Author Topic: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style  (Read 79460 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« on: November 02, 2007, 09:40:08 AM »
I recently decided to take another stab at DKM’s cracker style dough recipe in order to get another--and perhaps better--standard against which to compare my recent efforts at a cracker-style pizza as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.0.html. Before attempting the DKM cracker style, the only frame of reference I had was a Domino’s thin-and-crispy pizza that I recently purchased.

I decided that I would use the version of the DKM dough recipe set forth at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizzainnstyle.php. After poring over a lot of posts on that recipe, and variations of it, I decided that I would use a food processor, which Steve recommended, and the Harvest King flour, which had come highly recommended by Randy and scott r. I also decided that I would use a cutter pan (a 14” dark, anodized nonperforated cutter pan from pizzatools.com) and that I would dock the rolled-out skin on both sides and pre-bake it before dressing.

I made a conscious effort to follow DKM/s recipe as closely as possible. About the only change I made to the dough preparation is that I sifted the flour to get improved hydration and I added the oil to the food processor (Cuisinart 14-cup) after I had pulsed the other ingredients. After the oil was added, I ran the processor at full speed for about 30 seconds.

I was very happy with the results from using the food processor. After I dumped the cornmeal-like contents of the processor of the bowl onto a work surface, I was able easily to press the ingredients together into a ball. The dough ball was lightly oiled and placed into a tightly lidded Pyrex glass container (see the first photo below), and then onto my kitchen counter, where it stayed for 24 hours at room temperature (between 68-72 degrees F). During its stay on my kitchen counter, the dough rose rather quickly—doubling in about 2-3 hours. Thereafter, it remained relatively quiescent, without much additional expansion. In fact, it looked like it receded from its peak. When I opened the container after 24 hours, there was the pronounced aroma of alcohol. The second photo below shows the dough after 24 hours of room-temperature fermentation.

I had little difficulty in rolling out the dough. Yes, it took some effort as many have commented on before, but the dough behaved very nicely. I think it helped that I used the largest rolling pin I have--a heavy marble model. I needed no bench flour. I rolled the dough out to about 19-20” (not perfectly round but with a thickness of about 1/16”), docked it, and then placed it into my cutter pan, which I had pre-oiled in order to get better bottom crust color. I then docked the top of the dough skin and ran my rolling pin over the cutter pan to separate and remove the excess dough. I measured the weights of the dough at every stage and determined that the dough that went into my cutter pan weighed 14.68 ounces (with a diameter of 15” including the sides of the cutter pan) and had a corresponding thickness factor of 0.08307. That was higher than I was expecting, but since I was following the instructions for the recipe, I accepted that number without questioning it. The excess dough came to 7.90 ounces. I will have more to say about the use of the excess dough below.

The docked skin in the cutter pan was pre-baked in a 475-degree F preheated oven, on the lowest oven rack position, for 5 minutes, or until it started to turn a very light brown. There were few big bubbles in the crust but a lot of small ones. I then removed the pre-baked crust from the oven and dressed it. To dress the pizza, I decided to use a method used by Tom Lehmann in another cracker crust recipe. More specifically, I started by slicing a chunk of Grande whole-milk mozzarella cheese (cold out of the refrigerator) into thin slices, which I then placed directly on top of the pre-baked crust. A basic 6-in-1 sauce (also cold) with dried Sicilian oregano and dried Italian oregano from my herb garden went over the sliced Grande cheese. Hormel pepperoni slices went over the sauce. All of this was done with the pre-baked crust still in the cutter pan.

The dressed pizza was baked in the oven, also on the lowest oven rack position, at 475 degrees F, for 8 minutes. I then moved the pizza (still in the cutter pan) to the top oven rack position for another 2 minutes, for additional top bake and more top crust browning. The final photos in this post below show the finished pizza.

