Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 564035 times)

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Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #250 on: September 23, 2005, 01:05:03 AM »
how come none of the recipes seem to be tabulated in metric measure... isn't it more accurate?


Offline OzPizza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #251 on: September 23, 2005, 03:20:22 AM »
Actually, living in a metric environment for some time myself and recently buying digital scales, I've actually found oz to be a finer measurement for scales at least. My first scale only went to 5g or 1/4 oz, which wasn't fine enough for the oz measurements in the recipe calcs done by Pete. I ended up then buying a higher resolution .5g scale that now allows me to go down to .01 oz.
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #252 on: September 23, 2005, 09:35:07 AM »
I suppose it depends on the scale. On my scale, grams seem to be more accurate, and when a recipe recites ingredients by grams, I just slide a little switch to the grams mode.

I have recited my recipes in ounces rather than grams because most of our members appear to be located in the U.S. and are more familiar with the U.S. standard. I know that one ounce equals 28.35 grams, so when I want to switch from ounces to grams (and vice versa), that is the conversion factor I use. If basic recipes, including the Lehmann recipe, are on a spreadsheet, the spreadsheet can also be used to do the conversions. Maybe I will indicate grams in future recipes since we now have far more members abroad than when I first joined the forum when there were only around a couple hundred members. Thanks for the thought, abc.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 25, 2005, 02:04:09 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #253 on: September 25, 2005, 03:06:47 AM »
i got a Myweigh 7001dx it breaks down decimal oz. in '5's  for ex.   .05oz.

i needed .0383 oz and it won't do it...

so i guess from now on i'll convert numbers like .0383 into grams.


anyway, i tried making a 18" dough ball, and in 24 hrs in a fridge at around 45degrees F, where the dough was 80degrees F after mixing via kitchenAid Ultra, the dough had some alcohol smell... but i think i put too much saf IDY because my scale could only report .05oz, and i needed .0383 oz.  so i eyed something in bet. .0383 and .05 

after baking, the finished dough still did have some alcohol in spots... 

it will also be the last time i try my stone sitting on the oven floor...   the top of my pizza was not done, I think this is due to it being too low position in the oven... however, it will mean i cannot make 18" pies anymore because when I raise the position above the oven floor, the protrusion of my convection fan reduces my oven depth... back to smaller pies.

the other two issues w/ the first attempt dough are that i didn't get an open crumb, it was rather tight... I hand toss it and i'm very light on the pressure... i suspect i over kneaded w/ the mixer.  total time was about 13-15 min.

I used an autolyse (10min) after 2 min of combining ingredients, then adding the oil, salt, and concluding in a 10-12min final mix at speed 2 & some 3.

either i over mixed or i shouldn't go to speed3.

hydration 63%...  my first time using pcts btw, and it yielded a dough i'd previously would have added more flour into.


the second issue is, the dough was too extensible for my liking, gravity could have almost pulled it apart...  this is after 60min of rest out of the fridge.

i'd like to tighten it up.


oh, no sugar but i used 2tsp of malt.  could have left this kind of dough for 48 + hrs right?


so the 4 things i want to address

1. alcohol overfermentation
2. more open crumb
3. less extensibility
4. hoped for more oven spring

the dough has a lot of potential, it offered the most crackle that i've experienced while using the same high gluten flour while other recipes had not.

I'll make a 16" next.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #254 on: September 25, 2005, 02:07:59 PM »
abc,

You make some good and valid points. Perhaps the following comments based on my experience will offer some guidance.

Scales. As between ounces and grams, I believe that grams are more accurate. By that, I mean I can measure grams more accurately on my scale than trying to split 0.05 ounce increments, although with experience I have managed to come pretty close. However, trying to achieve great accuracy with digital scales for small amounts of lightweight ingredients is prone to error. Unless you have an extremely accurate scale or a specialty scale (like the one mentioned below), you are unlikely to be able to accurately measure small amounts of lightweight ingredients. Tom Lehmann once told me in a Q/A exchange that “even a slight breeze on the scale can upset your scaling accuracy by a significant margin.” Also, the weights of ingredients like sugar, salt and yeast can vary, due to such factors as humidity, moisture and age (e.g., drying out).

For the above reasons, I usually use conversion data for converting between ounces (or grams) and volumes for the lightweight ingredients used in small quantities. The conversion data comes either from efforts of our members, including me, who have weighed one-cup quantities of ingredients like salt, sugar, yeast, and oil and converted them to one-teaspoon quantities, or from the information provided on the labeling for packages or bottles of such ingredients. However, even the conversions can be inaccurately used because a weight might be converted to an oddball volume measurement for which there is no standard measuring spoon in most homes, such as 1/16 teaspoon or 1/6 teaspoon. This forces us to make our best estimates.

