Author Topic: My first logged attempt!  (Read 3473 times)

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Offline dcbackus

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My first logged attempt!
« on: January 26, 2008, 10:13:10 PM »
Hey everyone... i've been a LONG time lurker, but this is my first post.  I've been kind of on-and-off trying to get a real good tasting NY pizza going for a couple years.  My results kept geting better and better, however there is still one thing i cannot get right.  Here is my most recent technique:

Recipe from the Lehmann road-map for 16" NY Style 67% hydration and KASL bread flour w/ vital wheat gluten:

~1T Vital gluten
2 1/2 KASL Bread flour
8 oz water
1 tsp slt
3/4 tsp oil
1/4 tsp IDY

I took about 100 degree water and put that into my kitchenaid stand mixer.  Added salt and mixed til dissolved.  I then added the flour, gluten and yeast.  With the paddle attachment, i mixed until the water was taken up into the flour.  I then switched to the dough hook and added the oil.  I kneaded for about 7 minutes on 2 speed, until the ball was smooth and elastic.  (some of the best feeling and smelling dough i've made). 

I cut the dough (i actually doubled the recipe) into two equal portions and formed them into balls.  I lightly oiled them and covered them in an airtight container and put into the fridge.  The finished dough temp was right around 85 degrees. 

They sat in the fridge for just about 24 hours.  I then took them out, dusted them and let them sit for about an hour and a half.  I slapped (read slapped - don't know if this creates an adverse effect, just the easiest way for me to stretch dough) the dough out.  Sauced, topped and put into my oven with my Unglazed quarry tiles on the bottom rack that was preheated for an hour on 550.  Not sure how long it was in the oven , but i took it out when the cheese was starting to brown.

Here's my problem.. the crust does not rise nearly as much as i've seen in many many pictures of NY style pizzas on this forum.  It rises a little, and browns slightly, but not nearly as much as i'd like.  The crust is crunchy, but not nice and poofy inside like i want.  What could the problem be?  I've tried many pizzas and many formulation including actual KASL High-gluten flour, but its always about the same.  Tonights was actually my best attempt, the dough actually had a very nice flavor and was nice and crunchy.  Certainly the closest i've come to a NY taste. 

I tried to document this as well as possible, and give you as much inforomation as possible.. but let me know if you need any more.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks a lot!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 10:43:46 PM »
dcbackus,

You did a nice job describing what you did. I also checked your ingredient quantities and they look in order. BTW, which brand of vital wheat gluten did you use?

Since you are using the dough within 24 hours, you might try letting the dough balls sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour before putting them into the refrigerator. That will allow the dough balls to get a head start on fermentation. If you were going for 2-3 days of cold fermentation, I wouldn't recommend that change, especially in your case at 67% hydration. An alternative approach would be to increase the amount of IDY. I usually use and recommend more yeast when the weather starts to turn cold but from what you reported, it doesn't sound like the limited oven spring is something that just occurred, for example, when the weather turned cold. I would try increasing the amount of IDY anyway, maybe by double to start, and see if that helps with the oven spring. In a future effort, you might even reduce the hydration to around 63-64%, which is more typical of what I now use for the Lehmann dough formulation, with both bread flour and high-gluten flour. The formulation you used was one of my early ones when I was experimenting with variations of hydration for that formulation.

Please keep us posted of your progress if you pursue any of the above recommendations.

Peter

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 11:14:01 PM »
Pete-zza

Thanks for the tips!  I'm using Hodgson Mill wheat gluten - has 8g of protein per 4tsp. 

I will make another batch of dough tonight, and will let it sit for 45 minutes or so before putting it into the fridge.  My fridge is particularly cold, so i could see that being an issue.  Should i try this before i try doubling the yeast?  Or should i try both in one run.  Maybe i'll make two small batches using both techniques and see how it goes. 

I have limited experience with this obviously, but can results be that drastically different with such small alterations to preparation?  Not being skeptical, just be interesting to know. 

After i try these, i'll let you know how it goes, and if i have trouble, i'll decrease the hydration.  I can't wait to see a big poofy crust.. i always get my hopes up and shot down every time..  :(

Thanks a lot for the advice!