My immediate reaction to the pizza was that it was neater and prettier than the ones I had made recently. When I cut the pizza into slices, I also saw that it was indeed very crackery, although different from my cracker-style crusts, which were thinner and with a more layered cracker texture. However, when I tasted the pizza, I must confess that I was somewhat disappointed. I think that part of it was that I felt that the crust lacked flavor and that I would have preferred more salt. Or maybe I had been spoiled by the flavors contributed by the natural preferments that I had used for some of my more recent cracker-style pizzas. Since my findings were at odds with what other members had experienced with the DKM cracker style crust, I concluded that I had done something wrong and should repeat the recipe to find out where I went wrong. Until then, I decided to use the excess dough to make a smaller cracker crust pizza. However, since I wasn’t quite ready for more pizza, I put the excess dough into the refrigerator, where it remained for two days. I will discuss the results with the second pizza in the next post where, as will be seen, my fortunes changed for the better.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 04:56:14 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 10:02:57 AM »
When I was ready to use the excess dough, I rolled it out as far as I could. The rolling process this time was more labored and took much longer. The best I could do was to roll the dough out to around 11”. I used a plate as a template to cut a 10” skin out of the rolled out dough. That dough weighed 4.60 ounces and had a corresponding thickness factor of 0.05857, which was considerably lower than the first pizza skin and more in line with the thickness factors I have been using with my thin crust pizzas (both crispy and cracker-style). I prepared this skin exactly as I had the first pizza except that I used a pre-cooked turkey sausage, some fresh green pepper slices, and pepperoni slices as toppings. The bake methods and times were identical to what I used for the first pizza. The photos below show the smaller pizza.

To my surprise, the second pizza was excellent—much better than the first one. I think that the extra fermentation time was a plus but I think that the thinner crust was the main reason why I liked it better.

Based on my results, I have devised a plan for future DKM cracker style pizzas, which I hope to execute soon. First, I will decide on what size pizza I want to make. Second, I will increase that pizza size by one inch to allow me to roll a piece of dough out to a larger size and then use a template to cut out a skin of the desired final size. So, for example, if I want to make a 14” pizza, I will use 15” for the starting pizza size. The desired final pizza size (e.g., 14” in my example) should fit in a cutter pan (including the sides), if a cutter pan is used, or cover a pizza disk or screen, or be placed on a peel to be loaded into the oven. Third, I will use the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html to determine the quantities of ingredients I will need to make the larger starting pizza size from which the desired final skin will be cut. The inputs to the tool will be a thickness factor (TBD but which will be less for the final skin cut out of the larger skin), the DKM baker’s percents, and the larger starter pizza size. Since one will end up with excess dough, it won't be necessary to use a bowl residue compensation factor. The excess dough in any event should be quite a bit less than what is now produced if one uses the exact DKM dough recipe.

Peter

Offline mbusse

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 11:38:48 AM »
Pete,

That first pie looks delicious, I was disappointed when I hit the line that read you were not all that thrilled with the crust flavor.
Since it has been a while since I have made a cracker style pie, I will try this over the weekend using the longer ferment time.

Mark

Offline scott r

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 12:08:12 PM »
For these types of crust I have found that I am not happy with the end flavor unless there is a distinct scent of beer when I use the dough.  This usually happens after a double a punch down and another double.  Peter, did you notice the distinct beer smell (not more of a wine type scent that you would get more faintly with a higher hydration dough)? It seems as if the lack of oxygen in there really effects the flavor.  I find it interesting how the scents change depending on the hydration, and I wonder if November or anyone else can comment on the technical reasons as to why it is so different with these ultra low hydration doughs.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 12:26:20 PM »
Mark,

I have a series of cracker style experiments lined up for this thread from which I hope to learn more about that style. The next cracker style pizza will have more salt, which I hope will improve the flavor of the crust. In general, my tastebuds tend to prefer around 1.75% salt, and when I use less than that, I can tell almost immediately. I will also be using IDY instead of ADY, mainly for convenience since many people have switched to IDY, and I will be introducing the concept of autolyse, which I do not believe is used very often, if at all, with the cracker style. The next pizza will also have a thinner crust than the last one, for the purpose of testing the lower limits of thickness for that style.

When I am done with my series of experiments on this thread, I hope to take what I learn back to the Lehmann cracker style recipe I have been using to improve it if I can. I have already learned several things.

One, a food processor is a wonderful machine to make the cracker style dough, especially one like the DKM style which has a low hydration (36%). The food processor is fast and makes easy work of combining the ingredients.

Two, it is better to roll out the dough after it has fermented for a long time, such as at the end of the fementation period, rather than after only a few hours. It's a lot harder to roll out the dough with little fermentation, and it will be prone to shrinking.

