Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 543487 times)

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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #150 on: April 08, 2005, 09:47:32 PM »
Here are my comments regarding the pies. Normally I shoot for a 2 hour counter rise once the dough is pulled from the fridge. However, due to unavoidable circumstances the dough was subjected to a 4 hour counter rise after about 24 hours or more in the fridge. First, the crust tasted exactly like Patsy's in East Harlem. Specifically, the crust was a little softer and sort of stuck to our teeth momentarily before it melted. A great texture and one which is a dead ringer for a Patsy's crust. In fact, it tasted more like a Patsy's crust than my normal recipe which has much better spring but is much crunchier.

The dough handled well but not great. Certainly not as good as my normal dough. But again, the 4 hour counter rise probably diluted the quality a little bit. In terms of stretching, it was stable but not heroic. I started to get thin spots here and there. All in all, not a bad dough but probably bad execution on my part.

All the pictures I took while in NY show no spring to speak of at all. That was how these pies looked. Chewier rather than crispier crust. The surprise of the night were the return of the dreaded blister holes. Not exactly sure why or where they came from. I surmise it was because I took a little longer to prepare the pies which resulted in a longer preheat which means a hotter than normal grill.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 09:53:55 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #151 on: May 04, 2005, 12:03:43 AM »
I am pleased to report that tonight I achieved what I consider to be a significant step forward in the evolution of the Lehmann NY style dough and pizza. I made a high quality autolyse-based Lehmann NY style dough using only a natural preferment (no commercial yeast). I had been thinking for some time how to do this, and I had been leaning toward using a small amount of preferment, as I had been doing with success in the Caputo 00 dough experiments. But it wasn't until I read a recent post of fellow member Bakerboy, a baker by profession, in which he stated that a lot of preferment would be necessary to achieve satisfactory fermentation in a retarded dough. Thankfully, he said how much--15% to 20% by weight of flour. Armed with that important piece of information (for which I am very grateful to Bakerboy), I decided to see if I could make a retarded Lehmann NY style dough using only a natural preferment. While I was at it, I decided to use an autolyse, and for the autolyse, I chose to use the Prof. Calvel approach as was recently explained to the membership by our good friend DINKS.

To make the dough, I used the basic recipe for a 16-inch skin posted at Reply #85 at this thread, and modified it to use 20% preferment by weight of flour. For the preferment, I used the natural Caputo 00 preferment I originally developed for use with the Caputo 00 flour but which I have been gradually converting to an all-purpose preferment by feeding it with an unbleached, nonbromated all-purpose flour. The final recipe (with baker's percents) was as follows:

100%, Flour, King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour, 11.76 oz. (2 1/2 c. plus 2 T.)
63%, Water, 7.16 oz. (7/8 c.) (temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temp. of 80 degrees F)
1.75%, Salt, 0.20 oz. (1 t.)
1%, Olive oil, 0.11 oz. (a bit less than 3/4 t.)
20%, Natural Preferment, 2.27 oz. (a bit more than 5 T.)
Total dough weight: 21.11 oz.
TF = 0.105

The dough was processed in a KitchenAid stand mixer using the techniques as previously described at this thread for such a machine. However, as indicated above, this time I interjected the Calvel autolyse into the process. Although the Calvel autolyse has been described before at other threads (and most recently at the DiFara reverse engineering thread), the Calvel autolyse approach entails combining one-third of the flour (3.92 oz.), one-third of the water (2.39 oz.) and the natural preferment, following which the dough is subjected to an autolyse rest period of 30 minutes. Then the rest of the flour and the rest of the water are added to the dough and thoroughly combined, and the process is completed by adding the olive oil and kneading that into the dough (about 2 minutes) and finally the salt. The dough is then kneaded, for about 6-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and without any tears on the outer surface, and the dough is sticky and not wet. At this point, the dough is subjected to another rest period of about 15 minutes.

As I worked through the above process, I used a spatula to facilitate the combining and mixing of the dough by directing the flour into the path of the dough hook and dislodging the dough when it tended to ride high on the dough hook. Since the preferment was like a pancake batter, I found it necessary to make slight adjustments to the flour (reflected in the above recipe) but I tried as much as possible to keep the dough on the sticky side. The finished dough was extremely soft and smooth, and it was clearly evident that the autolyse was largely responsible. The finished dough temperature was around 79 degrees F. The dough was very lightly coated with olive oil, flattened and placed into a plastic storage bag, and put into the refrigerator. It stayed there for about 45 hours.

At the end of the 45-hour retardation period, the dough was brought out to room temperature, placed on a work surface, coated lightly with a small amount of bench flour, and covered with a sheet of plastic wrap. When the dough temperature reached about 63 degrees F, in about two hours, it was shaped into a 16-inch skin. I had no difficulty whatsoever in shaping and stretching the dough. It was a bit more extensible than the most recent doughs I have made, but it showed no signs of tearing or developing weak or thin spots. I placed the skin on a 16-inch pizza screen and dressed the skin in a simple manner with 6-in-1 tomatoes, some LaRegina DOP San Marzano tomatoes, dried oregano, processed mozzarella cheese, some fresh mozzarella cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. The pizza was baked at about 500-550 degrees F on the uppermost oven rack for about 6 minutes, following which it was transferred to a pizza stone (preheated for about an hour at the above temperature) at the lowest oven rack position for a final two minutes or so to achieve additional bottom crust browning.