Dale

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 11:47:30 PM »
Dale,

I like your idea of doing a couple of small runs and comparing the results. That should also teach you something about how fairly simple variations can change the results. BTW, my refrigerator always runs cooler in winter than in summer, so using more yeast makes sense to expedite the fermentation process.

Weights and volumes for small amounts of dough are almost always on the low side (e.g., teaspoons or fractions of teaspoons) but they can sometimes have a significant effect on the results when they are increased, as with the case of using more yeast. As I have noted before, yeast and temperature are the major factors in the performance of a dough and the finished results. We will have to wait to see if using a brief "proof" of the dough or using more yeast in your next attempts make a difference in your results. Small changes don't always produce outsized changes in the outcomes.

Another thought that occurred to me after I posted is that you might find another NY dough formulation to be more in line with what you are trying to achieve. For example, one of our members, Canadave (Dave), posted a version of a NY dough formulation some time ago that produces more dough than what the Lehmann formulation you have been using produces. The natural effect of using more dough for the same size pizza is that the crust is thicker and more breadlike, and with a larger rim. I can lead you to Dave's formulation should you decide to try that version at some time.

Peter

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2008, 12:27:56 AM »
Peter,

Thanks again.  Well what happened is, i went to make the two batches of dough and for some reason thought i was doubling the yeast in the first batch, and then it occurred to me that i didn't.  So i ended up with two batches with the same amount (1/4 tsp) of yeast.  So i put one directly in the fridge, and the other i'm letting proof at room temp (approx 70 degrees) for 45 minutes, and i'll put it in the fridge then.

So before the end of tonight, i will make a batch with double the yeast and go straight to the fridge. 

Also, i forgot to note in my original post, that after i took the dough out of the bowl (all 3 runs), i hand kneaded it about 10 times to smooth it out a bit.  I have a C shaped dough hook on my 20 something year old kitchenaid and with small portions like this, the hook kind of gets caught up in the dough and just slaps it around the bowl.  I do my best to free it up and keep it going, but it seems to only start doing that about 5 minutes or so into kneading.  But when i take the dough out of the bowl it feels very soft, and after hand kneading it, it gets quite a bit tougher and denser... hope that makes sense.  So let me know if thats a bad thing to be doing or not.

Anywho, tomorrow i'll have 3 batches to try:
1 with 1/4 tsp yeast w/ immediate cold fermentation
1 with 1/4 tsp yeast w 45 minutes room temp fermentation
1 with 1/2 tsp yeast w/ immediate cold fermentation

I'll let you know what happens.  BTW the finished temp of this dough was right at 83 degrees this time.  Very nice balls of dough.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 12:30:25 AM by dcbackus »

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2008, 12:28:53 AM »
Also wanted to note that my fridge is 38 degrees.

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2008, 12:38:52 AM »
Dale,

What you did with the dough after it came out of the bowl was perfectly fine. I, too, have a KitchenAid stand mixer that is over 20 years old and has a C-hook, so I know exactly what you are talking about. I also use a long-handled flexible plastic spatula (more like a cake icing spreader) to move the flour and other ingredients into the path of the dough hook. I also stop the machine if necessary and use my hands to knead things together so that the machine operates more effectively after I do that.

The corner of my refrigerator compartment where I store dough balls is around 38-40 degrees F this evening. We have some members whose refrigerators run at just above freezing.

Peter

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2008, 01:02:07 AM »
Awesome... great to hear.  Those Kitchenaids are amazing... it was my grandmothers, then my mothers...

I'll update you tomorrow - thanks so much.

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2008, 09:07:15 PM »
So here's the news... I made the three dough balls that i said i made earlier.  about 21 hours later, i took the one dough ball that i made with double the yeast and straight to the fridge out, and let warm for about an hour.  I slapped it out, trying to make sure there was a nice rim for a crust, sauced and topped.  (try not to make too much fun of my toppings :)

The crust seemed to rise a little more this time, but it still wasn't near like i've seen from some of you on here, and there wasn't much browning at all.  I can't quite discern what the problem is.  I did change something up - i cooked this one on a screen instead of the tiles, at the bottom rack at 550.  The bottom of the pizza got charred pretty severely by the time the toppings and cheese was finished. 