Three, a cutter pan is a good choice to bake cracker style pizzas, especially a dark, anodized pan. You can make just about any size pizza up to the maximum possible with the pan, and you can put the cheese and toppings right out to the edge of the pizza. And you can be as generous as you would like with the toppings so long as you don't overload the pizza, which can reduce the cracker quality of the finished crust because too much of the oven heat is diverted to the cheese and toppings rather than to the crust itself. I discovered that when you try to dress a cracker style pizza on a peel with the cheese and toppings out to the outer edge, some of the cheese and toppings can shift off of the pizza onto the pizza stone when the pizza is peeled into the oven. This is a greater problem for a larger size pizza. It usually is not a problem for a small pizza. Finally, double-sided docking and pre-baking the crust, which can also be done in a cutter pan, are positives in terms of getting greater crispiness and the cracker quality in the finished crust that everyone is trying to get. Another advantage of pre-baking the crust is that the cheese and toppings aren't exposed to the long bake times that one normally uses for a normally dressed pizza, so they are are less prone to breaking down, releasing oils, etc. I have found that using cold cheese and sauce also help in this regard.

Peter

« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 12:32:04 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 01:11:26 PM »
Peter, did you notice the distinct beer smell (not more of a wine type scent that you would get more faintly with a higher hydration dough)? It seems as if the lack of oxygen in there really effects the flavor.  I find it interesting how the scents change depending on the hydration, and I wonder if November or anyone else can comment on the technical reasons as to why it is so different with these ultra low hydration doughs.

scott,

What I noticed most when I opened the container at the end of the 24-hour fermentation period was the distinct odor of alcohol. I don't usually get that with my doughs since they tend to use very little yeast, with much less alcohol production I suspect. The only reason I didn't open the container over the 24-hour period was because other members intimately familiar with the DKM dough said to use a sealed container. I believe that November has said (at Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4517.msg37982.html#msg37982) that it is OK to leave a dough tightly sealed within its container for a day, although I believe his comments were with respect to a cold fermented dough. In that case, I believe his position is that it is better to have the excess gasses released. I would think that the same position would hold for a 24-hour room-temperature fermentation of a dough, especially one that contains a fair amount of yeast.

Peter 

Offline Randy

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2007, 07:23:20 AM »
The pizza looks great Peter.  Sorry it didn't taste as good as it looked.
Last week I altered the recipe by adding the bloomed yeast to the flour then ran the mixer for 2 minutes, then I let it rest 10 minutes then added the salt and oil and ran the mixer for three minutes.  This gave me a more crisp crust but for some reason I lost some of the cracker bubbles.  Not sure why.  I look forward to your test.

Others have mentioned the Harvest King flour has fallen in quality.  I am starting to agree.

Randy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2007, 01:41:32 PM »
Randy,

I found your changes interesting because I used essentially the same technique with the last two cracker-style pizza doughs except that I used a food processor rather than a mixer. I hope soon to report on the results of the two pizzas.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 12:41:44 PM »
Following up on my earlier post, at Reply 4, I made two more cracker style pizzas as part of the series of pizzas under this thread. I will describe the first one in this post and the second one in the next post.

For the first pizza, I used a modification of the DKM cracker style dough recipe as previously described. The first change was that I used a very small thickness factor so that I could test the lower limits of the range of workable crust thickness. As will be seen in the dough formulation below, that thickness factor was just under 0.06 (I simply used the thickness factor from the last pizza for convenience). That was for an amount of dough to make a 13” dough skin from which I would cut out a 12” skin, the desired size of the final pizza. Doing this has the effect of lowering the thickness factor from its nominal value (just under 0.06) to a smaller value, of just under 0.05, since about one inch of the 13” skin ends up as scrap.   

In addition to the thickness factor change, I increased the amount of salt to 1.75%. I also converted the active dry yeast (ADY) used in the DKM recipe to instant dry yeast (IDY), mainly for convenience and since many members use IDY instead of ADY. Other changes, mainly to the preparation and processing of the dough, will become apparent below. The dough formulation I ended up with was as follows:

Flour (100%):
Water (36%):
IDY (0.97%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):
Sugar (1.2%):
Total (143.42%):
153.67 g  |  5.42 oz | 0.34 lbs
55.32 g  |  1.95 oz | 0.12 lbs
1.49 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.49 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
2.69 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.48 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
5.38 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.18 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
1.84 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.46 tsp | 0.15 tbsp
220.4 g | 7.77 oz | 0.49 lbs | TF = 0.05857
Note: The pizza size entered into the tool is 13”; the desired size of the final pizza is 12”; no bowl residue compensation is used.

