Author Topic: Newbie needing help/suggestions  (Read 3342 times)

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Offline snowdog

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Newbie needing help/suggestions
« on: July 14, 2008, 03:29:13 PM »
Hi all,

Newbie here who just decide with in the last few days he wanted to learn how to start making his own pizzas  ;)

From youtube post I watched... (before I found this great forum...) I ran out and bought a pizza stone and a pizza slip from BB & B this weekend & made up four pizza's from recipe's I got off youtube...  they turned out good but not great.

Found this forum today & have been reading post here for the last 3 hours... I have been learning a ton...  ran out at lunch & bought my 1st digital scale - seeing I was going to need one for a dough recipe I want to try from one of Peter's post (Pete-zza)... I really like thin cracker style crust - though I may be confussed & like Neapolitan crust.. or is that just referring to toppings... I like it thin... hmmm...  :-[

Anyway here my question... if you were trying to make thin crust pizza dough & were going to be making say... two pies at a time (16") ... being a newbie & getting started... if these were one of your choices... would you...  try hand kneading the dough or buying a bread machine (so many selling on e-bay really cheap) or buy a used or refurb mixer like a KitchenAid Artisan at around $180 with dough hooks... to obtain a good dough to work with?

So much to learn... but looking forward to it !

thanks !
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 03:56:18 PM by snowdog »
glenn


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 04:38:11 PM »
snowdog,

From your post it sounds like you are really interested in making a cracker-style pizza. A Neapolitan-style pizza, especially an authentic one baked in a very high temperature oven, is characterized by a soft crust. I normally don't recommend that a beginning pizza maker start with a Neapolitan style pizza, but the dough for that style can be made using just about any type of dough kneading machine, including a stand mixer, a food processor, or a bread machine. The dough can even be made by hand.

My personal "bible" on the cracker-style pizza is the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html. In that thread, I and other members showed how to make a cracker-style dough using a food processor, a stand mixer, and by hand. I thought about the possibility of using a bread maker at the time I conducted my experiments but did not explore how to best use a bread maker for that style of pizza.

The thing that most cracker-style doughs have in common is the use of a small amount of water in relation to the amount of flour (in technical jargon, the dough is a "low-hydration" dough). This means that the dough will be very dry. As a result, the biggest problem that most people have with such a dough is rolling it out--usually with a rolling pin (although a few use pasta rolling machines). Starting with Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138, I and other members developed methods for dealing with that problem, specifically, by subjecting the dough to heat to make it immensely easier to roll out. In my opinion, the use of heat was a major advancement.

Another useful thread on the cracker style pizza is this one: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,105.0.html. However, that thread is based on using a food processor. There are several other useful threads on that style, which you can access by scanning the index on that style at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/board,28.0.html.

If you plan to make enough dough for two 16" cracker style pizzas, you will want to be sure that whatever machine you decide upon can make that amount of dough. Depending on the thickness of crust you decide upon, I estimate that that amount of dough can range from about 24 ounces to about 36 ounces. Most machines can handle the low end but not all of them can handle the high end in a single batch. If you decide on a stand mixer, my best advice is that you look for one with a spiral dough hook, not one with a C-hook. A machine with either dough hook can be used to make a cracker-style dough, but the spiral dough hook has broader overall utility. You should also keep in mind that dough recipes recited in baker's percent format can usually be easily modified for the 16" size. If you find a baker's percent recipe that you think you would like to try, I may be able to help you with a dough formulation to try out for the 16" size.

Peter

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 05:24:13 PM »
Thanks much for the reply Peter  :chef:

Just got home & measured my pizza slip... I will be making two (2) 12" pies at a time, not 16" ones... sorry  :-[

Can anyone recommend a brand/model of food processor that will handle this in one batch & do a good job?  In your opinion will I notice a big difference using a food processor instead of a stand mixer with a spiral hook?

Going to try this recipe... Can you tell me the a dough formulation for the below... for making two 13" pies in a single batch? 

Is this still one of your favorite Cracker Style recipes?