I might add that there are specialized scales for weighing very small amounts of lightweight ingredients. One of our members, pftaylor, has a Frieling AccuBalance 401 scale that has a 250g./8 oz. capacity in 0.1 g./0.005 oz. increments. I suspect that using such a scale will produce more accurate weight measurements than the conversion data I use, but the differences are unlikely to materially alter the outcome of any dough that I will make. So, my advice is not to worry about trying for extreme accuracy for small amounts of lightweight ingredients. You can’t achieve it as a practical matter, so close is good enough. If you were a professional pizza operator making hundreds of pounds of dough daily, then you would be able to achieve greater accuracy because you would be using much larger amounts of everything and the error rate will be lower as a result.

Stand Mixers and Mixing Speeds. My KitchenAid stand mixer has ten speeds, labeled Stir, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. There are odd-numbered speeds, they just aren’t labeled. In my early days experimenting with the Lehmann dough recipe, I used speeds 2 and 3 more than I do today. I now also try to keep the total knead time down as much as possible, to around 8 minutes, so as not to overknead the dough and to rely more on biochemical gluten development. So, today, I am more likely to use the Stir, 1 and 2 speeds, and occasionally a few seconds at 3 speed at the end of the kneading process if the dough looks and feels like it might need it. Using 13-15 minutes of total knead time and speeds 2 or 3 for a good part of the total time is likely to result in an overkneaded dough, and this will show up in the form of a tight crumb in the finished crust with few, large, irregular-shaped holes, even though a high hydration level is used.

Autolyse. I have experimented on occasion using autolyse (the classic Calval autolyse) with the basic Lehmann dough recipe. However, I have not personally achieved significant advantages to suggest that I should use it all the time in the basic Lehmann basic dough. My experience has been that the crumb takes on more of a bread-like character. I might also mention that one purpose of using the autolyse is to reduce the total knead time. So using an autolyse with a long knead time somewhat defeats its purpose and is likely to contribute to a more dense, less porous crumb.

Extensibility of the Lehmann Dough. As fond as I am of the Lehmann dough, my experience with the Lehmann dough is that, in a home setting at least, it is temperature sensitive and sometimes prone to above-average extensibility (stretchiness). I have reported on this on several occasions. The Lehmann dough likes cool temperatures—in the water (just cool enough to ensure a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F) and low cooler/refrigerator temperatures (between 35-40 degrees F). It also doesn’t need any added sugar, although it can be added, at around 1-2% by weight of flour, if the dough is to go beyond 48 hours or so. You indicated, abc, that you used malt. You didn’t indicate whether the malt was diastatic or non-diastatic. The diastatic form of malt provides additional amylase enzymes to help extract more sugar from the starch in the flour. Most bread flours today are already malted at the miller’s so it is usually not necessary to add more since this can lead to a more slack dough. If the malt was the non-diastatic form, it offers no additional amylase enzyme and behaves essentially like any other sugar. Like any other sugar, if used in excess of what the yeast really needs, it can adversely affect the fermentation process and the outcome of the finished product.

My best advice for the next Lehmann pizza is not to worry about the small weights of ingredients, stick with the 63% hydration level (at least for now), cut back on the mixing speed and duration of knead, try to keep the finished dough on the cool side as much as possible, and dispense with the autolyse and malt. You can always decide at a later date to reintroduce either the autolyse or the malt or to reduce the hydration ratio. If the extensibility is still too high after these changes, you might consider using the dough a bit sooner next time, say, 16-18 hours.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 25, 2005, 02:17:11 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #255 on: September 25, 2005, 02:31:06 PM »
abc,


Autolyse. I have experimented on occasion using autolyse (the classic Calval autolyse) with the basic Lehmann dough recipe. However, I have not personally achieved significant advantages to suggest that I should use it all the time in the basic Lehmann basic dough. My experience has been that the crumb takes on more of a bread-like character. I might also mention that one purpose of using the autolyse is to reduce the total knead time. So using an autolyse with a long knead time somewhat defeats its purpose and is likely to contribute to a more dense, less porous crumb.


you're a comprehensive writer, take my hat off you... I know it takes a lot of time and I'm sure you reread and modify and grammar check and all.

i haven't finished your informative post but wanted to comment on the autolyse dictating less kneading...  i continued to run my mixer because the dough looked like it needed that much time as i gave it to get somewhat smooth and elastic... and i stopped when though it didn't look as smooth and elastic as pictures of smooth and elastic are to be, it looked like it wasn't going to get any better if i'd continue to run it for another 10min.  i was tempted to add half a tablespoon more of flour to dry it up some but chose not to.  the temp of the dough from beginning to end was from 79 to 80.5 degrees.

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #256 on: September 25, 2005, 02:54:29 PM »
Stand Mixers and Mixing Speeds. My KitchenAid stand mixer has ten speeds, labeled Stir, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. There are odd-numbered speeds, they just aren’t labeled. In my early days experimenting with the Lehmann dough recipe, I used speeds 2 and 3 more than I do today. I now also try to keep the total knead time down as much as possible, to around 8 minutes, so as not to overknead the dough and to rely more on biochemical gluten development. So, today, I am more likely to use the Stir, 1 and 2 speeds, and occasionally a few seconds at 3 speed at the end of the kneading process if the dough looks and feels like it might need it. Using 13-15 minutes of total knead time and speeds 2 or 3 for a good part of the total time is likely to result in an overkneaded dough, and this will show up in the form of a tight crumb in the finished crust with few, large, irregular-shaped holes, even though a high hydration level is used.


one thing i've been lead to believe though is you have to knead to develop the gluten for a chewy finished product that puts up a bit of fight to your biting jaw...
should i be taking the approach of almost just 'mix to combine'?

