Author Topic: cracker style with high hydration  (Read 2634 times)

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Offline fazzari

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cracker style with high hydration
« on: December 07, 2007, 11:05:41 PM »
Here is experiment #9...I had to find out how using the cracker style method on a higher hydrated dough would work.  I made up a very simple 60% dough,(100% flour, 60% water, .75% yeast, 2% salt and 5% fat).  I threw everything in the Kitchenaid, combined it all a bit with a spatula and mixed for 3 minutes.  I let the dough rise in the bowl for 90 minutes.  I then rolled the dough pretty thin.....then folded so I would have 3 layers, and rolled again...I then folded this sheet into 3 layers and rolled again...(that's 9 layers)...By the way, this process couldn't have taken 2 or 3 minutes...and the neat thing is, there is very little pressure used to accomplish this.  I cut out my skins and refrigerated for about 22 hours.  The skins are 8 1/2 inches and weigh only 5.9 ounces ( a little thin for my taste).  I dressed one skin and baked in a 500 degree oven right on the pizza stone...and you can see the result below.

I did this experiment not having a clue what the outcome would be and was amazed how similar it really is to the lower hydrated doughs.  The bottom was fabulous, it was crispy, tender.  The middle was a bit more bready than the lower hydrated but it was so very thin, the flavor was great.  This would be a great alternative to one wanting to make a cracker crust without all the work of rolling the dough. 

John


Online Pete-zza

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Re: cracker style with high hydration
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2007, 08:35:47 AM »
John,

Thanks for conducting the latest experiment. It is one that I was planning to conduct at some point. I think a good follow-on experiment would be to do as you did but leave out the layering.

I calculate that the thickness factor for the 8 1/2" pizza you made from 5.9 ounces of dough is [(5.9)/(3.14159 x 4.25 x 4.25)] = 5.9/56.744967 = 0.104. That would be close to what I believe you are now using in your business with your sheeted skins. It is also typical of a thickness factor value for a NY style dough. In fact, I suspect that without the layering method you used, and without docking or pre-baking the rolled out skin, the finished pizza would be like a NY style pizza but without a rim. Also, with 5% oil, I would expect modest tenderness in the finished crust. If I am correct in all of this, the results of your latest test would seem to say that the combination of underkneading and using the layering approach is the key to getting a crispy or cracker-like crust from a high hydration dough. Is that the way you see it?

BTW, did you use an elevated water temperature when you made your dough? The dough formulation and set of baker's percents you used is close to what one might use to make an "emergency" dough except without the "emergency" because in your case you were holding over the skins for almost a day before using. Usually for emergency doughs, the water temperature is elevated to get the finished dough temperature to around 90 degrees F.

I think that the collective experiments that have been conducted to date by the forum members on the cracker style convincingly demonstrate that it is possible to make a crispy or cracker-like crust using a low-, medium- or high-hydration dough. This is not something I expected when I started my experiments on the cracker style. Of course, there are differences that might lead one to prefer one formulation over another. But I'd like to think that most of the barriers to making the cracker style pizza have been taken down.

Peter

Offline fazzari

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Re: cracker style with high hydration
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2007, 01:00:18 PM »
Peter
If you remember, I did an experiment comparing layering with just sheeting (it was on a low hydrated dough though)...the compressed dough was far superior in my books as far as tenderness and eatability.
This experiment proves to me that one can make a "cracker type" crust with just about any hydration rate.  Obviously though, changing the rates changes the skin....how much...I don't know how to measure.  But for me, it shows one can very easily (and I mean easily), make a great skin at home without the use of industrial equipment that restaurants employ.
As far as the above recipe..I did use warmer water, for time sake because I knew I would immediately refrigerate the skins anyway.  I still have another skin from the experiment in the fridge, so I'll try it tonite or maybe tomorrow.
John

Offline Jackitup

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Re: cracker style with high hydration
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 08:28:15 PM »
Hi guys,
Great, I'm glad someone gave that a try. After MY last experiment I was thinking of doing the same thing. I tried the folding over thingy on the low hydration recipe.....need a machine for that. After warming the 24 hour proofed dough it rolled out great. Folded it over from for corners as described in the 'round table' crust I believe, it turned into a piece of rubber. Even after using a wet, hot towel on top of the plastic wrap covered dough it still took me 20 minutes to roll it out, almost threw it away. Now even though the end result suprisingly turned out excellent, I won't go through that again, even though the 'warden' thought it was definately one of the best. Might stop at Northern Tool and look at one of those sheet meetal rollers to see if one would actually work for rolling dough. Definately will try the higher hydration the next time. Have you tried par-baking to see how this comes out? I like the 'very' crispy crunch so when I give it a go I will try the par-bake to compare with my other cracker crusts.
Jon
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