To prepare the dough, I sifted the flour (Harvest King) and put it into the bowl of my food processor (Cuisinart 14-cup), along with the IDY. I pulsed the flour and yeast to be sure that the yeast was uniformly dispersed in the flour. I then gradually added the water, which was at room temperature, while pulsing the processor. Once all of the water was added, I scraped down the sides of the processor bowl and let the mixture in the bowl rest (autolyse) for a period of 12 minutes. The rest period was used, along with the sifting of the flour, to improve the hydration of the flour. I estimated that the duration of the rest period would be short enough to prevent the yeast from acidifying the dough during that time, which is something that should be avoided as much as possible when using the autolyse method.

After the 12-minute rest period, I added the salt, sugar and oil to the processor bowl in succession, pulsing the processor all the while. Once all of the ingredients were fully incorporated, I processed the ingredients by first pulsing them for about ten seconds and then running the processor at full speed for about 30 seconds. The contents of the bowl, which resembled coarse cornmeal, were then emptied onto my work surface to be formed into a ball. As before, I squeezed the ingredients together to form a ball. This was very easy to do. In fact, it was super easy. The finished dough ball had a weight of 7.6 ounces and a finished dough temperature of 75 degrees F. I lightly oiled the dough ball and put it into a covered plastic container on my kitchen counter. It remained there, at room temperature (about 75 degrees F), for 24 hours.

At the expiration of the 24-hour period, I rolled out the dough using my heavy marble rolling pin. As before, rolling out the dough took a fair amount of brute force effort. However, I managed to roll the dough out to 13”--one inch greater than the desired final size of 12”. Using a 12” pizza screen as a template, I cut out a 12” skin from the larger skin. The 12” skin had a dough weight of 5.5 ounces. For that weight and size, I calculated the thickness factor to be just under 0.05. I should mention that the thickness factors when using this approach will very likely vary from one person to another since it is unlikely that two people will roll out the dough exactly the same way to 13”. Also, the outer edges of the 13” skin are very likely to be ragged and uneven, not a perfect circle. But, the variations in thickness factors should be small so long as one rolls out the dough roughly one inch more than the desired final size.

The final 12” skin was docked on both sides and placed in my 14” dark, anodized nonperforated cutter pan, which I had pre-oiled in order to get better bottom crust browning. As before, I pre-baked the 12” skin in a 475-degree F oven, at the lowest oven rack position, for about 4 minutes, or until I could see that the crust was just about to turn a very light brown. I then dressed the pizza in the same manner as the previous one. To see how the much thinner crust would bake up under a heavy load, I used the same amounts of cheese, sauce, and toppings as the previous pizza that had a much thicker crust. Once dressed, the pizza was baked, still in the cutter pan, at the lowest oven rack position, for 8 minutes. I then moved the cutter pan to the top oven rack position for an additional 2 minutes, to get more top heat to help bake the top of the pizza.

The photos below show the finished pizza. As can be seen, the thin crust was able to sustain the weight of all of the toppings while still producing a cracker-like crust, although the edges of the pizza were clearly done before the rest of the pizza, including the cheese and toppings. This suggests that to get the desired balance between the doneness of the crust and the cheese and toppings one should not be too aggressive with the cheese and toppings. It might also be a good idea to put the cheese and toppings out to the outer edge as much as possible, although one might want to select a pan to hold the pizza when doing this (or a disk or screen if used). I might add that the darker outer parts of the crust were very crackery and the tastiest parts of the entire crust.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2007, 12:58:46 PM »
Following on the heels of the last pizza described in the last post, I made a second pizza that was virtually identical to the last pizza except that I used a combination of room temperature fermentation and cold fermentation. Also, for this pizza, in order to get a dough that would (hopefully) be easier to roll out, I decided to try the suggestion that was recently made by member fazzari (John) at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5642.msg47863.html#msg47863 (Reply 2), to wit:

You might try this as a solution. After you mix your dough, let it ferment at room temperature until doubled....then use your rolling pin to sheet the dough...and then refrigerate overnight. Warm dough is a lot easier to sheet, than cold dough....even when your using industrial sheeters. This is the method we use in our restaurant.