I thought the finished pizza was exceptionally good, one of the best Lehmann pizzas I have made. The crust was chewy, tender, and crispy at the same time, with an exceptional amount of airiness, both in the rim and the rest of the crust. As readers of this thread may recall, I have used autolyse before for a Lehmann style dough and felt that it created a bread-like crumb, which I did not particularly want, but this time it was quite enjoyable. The crust also had a nice flavor. It wasn't as intense as with the crusts I have made using room temperature fermented dough, but it was clearly more flavorful than the usual Lehmann crust. I suspect that the next step in the evolution of the Lehmann dough may involve a room temperature fermented dough using only a natural preferment.

The photos of today's pizza are shown below.

Peter


« Last Edit: June 06, 2005, 10:14:18 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline pyegal

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #152 on: May 04, 2005, 06:02:01 PM »
I can't believe I read this entire thread! But it has some really good information in it! Maybe this is the type of pizza crust I'm looking for?

Now that I copied 5 variations on this theme, I'm going to gradually work my way through them and see which ones suit me the best.

Should I post my results on this thread?

Many thanks,

pyegal

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #153 on: May 04, 2005, 06:43:42 PM »
By all means, please post.

Offline pyegal

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #154 on: May 05, 2005, 09:06:36 PM »
The first version of Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza that I tried was the hand kneaded as described in Reply #68 by friend Pete-zza. This dough was mixed by hand with a wooden spoon, kneaded by hand, and had a 24 hour ferment in the fridge. It had about 3 1/2 hours in a warm (85 degree) oven to come up to temp and to rise. The dough looked very light and handled very well. The only change that I made was to add 2 t. of vital wheat gluten in with the dry ingredients because I was using King Arthur bread flour and not a high gluten flour.

It stretched very well for me and I was able to stretch it out to a little more than the 12" indicated. I found some semolina flour in the freezer and used it on my peel instead of flour. I decided to move up the oven rack one notch, which was a mistake. I should have left the rack on the lowest level. The pizza cooked completely in 6 1/2 minutes and I added some Locatelli cheese after it came out of the oven.

This was a good tasting dough, uncooked sauce, pepperoni (Sara Lee brand) and Sargento part skim mozzarella - on sale buy 1, get one free! I would have liked the crust to be browner and crisper, but I was hungry and didn't preheat the oven for a full hour, only about 20 minutes to 500 degrees.

Given my mistakes and being in a hurry to eat the thing - I'd say this pizza was pretty good, all things considered. I learned to keep the rack low, preheat the oven longer, and now I'm not as afraid of stetching out the dough to a larger pizza.

<img src="http://pic5.picturetrail.com/VOL93/969683/3470095/95568545.jpg">

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #155 on: May 05, 2005, 11:32:47 PM »
Teresa,

Sometimes the Lehmann NY style dough can be a bit tricky. The biggest problem I have experienced with it is that it can be very extensible (stretchy, with little springback). It doesn't affect the finished product, but you have to be careful in stretching it so that it doesn't get out of control and lead to thin spots or even tears if you are not careful--and especially so as the size (diameter) of the skin increases. I believe one of the reasons for the high extensibility is the high hydration level that I prefer--around 63% (the ratio of the weight of water relative to the weight of flour). High hydration levels speed up the fermentation process, but I like the high hydration levels because I believe they contribute to a crust that is open and airy with a lot of holes. You could reduce the extensibilty by lowering the hydration level but another way to do it is to use cooler water and be sure to refrigerate the dough as soon as possible and keep it as cool as possible and don't let it go beyond 48 hours. Based on what we have learned from the Raquel recipe, it's even quite possible that the use of some form of autolyse may also improve the Lehmann dough, even though it may also change its character to the point where some may feel that it is no longer a NY style dough.

Peter

Offline friz78

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #156 on: May 08, 2005, 12:52:25 AM »
Peter,
I made a Lehman dough this weekend and used an autolyse with it for the first time.  I was a bit disappointed, as I found the crust to be more bread like, similar to what you reported in your first autolyse attempt with a Lehman dough some time ago.  I also found that the dough had too much spring and just generally got out of control while baking.  I used a high hydration percentage and I'm wondering if the combination of a high hydration with an autolyse is not a good one.
Friz

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #157 on: May 08, 2005, 11:46:43 AM »
Friz,

For the last Lehmann NY style dough, I was more interested in trying to use the preferment to get better flavor in the crust. However, I decided to add the autolyse to see if that would contribute to a better overall result, particularly in light of the effectiveness of autolyse in other style doughs such as the doughs made following the Raquel recipe. I chose to use a form of autolyse that is the classical one (brought to my attention by fellow member DINKS), in which the salt (and oil) are withheld until the end of the dough formation process rather than adding them earlier. Traditionally, it is also common to add the yeast later too, but it apparently is appropriate to add the yeast earlier if is used in small amounts or the yeast is in the form of a preferment (which was the yeast form I used). It may well be that some other form of autolyse will produce a somewhat different result, but I haven't tested that possibility enough to know for sure. I am reasonably certain that the autolyse I previously used in making the Lehmann NY style dough was different than the more recent one. I liked the most recent Lehmann dough and crust a lot, but it may have been as much because of the better crust flavor than the other characteristics of the crust. Maybe in a future experiment I will leave the autolyse out altogether and use only the preferment and then compare the two results.

