Author Topic: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.  (Read 6958 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2008, 12:56:22 PM »
Bryan,

There are several ways to increase crust flavors naturally (that is, without using special chemical additives), but they usually entail using natural starters/preferments or long fermentation times, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator (usually several days). For doughs that are to be made and used in the same day, a preferment such as you used, or maybe in another form such as a sponge or biga, is one of the few ways to achieve better crust flavors naturally. A simple change, such as going to a higher-protein flour, such as a high-gluten flour, will itself give you more crust flavor because of the increased protein content. Using honey, non-diastatic barley malt syrup, a bit of whole wheat or rye flour, and/or flavorful oils/butter will also contribute to crust flavors, but in different ways. Some people put herbs and onion and garlic powders in their doughs to get still a different set of flavors. Simply baking a pizza at a lower temperature for a longer period of time will contribute to crust flavors because of the effects of the longer bake on protein, sugars, oils, etc.

In your case, if you would like to stick with a same-day dough, you could reduce the amount of yeast in the preferment and allow for a longer prefermentation. How much yeast to use would depend on how long a prefermentation you would like to use, the temperature of the water used in the preferment, and the room temperature where the preferment will be made and allowed to preferment. If you have an idea as to how long a prefermentation period you would like to use, and you can tell me what your room temperature is, I may be able to suggest a protocol to use. I can't say that it will work with great precision because there are so many variables involved. Fortunately, with fairly liquid preferments, there are visual signs when the preferment is ready, or nearly ready, to be used (the profusion of bubbles and the break point). I have made preferments with a minuscule amount of yeast--really just a few grains--and the preferments ultimately became very bubbly. However, it took many hours.

You can also use a preferment in combination with cold fermentation. For example, you could use a preferment and, after the final mix, place the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of days or so. Whether that will satisfy your taste buds is something that you can only tell by actually making a test dough and making a pizza out of it.

Another possibility is to just make a straight dough without using a preferment and let the dough sit in the refrigerator for several days. With this option, you would use far less yeast and cold water. I have made doughs that stayed in the refrigerator for 10 days or more, with extremely good crust flavors. However, most people don't want to wait that long to get to eat pizza. Most people seem to be happy with doughs that are 3-6 days or so old.

As you can see, there are many options. However, the dough formulation you used would have to be modified based on the option selected. The longer the period from the making of the dough to using it, the more problematic the entire process becomes because of all of the biochemical activity that can occur over that time. Usually some aspect gets better, but some others can get worse, forcing you to make other changes to fix the problem parts. That part can take a lot of time and experimentation.

Peter


Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2008, 01:29:40 PM »
I've got to say this is one of the friendliest forums I've ever been on.  Its a refreshing change of pace from most.

You got that right! You should read some of the stock investment forums I belong to. Hateful places, although a necessary evil for me.

Great thread you started - flavorful crust is IMO the most important part of pizza making!!


PNW

Offline MWTC

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2008, 02:36:03 PM »
Here is the place where it is all spelled out for us.

http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/_home_encyclopizza.htm

If you follow his instruction, you will have years ahead of you of endless experimentation and growth.

When you figure something out, that raises you to a new plateau, let us know and we can all grow together.

MWTC  :chef:

Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2008, 04:07:17 PM »
I too have been looking for a more flavorful dough and after reading this topic, I tried the following recipe:

Harvest King Flour (100%):
Water (58%):
ADY (0.85%):
Salt (1.75%):
Olive Oil (3%):
Sugar (1%):
Total (164.6%):

And the first time I made it, it was pretty good, it had a little bit of a sourdough taste, but was just a little salty.  But then it turns out the fridge I stored the dough in for a week was in the middle of breaking down and the temp was way too high for a standard fridge.  So since buying the new fridge, I lowered the salt content and the dough was super bland and definately lacked salt (that's why I think the frige temp was crucial to the sour taste on the first pizza).  So how do I emulate the sour taste from the first batch?

On a second note, I don't ever seem to get the big bubbles in my dough that others get as viewed in their pictures, but that might be a handling issue, though I try to very careful, but I'm hoping that's something that comes with practice.

Thanks for all the help I have gotten from this site.
 

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2008, 05:45:44 PM »
katef,

I don't have an explanation for the salt phenomenon you experienced. Is it possible that you mismeasured the salt for the first dough batch? Or, possibly your tastebuds were overly sensitive to salt the day you made the first pizza. I am suspicious that it was the fermentation temperature of the dough. I suggest that you repeat the recipe the way you first tried it. Keep in mind, however, that you are unlikely to get a strong sourdough flavor in the finished crust using that recipe. For really noticeable sourdough flavor, you would have to use a natural starter culture.

Bubbling in the crust is related in part to the way the dough is handled, as you noted, but it can also depend on several other factors, such as the strength of the dough and the ability of the gluten matrix to retain the gases of fermentation, the hydration of the dough (higher is better for bubbles), the type of bake surface (e.g., stone, pan, etc.), and the temperature of the surface on which the dressed pizza is baked (which affects the oven spring). If a lot of yeast is used, especially along with high hydration and water at a relatively high temperature, it is common to get substantial volume expansion and retention of gases of fermentation. When such a dough hits the baking surface, the result is usually a lot of bubbles in the crust. A good example of such a dough is one made using JerryMac's NY style dough recipe.