In my case, following John’s suggestion, I ended up with a dough ball of 7.6 ounces that had a finished dough temperature of 77.5 degrees F. Combined with a room temperature of 72 degrees F, the best that I was able to get in terms of dough volume expansion within a few hours (3 hours) was a 75% increase. I decided nonetheless to roll out the dough to 13” and, as before, to cut out a 12” skin from the larger piece. As before, the process of rolling out the dough was labored. Not only that, I noticed after I had cut out the 12” skin that it had shrunk an inch. When I tried to roll it back out to 12”, the skin wouldn’t budge no matter how aggressively I tried to roll it out. It really needed a longer fermentation to soften the gluten. So, I gave up and placed the now 11” skin on a cardboard round, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and put it into the refrigerator. It stayed in the refrigerator for 2 days.

When I removed the 11” skin from the refrigerator to use it, I let it warm up for about an hour and a half. I then attempted to see if I could roll it back out to 12”. Again, it wouldn’t budge. It was firm and and looked lifeless and I wondered whether it would even work to make the pizza. But I proceeded nonetheless. So, after docking the skin on both sides, I placed it in my 14” pre-oiled dark, anodized cutter pan and pre-baked it, just as before. It became clear rather quickly that the skin was indeed alive when I saw several large bubbles form in the crust as it pre-baked. This was actually a good sign because I have discovered that it is the large bubbles that contribute mightily to the crispy and crackery qualities of the finished pizza. It even occurred to me later that maybe I should have pre-baked the skin while it was stone cold right out of the refrigerator since that is a common cause of bubbling that one ordinarily tries to avoid (professional pizza operators, that is). I think I would still dock the cold skin so that the bubbles don’t get completely out of control. Otherwise it becomes difficult to dress it once it comes out of the oven because of the very uneven top surface.

The pre-baked crust was dressed and baked as before, although the total bake time was a few minutes less. Since the overall pizza looked pretty much the same as the last one but for the addition of some sauteed mushrooms, I have shown below only a typical slice to demonstrate the crispy and crackery nature of the finished crust.

With this pizza and the last one, I think I have shown that it is possible to use super thin dough skins to make cracker-style pizzas and they will support a fair amount of cheese and toppings and still be crackery. However, one should still try to achieve the proper balance of crust thickness and the amounts of cheese and toppings to be sure that everything is done at the same time.

At some point, I plan to try to determine what is a good all-around thickness factor to use in the enhanced dough calculating tool for future dough formulations for the cracker style. Instinctively, I think it is around 0.07 or possibly a bit less, with the resulting skin having a thickness factor of something around 0.06.

The results also confirm that it is possible to form skins in advance, even if a bit shrunken, and to cold ferment them for at least a couple of days before using, and quite possibly longer because of the low hydration of the doughs and their slower fermentation. In fact, doing this may be a good idea when one wants or needs to make several cracker-style skins. The pre-made skins can be made and stacked in the refrigerator separated by wax paper or an equivalent material.

Peter


Offline fazzari

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 02:00:40 PM »
Hi Peter
Are you rolling the dough just once, or are you folding the dough and re-rolling to create a lamination?  I truly believe it is the lamination which separates this product from the rest!
John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 03:13:30 PM »
John,

I have been rolling out the dough for the versions discussed in this thread just once. When I attempted an early version of the Lehmann cracker-style dough, I used two small dough balls that I rolled out separately and superimposed (with a bit of flour between the two layers) to create a layering effect. That resulted in a crispy and crackery crust. I once did something similar with a deep-dish crust (but with dabs of cold butter between the layers). So, I know that what you are saying has merit.

Are you pre-baking the skins before dressing? Some members have reported that they are pre-baking the DKM skins to get the cracker effect, although my memory is that they did not do fold and re-roll. Some reported that folding and re-rolling the DKM dough made it too tough.

The problem I and apparently many others have been having, and which I am now attempting to solve, is difficulty in rolling out the low-hydration doughs. That has deterred me from using the multiple fold and roll method. I am hoping to come up with a solution that yields a crispy and crackery crust without using the fold and roll method. That would be a breakthrough. Stay tuned ;).

Peter
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 06:22:14 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Randy

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 04:32:46 PM »
Peter My test seem to show a better cracker bubbling if I bloomed the yeast first instead of adding the idy to the flour but your pictures good cracker bubbles which brings my test into question.

FYI I use 8 oz of cheese for a 16" pizza and one cup of sauce.

Did you notice an increase in crispness with the autolyse?
Did the flavor improve with the additional salt?

