Author Topic: A personal best…  (Read 1659 times)

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Offline Essen1

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A personal best…
« on: July 15, 2008, 02:06:05 AM »
After trying out a, to me, new form of prolonged prefermentation of the poolish

( http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6936.msg59661.html#new ),

I promised I’d come back and report on the outcome.

The outcome was, simply put, extraordinary!

I have never had a raw dough that was anywhere remotely as responsive as this one was. It was easily manageable, held its shape amazingly well, was rich in flavor and held up under high heat despite being KABF w/low hydration. I might tinker with the hydration level a bit more, though.

However, it’s one of my best batches I have made so far. I restrained myself from using too much heat or handling the dough too much. I just let it fall in place, if you will.

I’ll post something more detailed, incl. dough formula, mixing, starter and baking times tomorrow.

Right now I just want to sink my teeth into one of the pies.

Have a good night everybody


« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 02:22:52 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 02:31:34 AM »
Holy Crickey Mike!
Let me be the first to say that those pies look AWESOME!!

I can't wait to hear the details! 

The quest for great pie continues!!

~mots aka sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline pizzacraver

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 03:16:03 AM »
WOW!!!
Those pies look FANTASTIC Mike  ;D
Keep up the good work bro.

pizzacraver

Offline Essen1

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 04:39:18 PM »
Thanks for the compliments, Mots and Pc  :chef:

Okay, here’s the skinny on how these pizze came together. It’s a long post so bear with me…

It may sound somewhat like an unorthodox method in terms of the prefermentation and the combined use of a starter and ADY but the results, I think, speak for itself. Plus, I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve a good crust, one should do what feels right and most importantly, tastes great.

We all chase the elusive “perfect” crust, whatever that might be, but the bottom line is that it always depends on the individual making it, the ingredients used and the techniques and tools that were employed. But I have to agree with members on this board, who by far surpass my expertise in pizza making, that the ingredients should be of   a higher quality, if not the highest. So don’t compromise on the ingredients.

The pizze I made last night contained King Arthur BF, water, yeast, fine-milled sea salt, a nicely developed starter and a small amount of garlic-infused EVOO. The addition of oil to the dough automatically throws my crust out of the Neapolitan, and perhaps NY style, category, but I can live with that. If I’d be to chase after the perfect Naples crust, for example, it would probably take me a lifetime and I’m sure an enormous amount of funds. Instead I opted for a crust I thought my friends, neighbors, family and myself would enjoy. The positive feedback so far has been unbelievable, especially when I always ask for brutal honesty and believe me, I have received it in the past.

Anyway, I can try to describe in exact detail how the crust tasted but I don’t know if it would do justice. The flavor was amazing. The crusts had all a very subtle sourness & saltiness, without being overpowering, the texture was both chewy on the inside and had a nice crunch and crispiness on the outside and the charred spots added the typical flame-baked taste to it. The oven spring and lightness are also something I was thoroughly impressed with.

In terms of flavor, it was almost like a two-punch; the first came when I bit into it, tasting the freshness of the ingredients, the gooey goodness of the cheese, which just melted away in my mouth and its nice flavor and the second punch was when finally the fine nuances of combined flavors of the crust itself started to shine through. It was just great. Overall it was my personal best to date.

The only thing I will further experiment with is the hydration level, which was at 58%. It might have been a tad too low, even though a couple of my neighbors I gave two pies to last night, didn’t share my opinion. However, I think a level of 60% is more adequate and I will make an adjustment with my next batch.

I’m sure that what will follow next in this post will some of you have shaking their heads, but I can live with that also. Let me begin with the starter…

About 2 months ago - I don’t remember the exact date – I experimented with a cube of fresh yeast, a cup of KABF and a cup of bottled water. I fed the starter for about a week and then simply  left it in front of my open kitchen window, behind a screen, hoping to catch some natural yeast that this area is famous for, and for further fermentation. If I caught some of the natural yeast I really can’t say since I’m by no means an expert on starters but nevertheless, after feeding it only sporadically, it developed a nice hooch and at some point a very pungent smell. Now, a few people have mentioned to discard the hooch, something I never really understood because in my opinion it only adds to the flavor. When the smell became to overwhelming, I simply added ½ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water, mixed everything together and transferred about half the amount of the starter to a clean container and discarded the rest. On occasion it lifted the lid right off the container, it was so active.

Starter stats:

A cube of fresh yeast
1 cup of flour
1 cup of bottled water

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the flour, whisk everything together and feed once a day for a week then let it ferment, preferably near a window that has a screen, feeding it occasionally with ½ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water. That’s it.

Okay, on to the dough…

A couple of days ago, I asked Peter (Pete-zza) about the effects, or impact I should say, that an overnight prefermentation would have on a dough that is intended for same day use. I accidentally used the term “Autolyse” until he informed me that an autolyse doesn’t contain any yeast, only water and flour…

(http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6936.0.html)

But like me, he’s never done an overnight prefermentation so I thought I’d give it a shot and see what happens. And boy, am I glad I did! You can read about the result of the overnight preferment – complete with the final dough formula - by clicking on the link above and scroll all the way down (Reply #7).