Which form of autolyse did you use, and can you tell us the specifics of it? It may have been different enough to be able to explain your results compared with those I have achieved both in my earlier and more recent efforts.

I see in the A16 thread that your wife has become enamored of the Caputo 00 crust and pizza and is counselling you to refrain from ever making the Lehmann dough again. I am not advocating that you file for divorce or pack up your pizza gear and leave the house immediately, because, as you know, I too am very fond of the Caputo 00 pies. Maybe you can tell her that the two styles are capable of peaceful coexistence, and that when you get bored with one (which will inevitably happen) you can always seek pleasure and refuge in the other. I would also prefer that you not become a closet Lehmann dough maker--waiting until she leaves the house--in order to keep peace in the family. But, whatever happens, I will swallow my pride and still work with you to make even better Caputo pies.

Peter

Offline pyegal

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #158 on: May 12, 2005, 07:57:21 PM »
Tonight I tried the Lehmann-style pizza dough using a starter, a pinch of yeast and room temp fermentation described earlier in this thread.

The only change I made to the dough recipe and mixing was to add 2 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten as I was using KA Bread Flour, and I did not seem to need the last 5 t. flour as listed in the recipe. I mixed the dough exactly as described by friend Pete-zza, checked the dough temp as almost up to 80 degrees, and let the dough rise in an oiled zip bag inflated with a straw. I observed that during the first rise of 8 hours, the dough ball spread out more than arose upwards. During the second rise of just over 3 hours, the dough rose more in height than during the first rise. I did not punch down the dough between rises, just reformed the dough into a ball.

Sorry I don't have any pics, batteries dead again. This dough was really nice to work with as I made two 10" pies instead of one larger one. I really liked the texture of my crust this time: a crisp snap to the bottom crust without it being cracker-like (which I don't care for) and a nice chewy edge. As yet I don't get big voids on my crust edge, but maybe that's because I don't make the crust very thick. At any rate, I really liked the flavor and texture of this crust tonight!

I found some concentrated crushed tomatoes and used them for the sauce doctored up with some Penzy's pizza seasoning and a little bit of sugar. These concentrated crushed tomatoes were thick enough not to need any tomato paste added.

The only thing about this recipe that I don't like is the 8-12 hour first rise and the 6-hour second rise. Just doesn't fit my schedule except maybe on the weekend. But I do like the long rise in the plastic zip bag at room temp - you can see what's happening!

I wonder what would happen if I just let it rise all day at work for over 8 hours, then formed two small pizzas and baked them when I got home? Might just have to try that. This one is worth making again!


Offline friz78

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #159 on: May 12, 2005, 09:01:19 PM »
pyegal,
Congratulations on your success and satisfaction with the Lehman style pizza with room temperature rise.  I can't wait until you get some batteries for that camera!!  It's always fun to visually see a person's results.  In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Friz

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #160 on: May 12, 2005, 11:29:35 PM »
Teresa,

You should by all means experiment with using a shorter fermentation time. When I first used the recipe you followed (and discussed at Reply #134 at this thread), I concluded that the 12 and 8 hour time periods were too long. It's a tricky thing to be able to determine the optimum time periods because high-hydration, low-yeast doughs fermented at room temperature tend to be on the wet side and they behave differently from other doughs by spreading rather than rising in a robust fashion. If I were to try the recipe again today I would most likely omit the IDY, use more preferment, and a shorter overall fermentation period. It may require a couple of test runs to determine how much preferment to use to achieve good results in a reasonable time period, say, 8 hours total. When I last made the Lehmann dough using only the preferment (see Reply #153), I used about 5 T. of the preferment. For a room temperature version, I suspect I would need an amount in inverse proportion to the length of time that I would like to use for fermentation purposes. That is, the shorter the desired fermentation period, the less preferment I would use, and visa versa.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 11:36:33 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #161 on: May 17, 2005, 11:13:45 PM »
Tonight, I made a modified version of the Lehmann NY style dough and pizza that I earlier described at Reply #151. The Lehmann dough version I posted at that time was based on using a natural preferment, an autolyse, and a period of refrigeration of over 40 hours. In tonight's version, I left out the autolyse and used a room temperature (around 75 degrees F) fermentation of around 9 hours. Today's experiment was for the purpose of trying to determine the parameters of a Lehmann room temperature dough using a natural preferment and, in particular, to see if an acceptable dough and pizza can be made during the course of a day--for example, starting the dough in the morning, letting it ferment at room temperature during the day, and baking the pizza in the evening after about 8 hours total elapsed time.