Re: Pete-zza Does DKM Cracker Style
Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 12:41:44 PM
Flour (100%):
Water (36%):
IDY (0.97%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):
Sugar (1.2%):
Total (143.42%):
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 06:51:42 PM »
snowdog,

The dough formulation you referenced was an earlier one. I subsequently increase the IDY to 1% and used a thickness factor of 0.07, which I found to be a somewhat better value to use than the earlier thickness factor. Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, I came up with the following dough formulation for two 12" pizzas (13" trimmed to 12"):

Flour (100%):
Water (36%):
IDY (1%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):
Sugar (1.2%):
Total (143.45%):
Single Ball:
367.25 g  |  12.95 oz | 0.81 lbs
132.21 g  |  4.66 oz | 0.29 lbs
3.67 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.22 tsp | 0.41 tbsp
6.43 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.15 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
12.85 g | 0.45 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.83 tsp | 0.94 tbsp
4.41 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
526.81 g | 18.58 oz | 1.16 lbs | TF = 0.07
263.41 g | 9.29 oz | 0.58 lbs
Note: Pizza size entered into the tool = 13"

As noted above, I entered a pizza size of 13" into the tool. Once the dough is rolled out to 13", a template should be used to cut a 12" skin out of the 13" skin. In my case, I often use a 12" pizza screen as a template. If you end up making pizzas that you like, you can always increase or decrease the crust thickness of future pizzas by using the tool. The tool can also be used to make smaller or larger pizzas.

I use a Cuisinart food processor with a 14-cup bowl to make the dough. It is an ancient model but it has held up through the years and does a good job. If you plan to buy a food processor, you may want to keep other applications in mind for the processor as you make your buying decision. If you make the dough for two pizzas (18.58 ounces) in one batch, you may have to adjust the mix times. I think most current models of food processors with a capacity of around 14 cups should be able to handle that amount of dough.

You didn't indicate how you plan to bake the pizzas, that is, using a cutter pan, pizza stone or something else. The thread I referenced in the last post discusses some of the possible options in that regard. However, the cutter pan was, and is, my favorite, for the reasons mentioned in the referenced thread.

Peter







Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 09:33:04 AM »
Peter thanks for the replies & getting me updated on your most current recipe !

I have been baking directly on the pizza stone set on the bottom rack at 550 degrees for 5 or 6 mins... just ordered a Cuisinart 14-cup food processor, the Cuisinart web site said it can handle up to 3 lbs of dough at one time  :)

Can you point me to a link of your favorite sauce recipe?  So far I have been just using this one... which turned out pretty good for a novice pizza maker like me... (have made pizzas 4 so far...)

1/4 cup olive oil in a sauce pan, heated under med. heat to roast 3 cloves of crushed garlic, then I add one 28 oz can diced tomatoes and 3 fresh basil leafs chopped & 2 fresh leafs/stems of oregano chopped, 1 teaspoon salt & all simmered on low for 10-15 mins.

I then spraying my dough once rolled out with olive oil (to keep the sauce from being absorbed in dough) & adding the above sauce, add about 4 oz mozzarella and 3 or 4 leaves fresh basil chopped & then topping with pepperoni...  :pizza:

any suggestion... much appreciated !
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 10:20:21 AM »
snowdog,

I don't really have a single favorite sauce, and I am usually reluctant to suggest sauces to people because sauce preferences vary so much from one person to another. You will note in the thread I referenced earlier (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html) that most of the pizzas I made and reported on there used a sauce that was basically uncooked 6-in-1 pureed tomatoes right out of the can with dried Italian oregano or oregano with dried Italian basil. Sometimes, when I want a more complex sauce with a ton of flavor, I use member November's sauce recipe and microwave assisted extraction (MAE) method given at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3735.msg32136.html#msg32136. On other occasions, I will use Penzeys pizza seasoning as a base for a 6-in-1 sauce. Sometimes I will add garlic and olive oil and grated cheeses (Parmesan and/or Romano). The Penzeys pizza seasoning contains a fair amount of fennel, which a lot of people do not like, so it is a good idea to check the ingredients to see if the product meets with your approval. The ingredients list can be seen at http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyspizzaseas.html.

One of the tips that I found helpful when making the cracker-style pizzas is that it helps to put the cheeses down before the sauce. That makes it unnecessary to oil the pre-baked skin before putting down the sauce. In my case, I used slices of cheese for the most part rather than shredded.

Peter


Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 03:10:52 PM »
A question... in the above recipe... can olive oil be used instead of Vegetable?

Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):

If so, any negatives to this change?
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 03:25:24 PM »
A question... in the above recipe... can olive oil be used instead of Vegetable?

Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):

If so, any negatives to this change?



snowdog,

I used vegetable oil because the recipe I started out with, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizzainnstyle.php, calls for vegetable oil. I believe that vegetable oil was used with the original recipe because it was supposed to replicate a commercial cracker-style dough used by Pizza Inn. Most commercial pizza operators use vegetable oil (soybean oil) because it is one of the cheapest oils available to pizza operators.

In your case, you can substitute olive oil but I would be inclined to use a light olive oil, such as the Classico olive oil in the bottle with the yellow label. Using extra virgin olive oil might impart too potent a taste to the finished crust, which you may not like. You can also use a combination of olive oil (even the extra virgin type) and canola oil to soften the effects of the olive oil. Most operators who use such a blend typically use about 75-80% canola oil in the blend. That blend strikes a reasonable balance and compromise between flavor and cost. Of course, you can play around with different oils based on your taste preferences.

