Author Topic: Quality ingredients make a difference!  (Read 2849 times)

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Offline Steve

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Quality ingredients make a difference!
« on: October 21, 2004, 09:43:51 PM »
Just wanted to share some of my pizza making experiences when I switched to high quality ingredients.

First, the flour. I have been spoiled using quality flours. My supply of King Arthur "Sir Lancelot" high-gluten flour ran out months ago, then I switched to General Mills' All Trumps high-gluten flour and have been happy with the results. Well, the other day, my wife started using the Baker's Choice bread flour from Sam's Club and suddenly I discovered that my NY style pizzas were not browning properly using my standard recipes. We're talking about a pre-heated 550 F oven with the pizza sitting under a hot broiler! My dough simply would not brown. Switched back to the All Trumps and I'm getting nicely charred crusts. Anyone else seen this type of behavior?

Next, the tomatoes. For my NY style pizzas, I had always advocated using Red Pack brand whole peeled tomatoes which are widely available. I'd run the tomatoes through a blender to puree, then I'd gently cook down the sauce until it was thick enough for pizza. Well, the other day I opened one of my cans of Escalon's Bonta pizza sauce and diluted it to the proper consistency (no cooking required). I then added some salt, pepper, and some dried oregano. I put this sauce on my pizzas and it was a day and night difference. The wife and kids LOVED this sauce... I love it too! I would never have imagined that a change in brands would yield such drastic results!

Now, on to the cheese. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, recommends using Grande whole milk mozzarella cheese. I'll be ordering some of this soon, but I can hardly wait to taste the difference. If it's anything like switching to Escalon tomatoes, it will be great!

And, finally, the pepperoni. I had been using Hormel sliced pepperoni. Now I hear that Ezzo is the super-premium brand that I should be using. Again, I am trying to obtain some of this to try on my pizza.

My pizzas have improved to a whole new level... using the same recipe... simply by changing the brand of ingredients. I can't wait to try the Grande cheese and the Ezzo pepperoni.  :)
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2004, 11:15:08 PM »
Steve,

Now all you and your family have to do is to move to Pittsburgh, next door to Pennmac ;D.  Pennmac carries every brand you mentioned for your pizza.  And, if you want 00 flour and Stanislaus and San Marzano tomatoes, you can get them too.

As for the reduced browning, I wonder whether the Baker's Choice bread flour has a high enough protein level to produce the same degree of browning as a dough made with the All Trumps high-gluten flour.   Without making any other changes to your recipe, or the processing of the dough, there should still be enough protein in the Baker's Choice bread flour to produce browning of the crust through the Maillard reactions (between protein and reducing sugars).  But if there is materially less protein in the Baker's Choice flour, then it may not brown as much.  

I have experienced reduced browning when I use low protein flours like 00 flour.  And if you don't add sugar, or the sugar (natural and added) gets used up during the fermentation process (usually over a period of several days), or if you don't add oil, then the color of the crust will be even lighter--almost white.  And any longer bake time will not correct the problem.  What you will get is a burnt bottom crust.  A pizza maker told me the other day that insufficient browning is due to a dough that is too wet.  But if you haven't changed your recipe, then that shouldn't be the problem.  And since you are using your normal baking temperature, not a lowered one, which could result in reduced browning, that shouldn't be the problem either.  I don't know if it will help, but you might try adding some vital wheat gluten to the Baker's Choice flour to see if that helps increase the browning by increasing the protein content.   Each 1% of vital wheat gluten (by weight of flour) increases the protein content of the flour to which it is added by 0.6%.  If that doesn't work, then you might try adding more sugar.  

The only other possibility I can think of is that your All Trumps flour might have malt added to it.  The malt would act like a sugar and result in increased browning.  

Peter

Offline Steve

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 07:49:35 AM »
Yes, the All Trumps flour does have added malt. And I was thinking the same thing too, that it was an issue with the protein and/or sugar levels. Since I'm using the same recipe, then it's either the lack of malt or lack of protein. I plan to do some experimenting with this. I'll be making two batches of dough with each type of flour and do a side-by-side comparison. Then I can eat my experiment!  8)
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Offline Randy

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2004, 09:04:51 AM »
I tried a bag of Sam's bread flour and ended up throwing it away last year some time.
Sams a couple of years ago had high gluten flour.  I bought the next to last bag they had and haven't seen it since.  It was not as good as KA high gluten flour but it was better than KA's breadflour for pizza.