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #257 on: September 25, 2005, 03:17:38 PM »
Extensibility of the Lehmann Dough. As fond as I am of the Lehmann dough, my experience with the Lehmann dough is that, in a home setting at least, it is temperature sensitive and sometimes prone to above-average extensibility (stretchiness). I have reported on this on several occasions. The Lehmann dough likes cool temperatures—in the water (just cool enough to ensure a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F) and low cooler/refrigerator temperatures (between 35-40 degrees F). It also doesn’t need any added sugar, although it can be added, at around 1-2% by weight of flour, if the dough is to go beyond 48 hours or so. You indicated, abc, that you used malt. You didn’t indicate whether the malt was diastatic or non-diastatic. The diastatic form of malt provides additional amylase enzymes to help extract more sugar from the starch in the flour. Most bread flours today are already malted at the miller’s so it is usually not necessary to add more since this can lead to a more slack dough. If the malt was the non-diastatic form, it offers no additional amylase enzyme and behaves essentially like any other sugar. Like any other sugar, if used in excess of what the yeast really needs, it can adversely affect the fermentation process and the outcome of the finished product.
 
it's diastatic.  great catch Pete, i will leave out this malt and w/ other adjustments, see if the dough can tighten up.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #258 on: September 25, 2005, 04:05:42 PM »
abc,

I don't mind putting the time and attention into what I write on the forum if I think it will help someone avoid problem areas or it results in someone being able to make a better pizza. Once you get the dough part right, you're in good shape for the rest of your pizza making career :).

It did occur to me that you didn't use a long enough autolyse. I have written many times on this topic and if it will help I will tell you how I have used autolyse in the context of the Lehmann doughs. Basically, it is this. The Calvel autolyse approach as I have been using it entails combining one-third of the flour, one-third of the water, and the yeast (commercial or a 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 (if used) and kneading that into the dough (about 2 minutes), and finally the salt. The dough is then kneaded, for about 6-7 minutes (at the 1 setting), or until the dough achieves the desired characteristics (shiny, smooth, elastic and tacky). At this point, if the dough is to be retarded, it can be subjected to another rest period (not technically an autolyse at this point) of about 15 minutes before placing the dough in the refrigerator.

There are many possible variations of the above autolyse, many of which came into being simply because bread bakers (for whom the autolyse concept was developed by Professor Calvel) didn't want to sit around for a half hour waiting for the autolyse to be completed. So they invented all sorts of short cuts. And, for the most part, they all seem to work. I have searched the PMQ.com website and done a few Google searches and have not been able to find evidence of autolyse being used by professional pizza operators, at least not in the classical sense. It seems to be more limited to artisan bread bakers.

As far as the dough kneading is concerned, you might find the following excerpt, from Mr. Lehmann himself, to be useful:

You want to mix the dough just enough so that when you take an egg size piece of dough, and form it into a ball, then holding it in two hands, with the thumbs together (pointing away from you), and on top of the dough piece, gently pull the thumbs apart. The dough skin should not tear. If it tears, you should mix the dough a little longer. The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance. Do not stretch the dough out between the fingers to form a gluten film. This test for development is for bread and roll doughs, not pizza. Pizza dough is not fully developed at the mixer, instead, it receives most of its development through biochemical gluten development (fermentation). After the dough has been in the cooler for about 24 hours, you should be able to stretch the dough in your fingers and form a very thin, translucent gluten film.

I might add that not everyone agrees with Tom L. on the above, including several well know cookbook authors, writers and cable gurus who use the gluten film test for pizza dough.

Now that you have indicated the type of malt you used (diastatic), I can tell you that 2 teaspoons for about 18 ounces of flour (the amount I believe your 18-inch dough recipe works out to be) comes to just over 1% by weight of flour. A more typical amount is 0.1-0.2%. So your level was 5-10 times the usual recommended amount. That might not have helped your dough.

Peter



« Last Edit: September 25, 2005, 04:52:03 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #259 on: September 27, 2005, 12:29:35 PM »
I would say with this commercial caboolture mozzarella I tried last night was as good as you can get here.

Hi Oz, where can I get this caboolture mozz you talk about? Thanks!

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #260 on: September 27, 2005, 02:57:22 PM »
In my latest Lehmann NY style pizza, shown below, I tried to conduct two experiments at once. First, I decided to make an 18-inch Lehmann pizza. I have never done this before, even though it is a standard size for NY “street” pizza. It is also the largest size pizza that my oven can accommodate. In my case, I used an 18-inch pizza screen (purchased from a local restaurant equipment supply company at a cost of $4.39 plus tax) in conjunction with a pizza stone.