I know i need to put the screen up higher when i use it now, but would that make a significant difference in the way the crust rises?  Because it seems like the crust rises to a certain point in about 2 minutes and stops.  The taste was pretty good, and still getting better (tastes and feels more like pizza crust than bread) - however i still REALLY want that big NY style crust that i've seen so many times.  I've read in the past that adding sugar might help with the browning, but what about the rising?  Is it really the yeast content?  Should i just keep adding yeast, or is there something else...  I guess my question is - is the amount the crust rises solely dependent on yeast and fermentation processes?

Let me know your thoughts... thanks so much!


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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 10:41:02 PM »
dcbackus,

I think it might help if you can refer to a few photos of the type of NY style pizza you are after. Often some of the best looking pizzas on the forum from an oven spring standpoint are baked in ovens with a much higher temperature than you used. If there are dough formulations accompanying the photos you reference, that would be a definite plus since that would give us something to analyze.

As far as the role of yeast in oven spring is concerned, it is a contributor but perhaps more important is the role of moisture in the dough being converted to steam to cause the dough to rise more rapidly as it bakes. Higher oven and stone temperatures do a better job at this than lower oven and stone temperatures. Your dough should have plenty of moisture content at 67% hydration to be converted into steam. As evidence that you donít need a lot of yeast to get a decent oven spring, you may want to take a look at a Lehmann NY style pizza that I made using only 0.17% IDY, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg17956.html#msg17956 (Reply 280). In that experiment, I also tried to keep the finished dough temperature down.

One of the methods that I have used a lot with the Lehmann NY style dough is to use a combination of pizza screen and stone, as I did with the pizza referenced above. I would typically use this combination when I wanted to make a pizza of a size that was larger than my stone alone could accommodate. For example, when I wanted to make a 16" pizza--which is a typical NY style size pizza--I would build the pizza on the screen and bake it on an upper rack position (or sometimes at the middle oven rack position) until the rim of the crust started to brown and the cheeses were bubbling. I would then move the pizza off of the screen and onto the pizza stone (which I had preheated for an hour at around 500 degrees F) at the lowest oven rack position. Since the pizza had set up by this point, it didn't matter that the pizza was larger than my stone (which could handle only a 14" maximum pizza size by itself). The edges of the pizza would overlap the stone a bit but the pizza would develop the proper bottom crust. Invariably, the pizza had good oven spring. If for some reason the top crust wasn't browned enough, I would move the pizza back to the upper rack position for a minute or so to develop that better color. I almost never used sugar in the Lehmann dough.

As I noted previously, maybe the Lehmann dough isn't the one that will best meet your needs with your current oven configuration and setup. However, before suggesting a change, I would like to have a better idea as to the ideal NY style pizza you are after.

Peter

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2008, 11:51:51 AM »
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5353.html#msg5353

This was the recipe and method i used... except i added the 1T of wheat gluten because i was using the KA bread flour.  I'd be very pleased if i could get the results you show in those pictures.  You say that you put the pizza on the stone that was preheated at 500-550 degrees, which is what i preheat my stone to as well.  Is there a significant difference in the outcome of splitting the cooking between screen and stone?  How high in the oven is the screen when you do this? 

You also mentioned you made on earlier in the week with 1 1/2 tsp yeast and you liked it better, and this one tasted a little more bready, but the high hydration percentage gave it a nice airy crust, which is what i am after.  So would one do well with a high hydration percentage AND thrice the yeast?

Thanks again for your help

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2008, 01:44:11 PM »
dcbackus,

Thank you for citing the Lehmann recipe you modified for your use. After rereading the post you referenced, I can now see why I donít use or recommend 67% hydration anymore. As a general rule, with all else being equal, a higher hydration dough will ferment faster than a lower hydration dough. Often the result is a dough that is too extensible, as was the case with the pizza described in the post you referenced. I donít think I ever went back to a 67% hydration with the Lehmann dough formulation.