Randy
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 04:34:22 PM by Randy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 05:19:07 PM »
Randy,

I was aware from reading one of your posts when I was doing my research on the cracker style that you were hydrating the IDY in water but I decided that I would start first with using IDY in the standard way. I left hydrating the IDY as a future option if I didn't get adequate crispiness.

I am not sure whether autolyse is of benefit or not, so the jury is still out on that. I had never read or heard of anyone using autolyse for a cracker-style dough until you mentioned using it yourself, but I decided to give the autolyse a try anyway. Usually you use autolyse to improve the hydration of the flour and to cut the total knead time. You also preserve some of the pigmentation (carotenoids), and you end up with a more open and airy and breadlike crumb. A food processor does such an incredible job combining the ingredients that I am not sure whether autolyse helps with the hydration in that situation, and since we roll out the dough so thinly there is really no crumb left after that, which may negate the structural aspects of the autolyse. I will perhaps continue to sift the flour since that has become a standard operating procedure for me. Once I get a final product that I am satisfied with, I may do a dough in which I omit the autolyse.

There was an improvement in the flavor of the crust by using more salt. If I were to repeat DKM's recipe exactly again, I would increase the amount of salt.

For the 12" pizzas I have been making, I have been using around 6 ounces of cheese and about 6-7 ounces of sauce. I really like the sequence of cheese (slices), sauce and toppings. I put dollops of the sauce on top and around the cheese slices so that I can see more of the cheese in the finished pizza.

Do you use a cutter pan to make your cracker-style pizzas? I like the lip that I can form at the perimeter when I am making the full 14" size in my 14" cutter pan, and it is easy to dress the pizza in the pan and not run the risk of losing cheese and toppings when loading a rimless pizza into the oven when using a peel. Another advantage of using a cutter pan is that you don't need a long preheat, as you would when using a stone. It takes about 10-12 minutes for my oven to preheat to 475 degrees F.

My ultimate goal is to come up with as foolproof a cracker-style pizza as possible. Of course, one needs some equipment to make this style. It is not a style I would choose if I plan to knead the dough by hand. The cracker style pizza is a good one, however, and a welcome addition to my repertoire of pizza styles.

Peter




Offline Randy

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 08:45:04 PM »
The pan I use is an old but very common pan.  It is 16" fairly thick compared to a like pan today and is perforated with say 1/8" holes.  The rim turns up slightly and a rolling pin cuts the extra dough just like a cutter pan.

I had thought the autolyse might do the same thing you thought it would but like you the difference was slight but maybe encouraging.

Another avenue might be a rest period after the dough is rolled and panned.  As you noted the rolling process is long and hard on the gassing I would guess.

Could it be that 90F water in DKM's recipe might develops more flavor in the dough than your room temperature water?

As a side note I use the raw sugar for this pizza too.

Randy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2007, 09:19:53 PM »
Could it be that 90F water in DKM's recipe might develops more flavor in the dough than your room temperature water?

Randy,

I'm not sure that I can connect the use of IDY and room temperature water to less flavor in a finished crust than using ADY and 90 degree F water. I always assumed that DKM used the 90 degree F water because the ADY requires rehydration in warm water. I used the room temperature water because I didn't want the food processor to overheat the dough. As it turned out, it takes a lot of processing of the flour and water mixture to really heat it up, apparently because of the low hydration. Also, during the autolyse period, the dough approaches room temperature. In my case, the finished dough temperature and room temperature were the same. Now that I have a better feel for the temperature issues, it won't be necessary to use room temperature water again. In fact, for other reasons, which I hope to get into soon, I will be more likely to use higher temperature water.

Peter


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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2007, 09:46:54 AM »
I’d like to dedicate this post and the pizza shown below (in the following posts) to member John Fazzari. It was he who unknowingly recently gave me the clue to a solution to the vexing problem of rolling out a low-hydration cracker style dough without needing the arms of Popeye and the strength of Hercules. With the clue and some additional work on my part, I was able to roll out a low-hydration dough, with a hydration of 36%, within about two minutes, with ease. Also, with a modified DKM cracker-style dough formulation, shown below, I was able to make the crispiest and most crackery pizza I have ever made. It “cracked” from the initial roll of the pizza cutter through the pizza to just about every bite.

The magic words from John that led me to the solution were from the quote that I cited in Reply 9:

                          Warm dough is a lot easier to sheet, than cold dough.