The biggest decision I had to make was how much preferment to use for a fermentation period that would extend out to about 8 hours at a room temperature of around 75 degrees F. Since I had no idea beyond a hunch, I chose to use the same amount of preferment as I had used in making the previous pizza dough as described at Reply #151. That was around 5 tablespoons. I prepared the dough in the usual manner (combining salt with water, gradually adding and mixing in the flour and the preferment, then the olive oil, and kneading everything at stir/1 speed for about 8 minutes.) The dough was put into a large, inflated plastic storage bag and placed on my kitchen countertop. Over the next 3 or 4 hours, the dough had spread out laterally into a large, soft, round disk. I reshaped it at that time into a new ball and returned it to the storage bag for about another 5 hours. Originally, I had intended an overall fermentation period of no more than 8 hours, but interruptions extended that time period to about 9 hours. At the end of the 9-hour period, the dough had expanded upwardly more so than laterally and was extremely soft--so soft, in fact, that I had to just about "pour" the dough out of the storage bag. Next time, I will use a regular bowl. The dough needed a fair amount of bench flour but it handled very easily--if anything, it was too extensible, leading me to believe that the dough may have overfermented a bit. I could lift the dough and stretch it, but I had to be careful so that the dough wouldn't get away from me.

After shaping and stretching the dough out to 16 inches, I placed it on a 16-inch pizza screen and dressed it in a simple tomato and cheese fashion (mainly 6-in-1s, shredded mozzarella cheese, dried oregano, a swirl of olive oil and a bit of Sicilian sea salt). The pizza was baked on the screen until the crust started to turn brown (about 5 minutes), following which I transferred the pizza to a pizza stone on the lowest oven position that had been preheated for about an hour at an oven temperature of around 500-550 degrees F.  The pizza remained on the pizza stone for about 2 minutes, and then was transferred to the upper oven rack to be exposed to about another minute of top browning from the broiler element, which had been turned on about 3 minutes into the baking process.

One of the things I was looking for as the pizza was baking was how much crust browning would take place, inasmuch as I had some suspicions (because of the high extensibility of the dough as mentioned above) that the dough may have overfermented a bit.  As the photos below show, there was less browning than usual, effectively telling me that 9 hours was too long a fermentation period and/or I had used too much preferment. I think it is important to keep in mind that a preferment behaves in much the same manner as a commercial yeast and that using too much of it can produce similar results to using too much of a commercial yeast. The temperature at which the dough ferments will also determine how far out the dough can go before overfermenting. Unfortunately, to balance all these factors requires experimentation.

The finished pizza itself tasted fine. It was soft and chewy and tender with a light, open and airy crumb and with a fair amount of crust flavor. The crust flavor was not as intensive as the previous pizza that was based on a dough that had undergone over 40 hours of refrigeration/retardation, but it was better than a crust based on a dough using commercial yeast. Today's experiment confirms for me that to get flavorful byproducts of fermentation requires time more than anything else. In other words, you can't simply use a lot of preferment and get the same effects of using the same amount in a long retardation. During retardation, the lactobacilli and other flavor-enhancing components in the dough continue to work even though the yeast metabolism is slowed down somewhat.

What today's experiment did teach me, however, is that it is possible to make a same-day Lehmann NY style dough using a preferment without exceeding a total fermentation period of over 8 hours. And it will handle and shape well with very little elasticity (snapback) that is often experienced using a same-day dough based on a high-gluten flour. Were I to repeat today's experiment, I would use either a combination of the same amount of preferment (5 tablespoons) and a shorter fermentation period (say, 5 or 6 hours), or a reduced amount of preferment (say, 2 tablespoons) and the same total fermentation period (8 hours). I think either approach should work reasonably well, but as with any room-temperature dough using a preferment where it is difficult from just looking and poking at the dough to know when it is ready to be shaped, some additional tweaking may be necessary to establish the final parameters that will guarantee consistent, reproducible results. Once these parameters are established, then the process can be replicated with much greater confidence.

The photos below show the finished product.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 21, 2005, 01:44:53 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #162 on: May 20, 2005, 04:40:03 PM »
With all the experimenting and discussions going on at this forum about natural preferments and other starters, including in the context of the Lehmann NY style doughs, one of the subjects on which nothing has been said is the keeping, or "lasting", qualities of pizza crusts made from doughs using preferments. This should hardly come as a surprise to anyone since most pizzas are intended to be completely consumed immediately after coming out of the oven and, consequently, "keeping qualities" becomes somewhat of an oxymoron in the context of a pizza crust. But, as we all know, we are sometimes left with a few slices here and there that we put aside to be reheated (or not) and eaten at a later date. The crusts of many of these slices start to degrade within a short time after coming out of the oven, but some actually get worse while awaiting a second chance for immortality.

