Author Topic: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!  (Read 3810 times)

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Offline Boston BBQ-za

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1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« on: November 11, 2007, 10:12:15 AM »
I did my first attempt at a Sicilian style pizza working off of sourdough girlís previous thread on Tommyís Pizza.  The pizza came out much better than anything Iíve previously made, which was great, but still room for improvement, which is why Iím writing this.  Our internet was down when I made the dough so I had to use a number of crude conversions to come up with my final recipe.  Anyways, Iíll outline the recipe and a few points, which lead to my questions which were all numbered. Of course, if anything else stands out, please feel free to mention.
Below are the proportions based on the lehmann dough calculator and my proportions in parentheses.  Youíll see that some of my conversions were a bit off. 
Flour (100%):    418.67 g  |  14.77 oz | 0.92 lbs (419 g KA bread flour)
Water (62%):    259.58 g  |  9.16 oz | 0.57 lbs (259 g)
ADY (.33%):    1.38 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.37 tsp | 0.12 tbsp (.75tsp)
Salt (2%):    8.37 g | 0.3 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.74 tsp | 0.58 tbsp (2.1tsp)
Total (164.33%):   688 g | 24.27 oz | 1.52 lbs | TF = N/A
Dough Prep:
I made the dough on Tues. for a Fri night cook.
-I used 64g hot water to proof the ADY and the remainder was cold water (probably couldíve used ice cold water).
-All kneading was by hand
-I sifted the flour first but did not chill it.
1.  I know keeping all your ingredients cold will slow fermentation time, but is there any thread that explains why this is so important?  My ball did rise slightly over that time, but not too much.  I also realize that I used twice the amount of yeast that I couldíve.
2. Would you recommend the KA bread flour over another type? I just bought some OO Caputo and am wondering what type of dough that is best suited for.
Dough Sheeting:
Took the dough out of the refrigerator 1.5 hrs prior, put it on a plate and left in the microwave with a cup of boiling water.  On an 11x17 cookie sheet, I brushed 2T of olive oil (not extra virgin) and over a period of a Ĺ hr with 5 min intervals I formed the dough to the pan.  It didnít completely reach each of the sides, but it was close enough and easy to work with.  I came up with a 419g dough ball by 11x17x .13TF.  Topped the pizza with a simple sauce made up of 28 oz LaValle whole tomotoes crushed by hand, with oregano, basil (.5 tsp each) 2T red wine vinegar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 3 cloves minced garlic, and half a red onion diced.  On half I put the mozzarella under the sauce and Ĺ over the sauce. 
3.  Does .13 seem to be an appropriate TF for a Sicilian style?
Cooking:
Preheated oven to 550 and had four 8íí unglazed tiles on my lowest shelf.  After 1 hr cooked the pizza.  Being my first time, I opened the door twice to check on progress, which is why it probably took 22 min. 
Results:
Pretty good pizza, my best so far with a very flavorful crust.  Dough rose to about Ĺ inch or so.  There were some mild/moderate air holes in the bread and it was very crunchy and maybe a bit dry due to the long cook time.
4. At pizzatools.com and on this site, Iíve seen some chatter about the black anodized sheets for Sicilian style.  What is the benefit of such a pan? Will it improve my results potentially?
5.  If I wanted a thicker crust, perhaps leaving in the pan to rise a little longer prior to cooking wouldíve helped?   
Thanks again in my quest to really nail making this type of pizza :D


Online Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 12:06:46 PM »
Boston BBQ-za,

The reason why ingredients and the dough are intentionally kept on the cold side is to elongate the window of usability of the dough--usually for a period of several days. I have had very little experience with the Sicilian style so I canít say whether a long, cold fermentation is actually the best thing for that style. However, the subject of prolonged cold fermentation has been covered on several occasions on the forum. A couple examples of posts on this topic are
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg41366/topicseen.html#msg41366 (Reply 73) and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5247.msg44559.html#msg44559 (Reply 8).

I notice that you used hot water to rehydrate the ADY. You didnít indicate the temperature of that water, but it shouldnít be more than about 105 degrees F. Otherwise, it can negatively affect the performance of the yeast and the fermentation of the dough.

A thickness factor of 0.13 is in the range, as noted at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1073.msg19678/topicseen.html#msg19678 (Reply 22). You might also want to take a look at Reply 24 and other posts in the same thread. There is nothing to stop you from using a higher thickness factor. I once calculated a thickness factor of over 0.15 for a Sicilian dough recipe used by Big Dave Ostrander before he left the pizza business to become an industry consultant. With the Lehmann dough calculating tool you should be able to easily come up with all the numbers for any size rectangular pan and any value of thickness factor.

The Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour, if that is the one you have, is most commonly used to make Neapolitan style pizzas. However, I don't know if the Caputo Pizzeria flour is intended to be used for a Sicilian style. I do know that another Caputo 00 flour, the Caputo Red, can be used for the Sicilian style (pizza in taglia), as noted in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1690.msg15205.html#msg15205. The Caputo flour mentioned in this thread has a higher protein content than the Caputo Pizzeria and Extra Blu 00 flours. From the few dough recipes I have seen for Sicilian dough, including one by Tom Lehmann, bread flour is a typical flour for the Sicilian style. Many bakers actually prefer to use bromated flour for the Sicilian style in order to get a better volume in the dough before baking. The KA bread flour is nonbromated.

The dark, anodized pans from pizzatools are ideal for most pizza baking applications because they absorb heat nicely and the finish doesnít scratch, peel or flake. They can also tolerate high temperatures and donít require seasoning before using. I have one of the pizzatools Sicilian pans but havenít gotten around to using it yet. But I have several other pans, disks, etc. with the PSTK finish and I love them all. They are expensive, however, compared with other pans that one might use for making pizzas, including the Sicilian style.

There are quite a few posts on the Sicilian style on the forum, so if you havenít already reviewed them, they are under the Sicilian style board and may help you with your quest to perfect your Sicilian style pizzas.

Peter

Offline Boston BBQ-za

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 11:17:22 AM »
Thanks Peter for your input.
Yes, I have read through many of the sicilian posts (and others as well) to put forth my best attempt at this type of pizza.
In terms of yeast rehydration, I recall my water being between 105 and 110.  In your post you mention that the water shouldn't be much higher than 105, yet in the glossary under ADY and on the packet of yeast, they both recommend 105-115 or so.  What do you see as an appropriate range to rehydrate my yeast? 
Also, I  plan to put my dough in a chilled bowl next time and I recall reading something about using a stainless steel or metal container.  Are there any adverse effects of using either of these materials to chill my dough?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 11:59:04 AM »
Boston BBQ-za,

The range of 105-115 degrees F is a safe, general range for ADY. My SAF packets of ADY say 110-115 degrees F. I am sometimes conservative in my recommendations of rehydration temperature for ADY so that people don't deviate too far from that temperature and hopefully will use a thermometer to actually measure the temperature of the water. ADY is more critical than IDY in terms of water temperature because it is put in direct contact with water whereas IDY is usually mixed in with the flour where it is buffered by the flour from low or high water temperatures (ADY is often used the same way). With ADY, if you go too low or too high on the water temperature, that is, too far outside of the abovementioned range, it can easily adversely affect fermentation. Most performance problems with ADY occur because of inattention to water temperature or failure to measure the water temperature.

I make a lot of cold fermented doughs that are stored in the refrigerator in metal containers. I use the metal containers because I want the dough to cool down more quickly and to remain cool and because I am after long fermentation times. One of our forum members, November, says that there is increased risk of thermal shock when using metal containers, although he acknowledges that using high conductivity (e.g., metal) storage containers are acceptable for long fermentations, as he discusses here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg41556/topicseen.html#msg41556 (Reply 103). When I am not after long cold fermentations, I usually use plastic or glass containers.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 10:35:21 PM »
Boston,
I am going to post this info on the Tommy's thread, too, but thought I would respond to you directly here first.

I made another Tommy's this weekend, with even better crust results. 
With the idea in mind that Sicilian style is more like focaccia dough, I changed a few  things:
I raised the hydration from 62% to 63%, plus, instead of leaving the dough in the fridge for 3 days, it was only overnight (time constraints due to unexpected family dropping in)... actual time, 19 hours.  Instead of 1.5 hours on the counter before shaping and baking, I pulled it out early...it was out at room temp (~65o) for 5.5 hours.

I set the oven to 550o and preheated for an hour with a stone on the bottom rack and the one just above.  The pizza was in the oven for ~5 minutes, until it got some lovely dark brown, not-quite-charred, bubbles.  The cheese, my usual mix of fontina, provolone (smoked) and mozz, was just starting to brown. 

With these changes, there was more oven spring, the crust was light, airy and crisp.  It was truly the best crust I have made so far and and I think would easily also work for more traditional round pizzas.  That will be my next test of this formulation. 