Obviously, those words didn’t sufficiently register with me when I made the last dough as discussed in Reply 9. But after thinking through John’s statement more deeply, it brought back to mind how so-called “short time” or “emergency” doughs made by professionals are intentionally made very warm so that the doughs can ferment faster and be ready to use to make pizzas within a couple to a few hours. Usually this is done by using very warm water along with above average amounts of yeast (about double). The doughs made this way can have finished dough temperatures of about 90-95 degrees F and, as a result, they are soft and supple and can be shaped and stretched quite easily. What I couldn’t recall is whether this method had been used before for very low hydration doughs rather than high hydration doughs.

Since I had experimented many times before with short time doughs, using flours all the way from 00 flour to high-gluten flour, I felt that I had learned how to really speed up the dough heating process. So, rather than just using the conventional method of using very warm water (which I did also) and a lot of yeast (which I didn’t do) to do the trick, I decided instead to use a proofing box. For those who have not seen my proofing box, it is shown at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,403.msg4887.html#msg4887. Before getting into the details of how I used the proofing box and how I prepared the dough that went into it, I’d like first to give the modified DKM dough formulation that I used for the latest cracker-style dough. It is this one:

Flour (100%):
Water (36%):
IDY (1%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):
Sugar (1.2%):
Total (143.45%):
183.62 g  |  6.48 oz | 0.4 lbs
66.1 g  |  2.33 oz | 0.15 lbs
1.84 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.61 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
3.21 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.58 tsp | 0.19 tbsp
6.43 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.42 tsp | 0.47 tbsp
2.2 g | 0.08 oz | 0 lbs | 0.55 tsp | 0.18 tbsp
263.41 g | 9.29 oz | 0.58 lbs | TF = 0.07
Note: The pizza size entered into the tool is 13”; the desired final pizza size is 12”; there is no bowl residue compensation

One of the most important aspects of the above dough formulation is the thickness factor. As I mentioned in Reply 9, I thought that a thickness value of 0.07 would be a good starting point for future cracker-style pizzas. Now that I have tried that value, it seems to be a solid choice—not too thick and not too thin. As noted above, the size of pizza that I entered into the expanded dough calculating tool (http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html) for the size of the pizza was 13”. That is one inch greater than the final desired pizza size of 12”. That one-inch differential seems to be adequate to prepare enough dough to allow one to cut out a skin of the desired final size (in this case, 12”)

I prepared the dough in the exact same way as I did the last two pizzas (see Reply 8 for details) except this time I used water at 130 degrees F. This is a temperature I have used on many occasions before to make pizzas within an hour, so I know that it works and won’t harm the IDY in the flour. When the cornmeal-like mixture was removed from the food processor and gathered into a ball, I flattened it into a disk (to allow it to warm up faster), lightly oiled it, and placed it in a compact thin-walled plastic snap-fit container (see the container in the first photo below). This is also a trick I have used before to keep the warm-up time at a minimum and not waste the heat of the proofing box heating up larger or thicker-walled containers before the dough can be heated.

I placed the dough container into the proofing box. As is my practice, I turned on the proofing box when I started to make the dough so that it was at its maximum operating temperature when the dough went into it. The maximum temperature that I can get out of my proofing box is about 110-120 degrees F. As an alternative to the proofing box, I could have used my ThermoKool MR-38 unit (http://www.thebuzzelectronics.com/thermokool_mr138_thermokool_mr-138_deluxe_mini_cooler_and_w.htm), which would have allowed me to use a slightly higher temperature, but I wanted to prove out the process using the simple proofing box that anyone can make, and cheaply at that. If I didn’t have a proofing box or a unit like the ThermoKool unit, I think I would have used my home oven set at a low temperature (around 100-125 degrees F)*. The only real reservation I had at this point was whether the proofing box would do the job with a very low hydration dough, with which I had no prior experience with the proofing box.

The dough remained in the proofing box for two hours. I made no attempt to look for a doubling in volume, since I knew from having made many short time doughs before that the heat (high finished dough temperature) was the more important part of being able to easily shape and stretch the dough into skins. At the end of the 2-hour period, I checked the temperature of the dough, and it was 110 degrees F. I suppose I could have then left the dough to ferment the rest of the time at room temperature, which was about 73 degrees F, but I decided instead to roll out the dough and form a skin that I could put into the refrigerator for a day or two, as I did with the skin for the last pizza. I also wanted to see if it was practical to make up skins in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to be used, say, a couple or more days later.