One of the things that is not generally well understood or appreciated is that natural preferments, because of the large amounts of acids generated when they are used to leaven doughs, increase the keeping qualities of dough-based products like breads and pizza crusts. That is one of the reasons--maybe even the main reason--that naturally leavened artisan breads have a lot longer shelf life than ordinary breads (some rustic German sourdough breads can last for weeks). You may have even noticed that artisan breads are among the few breads that can be safely shipped to someone without fear of spoilage or drying out. But the same chemistry and biology applies to doughs used in the making of pizza crusts. Recently, I have been reheating and eating many of the leftover slices I have been saving from all the naturally leavened Lehmann crusts I have been making in recent weeks--the ones with the nice airy crumbs and rims and chewy texture. What I have been noticing is that the crusts are just as good as the originals. The crusts inside--inside the rims but also in the middle--are still soft and tender, sometimes even a bit flaky. The crusts even stretch and hang on for dear life when you try to tear them apart. And the flavors of fermentation remain intact.

To be sure, there are other ingredients commonly used in doughs that improve the keeping qualities of finished bread products. These include fats (often in the form of oils), sugar (dry or liquid forms), milk products and, if you want to get a bit more esoteric, even lecithin, a soy-based product that is sometimes used in doughs as a fat substitute. Of these, only oil is used in the Lehmann NY style dough recipe, but in an amount too small (1%) to make a dent in the keeping qualities of the crust. You need to get above 5-6% to get that effect. So, I think it is safe to say that what I have been experiencing in the improved keeping qualities of the recent Lehmann crusts is attributable to use of the preferments and little else. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that everyone start using natural preferments just to get a better quality leftover slice. For me, it's just another side benefit that tags along with the enhanced flavor profile that comes from using preferments.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 21, 2005, 09:06:06 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #163 on: May 21, 2005, 07:25:34 AM »
Pete-zza,
I heartily agree with your assessment regarding preferment enhanced crusts. However, it has been my experience that nothing can save a crust from toppings such as peppers and mushrooms with high water content.

While on the topic of preferment enhanced doughs, based on all your experiments to date, what is your best guess as to the approximate optimum time for a cold fermention when trying to maximize flavor and dough/crust performance (stretching, robustness, charring, etc)? One, two, three, four, five days...?

The background to my question has to do with my experience which indicates a cold rise of two days is better than one but three is not always better than two. Of course, we are both using different preferments, equipment, coolers, techniques and recipes so I would expect the results may be different. However, two days seems to be the repeatable optimum time zone for me.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2005, 07:56:53 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #164 on: May 21, 2005, 10:24:48 AM »
pft,

I agree that using toppings like green peppers and mushrooms can pose problems for a crust, but my experience with the Lehmann NY crust is that it holds up quite well to multiple toppings. In fact, last New Years Eve I made a Lehmann pizza (which I dubbed the "Kitchen Sink") that had pepperoni, sausage, diced green peppers, mushrooms, onions, fresh and processed mozzarella cheeses, provolone cheese, Asiago cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 6-in-1, San Marzano, and fresh tomatoes, and the crust held up surprisingly well. I could be wrong, but I would think that a crust made from a naturally leavened Lehmann dough would be even better and still bear up under the weight of the many toppings. Remember, too, that the doughs you have been experimenting with, for example, the Patsy's, Raquel and Sophia doughs, are quite a bit thinner than the Lehmann NY style doughs.

As for your question about the ideal or optimum cold rise for a naturally leavened dough, I would say about 2 days also--at least with respect to the Lehmann NY style dough. One of the best such doughs I made, and reported on at Reply #153 at this thread, utilized a cold rise of around 45 hours. I am reasonably confident that with good kneading techniques the useful life can be extended even further, as Varasano has proven, but everything has to be done just right. You can't just assume that any dough can reach 4 or more days. Even if you can get out several days, you might not like the more intense flavors.  Also, you can run into crust browning problems in a conventional home oven as the acids build up in the dough and the sugars (natural and added) are gradually depleted. I suspect hat this is somewhat less of a problem with your high-temperature grill.

I'm glad you didn't ask me the ideal or optimum room-temperature rise for a naturally leavened dough ;). That's a much tougher question--one I am still trying to get my mind and arms around.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #165 on: May 22, 2005, 09:14:22 PM »
One of the things I have been trying to accomplish lately is to devise a recipe and technique for making a same-day Lehmann dough that would 1) use a natural preferment, 2) be fermented at room temperature, 3) use a high hydration level (to achieve an open and airy crust), 4) be easy to handle and shape, and 5) yield a crust flavor equal to or better than a Lehmann crust made from a 24-hour retarded dough (at a minimum). To set the bar even higher, I decided that I also wanted anyone practicing the recipe to be able to start the dough in the morning--for example, before leaving for work--and to shape, dress and bake the pizza that evening about 9-10 hours later, without anyone having to touch the dough at all during the entire fermentation/rise time. As a further timesaving measure, I also decided that I didn’t want to use any autolyse or similar rest periods, no matter how brief. And I didn’t want anyone, including me, to have to get up at 3:00 AM to feed the preferment so that it would be ready to go at dough making time a few hours later. An important aspect of what I wanted to achieve was that the preferment would have to be readied starting the night before.