I didn't get any pics because everybody was crowding around, waving the pizza wheel at me... I will take pics next time when there are fewer people in the house!  This is the most pleased I have been with any crust so far... and I am my toughest critic.

Hope that helps in any way...

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline Boston BBQ-za

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 12:12:39 PM »
SD,
Thanks for the post.  A few follow up questions for you.  I'm planning to make a dough tonight to cook on Friday and will increase the hydration to 63%.  I also tend to think that the dough was still a bit cool after 1.5 hrs on the counter (although I never took a final temp reading).  Perhaps the extra time on the counter is worth it to contribute to the oven spring. 
Can you confirm what type of flour you use?   Also, are you using one of those black anodized pans or just a regular one?  I think this time I will put a tile or 2 on the shelf above the pizza and see if that expedites cooking time.  Two other quickies!
1. do you have an estimated ratio that you use for your cheeses? In general I'm guessing a majority mozz with about half the amount of fontina and provolone. 
2.  I've used the basic sauce recipe in Reinhardt's book and was wondering if you had any suggestions/additions to the sauce recipe I outlined below.

Much appreciated,
BBQ-ZA 

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: 1st attempt at a Sicilian: room for improvement!
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 03:53:50 PM »
BBQ-ZA,
Happy to oblige!  I use Gold Medal Harvest King flour.  GM also makes Better for Bread flour and it appears that they are merging the two labels because now, on the baking aisle, there's only one bag, called "Harvest King Better for Bread" flour.  I used to use the BfB, then due to this forum, decided to try the HK... got through one bag of HK and they changed it on me.  I don't know enough about the formulations of any of the three of them to make a statement on how the combining of the two labels has changed the final product, but I did like the way the HK behaved.  Hopefully, the new flour will be as good as the HK was.  Perhaps Pete-zza could shed some light on that.

I decided to slowly increase the hydration until I got the results I was looking for, but I think just the 1% increase along with the longer counter rise after the cold retard in the fridge did the trick.  When I get my natural yeast to the point where I'm happy with it for bread, I will then try a natural preferment to boost the flavor of the crust a little... but that's off in the future... for now, I'm very happy with this crust for the 550o oven.

As for the pan, it is actually a Baker's Pride cookie sheet with markings on the wide edge for where to drop the cookies and "bulls-eyes" in the pan for cookies that spread, but I have never used it for cookies.  It is heavy steel with a nonstick coating that was brown to start with and now it is well-seasoned so that it is almost black. 

The cheeses are equal portions... for my 14.5 X 9.5 (interior measurements) pan, I used 3 oz of each.  I originally tried the ratio that you mentioned, but all I could taste was the mozz which was a waste of fontina and prov, so when I tried equal portions, I could then taste the flavors of all three cheeses.  The fontina is imported, so it has a stronger flavor than the ubiquitous domestic Stella brand, which is the only other fontina available where I normally shop.

When I'm not making a "Tommy's" pizza (just tomato, chopped fresh onion and salt) here is my sauce recipe:

14.5 oz your favorite tomato product
2 T tomato paste
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried marjoram
1/4 t dried basil
1 t onion powder
1/2 t granulated garlic
1/2 t coarse kosher salt
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 oz rind of parm reggiano or pecorino romano, cut into 6 or 8 small chunks

notes:
I use Cento crushed or Pomi in the shelf-stable carton.  I actually prefer a combination of the two because the Cento straight from the can is too sweet for me.
I often use fresh herbs from my garden and double the amount with the exception of the fresh bay leaf, which I leave at one.
The kosher salt is Diamond Crystal
The tomato paste is Amore, double concentrated, in the tube
I always save the rinds of parm reggiano and pecorino romano in the freezer (if long-term storage is needed!) otherwise in the fridge.  Either way, I put the hacked-up chunks in a plastic bag and submerge in warm water for a short time to warm quickly and release oils. 
If using the romano, you may want to cut the salt back a little bit as the cheese is quite salty on its own.  I really like the warm, rich flavor the cheese rinds add to the sauce without the grit of adding grated cheese.
NB: I do not use any sugar in my sauce because I do NOT like sweet sauce. 

I first rest this sauce at room temp for 2 hours (allowed table time as per health dept guidelines) then rest in the fridge at least overnight and bring to room temp for another 2 hours before adding to the skin, also wicking away any accumulated watery juice on the surface.  Bay leaf and cheese chunks are removed before use. (The cheese chunks make a tasty snack as they are well softened by the acidic sauce... quoth DH, the cheese-troll, lurking in the kitchen)

Hope that helps! 
~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!