Second, I decided to use my Zojirushi breadmaking machine to do the kneading of the dough. I had tried this approach before with mixed results, with my major complaint being that I felt that the finished crust was too breadlike with not enough large and random sized holes (aka voids). However, I identified several possible ways of improving the use of the machine to get better results, and in my most recent effort I incorporated the changes I identified. (For background purposes, readers may want to refer to Reply # 51, page 3, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5486.html#msg5486.)

For the dough itself, I decided to use a thickness factor (TF) of 0.10. I also decided to use a higher hydration ratio than before, specifically, 63%, in order to improve the chances of getting a more open and airy crumb. The formulation I ended up with was as follows (including baker’s percents and gram equivalents):

100%, KASL high-gluten flour, 15.33 oz. (434.59 g.), (3 1/2 c. plus 2 T., both level measures)
63%, Water, 9.66 oz. (273.79 g.), (a bit less than 1 1/4 c.)
1.75%, Salt, 0.27 oz. (7.60 g.), (a bit more than 1 1/3 t.)
1%, Oil, 0.15 oz. (4.35 g.), (a bit less than 1 t.)
0.25%, IDY, 0.038 oz. (1.09 g.), (a bit more than 1/3 t.)
Thickness factor (TF) = 0.10
Finished dough ball weight = 25.45 oz. (721.42 g.)

To prepare the dough in the breadmaking machine, I put all of the ingredients into the pan in the sequence recommended by the manufacturer, specifically, the water, flour, salt, oil and yeast. As I previously reported, my machine has a preheat cycle during which the ingredients are preheated in advance of the actual kneading cycle. I had identified the preheat cycle as a potential source of excess heat in the dough, so to keep the ingredients as cool as possible, I used ice cold water. About half of the ice cold water was put in at the beginning of the preheat cycle and the remainder was put in at the end, just as the knead cycle started. I had determined from my room temperature, flour temperature, and my machine’s friction factor (around 40 degrees F), that the water temperature required to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 80 degrees F would be around 43 degrees F. Since this was below the temperature of my refrigerated bottled water, I had to add ice cubes to lower the water temperature to around 43 degrees (I weighed the ice cubes along with the water).

During the actual knead cycle, I decided to keep the lid of the machine open to let some of the heat from kneading escape, as was recommended not too long ago by fellow member Artale. However, I discovered that my machine will not knead if I do this. (Leaving the lid up during the preheat cycle will also prevent the machine’s internal counter from decrementing the preheat cycle.) So, I watched the dough carefully so as to identify the point where I thought it was sufficiently kneaded. I estimate that the total knead time to reach that point was around 8-9 minutes total. When I removed the dough from the pan, it had a finished dough temperature of 80.4 degrees F. So, the approach I used with the ice water worked from a temperature standpoint. After about a minute of final hand kneading and shaping, I lightly coated the finished dough ball with oil and put it into a metal tin container (covered) into the refrigerator.

The dough remained in the refrigerator for 24 hours, following which I placed it (covered with plastic wrap) on my countertop for about 2 hours. It was then shaped and stretched to 18 inches and placed on my 18-inch screen, dressed (in a standard pepperoni style), and baked. The dough handled easily, although it was quite extensible, as is characteristic of Lehmann doughs made in my home setting. The dressed pizza was baked at around 500-550 degrees F on the highest oven rack position for about 7 minutes, following which I transferred the pizza off of the screen and onto a pizza stone (a rectangular stone with smaller overall dimensions than the screen) that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at the above temperature. The pizza required about 2-3 minutes on the pizza stone to be fully baked. What surprised me most as I removed the pizza from the oven is how big a fully baked 18-inch pizza really is. It's a monster. It's also a good choice to impress your guests who are lucky enough to sample the pizza.

The pizza was very good, with an open an airy crumb, a floppy tip to the slices, and a chewy and crunchy rim--all characteristic of a NY style. There was a very slight amount of breadiness, so I believe it may be possible next time to reduce the total knead time to something closer to 6-7 minutes to overcome even that slight amount of breadiness. This appears to be consistent with what fellow member Rkos (Richard) has concluded from his own experiences using his bread machine for making pizza dough. It is possible that for some machines the steps I took to achieve the results I was looking for may not even be necessary. So, depending on the particular model involved, some experimentation may be necessary to determine whether any modification of the processes of the machine are necessary.

Peter

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #261 on: September 27, 2005, 03:00:50 PM »
And...slices

Offline OzPizza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #262 on: September 27, 2005, 08:38:56 PM »
Hi Oz, where can I get this caboolture mozz you talk about? Thanks!

James, got mine from Torino Food Suppliers in Marrickville. Being a Dairy Farmers commercial line product, which apparently is very widely used by pizzerias, it should be available at many food suppliers. You could even call Dairy Farmers and probably find out an even closer supplier to you.
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Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #263 on: September 29, 2005, 11:55:42 PM »

The dressed pizza was baked at around 500-550 degrees F on the highest oven rack position for about 7 minutes, following which I transferred the pizza off of the screen and onto a pizza stone (a rectangular stone with smaller overall dimensions than the screen) that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at the above temperature. The pizza required about 2-3 minutes on the pizza stone to be fully baked. What surprised me most as I removed the pizza from the oven is how big a fully baked 18-inch pizza really is. It's a monster. It's also a good choice to impress your guests who are lucky enough to sample the pizza.