As you will note from scanning the Lehmann Roadmap at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193, I have done just about everything that you can do to the basic Lehmann recipe. However, most of the Lehmann pizzas I have made have been of the larger size because NY style pizzas are typically larger than most pizzas, with 16Ē and 18Ē being pretty much the norm, at least in New York City. In my case, this meant that I had to use a combination of screen and stone because my stone was limited to a maximum pizza size of 14Ē. In using the screen, my practice for the most part was to put the screen on the uppermost oven rack position, and then shift to the stone at the lowermost oven rack position. Ovens differ, so some experimentation may be necessary to determine which oven rack position produces the best results. Many members, for example, use the middle oven rack position with good results.

I might add that it is also possible to bake a Lehmann pizza using a screen only, as I did, for example, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg15669.html#msg15669 (Reply 205) and at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg27251.html#msg27251 (Reply 407).

I canít say that I have detected a material difference in results between baking a Lehmann pizza using the screen and stone combination and baking directly on the stone. For example, if you look at the pizza that was baked directly on the stone at
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5442.html#msg5442 (Reply 31), you will see that it had good oven spring. I might add, however, that I used a food processor for making the dough for that pizza and I also used an autolyse, which can have the effect of creating a more breadlike crumb. I have baked many other Lehmann pizzas directly on a stone but did not record the results on the forum because there was nothing more to report than what had previously been reported.

As you noted, I mentioned in the post you referenced that I preferred the pizza that was based on using a much larger amount of yeast over the pizza that used less. Using the larger amount of yeast was a rookie mistake on my part. And because I was trying to be true to the Lehmann dough formulation, I never used the larger amount of yeast again but rather retreated back to the normal amount of yeast in later iterations of that formulation. I have pretty much stuck with that approach since that first errant pizza. However, this does not mean that you have to do likewise. The original Lehmann dough formulation was intended to be a commercial formulation that was based on using a small amount of yeast so that the dough balls would not overferment or rise too much while in the cooler. In your case, in a home environment, there is nothing to stop you from increasing the amount of yeast. So, it may well be worth trying a multiple of the amount of IDY you have been using.  You should experiment with using different amounts, maybe starting with three or four times the amount of IDY you have been using. That will be a good way for you to learn how different yeast quantities alter the behavior pf the dough at different stages and affect the final results. I would not suggest going beyond one day of fermentation, however, because the risk of overfermentation will be much greater.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 01:46:32 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2008, 01:55:28 PM »
Correct me if i'm wrong, but what i gathered from that is that the yeast amount is the primary thing that affects oven spring?

I just want to make sure that as i continue with experimentation, that i start experimenting with the right thing.  Are you also saying that i should decrease the hydration percentage?  I use a 16" screen, and i am the same as you where my stone limitation is just over 14"... can you recommend a formulation?  I do not have a food processor, but like stated earlier, i have a good 20 year old KA stand mixer. 

Could the difference be the using of KA bread flour/wheat gluten vs KASL high gluten flour be the difference?  I just don't understand what variables make a difference in the oven spring.  It seems my experimentations may be partially futile if i don't understand what's doing what.

Again and as always, thank you so much for your continuing support.. i wish i could make it up to you somehow.

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2008, 03:44:36 PM »
Dale,

At one time, I believed that the major contributor to oven spring was the amount of yeast. That was, and is, the most commonly held belief on this subject. It is even reflected in the forumís Pizza Glossary that Steve (our Administrator) and I co-authored (see Oven Spring at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#O). Most often, you will read that the oven spring is due to the final burst of activity that occurs when the yeast gives up its life when the dough/crust temperature reaches around 140 degrees F as it is being baked. Unfortunately, that theory is not quite right, and it took members Jeff Varasano and November to convince me that the steam generated from moisture in the dough was the dominant factor in the creation of oven spring. The thread where I ďcame to GodĒ on this subject is this one: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3557.0.html. If you want an education on oven spring, that is the thread to read. I didnít mention this thread earlier since you posted in the Newbie Topics board and, as a result, wanted to spare you and other readers from the more technical aspects of oven spring.