Peter

Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2008, 10:37:33 PM »
Peter,

Thank you so much for your advice.  It is completely possible that I mismeasured the salt.  I will do exactly as you suggest and make the original formulation again and see what result I get.  My husband really loved the sourdough taste so I reckon I'll be investigating starters soon enough.

I bake the pizza on a pizza screen, I live in Texas and don't want to heat up the oven long enough to use a pizza stone, especially not in the summer.

Thanks again for your help, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Kate

Offline Essen1

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2008, 12:17:42 AM »
Kate,

I was having the same problem, as you are experiencing right now, in the beginning. Not enough flavor in the dough.

Here's what I did. And it started out only as an experiment but it worked for me. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not claiming I reinvented the poolish, biga or sponge. I had to learn what they are, and how to make one, some time ago, too. But let's not to forget the help I had along the way from fine folks such as Pete (I call him the "Professor", but only privately :D ). Then there is Mr. pftaylor (a Raquel worshiper on a mission ;D ), Novemeber aka RN (the self-proclaimed Nurse, you know ;) ), Villa Roma and numerous helpful others.

Anyway, back to the issue...

I bought a cube of fresh yeast (7gr), dissolved it in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, added 1/8 tsp of sugar to it and let it rest until bubbles showed up. I added a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, whisked it until it had a smooth, batter-like consistency and let it rest.

After a few hours you could see it was very active, to a point where it almost blew the lid off the container. I took out a wire whisk, whisked some air into it, which brought the volume down a bit and transferred it over to a new, clean and bigger container. I let it sit overnight, fed it the next morning with 1/2 cup of flour and a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, punched a couple of holes in the lid of the container to let the gases escape and placed it on my window sill, with the window open, of course.

Today, I have a nicely sour smelling preferment, without being overpowering. With every day you let it sit - and without feeding it -  it develops more and more flavor. All I have to do now is activate it, take what I need and that's it. Make sure, when it develops hooch, that it floats on top, not in the middle or the bottom.

Hope that helps a little.

Mike
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 02:29:11 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2008, 01:02:55 AM »
Kate,

I forgot to mention the name of the MAN I've learned the most from, in regards to starters:

Bill/SFNM

Look up his posts about starters and such. Extremely helpful. I believe this is one of his videos:



Mike
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 01:11:01 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2008, 01:26:32 PM »
Mike,

That sounds like a great road to go down.  I think I'll work on Peter's and your suggestions simultaneously and see where I get to.  I know very little about the starter process so your info is extremely valuable. 

Thanks!

Kate


Offline Essen1

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2008, 09:51:23 PM »
Kate,

I currently have three starters going, two of them are laying dormant right now.

One's made with a little ADY to get it going, the second one is the one I described above and the third is similar to the one above but with a different hydration percentage.

There are several books and websites with tons of information. These two are a good start:

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/biga

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/homemadestarter

Mike
Mike

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Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2008, 01:53:04 PM »
Hello Peter and Bryan!  I haven't forgotten about the help you two gave me, I just got really caught up in life.  First I tried making a starter, per Bryan's advice and I did what I thought was right, and the crust turned out well, but I'm not sure I liked it well enough for the trouble (I worried about it a lot).  I think I got confused about how much starter to the rest of the ingredients once I made the dough.  I used the starter calculator and tried to fake it within what I have already learned with other attempts.  I think I'm going to try starting with a purchased starter, then I know what it's supposed to be like and go from there.  Though I must say, it's the best pizza I've gotten from a first attempt. 

This past weekend we had people over specifically for pizza, my first pizza for people outside my family, so I went back to the formulation from a few posts back since I have gotten fairly consistant results.  The dough was really, really good.  When I prepared the dough, I was very careful to measure correctly, and the results give credence to Peter's theory that I mismeasured on the salty dough.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I took the information you both gave to heart and got yummy results either way.  I'm not done trying to find just the right NY crust, though this week I'm taking a break with Chicago deep dish.

Kate

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2008, 02:25:40 PM »
Kate,

Did you mean Mike (Essen1) rather than Bryan? I believe Bryan left the scene of the crime before you and Mike stepped up to the plate. For clarification purposes, can you tell which specific recipe you used for your guests?

Peter

Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2008, 07:18:12 PM »
You are correct, it was Mike who was helping me not Bryan.  My apologies to Mike.

The recipe I used was:

Bread Flour 100%   11 oz
Water 58%           6.37 oz
ADY .91%             .75 tsp
Salt 1.79%            1 tsp
Olive Oil 2.89%       2 tsp
Sugar 1.28%           1 tsp

That's for a 15" pizza

I made a poolish from half the flour, half the yeast, and the water and let that go for 4-5 hours.  Then added the remaining ingredients and left it in my fridge for 4 days. 

Offline Essen1

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2008, 08:34:01 PM »
Hi Kate,

No worries :)

Quote
I made a poolish from half the flour, half the yeast, and the water and let that go for 4-5 hours.  Then added the remaining ingredients and left it in my fridge for 4 days.

I'm wondering when did you add the sugar? Together with the rest of the remaining ingredients or in the poolish?

Mike

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Offline katef

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Re: Dough needs more flavor...but i don't know what to try.
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2008, 11:34:04 AM »
I added the sugar when I combined in the remaining ingredients.


 

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