Earlier in the week, when I saw that this thread was approaching 100,000 page views, I thought that I would commemorate that notable milestone by making a thin “elite” 18” version of the Lehmann dough formulation but using Harvest King bread flour, a hydration of 57% (to make handling and stretching the dough out to 18” easier), and a bit of honey. The use of the Harvest King flour was to compare it with the King Arthur bread flour and the KASL, which are the brands I have used most frequently in the past. To increase the protein content of the Harvest King flour to approach high-gluten flour, I supplemented that flour with vital wheat gluten, using November’s Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://tools.foodsim.com/
to calculate how much Harvest King flour and vital wheat gluten (Hodgson Mills brand in my case) to use.
I sifted both the Harvest King flour and vital wheat gluten before using, and added the yeast (ADY), in dry form, at the end of the dough making process to extend the useful life of the dough (by slowing the rate of fermentation). I decided to use the dough after five days of cold fermentation, although I believe that it could have gone at least a few days--and maybe even several days--longer. The dough formulation I used was this one (from the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
Olive Oil (1.5%):
|409.54 g | 14.45 oz | 0.9 lbs|
233.44 g | 8.23 oz | 0.51 lbs
2.05 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.54 tsp | 0.18 tbsp
6.14 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.1 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
6.14 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.37 tsp | 0.46 tbsp
8.19 g | 0.29 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.17 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
665.51 g | 23.47 oz | 1.47 lbs | TF = 0.09225
Note: The nominal thickness factor used in the tool was 0.09; the amount of Harvest King flour was 13.87 oz. and the amount of vital wheat gluten was 0.58 oz. (about 5.5 t.); the water was at 70 degrees F; the bowl residue compensation was 2.5%
I decided to use the dough to make a buffalo chicken pizza. To do this, I first coated the stretched out skin (18”) with a layer of Ranch dressing (Ken’s brand). I then added the following items in sequence: drizzles of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce; crumbled Wisconsin blue cheese; diced red onion; pieces of chicken that I had grilled in a grill pan and coated with more of the Frank’s Wing Sauce; shredded mozzarella cheese (low-moisture, part-skim); pieces of partially-cooked bacon; and more drizzles of the Frank’s Wing Sauce. Based on a suggestion that I had read at the PMQ Think Tank, I used about half the amount of mozzarella cheese that I would normally use on an 18” pizza. That turned out to be a good idea and allowed all of the flavors to shine through.
The pizza was dressed on an 18” pizza screen, which I used together with a pizza stone that I preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. As I recently described elsewhere, the stone was positioned on pieces of brick such that the stone was very close to the bottom electric heating element. This allowed me to achieve a stone temperature of around 600 degrees F. The pizza was initially baked on the second from the top oven rack position until the rim of the pizza started to expand and the pizza was firm enough to move onto the stone, about 4 minutes. I then slid the pizza off of the screen (which I removed from the oven) directly onto the pizza stone, where it baked for about another three minutes. When I saw that the bottom crust was adequately browned, I moved the pizza back to the second from the top oven rack position for about another minute to achieve increased top crust browning.
The photos below show the finished pizza. The pizza had very good oven spring, with a large chewy rim and a thin and crispy outer veneer, and a crispy bottom with a good amount of char. Because of the size of the pizza, I had to move my camera back to get the entire pizza in the image, so some of the detail is not adequately captured in the photos. The pizza itself, however, tasted very good. It was the first buffalo chicken pizza I had made and I thought that all of the flavors blended together very nicely and harmoniously. Next time, I would be inclined to use a larger thickness factor (around 0.10) and either KA bread flour or KASL, which I prefer over the Harvest King flour for the Lehmann NY style. I did not see any particular advantage from using honey, although the dough did form nicely and smoothly (I used the whisk, flat beater and C-hook attachments to my basic KitchenAid stand mixer).