To achieve the above goals, I decided to use my basic preferment to naturally leaven the final dough as usual, but instead of using it in its normal liquid, batter-like state, I would convert it to a much thicker consistency--much like a thick, soft, wet dough--and let it ferment and ripen overnight before incorporating it the following morning, along with all of the other ingredients, into the basic Lehmann dough formulation. The thickened preferment would be similar to what is often referred to a chef or a pate fermentee (“old dough”) but, unlike a chef or pate fermentee, it would be “new” dough rather than “old” dough and it would contain no salt. For purposes of this post, I will simply refer to it as a “dough preferment” for lack of a better term.

To prepare the dough preferment, the evening before I planned to make the Lehmann dough I took 1/2 cup of my natural batter-like preferment, which I had refreshed earlier in the day with flour and warm water (a process that took about 3 hours after taking it out of the refrigerator), and combined it with the following: 3 ounces of flour (1/4 c. plus 7 t.) and 2 1/2 ounces of warm water (1/4 c., at 85-90 degrees F). After thoroughly mixing these ingredients together in a bowl to achieve a somewhat thick, dough-like consistency, I lightly covered the bowl (I used a loose fitting lid but a towel can also be used) and set it on my countertop to allow the dough preferment to ferment and ripen overnight so that it would be ready to use by morning.

By the next morning, about 10 hours later, the dough preferment had almost tripled in volume—a clear indication that, at least at the outset, my basic preferment had sufficient leavening power. One of my concerns at this point was that the dough preferment may have overrisen and weakened during the night because of the 10 hour rise (at about 75 degrees F) and its substantial volume expansion. However, I speculated that, even if such were the case, the byproducts of fermentation that contribute to crust flavor would still be there and, once I incorporated the dough preferment into the basic Lehmann dough recipe, as weak as it might be, the resulting dough would ferment and rise at a good slow pace throughout the day and be ready to be used 9-10 hours thereafter without fear of overfermentation. Whether my analysis was correct or not, the dough seemed to concur with my analysis--at least judging from the outcome as described below.

For the Lehmann dough recipe, I decided to use the same basic recipe (for a 16-inch skin) as set forth originally in Reply #151 (and indirectly in Reply #161) but modified in a few respects to account for the substitution of the dough preferment for the basic liquid preferment called for in the recipe. I decided to use the dough preferment in an amount equal to 20% by weight of flour--a figure I borrowed from fellow member Bakerboy’s work with pate fermentee. For my dough preferment, this came to about 3 1/2 tablespoons (about 2.32 ounces.). (I chose to discard whatever dough preferment I would not need for the recipe, although it could have been used to make more dough or for other sourdough baking purposes.)

To spare readers having to go back to look for the basic recipe, the recipe as I modified it for this experiment was as follows:

100%, KASL high-gluten flour, 11.60 oz. (2 1/2 c. plus 3 T. plus 1 t.)
63%, Water, 7.00 oz. (7/8 c., temp. adjusted to get a finished dough temp. of around 80 degrees F but not adjusted for dough preferment hydration)
1.75%, Salt, 0.203 oz. (about 1 t.)
1%, Olive oil, 0.12 oz. (a bit less than 3/4 t.)
20%, Dough Preferment, 2.32 oz. (about 3 1/2 T.)
Finished dough ball weight: 21 oz. (TF = 0.105)
Finished dough temperature: 77.8 degrees F

The processing of the Lehmann dough was the same as previously described in Reply #161 except that I had to make a few minor adjustments to the amount of flour (accounted for in the above recipe) during kneading to compensate for the hydration level of the dough preferment, which was wetter than the dough itself. When the dough was fully kneaded, I shaped it into a round, smooth ball, oiled it very lightly, flattened it into a disk, placed it in a round, transparent, straight-sided, 6-inch diameter Rubbermaid container (see the first photo below), covered the container with a loose fitting lid, and set it on my kitchen countertop to ferment during the day. I intentionally chose the container I selected because of its round shape (the same shape as a pizza skin), and because its straight sides and transparency would allow me to see the dough rise and accurately measure the degree of its volume expansion (note the use in the first photo of a rubber band to mark the starting level of the dough).

For the first four hours that the container of dough sat on my countertop, there was no discernible difference in the dough, even at a room temperature of around 78 degrees F. The dough just sat there. Then, very gradually, almost imperceptibly, the dough started to expand. And by about 5 or 6 hours later, the dough had about doubled in volume, with the bulk of the rise having taken place in the final couple of hours. At that point in its destination, the dough was soft and somewhat flabby looking, giving no palpable signs that success was to be achieved. At the expiration of the 9-10 hour period, I put the dough on my work surface and dusted it with bench flour in preparation for shaping and stretching the dough into a skin. The dough was cool to the touch but not wet or sticky--as was my last effort--and it had a good, substantive feel to it. I took that to be a good sign.

