Hi all- I've been experimenting with NYC style pizzas at home for a few months now- making slow but sure progress. At the moment I'm doing all my kneading by hand (have to wait till next xmas before santa brings me a Kitchen Aid) but I keep coming across the same problem- no matter what hydration I aim for, I find myself having to add a considerable amount of flour to the dough during kneading so as to stop it from from turning to a sticky mess on the bench. As a result, the hydration is distorted and I am not getting the crust I am aiming for. For example, I had a go at one of the early Pizza Raquel dough formulations yesterday:
"Pizza Raquel - Everything You'd Want
Weight Volume Description Bakers Percent
16 oz/ 456 Grams 3 1/3 cups KASL High Gluten Flour 100% (hi gluten flour is hard to come by in New Zealand so I had to substitute 11% AP flour)
9.6 oz/ 273 Grams 1 1/8 cups or 9 fluid oz Water 60%
.01 oz/ .285 Grams 1/8 teaspoon (baker's pinch) IDY .0625%
.32 oz/ 9.1 Grams 2 1/4 teaspoon Sicilian Sea Salt (fine cut) 2%
1.3 oz/ 37 Grams 2 tablespoons (heaping) Preferment (I use Varasano) 8%
1 - Stir water and salt with spoon/whisk until dissolved in stand mixer bowl.
2 - Add approximately half the flour first, then the yeast. Fit stand mixer with hook attachment.
3 - Mix 30 seconds on stir to incorporate yeast.
4 - Add preferment.
5 - Mix 1 minute on stir to incorporate preferment.
6 - 20 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die painfully).
7 - Mix on stir speed for 5 minutes, adding in remaining flour gradually over the 5 minute mix.
8 - Mix on 2/3 for 5 minutes.
9 - Check dough temperature with digital thermometer; it should be 80 degrees at the hook.
10 15 minute autolyse. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP (or you will die really painfully and slowly).
11 Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes on lightly floured prep area.
12 Cut into 2 equal pieces, form into balls, place dough into bowls, cover with shower caps.
13 Place dough in the refrigerator. Ferment for 24+ hours.
14 On the following day(s), remove dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Note: Do not punch down, reform balls, or do anything to the dough other than let it warm to room temperature."
I followed this mixing procedure, except of course I was kneading by hand, and I found myself having to add at least 1/2 cup of extra flour during kneading so that I could actually handle the dough. Naturally,
this threw the final hydration right out
Is buying a stand mixer the only way to over come this problem?? Would the addition of vital wheat gluten, since hi gluten flour is unavailable here, make any difference?
All feedback appreciated