From time to time, I have thought about making a same-day, few-hours pizza dough based on the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation that has been the subject of this thread. It wasnít until I saw a post recently on the PMQ Think Tank forum, in which the poster asked Tom how to make a few-hours version of his dough formulation (see http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/30245
), that I decided to try such a version. As will be noted from the above post, Tom recommends using 2% yeast. Based on what Tom has said before in other places, the 2% refers to fresh yeast, not instant dry yeast (IDY) or active dry yeast (ADY). For instant dry yeast--which is what I have been using--one would need to use about one-third of the 2% number (or one-half for ADY).
I decided to make both a 2-hour cold fermented dough, with a 1-hour counter warm-up time (3 hours total), and a 2-hour room-temperature only fermented dough (2 hours total). I was somewhat puzzled by the cold fermented version because there is little that happens in a dough from a fermentation standpoint in two hours of refrigeration. Apparently I am not the only one puzzled by this. I recall that pizzanapoletana (Marco) commented on this phenomenon at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1055.msg9357.html#msg9357
. The best explanation I can come up with is that the two-hour cold fermentation may be solely for the benefit of pizza operators to allow them to better manage their inventory of dough balls.
I used the same dough formulation for both dough balls, and I tried as best I could to make the dough balls as identically as possible, adhering to the recommendations set forth by Tom Lehmann in the above post. (For the benefit of beginning pizza makers, I might add that I used the basic dough preparation techniques described in Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19563.html#msg19563
For test purposes, I elected to make 12Ē pizzas and to use a pizza screen to bake them. I chose to use the pizza screen because it has been very hot lately in the Dallas area and I wanted to keep the oven time to a minimum--less than one-half hour. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer for mixing and kneading purposes, but any kneading approach should work equally well. And there is no reason why a pizza stone/tiles canít be used if desired, in which case I would use the normal protocol (temperature and time) for baking the pizzas on stones/tiles.
The dough formulation I used for both doughs was as follows:
100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 7.14 oz. (202.26 g.), 1 3/4 c. plus 1 t.
63%, Water*, 4.49 oz. (127.42 g.), between 1/2 and 5/8 c.
1.75%, Salt, 0.12 oz. (3.54 g.), 5/8 t.
1%, Oil (extra-virgin olive oil), 0.07 oz. (2.02 g.), a bit less than 1/2 t.
0.7%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.05 oz. (1.42 g.), a bit less than 1/2 t.
* Temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of between 85-90 degree F
Total dough weight = 11.88 oz. (336.66 g.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.105
Note: All measurements U.S./metric standard
I had no problems whatsoever in making the two dough balls or in shaping and stretching them out to 12 inches. Both doughs about doubled in volume by the time they were to be used and both had a nice balance between elasticity and extensibility. It was very easy to toss the skins made from the dough balls. In fact, I think that the dough would make a good choice for one wishing to practice their dough stretching and tossing skills.
Both 12-inch skins were dressed similarly in a simple pepperoni style. Each was baked on the lowest oven rack position of a 450-degrees F preheated oven for about 8 minutes, following which the pizza was moved off of the pizza screen to the middle rack position, where it was baked for about another 5 minutes or so, or until the rim of the crust had turned a nice shade of brown and the cheeses were bubbling and starting to turn brown in spots. The total oven time, from beginning to end, was about one-half hour.
The photos below show the finished pizzas. The first set of photos is for the 3-hour dough; the second set of photos (regrettably under different lighting conditions) is for the 2-hour dough. I thought both turned out quite well but not as well as the typical Lehmann NY style pizzas I make using one or more days of cold fermentation. The crusts had a nice brown color, top and bottom, and were chewy and fairly soft with a breadlike crumb. For my palate, there was not a great deal of crust flavor, although the KASL itself, with its high protein content, contributed some flavor. However, the crusts and pizzas were tasty enough to be able to recommend them to someone who is interested or needs to make a pizza in only a few hours time. As between the 3-hour (cold ferment plus 1 hour warm-up) and the 2-hour version, I would perhaps go with the 2-hour version since I did not detect a big enough difference to warrant the 3-hour version. I might add that the Lehmann post referenced above also talks about a 4-hour cold ferment version using 3 hours of cold fermentation and a 1-hour counter warm-up time. I didnít try this version but I suspect it will be a bit better than the 3-hour version.
For those who are interested in learning more about short-term doughs, the following items may be of interest: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/8503
. Note, however, that the latter article includes an error. The 7% IDY figure (in the 3d paragraph) should be 0.7%. I did not increase the oil content as suggested in the latter article, but that is something I plan to try in a future effort.
EDIT (10/24/14): For the Wayback Machine version of the Tom Lehmann PMQ Q&A on emergency dough, see http://web.archive.org/web/20110109052638/http://www.pmq.com/mag/200708/lehmann.php
; for the Wayback Machine versions of the other inoperative PMQ links, see http://web.archive.org/web/20050115040043/http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/8503