I donít mean to suggest that yeast plays no role in oven spring. I believe that if there is enough yeast in the dough and it is well nourished and allowed to ferment at a reasonable temperature (i.e., not too cold), the carbon dioxide created by the fermentation process should result in a well developed gluten structure or matrix that contains more voids to hold the gases of fermentation and moisture that can produce a better oven spring when the dough is exposed to high oven temperatures. If there is not enough yeast to start to do this, or do it efficiently, and/or the fermentation temperature is too low, there may be fewer opportunities for the moisture in the dough to be converted to oven spring. Also, if the yeast runs out of food, the gluten structure can collapse and weaken (e.g., due to the action of acids), and the gases can escape and result in poor oven spring. If no yeast is used, you can still get oven spring because of the moisture in the dough being converted to steam. Depending on the hydration of the dough, you might end up with a finished crust that is initially on the soft side (before it cools) or it might be hard like a cracker. Of course, you are not looking for a yeast-less dough.

Iíd be happy to come up with a Lehmann dough formulation for any size pizza youíd like. I will need to know what size pizza, the desired number of dough balls, and what kind of flour you will be using and whether you will also be using vital wheat gluten. I will also want to know whether you want to use more yeast than usual. I have made Lehmann doughs supplemented with vital wheat gluten before with good results but I have also used bread flour alone (my favorite is the King Arthur bread flour). I would lower the hydration only because I believe that 67% is too high, even when increasing the water content to compensate for the addition of the vital wheat gluten (if you choose to use it). The rated absorption for the KA bread flour is about 62%. For the KASL, it is about 63%. You should be able to use your KitchenAid stand mixer.

Peter

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2008, 04:01:15 PM »
Thanks for the great information. 

I'm looking for a formulation based on KA bread flour, vital wheat gluten (hodgson mill), enough yeast for good oven spring (as much as you think that plays a role), and enough for one 16" pizza.  Also take into account a 24 hour 38 degree fermentation period and 1-2 hour warmup period. 

Like i've been saying... whatever i can do to maximize the likelihood that i will get a good amount of oven spring, the better.  Let me know if you need any more information.

I will continue my education on the topic of pizza dough, as it is the one thing right now i think (up to my current experience level of pizza making in general) is holding my pizza back.  Thanks so much.

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2008, 07:22:08 PM »
Dale,

Based on your stated requirements, I came up with a basic Lehmann dough formulation and modified it to reflect the use of vital wheat gluten. The starting formulation I decided upon is the following, as produced by using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html:

Flour (100%):
Water (63%):
IDY (0.75%):
Salt (1.75%):
Olive Oil (1%):
Total (166.5%):
364.86 g  |  12.87 oz | 0.8 lbs
229.86 g  |  8.11 oz | 0.51 lbs
2.74 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.91 tsp | 0.3 tbsp
6.39 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.14 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
3.65 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.81 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
607.49 g | 21.43 oz | 1.34 lbs | TF = 0.106575
Note: Nominal thickness factor is 0.105; bowl residue compensation is 1.5% (which increases the nominal thickness factor to 0.106575)

For purposes of using the dough calculating tool to create the above formulation, I used a thickness factor of 0.105, which is a typical value that I often use for the basic Lehmann NY style pizza. I also used a bowl residue factor of 1.5% in the tool to compensate for minor dough losses in the bowl. If you decide at any time that you would rather use only the King Arthur bread flour, that is, without replacing part of it with vital wheat gluten, you would use the above formulation exactly as stated. However, to use vital wheat gluten in that formulation, it is necessary to modify it.

In order to modify the above formulation, I first determined how to apportion the 364.86 grams of total flour between the King Arthur bread flour and the Hodgson Mill brand of vital wheat gluten. In doing this, I targeted a final protein content of 14.2%, which is the protein content of the King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour. By comparison, the KA bread flour has a protein content of 12.7%. Using Novemberís convenient Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/, and selecting the King Arthur bread flour and the Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten in the pull down menus, and entering the appropriate values in the empty boxes (Mass and %), I established that we would need about 354.71 grams of King Arthur bread flour (Mass A) and 10.15 grams of vital wheat gluten (Mass B) so that the final protein content of the combined mix is 14.2%. If you add 354.71 grams and 10.51 grams, you will see that the total is 364.86 grams. For your information, 10.51 grams of Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten comes to a bit over a tablespoon.