To put it all together with my KitchenAid Classic, I used my own kneading procedure, which I wrote about here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6922.0.html

I made one major change, though. After the dough cleared the sides of the bowl completely, I let it rest in the bowl for 3 hrs, covered tightly with aluminum foil. It did almost double in size. I gave it a couple more spins with the dough hook, poured it onto a lightly floured surface, hand-kneaded it for a couple of minutes, shaped it into a ball and let it rest until use. 30 mins before, I divided the dough into 4 balls, between 250 gr –  260 gr each (13” – 14” pizza). The dough was incredibly responsive during shaping, never tore once and had a great smooth feeling to it. It felt like I could have stretched it down the block it was that manageable. Plus, the smell was fantastic.

Here’s the complete dough formula I used. (4 pizze):

654 gr KABF (100%)
380 gr Water (58%)
18 gr Salt (2.75%)
2 gr ADY (0.3%)
12 gr Starter (1.8%)
6 gr EVOO (garlic-infused)

Like I said, I will tinker around with the hydration level a bit and also will try a two-day cold rise, just to see how and if it has a major impact on the crust’s flavor.

The pies were baked for 2 - 3 mins at a temperature between 685° and 725° in the LBE. I would love for fellow members to give this dough a try and post your findings, pros and cons. Keep in mind, though, that this was only a start for me, albeit a surprisingly good one and my gut tells me that it can only get better from here on out.


Below are a few pics of a plain cheese pizza (Mozzarella & Fontina), with a few olives thrown onto it.

Edit: Baking times added.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 09:01:08 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 06:22:46 PM »
A couple of days ago, I asked Peter (Pete-zza) about the effects, or impact I should say, that an overnight prefermentation would have on a dough that is intended for same day use. I accidentally used the term “Autolyse” until he informed me that an autolyse doesn’t contain any yeast, only water and flour…

(http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6936.0.html)

But like me, he’s never done an overnight prefermentation so I thought I’d give it a shot and see what happens.


Mike,

Very nice job.

I apparently misunderstood your question yesterday at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6936.msg59577.html#msg59577, which is why I quoted the above excerpt from your post today. I have made many pizza doughs where a preferment was allowed to ferment overnight to be used to make the final dough the next day. What I did not try is using a long preferment of say, 12-15 hours, to make a dough in the very same day, which is what I thought you were considering doing when you posted in Reply 4 referenced above. As you will see from Reply 165 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg12644.html#msg12644 and at Reply 175 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg12748.html#msg12748, some of the best Lehmann NY style pizzas I made were based on using an overnight preferment (a natural one) to make the dough the next day. So, I can understand why you were so pleased and excited with your recent efforts, as I was with mine. In fact, I experienced many of the dough attributes you experienced.

One of the things that intrigues me about what you did is your use of a preferment elaborated with commercial yeast at the beginning and feeding it regularly without adding more commercial yeast while exposing the preferment to the outside world in order to attract wild yeast. I recall having some exchanges on the forum on the same subject with member creampuff (Andrea). What we were trying to ascertain was whether a preferment based on using commercial yeast could be fed and maintained for a long period of time without being overtaken by wild yeast. As I noted at Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5741.msg49183.html#msg49183, I came to the conclusion that the preferment based on commercial yeast would, in due time, be taken over by wild yeast. My preferments were always based on wild yeast, so your results suggest that one can essentially use any natural preferment to make a dough such as yours. Adding some commercial yeast to the natural preferment is also an option. In fact, that is something I also tried in the context of a Lehmann dough, as I discussed at Reply 132 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg10461.html#msg10461.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 06:41:27 PM »
Peter,

Thank you.  :chef:

Perhaps I misunderstood you also. The duration of my preferment was roughly 15 hrs. I made it around 8:00 pm that evening and started with finishing the dough for same day use around 11:00 am the next day so that it had another 8 - 9 hrs time to rise at room temp.

Now I'm thinking how it would have tasted if I'd given it a two or three day cold-rise?

I used the fresh yeast basically as an accelerator and really don't know the science behind how it fermented so nicely. It just did. I merely tried to go that route in an experimental kind of way and never thought it would turn into something great. I honestly believe that the on and off feeding had something to do with it, compared to feeding the starter every day.

Here's the window set up. I stirred, not fed, the starter this morning to incorporate the accumulated hooch again. Plus, it's time to change containers again.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 07:36:59 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 06:55:56 PM »
Now I'm thinking how it would have tasted if I'd given it a two or three day cold-rise?

Mike,

I make mostly cold fermented doughs but when using preferments, whether natural or elaborated with commercial yeast, I prefer the results achieved from room temperature fermentation.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 06:57:59 PM »
Peter,

Your reply in the thread "A poolish" with member creampuff:

Quote
As I understand it--and I am willing to be corrected on this--if one tries to keep a poolish based on commercial yeast going by feeding it flour and water on a regular basis, but not adding more commercial yeast, the mix will eventually be taken over by wild yeast. When that happens, the wild yeast and the bacteria will cause the mix to become fairly highly acidic. The wild yeast can survive in that acidic environment, but the commercial yeast wont. Once the commercial yeast dies, the dead cells will be eaten by the lactobacillus. So, I would say that scott's advice makes a lot of sense.

This is exactly what happened!
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Essen1

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Re: A personal best…
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 07:00:03 PM »
Mike,

I make mostly cold fermented doughs but when using preferments, whether natural or elaborated with commercial yeast, I prefer the results achieved from room temperature fermentation.

Peter

Peter,

come to think of it, the crust had amazing oven spring so I think it would be safe to say it would do also great in a regular home oven, if the hydration level is raised a bit.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/


 

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