Pete, what was the reason for placing the pizza on the highest rack position.

Why was the stone at the lowest position, and not at the middle position?


last time when i made my 18", I could only put it at the lowest position w/ the stone, or possibly at the highest position but w/out the stone...

but no other combination because my convection oven's fan at the back wall will prevent me from putting a 18" screen.

I also found my pizza having bad top browning and for some reason uneven bottom browning when all the cooking was at the bottom of the oven on the stone.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #264 on: September 30, 2005, 01:52:15 AM »
abc,

I have an electric oven with four possible oven rack positions and usually put the screen at the third oven rack position from the bottom and the stone at the bottom rack position. This time, I decided to try the top oven rack position for the screen before I shifted the pizza off of the screen onto the stone once the pizza crust had set up and the rim of the crust was starting to turn brown and the cheese was starting to bubble up and lightly brown--the two things I look for before shifting the pizza onto the stone. (My stone is rectangular and not big enough by itself to hold the entire pizza from the beginning.) I thought the top oven rack position worked reasonably well. I didn't show the bottom of the crust, but it was nicely browned--not burnt. Otherwise, I would move the stone up one position. I could use just the screen without the stone but I have found that I like the combination of the screen and stone for the NY style pizza in the larger sizes, and especially the contribution to bottom crust browning provided by the stone.

My recollection from one of your earlier posts is that you tried placing your stone on the floor of your oven. Is it a gas or electric oven, and is it possible for you to bake the 18-inch on a screen on the top oven rack position and then shift it onto the stone on the oven floor, much as I did with my stone? If that will result in the crust burning, maybe you can try baking at a lower temperature (e.g., 475 degrees F) for a longer period of time. It's also possible that your dough had too much sugar and the crust browned too quickly when you used only the stone on the floor of the oven. Often, the crust bottom will be overbaked while at the same time the top of the pizza will be underbaked. For that reason, Tom Lehmann often warns against using too much sugar in a dough to be baked on a hearth or deck surface. Using the malt may have had a similar effect. Maybe we can rule this out as a problem once you have had a chance to make the pizza again without the malt.

Peter

Offline buzz

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #265 on: September 30, 2005, 09:04:38 AM »
Last night I made a thin crust using my bread machine. I have a Toastmaster unit I bought about 8 years ago--it has a dough cycle which kneads for about 30 minutes or so (Alton Brown would love it!). I always put in room temperature or cold water because it does it heat up the ingredients.

I used the usual recipe: 1.5 cups Ceresota AP; .50 cup water; 1 tsp yeast; .75 tsp Kosher salt; .75 tsp sugar; and just a splash of oil.

The dough came out beautifully from the machine (I don't let it rise in te machine)--it was a bit sticky, so I used a little bench flour. I let it rise twice at room temperature (usually I do three rises, but I was running out of time). I rolled it out very thin and put it in the Salton pizza maker. It was excellent--very flavorful, with a nice ouitside crunch and a bit of softness inside.

I remember when I first started making deep dish, I tried using the bread machine, and the result was...like bread! But it works very well for thin crust doughs.


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #266 on: September 30, 2005, 11:42:08 AM »
Buzz,

Some time I would like you to try using high-gluten flour in your recipe, whether it is the King Arthur Sir Lancelot, All Trumps, or some other brand. You might have to refrigerate the dough or use a much longer counter rise time to allow it to ferment sufficiently to tame the gluten so that it doesn't produce an overly elastic dough, but I am fairly confindent that you would see a flavor and texture improvement over the all-purpose flour. I think it would be fun also to see how your Salton pizza maker would handle the pizza.

As readers of this thread know, more than once I have tried to create an all-purpose version of Tom Lehmann's NY style. What I was hoping to achieve is an "entry level" recipe for beginning pizza makers who have little or no equipment, other than maybe a pan to bake the pizza on, and only all-purpose flour. The dough would be a same-day, room-temperature fermented dough, it would be kneaded and shaped entirely by hand, and the pizza would be baked on the pan at normal oven temperatures (i.e., no screen or pizza stone). The pizza would be about 12-inches in diameter, to minimize shaping and stretching problems. Invariably, I would come up with a pizza that looked fine--and sometimes even beautiful--and the pizza even tasted OK but it was nowhere close to one that used high-gluten flour. It was always too soft, and with little texture, and too little bottom crust browning, chewiness and crispiness.

Maybe if I had a machine like your Presto pizza maker it would have done a better job with the baking and crisping and browning up the crust but I was trying to avoid the use of any equipment other than the pizza pan and the standard home oven. I never did post photos of the "entry level" pizzas for fear that someone might take that to mean that I thought they were truly meritorious. I did finally manage to come up with an all-purpose version that I thought was much better than my prior efforts using all-purpose flour, and was comfortable showing (see Reply # 205 at page 11 of this thread), but it required using vital wheat gluten and dairy whey powder--not the sorts of things beginning pizza makers have in their pantry. Thus far, I have not been able to fool all-purpose flour into thinking and behaving like high-gluten flour :).

