for all-purpose flour instead of the imported Italian 00 flour.  The pizza I ended up with was about half Margherita and half pepperoni.  As is typical of a Neapolitan style crust, it was quite light.   The pizza was tasty but the crust was a liitle bit more "cardboardy" than one made using only the 00 flour, or one of the "equivalent" doughs as discussed elsewhere in this thread.  My personal preference is for the 00 dough or one of the "equivalent" doughs because of their greater softness and flexibility.  

Peter







 

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