Whenever vital wheat gluten is added to another flour, the usual recommendation is to add an additional amount of water to the formulation water to compensate for the dryness of the vital wheat gluten. That amount of water is about 1 Ĺ the weight of the vital wheat gluten, or 15.23 grams in our case.

I used the expanded dough calculating tool and made the necessary adjustments to the bakerís percents to produce the final dough formulation as follows:

Flour (100%):
Water (69.0968%):
IDY (0.77146%):
Salt (1.8009%):
Olive Oil (1.02862%):
Vital Wheat Gluten (2.86259%):
Total (175.56037%):
354.7 g  |  12.51 oz | 0.78 lbs
245.09 g  |  8.65 oz | 0.54 lbs
2.74 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.91 tsp | 0.3 tbsp
6.39 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.14 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
3.65 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.81 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
10.15 g | 0.36 oz | 0.02 lbs | 3.09 tsp | 1.03 tbsp
622.72 g | 21.97 oz | 1.37 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: The flour is King Arthur bread flour; the vital wheat gluten is the Hodgson Mill brand.

You shouldnít be alarmed by the high hydration number in the above formulation. Because of the way the dough calculating tool was designed, all bakerís percents are stated with respect to the flour (not the flour and vital wheat gluten combined). So, I adjusted all of the numbers to work with the tool. Also, you will note that because of the abovementioned changes, the final dough weight is about a half-ounce greater than the weight given in the first dough formulation presented above. I wouldnít worry about that small an amount but if youíd like you can weigh the final dough ball and trim it if it weighs more than 21.11 ounces, which is the dough ball weight that corresponds to the thickness factor of 0.105 (3.14159 x 8 x 8 x 0.105 = 21.11)

You didnít indicate whether you have a scale to weigh out the King Arthur bread flour. If you do not have a scale, let me know and I will show you how to convert the weight of that flour (354.7 grams), and the weight of the water as well, to volume measurements.

To prepare the dough using the final dough formulation with your KitchenAid stand mixer, I suggest that you use the methods I described starting at about the middle of Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19563.html#msg19563. Just be sure to add the vital wheat gluten to the King Arthur bread flour. If you add it to the wet ingredients, it will pill up and make a mess. If you havenít read the above thread before, it contains a lot of useful tips for the beginning pizza maker.

As a final note, you will see that I included a rather high percent of IDY in the dough formulation to turbo charge the dough, even though I have made many Lehmann doughs (including many using vital wheat gluten) using much less IDY (usually 0.25%). If need be, we can alter the amount of yeast in the formulation if it turns out to be too much (or too little--which would be a surprise).

Peter 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 07:25:29 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2008, 10:24:07 PM »
Thank you so so much...

I do not have a scale, but will pick one up tomorrow before i make the dough with this formulation.  Is a good kitchen scale something you can pick up at like a bed bath and beyond or something?  I know there are plenty online, but would like to get it soon so i can try this new formulation.

If i ever get this looking right, maybe i can do a good tutorial video for you guys as a website.  Something with a good amount of production quality (which is what i do for a living), as a thank you.

Excited to try - i'll let you know as soon as i can.  I'd like to be able to make some good pies by Sunday (SuperBowl) to impress some friends with... wish me luck!

Dale


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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2008, 10:41:53 PM »
Is a good kitchen scale something you can pick up at like a bed bath and beyond or something?

Dale,

I was in a Linen and Things and a Bed Bath and Beyond recently and saw some digital scales that look like they would work for your purposes. In a pinch, you could use the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator (also designed by November) at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/. If you decide to use that tool, let me know and I will tell you how to do the conversion from weights (of flour and water). There are specific steps to follow.