Peter


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #267 on: September 30, 2005, 02:48:46 PM »
abc,

I have an electric oven with four possible oven rack positions and usually put the screen at the third oven rack position from the bottom and the stone at the bottom rack position. This time, I decided to try the top oven rack position for the screen before I shifted the pizza off of the screen onto the stone once the pizza crust had set up and the rim of the crust was starting to turn brown and the cheese was starting to bubble up and lightly brown--the two things I look for before shifting the pizza onto the stone. (My stone is rectangular and not big enough by itself to hold the entire pizza from the beginning.) I thought the top oven rack position worked reasonably well. I didn't show the bottom of the crust, but it was nicely browned--not burnt. Otherwise, I would move the stone up one position. I could use just the screen without the stone but I have found that I like the combination of the screen and stone for the NY style pizza in the larger sizes, and especially the contribution to bottom crust browning provided by the stone.
Peter

i too employ the screen and stone combo... i also remove it from the screen and leave the near finished pie directly on the stone when the crust has set, to finish.  I don't use a peel because I don't want my oven floor to get so dirty all the time w/ cornmeal, flour, semolina, so I use a screen, but I cannot do w/o a stone.  I guess i was wondering if you put it all the way up there to utilize a difference in heat at the top level of the oven.

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #268 on: September 30, 2005, 03:05:10 PM »
My recollection from one of your earlier posts is that you tried placing your stone on the floor of your oven. Is it a gas or electric oven, and is it possible for you to bake the 18-inch on a screen on the top oven rack position and then shift it onto the stone on the oven floor, much as I did with my stone? If that will result in the crust burning, maybe you can try baking at a lower temperature (e.g., 475 degrees F) for a longer period of time. It's also possible that your dough had too much sugar and the crust browned too quickly when you used only the stone on the floor of the oven. Often, the crust bottom will be overbaked while at the same time the top of the pizza will be underbaked. For that reason, Tom Lehmann often warns against using too much sugar in a dough to be baked on a hearth or deck surface. Using the malt may have had a similar effect. Maybe we can rule this out as a problem once you have had a chance to make the pizza again without the malt.

Peter

it was a new, 16" stone to replace a 12" or I had forever...  it was my first use.... i heated it at around 550 for 1/5hrs.  I put it on the oven floor because if I put it at the middle height position, then my 18" pizza+ screen were not going to fit in my oven... only at the bottom 2inches, and possibly the top 2inches can I get away with a screen... I may test that out as I love 18" pizzas...

that first 18" i made w/ the new stone on the oven floor was weird... i dont think it was a sugar issue... about half the pizza actually burned black, the other, was rather pale... and the whole rim was pale....  maybe all the sugar got concentrated? heh...  so I thought there was something i didnt like as far as the heat from the oven floor... it's a gas oven... flames on bottom, broiler at the top.

I've since made a 16" actually... didn't write about it... my tasters enjoyed it... had a crackle and inside was moist...  63% hydration, no malt, and the dough gave me the resistance i didn't have w/ the 18" but which i was looking for...  i was happy with that.  but i wasn't sure if it was due to no malt or a drier dough because

when making the dough, it was a lot drier for some reason than when i made the 18"... i had to add at least a tablespoon more of water for it to come together..and it was a humid day... i could tell the finished product was a bit drier than in the past nonlehman doughs, and while my 18" w/ 63% hydration was a lot wetter than my past, nonlehman doughs.... i was using gram measurements for my 16"... maybe something got mismeasured.  final dough weigh i think was 560g.  I think I'm going back to an 18" and motivated by your recent 18".... with both g & oz measurements I noticed...

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #269 on: September 30, 2005, 03:29:43 PM »
abc,

I don't have an infrared thermometer to be able to tell if there is a material difference between baking on the top oven rack position as opposed to one of the lower positions. However, I would think that the top of the pizza gets more heat the higher up in the oven (due to the air heated by convection and the heat radiated from the top and side walls of the oven) and that as you move in the direction of the stone (at the lowest rack position) you get more heat from the stone (by radiation and convection), and from the screen as well (by conduction). Rather than trying to figure out my oven's thermodynamics, I just play around with positioning until I figure out what works best in my case. Even then, there can be differences based on the size of the pizza and the number and quantities and types of toppings. I will also often use my broiler element if it looks like the bottom of the crust is baking faster than the top and the top crust is not dark enough or the cheeses are not melting fast enough.

Peter

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #270 on: October 02, 2005, 04:41:21 PM »

My best advice for the next Lehmann pizza is not to worry about the small weights of ingredients, stick with the 63% hydration level (at least for now), cut back on the mixing speed and duration of knead, try to keep the finished dough on the cool side as much as possible, and dispense with the autolyse and malt. You can always decide at a later date to reintroduce either the autolyse or the malt or to reduce the hydration ratio. If the extensibility is still too high after these changes, you might consider using the dough a bit sooner next time, say, 16-18 hours.