Very surprisingly, despite its rather anemic appearance throughout the entire fermentation period, the dough handled exceptionally well. Like many of the Lehmann NY style doughs I have made, the dough was quite extensible but I had no difficulty whatsoever in shaping and stretching it out to the 16-inch size that I would use on my 16-inch pizza screen. I was very happy with the dough. Once the dough had been stretched to the 16-inch size and placed on the pizza screen, it was dressed in a simple pepperoni style. In a departure from the way I last baked the Lehmann pizza, this time I placed the pizza screen with the dressed pizza on it directly onto my pizza stone, which I had placed on the bottom oven rack position and preheated to a temperature of about 500-550 degrees F for about an hour. After about 5 minutes of bake time, I removed the pizza from the screen and slid it directly onto the pizza stone for an additional couple of minutes to achieve additional bottom crust browning. This was followed by an additional minute or so of baking on the upper oven rack position, just under the broiler element, which I had turned on about 3 minutes into the baking process.

The last two photos show the finished product. I am pleased to report that the pizza was one of the best Lehmann pizzas I have made, with a crust as good as any I have made in my many experiments with the Lehmann dough--whether based on retardation (refrigeration) or not. The crust was chewy yet soft and tender and with a nice pleasant flavor. For one of the few times, I even got the rim to be a normal NY street size :). But what pleases me most is that I now believe, for the first time, that it is possible to make a high quality same-day Lehmann dough and pizza without having to subject the dough itself to a period of overnight retardation. Rather, the heavy lifting is put on the back of the preferment. Of course, quality often comes at a price and, in this case, it means having to make or reconstitute a preferment and take care of it and learn its individualistic, often unpredictable, behavior pattern and put it to greatest use.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 08:59:51 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Trinity

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #166 on: May 23, 2005, 06:32:20 AM »
 :o   


 Oh, I can just about taste it from here....  Drool :)::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
It's an Earth food. They are called Swedish meatballs. It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs! I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never be explained, or which would drive you mad if you ever learned the truth.


Offline pyegal

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #167 on: May 23, 2005, 07:41:36 AM »
Pete-zza,
I was waiting, waiting, waiting to read what the final judgment was for this new experiment - and you didn't disappoint! Your explanation, as usual, was very thorough and concise. And now, I can't wait to try this version of the Lehmann's NY Style Pizza.

Do you think I can make two smaller pies from the resulting dough? I don't have a peel big enough or oven tile space sufficient for 16" pizzas.

Thanks for this latest version!

pyegal

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #168 on: May 23, 2005, 08:23:26 AM »
Pete-zza,
Interesting outcome to say the least. I believe there is much we can learn from you and your well documented experiments.

Yesterday I had the unexpected opportunity to use an 8 hour cold rise Pizza Raquel followed by a 3 hour counter rise. The crust flavor was the equal of any I have fermented in my recent memory. The crust charred quite well which was totally unexpected. Why? I don't really know. For now I am just reporting the results and tracking them with the hope that some sort of recognizable pattern or trend will present itself.

Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #169 on: May 23, 2005, 09:09:54 AM »
Teresa,

There is no reason why you can't make two pizzas out of the amount of dough from the most recent recipe. However, from my calculations, the size of each pizza would be limited to a bit over 13 inches (to stay within the thickness design parameter of the pizza). That's a bit of an oddball size so if there is a more convenient size you would like to make, let me know and if there isn't already a recipe on the thread for that size, I am certain I can adjust the most recent recipe for whatever size you prefer or your particular oven can accommodate.

My recollection is that you use a food processor. If so, there is no reason I can see offhand why you can't use a food processor to make a dough using the most recent recipe. In fact, the dough can be made even faster in the food processor than in a stand mixer. However, you have to be very careful not to overheat the dough during the kneading process. For long room-temperature rise times, you want to keep the dough as cool as possible so that the dough doesn't overferment. With summer almost upon us (it was 98 degrees F here in Texas yesterday and 78 degrees inside), it is even more important to be sure that the dough is kept as cool as possible. Since we are pretty much stuck with our room temperatures (short of spending a fortune on air conditioning to cool the kitchen), the best way to keep the dough cool is to use much cooler water when making the dough and, when using the processor, to use only the pulse feature (and a plastic kneading disc if you have one, although it isn't absolutely necessary). If you will tell me what your general room temperature is this time of year and what kind of processor you are using (e.g., brand), I think I can give you at least a rough idea of the water temperature to use.

You can also slow down the fermentation rate and reduce the risk of overfermentation by using less preferment (the "dough preferment"). It might even be possible to use an unrefreshed preferment in making the dough preferment (that is, using the preferment right out of the refrigerator to make the dough preferment), although I haven't tried this yet. The whole objective of these exercises is to slow down the rate of fermentation, especially in the summer where high room temperatures generally prevail. To the extent you can do this, you buy a little more time to make the pizzas without fear that the dough has overrisen.