There is no doubt a recipe is 1/3 list of quanties, 1/3 right ingredants and 1/3 procedure.  Most internet recipes get it 50% right.

Randy

Offline DKM

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2004, 12:48:49 PM »
I'd split it one more way Randy:

1/4 list of quanties
1/4 right ingredants
1/4 procedure
1/4 personal tastes

Which is why I highly recommend playing with your food  ;D

DKM
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Offline Giovanni

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2004, 03:42:26 PM »
I finally located Grande Whole Milk and Part Skim. I also located the Stanislaus Full Red Pizza Sauce that has been mentioned. I should have all of these products by next week and i can't wait to see the difference. I too want to try that Ezzo pepperoni. All of the brands I have tried are not even comparable with what i can get from the local pizza shops. I think i might try working on my own sausage recipe because none of the brands i have tried are what i am looking for either (I've tried every brand).

Offline Arthur

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2004, 09:38:29 AM »
Steve,

When you say "dilute" did you mean with water?

Also, which is better KASL or Trumps?  (I'm running out of my KASL and am wondering what I should get).

....also as for the cheese, Grande definetly is the kind you're use to when you go to NY style pizza places, but I've also been happy with fresh 1lb. mozz found in plastic in certain stores like costco or sutton place gourmet .  [instead of the ones in water since those make a pool in your pizza].
« Last Edit: October 25, 2004, 09:39:36 AM by Arthur »

Offline Steve

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2004, 10:14:09 AM »
Steve,

When you say "dilute" did you mean with water?

Also, which is better KASL or Trumps?  (I'm running out of my KASL and am wondering what I should get).

....also as for the cheese, Grande definetly is the kind you're use to when you go to NY style pizza places, but I've also been happy with fresh 1lb. mozz found in plastic in certain stores like costco or sutton place gourmet .  [instead of the ones in water since those make a pool in your pizza].

Dilute = water. Had to add a LOT of water to get it to the right consistency.

Flour, I prefer KASL. But, the Trumps comes in a close second. Trumps is cheaper for me since I order it from the cafeteria where I work (they special order it for me). They can also get the Grande cheese, but I'd have to order a case of the stuff (something like eight 6# loaves!!).
« Last Edit: October 25, 2004, 10:14:45 AM by Steve »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re:Quality ingredients make a difference!
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2004, 11:28:04 AM »
Steve,

Earlier in this thread you discussed problems you were experiencing with browning using the Baker's Choice flour, and the possibility that malt might be implicated.  I thought you might be interested in this Q and A exchange between a poster and Tom L. at PMQ (http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/read/13485):

Q: I read your article talking about malt usage in the dough, here are some questions I have in regard to this material: What does the " Malt" do to or make of the dough? how do you use and in what percentage? what is the desired outcome in the finished product?

A: There are two types of malt in general use. They are referred to as "diastatic" or enzyme active, and "non-diastatic" which has very low or no enzyme activity. Enzyme active malt converts some of the starch in the flour to sugars which are fermented by the yeast. The flour miller normally malts the flour to a predetermined standard level to ensure the ability of the flour to support good yeast fermentation over a several hour period without the need to add sugar to the dough. Because of this, most of the malt that is added after milling is of a non-diastatic type (non-enzyme active). As such, the malt provides a unique (think malted milk) flavor to the finished crust. It also provides for a slightly different crust color. The color of a bagel is largely due to the malt that is added to the bagel dough formulation (don't confuse the crust color with the shine, which is the result of the outer portion of the bagel being exposed to steam/hot water). Go ahead and experiment with malt to see if you like it or not. Just make sure it is a non-diastatic/non-enzyme active malt. It is typically used at levels of 0.5 to 2% of the flour weight. You will probably want to delete any sugar from the formula when using malt as the malt is considered to be a sugar in this application.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

BTW, did you ever do your side-by-side test and, if so, what were the results?

Peter

« Last Edit: November 11, 2004, 11:34:50 AM by Pete-zza »


 

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