Peter


if i bump the salt pct from 1% to 2%, wouldn't this possibly aid to arriving at a dough that is less relaxed and gives some fight - less extensible?

I recently whipped up a batch of dough for a 18" pie... i put it in the fridge for use the next evening... I could tell in the 44degree fridge with the dough encased in a air blown sealed bag, the dough... which barely rose (I wasn't looking for it to rise, I put <1/3 tsp. of IDY) was too relaxed when I looked at it from the 12-18 hr interval because it wouldn't hold its ball shape too well, it oozed out a bit too easily...  when i prepared the dough I was hesitant to let it let it warm to room temp. for fear it would become even more extensible... it did.  I had stretched it to about 14" and let it rest, figuring I'd let it get puffy and airy.  when i transferred it to the 18" screen about 1hr later after i was able prepare my toppings, i could barely carry it off my prep tray and onto my 18" screen... and did the rest of my stretching by pulling it to 18" while it was on the screen.  Is the Lehman 18" supposed to be this relaxed?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2005, 05:20:54 PM by abc »

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #271 on: October 02, 2005, 06:20:43 PM »
abc,

The basic Lehmann recipe calls for 1.75% salt. If you were using 1%, then boosting it to 2% would have some effect on the fermentation. High salt levels will slow down the fermentation. I don't know whether that will be true with your salt level or how pronounced the effect will be.

My last 18-inch dough, the only one I have made, was extensible but not overly so. I think it will appear more extensible than say, a 12-inch dough, because the 18-inch dough is so much heavier and has to be stretched out much farther, it is more awkward and cumbersome to handle, and the gravity effects are greater. I sometimes fold a 16-inch shaped and stretched dough in half and unfold it on my screen. I did this also with the 18-inch. I also finished the stretching on the screen, just as you did. I will need more experience with the 18-inch to learn its particular idiosynchracies.

If you want to experiment a bit, next time you might drop the hydration down to 60% and see whether that improves the situation for you, and if you like the finished results. I have tended to stay around the 63% hydration because I want to have a more open and airy crumb structure. If you want to stick with the 63% hydration, you might look for a way of cooling the dough a bit more. On occasion, I have put the dough (in its container) into the freezer compartment for about 1/2 hour before transferring it to the refrigerator compartment. The time in the freezer may vary depending on the amount of dough but the dough for an 18-inch should be safe for at least a half hour and maybe 3/4 hour. It won't freeze in that time. You might also use a metal container and pre-freeze it also. I may use these techniques when I make my next 18-inch Lehmann dough.

Peter


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #272 on: October 09, 2005, 12:53:04 PM »
I recently decided to conduct another experiment to try to make a high quality frozen Lehmann dough. The one time before that I tried this, the results were nothing to write home about. I followed all the steps that Tom Lehmann (and others) recommended to make and freeze dough, including using ice cold water and increasing the amount of yeast to compensate for the yeast that would be destroyed by freezing, but the dough ultimately yielded only a mediocre crust in comparison with a freshly baked one.

Making frozen pizza dough in a home freezer (or standalone freezer) can be a bit tricky. In fact, in an online PMQ chat in which I participated in April, and in which I raised the question with Tom Lehmann of making frozen doughs in a home freezer, he tried to discourage me from doing so and, instead, suggested that I make a frozen dough skin, dress it and then freeze the entire pizza. This was somewhat the answer I was expecting since I have read a lot of Tom’s writings and know that he favors flash (or "blast") freezing of dough, at temperatures of around –20 degrees to –35 degrees F, rather than the static freezing provided by home freezers, which he contends causes more damage to the yeast in dough than flash freezing. Nonetheless, I wanted to give static freezing another chance. I was also aware that other members have made frozen doughs with pretty good results.

For my latest frozen dough experiment, I did the following. First, I made the basic Lehmann dough in the standard way but with an emphasis on trying to keep the finished dough temperature as low as possible. In my case, I tried using frozen flour, only to discover that it doesn’t work the same way as using ice cold water. Yet I managed to get the finished dough temperature to 78.5 degrees F—below the 80-degree F that I usually strive for when making normal Lehmann doughs, and not too far off from the 65-75 degrees F that Tom Lehmann recommends for a dough to be frozen.

Second, I put the finished dough as it came off of the hook directly into the freezer, flattening it first (within a plastic storage bag) to expedite the freezing of the dough. Freezing alone, especially in a static freezing environment subject to repeated defrost cycles, is not especially good for yeast in a dough, but it is even worse if the dough is permitted to rise first before freezing. In that case, the dough effectively becomes like a porous insulator with a lot of gas, and freezing causes yeast cell walls to rupture as the water in the dough expands upon freezing. If this happens, the leavening power of the yeast is diminished because of the loss of yeast and, in addition, the ruptured yeast cells release an amino acid, namely, glutathione (aka "dead" yeast).