I hope you have a chance to try making a few pizzas before making them for guests, so that you have time to make any necessary adjustments. I have made quite a few Lehmann 16" pizzas for friends that used vital wheat gluten combined with the King Arthur bread flour, with 24-hours of cold fermentation, and they were big hits. I used the screen and stone combination. If you ever want to impress your guests, you will have to get an 18" screen (if it will fit in your oven with the door closed) and make 18" pizzas.

One of the things you will want to keep in mind if you plan to make several pizzas is not to overload your mixer when making the dough. You will also have to adjust the knead times based on the amount of dough you will be making. My basic KitchenAid mixer tends to bog down when the dough batch size gets to somewhere between two and three pounds. The newer models tend to do better in that respect.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 07:19:41 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2008, 07:15:41 PM »
So here's an update:

I used your formulation, after i went out and bought a scale, and made a dough ball yesterday that came out weighing just over 21 oz and was 83 degrees.  I lightly oiled it, put it in a tupperware and it sat for 24 hours.

When i took it out, it had grown a large air bubble on the top.  I popped it and it sunk down a good 1 or 2 inches .  (This isn't the first time this has happened... too much yeast maybe?)  So it sat out for about an hour before i stretched it out.  This dough was extremely extensible.  I could've made an 18" out of it no problem... I dressed it and put it in the oven on a screen second to the top in the oven.  I cooked it there until the cheese began to bubble and the crust had stopped rising.  I then transferred it down to the bottom rack on the stones for browning.

After only maybe 2-3 minutes it starting smoking, and i had a charred pizza on the bottom.  Very strange.  I guess it was on the stones for too long.. i'm not really worried about that because i know how to fix that.

I'm just still unable to get the awesome oven spring i'm looking for. The crust looked about the same as all my other attempts thus far.  Do you know of anyone who has been able to get good oven spring, like in the thread i referenced to earlier, with an oven that can only achieve 550?  I'm pretty sure i've seen people do it... i just don't know what i'm doing differently.  I will not rest until i either achieve it, or know why i can't achieve it. 

Any ideas?  Thanks again..
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 07:17:33 PM by dcbackus »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2008, 07:59:52 PM »
Dale,

The way I described the various steps in the pizzzagirl thread is the way I have made the Lehmann dough/pizzas on many occasions, using a standard home grade oven (electric) at 500-550 degrees F. Are you using an electric oven or a gas oven, and have you actually checked the temperature of your oven to be sure that it is actually at 550 degrees F? From the photo, it doesn't look like you are getting enough top heat. If so, that might account for why the dough didn't expand as much as you'd like at the upper oven rack position you used. Some members turn on the broiler for a few minutes, then turn it off before depositing the pizza into the oven. That is not something that I have found a need to do in my oven.

Another possibility that you might try is to bake the pizza on the screen on the tiles and slip the pizza off of the screen and onto the tiles once the pizza sets up. You might also let the dough warm up for about two hours, rather than for an hour as you did, before preparing the pizza to be baked. You didn't indicate where you live but if your kitchen is on the cool side (which is very common during the cold winter months), maybe one hour warmup isn't quite enough. From the point you remove the dough from the refrigerator, you have about 5 hours to use the dough. So, letting the dough rest for a decent period won't hurt it. In fact, several members have reported that their best pizzas were made with the dough at the end of that period.

In preparing the dough, you should also try to stay away from the edges when you are pressing out and stretching the dough into a skin. That way, you should get a larger rim.

The bubble in the dough and the increased extensibility were no doubt because of the increased amount of yeast. At some point, you may want to consider reducing the amount of yeast unless changes in your baking protocol yield the results you are after.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 08:12:13 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dcbackus

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Re: My first logged attempt!
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2008, 09:47:29 PM »
Great advice...

I will make the next batch with half the yeast and see how that goes.  I currently don't have a thermometer that will go near 550.. but i will maybe move the rack to the highest position and try that.  My oven is only a year old, and its a nice one - so i'd imagine it's pretty close... I guess the trick at this point, is messing with yeast amounts, warming times, and cooking positions. 

Sounds like a plan...

Thanks again


 

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