Rolling out the dough after I removed it from the proofing box turned out to be a breeze. I didn’t actually clock the time that it took me to roll out the dough (to 13”), but I estimate that it was about two minutes or so. And that included the times I stopped to measure the diameter of the skin. The ease with which I was able to roll out the dough reminded me of rolling out a pie dough, offering little resistance to the rolling pin. Once the dough reached 13” in diameter (the edges were irregular, not perfectly round), I used a 12” pizza screen as a template to cut out a 12” skin. The skin weighed 7.25 ounces. From that weight, I calculated that the corresponding thickness factor was 0.0641. That figure is consistent with what I have used in the past to make thin crust pizzas.

To prepare the skin to go into the refrigerator, I decided not to put the skin on a cardboard round as I had done with the last skin, which required a lot of open space in my refrigerator, but rather to fold it in quarters and wrap it in plastic wrap. That way, I could stick the skin in just about any small spot in the refrigerator. I very lightly dusted both sides of the skin with flour so that the mating surfaces when folded in quarters would not stick to each other. The second photo below shows the folded skin as it went into the refrigerator. The skin remained in the refrigerator for about 2 days and 4 hours, following which I allowed the skin, still in the plastic wrap, to warm up for about an hour and a half at room temperature. 

When I was ready to use the skin, I removed it from the plastic wrap and unfolded it. I found it to be supple, flexible and still a bit soft. I made a quick roll of the rolling pin over the skin to flatten the skin where the folds had formed. Using my dough docker (see the first photo at Reply 389 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg26720.html#msg26720), I then docked the skin on both sides and put it into my 14” dark, anodized nonperforated cutter pan, which I had pre-oiled in order to get increased bottom crust browning. The cutter pan was put into a 475-degree F preheated oven, on the lowest oven rack position, for just short of 5 minutes, or until the skin just started to turn a light brown. I could see a profusion of nickel-sized bubbles forming throughout the pre-baked crust as it baked (see the bottoms of the bubbles in the last photo), which I took as a positive sign that the finished crust would be crispy and crackery. There were no gigantic bubbles that can lead to a very uneven surface and make dressing the pre-baked crust more difficult.

I then took the cutter pan out of the oven and dressed the pre-baked crust, while still in the pan. The crust was dressed pretty much as the others were except that this time I used slices of Grande low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese (instead of the whole-milk variety) and lightly-sauteed sliced mushrooms along with Hormel pepperoni slices. Once dressed, the pizza, still within the cutter pan, was placed back on the lowest oven rack position and baked for about 7 minutes, also at 475 degrees F. I then moved the cutter pan to the topmost oven rack position for further baking of the top of the pizza, for about 3 minutes. (Ovens differ, so others who may decide to try the modified DKM recipe may have to use the appearance of the pizza as it bakes to determine times and positioning within their ovens.)

The remaining photos show the finished pizza. As noted above, the crust was crispy and crackery throughout, more so than any other cracker style pizza that I have attempted to date. That was perhaps the biggest surprise. The most exciting part, of course, was finding a solution to the problem of rolling out a very low-hydration dough. Hopefully others will be encouraged to use the same dough warming method and report back on their results and to offer suggestions for improvement. Maybe someone will also try the original DKM cracker-style dough recipe using the dough warming method and report back to us. In that case, it may be necessary to use more than a 2-hour warming period because of the significantly larger quantity of dough than I used.

I’m sure that there are many possible variations of what I did. One that looks promising is to allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for about 24 hours and to use something like my proofing box to heat the dough during the last couple of hours, and then roll it out. Also, because of the ease of rolling out the dough, one might want to try folding and re-rolling the dough a few times to achieve a layered or laminated effect, although I did not find that to be necessary to get a high degree of crispiness or cracker quality. I also see no reason why the dough warming method should not work with a low-hydration dough that has been made in a stand mixer rather than a food processor, although having used both machines for that purpose it seems to me that a food processor is better suited for the job.

Peter
* EDIT: For an update on the use of the oven instead of the proofing box, see Reply 42.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 05:44:34 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2007, 10:00:06 AM »
And the photos...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2007, 10:04:58 AM »
And the remaining photos....


Offline mbusse

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Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2007, 12:55:30 PM »
Pete, would you rank this as your best tasting cracker style to date?

Mark