Good luck.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 23, 2005, 10:57:05 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline scott r

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #170 on: May 23, 2005, 10:11:34 AM »
Peter, I recently used a starter that would probably be considered immature to try to control the problems I was having with overfermentation.  It worked perfectly, and still had tons of lift and flavor. I can see that in the summer months to come this, and some extra salt might help some people out.  For now,  I am now back to just using recipes with a tiny bit of preferment (Marco's) and this also works great for my warmer than optimal room temp.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #171 on: May 23, 2005, 11:20:16 AM »
scott,

I am glad to see that you are using your head as much as anything else in adjusting to the circumstances surrounding the making of your doughs. Especially with room-fermented doughs, you just can't slavishly follow recipes and be sure of getting consistently good results. Room fermented doughs, and particularly those that use natural preferments, give few "all clear" signals that they are ready for forming into skins. That was one of the reasons I spent a lot of time with my most recent Lehmann dough just watching its development with time--from the moment it went into the container until show time. Consistent with studies that have been performed on room-temperature, naturally-leavened doughs, I found that a doubling of the dough is just about right (the studies say 2 to 2 1/2 times). I think even a bit less than a doubling might also be OK. The advantage of looking at milestones, like a doubling of a dough, is that it takes time out of the equation. To the extent you are able to substitute milestones for times in the process of dough making, the better I think your overall results will be.

I subscribe to a conspiracy theory when it comes to preferments and room-temperature, naturally-leavened doughs--that is, they are lying awake at night (or during the day) conspiring to thwart or defeat whatever I have in mind to do with them :). It forces my mind into overdrive, and I can tell you it is a humbling experience. I am constantly in awe of what is going on beneath the skin of a dough ball.

As for your comment on salt, I have been careful not to suggest increasing salt levels to slow down the fermentation process, although this is quite common with 00 doughs especially, and more so with room fermented, naturally-leavened doughs. 00 doughs already use high salt levels (up to 2.8% in some cases), and adding more salt might produce an overly salty tasting crust. Plus there are those who are on salt-restricted diets. But you are correct on the theory.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 23, 2005, 11:36:28 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline pyegal

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #172 on: May 23, 2005, 12:52:16 PM »
Pete-zza,
I have used a food processor to make up my dough - it is a Black and Decker, has a pulse feature, and did not overheat the dough the last time I used it, the dough checked out at slightly less than 80 degrees F on my instant read thermometer. I also have a Kitchen Aid mixer that I use to mix dough, and you may recall, I made one NY-style recipe by hand w/o processor or mixer.

The temperature in my kitchen at 12:45 pm today is approximately 76-77 degrees. What are your thoughts on mixing the crust dough (not the preferment) with chilled water from the refrigerator when the summer temps warm up our kitchens?

Any thoughts on the question about making dough by hand in the summer? Would the hand kneading raise the dough temp beyond the preferred temperatures for a long room temp rise?

Thanks!

Teresa

Offline dinks

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #173 on: May 23, 2005, 01:40:20 PM »
PYEGAL:
  Good Morning. If you are using Instant yeast you should use fridge water. I use approx. 60 degree water when mixing any of my yeasted lean bread dough.
    As you know, 78 to 82 degrees is considered an optimum temp by many prof bakers when mixing is completed. However, more than that what you need to be aware of is this, If you let you dough concoction reach & exceed 90 degrees it will develop an oder, You must then discard it & begin anew. I hope i was able to provide some insight to you  young lady.
  ~DINKS.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #174 on: May 23, 2005, 02:44:01 PM »
Teresa,

I was hoping you had a Cuisinart food processor, since that would have made it easier for me to give you a better answer. But that's not a real problem. The next time you make a batch of dough in your B&D food processor, using only the pulse feature (an occasional but brief whirl at normal speed is OK if that is your practice), make note of the room temperature, the water temperature, the flour temperature, and the finished dough temperature (whatever it is). With that information, I will be able to give you a better idea of what water temperature to use this time of year. For now, I would use around 70 degrees F for the water for the food processor application to make the dough itself. I don't think there is any need to use cool water for the preferment itself.

Fellow member DINKS raises some good points. Living in the Las Vegas area, he has many of the same problems with temperature that I do. I am not sure he was referring to high finished dough temperatures in the context of a naturally-leavened dough, but such doughs don't particularly like high temperatures. Above about 90 degrees F, the lactic acids in the dough become more potent and are responsible for the odor that DINKS refers to. That's one of the reasons to be conscious of temperature and to take steps to compensate (the longer the fermentation or the higher the temperature, the more potent the sourness will be).

As for your question on hand kneading, that's OK if you plan to make only a small amount of dough. As you know, the KA Sir Lancelot flour is high in gluten. Kneading a KASL dough ball for a 16-inch pizza by hand is extremely hard to do unless you have Popeye's muscles. A dough ball for a 12-inch pizza is much more doable, but still a chore. FYI, hand kneading produces the smallest amount of heat rise in a dough. In the expression I use to calculate water temperature, I assign a friction factor value of 0 to hand kneading.

Peter



« Last Edit: May 23, 2005, 09:28:16 PM by Pete-zza »