The glutathione has the effect of softening, or slackening, the dough to the point where its extensibility may be increased beyond what might be desired. In my case, to forestall the loss of some yeast and the production of glutathione and its potentially harmful dough softening effects, I increased the amount of yeast by about triple the normal amount I use and I lowered the hydration level of the dough from my normal 63% to 60%. (The latter change was my own idea, but I subsequently read a piece by Tom Lehmann in which he made the same suggestion.)

Third, I added some honey to the dough. The idea for this came from fellow member Les who referred me to an article that suggested that using honey at above 4% (by weight of flour) was good for frozen bread doughs, due to improvements in the rheological (deformation and flow) properties of dough. Because I am not particularly partial to sweetness in pizza crusts, I chose to stay at the lowest recommended value, 4%. The dough formulation I ended up with, for a 16-inch pizza, was as follows (with baker’s percents and gram conversions):

100%, King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour, 12.00 ounces (340.31 g.), (1 1/2 c. plus 3 T. plus 2 t.--all level measurements)
60%, Water, 7.20 oz. (204.18 g.) (7/8 c.)
1%, Oil, 0.12 oz. (3.40 g.), (a bit less than 3/4 t.)
1.75%, Table salt, 0.21 g. (5.96 g.), (a bit over 1 t.)
0.75%, IDY, 0.09 oz. (2.55 g.), (a bit less than 7/8 t.)
4%, Honey, 0.48 oz. (13.61 g.), (a bit less than 2 t.)
Finished dough weight = 20.45 oz.
Finished dough temperature = 78.5 degrees F
Thickness factor = 0.10

The dough based on the above formulation was made in a KichenAid stand mixer, following the procedures discussed many times before on this thread. As mentioned above, the dough went immediately into the freezer, before the yeast could kick in and cause the dough to rise (it usually takes about 20 minutes or so for the yeast to start to reproduce in a meaningful way). The dough stayed in the freezer for about 10 days. Tom Lehmann usually recommends 10 days as the outside limit, but as a “fudge” factor, he will tolerate 15 days, beyond which, according to Lehmann, the dough starts to go downhill quite fast.

The frozen dough was transferred from the freezer compartment to the refrigerator compartment to “slacken out” (defrost), for about 30 hours in my case (the minimum is about 12-16 hours). During the defrost time, the dough rose hardly at all. What is important to understand about frozen doughs is that freezing compromises the flavor and other qualities of the finished crust. That is because during freezing the dough does not ferment and perform its usual functions, including the production of flavorful by-products of fermentation. Also, there is no meaningful extraction of sugars from the starch to increase the residual sugars in the dough to facilitate browning of the finished crust, or the production of carbon dioxide, alcohol, acids, etc. These start once the dough has defrosted enough to permit these activities (which will take many hours), and continue during the counter warm-up in preparation for shaping and stretching the dough.

In my case, the dough remained on my countertop at room temperature for about 3 hours before I decided to make the pizza from the dough. During that 3-hour period, the dough rose very slowly, much slower than usual. Nonetheless, I had no problems shaping and stretching the dough out to 16 inches. It was less extensible (stretchy) than usual and had a nice feel about it. I suspect that the dough could have tolerated another day in the refrigerator before using, during which time the longer fermentation would have yielded more of the desirable by-products of fermentation.

The stretched-out dough was placed on a 16-inch screen, dressed, and baked. As a departure from the usual pepperoni pizzas I make for test purposes, this time the dressing included a Muir Glen organic tomato sauce (with Penzeys pizza seasoning, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil and grated hard Parmesan and Romano cheeses), pre-cooked Italian sausage, sautéed green peppers and mushrooms, and Kroger’s Classic Natural mozzarella cheese. The pizza was baked on the screen for about 6 minutes on the next-to-the-top oven rack position of my oven, which had been preheated to about 500-550 degrees F for about an hour, and finished by transferring the partially-baked pizza onto a pizza stone at the lowest oven rack position for about an additional minute or two to brown up the bottom of the crust.

The finished pizza is shown in the photos below. The pizza turned out quite well, much better than I expected. The rim of the crust was light and airy, and was chewy yet tender (no doubt helped by the honey). There were a few bubbles in the finished crust, which I somewhat expected because of the relatively short total 'true" fermentation time, but they were not a problem. The top crust color was also a bit lighter than I normally prefer, but I found that the Kroger Classic mozzarella cheese, which I was using for the first time, was browning faster than the cheeses I usually use and necessitated that I remove the pizza from the oven sooner than usual. With the honey in the dough, and even with diminished production of residual sugar in the dough due to reduced enzyme performance, there would have been plenty enough sugar available to promote browning had I been able to leave the pizza in the oven for another minute or so. The crust was also a bit sweeter than I prefer, but it was not a big distraction. Next time I will just use less. But overall, I would characterize my frozen dough experiment as a success and can confidently recommend it for those who wish to make frozen Lehmann dough in advance.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 09:44:19 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #273 on: October 09, 2005, 12:57:04 PM »
And...a typical slice.


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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #274 on: October 12, 2005, 02:46:05 PM »
Has anyone noticed that this particular thread has almost 18,000 views??  :o