Peter

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2008, 09:53:31 AM »
Thanks !  :chef:

Always learning ...  :)

glenn

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2008, 12:35:43 PM »
Another question...

About the flour for the recipe in this post... locally I have only been able to find...King Arthur all-purpose 100% Organic Flour, will this work?

I was able to pick up a box of wheat gluten at the local organic market (Whole Foods) ... would you recommend I use it?  If so would you have a recommendation on how much for the above recipe for a higher gluten level?
glenn


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008, 01:10:57 PM »
Glenn,

I really liked the Harvest King bread flour for the cracker-style crusts. Sometimes that flour is sold under the General Mills "Better for Bread" brand, either alone or together with the "Harvest King" name. Most general supermarkets carry the product under one of those brand names.

It is possible to use vital wheat gluten (VWG) to increase the protein content of another flour, including the organic flour you found. The amount of VWG to use will depend on the brand of VWG you have, since different brands have different protein contents. If you have VWG in a box, that suggests that you may have the Hodgson Mill brand. But, whatever the brand, I use the Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/ to determine how much VWG to use to achieve a particular targeted protein content for the final blend. To use that tool, you will want to know the protein content of the organic flour--plus the brand of VWG you have. The targeted protein content would be the protein content of bread flour, such as that for the Harvest King flour.

Once you decide how you would like to proceed, I may be able to help you with the VWG calculations if you wish.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:30:37 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 09:10:38 AM »
Glenn,

I saw this thread recently at the PMQ Think Tank concerning olive oil and olive oil blends: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?t=5834&sid=7ca82d01793b152451b795c28b6f884a. I once recommended that a pizza operator switch from the high-priced olive oil to the lower-priced pomace oil, which he did. He said that he couldn't tell the difference. I am not sure whether pomace oil is sold at the retail level but it may be worth checking into if using pomace oil interests you, although it still comes down to the flavor profile you are looking for.

Peter

EDIT: After posting, I checked a local high-end supermarket that carries a lot of different oils (on six shelves eight-feet long) and I did not see any pomace oil.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 10:20:53 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 11:27:52 AM »
Peter - my 14 cup Cuisinart Food Processor came in yesterday... still waiting on my scale to arrive (I think weighing the flour & water will really help me...) 

question... using this recipe... last night I made up my dough (seemed a little too dry & I had to add about an extra ounce of water - but I think that is because when I measured the flour... without a scale... I may have had a little too much)

it all came together & I then put it in a plastic bowl & plastic lid, covered it a in light covering of olive light oil... and left it just at room temp (about 75 degrees), looked at it this morning after 12 hours... it looked like it has about doubled... I plan on baking tonight ... is my process with this recipe & letting it sit out at room temp for 24 hours ... OK?  Is this the best, short of a proofing box?  If not what would you recommend?   Should have I done otherwise & put it in the frig.?

I plan on baking right on my pizza stone... preheating the oven to 550 for 30 mins & then turning it down to about 475 & baking for about 8 - 9 mins.

Have read like hundreds & hundred of post... here on the forum... have really been enjoying... but I may be mixing some post up with others...  when I came up with above... hope it's close to right  ;)

Can't wait to get my scale (arrives tomorrow)... now I just need to figure out the best way to handle the dough after I make it... have bought the best of fresh herbs, olive oil, cheese & other ingredients... looking forward to making my best pizzas so far tonight...  :chef:

Flour (100%):
Water (36%):
IDY (1%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%):
Sugar (1.2%):
Total (143.45%):
Single Ball:
 367.25 g  |  12.95 oz | 0.81 lbs
132.21 g  |  4.66 oz | 0.29 lbs
3.67 g | 0.13 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.22 tsp | 0.41 tbsp
6.43 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.15 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
12.85 g | 0.45 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.83 tsp | 0.94 tbsp
4.41 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
526.81 g | 18.58 oz | 1.16 lbs | TF = 0.07
263.41 g | 9.29 oz | 0.58 lbs
 
Note: Pizza size entered into the tool = 13"

« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 11:31:41 AM by snowdog »
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 11:36:44 AM »
Glenn,

I think you should be OK with a total of 24 hours of fermentation at room temperature. I use the proofing box to warm up the dough to make it easier to roll out. Without that warmth, you can still roll out the dough but it will be harder to do. Just keep rolling out the dough, taking a pause here and there to let the dough relax if the dough resists rolling out.

Peter

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 12:05:35 PM »
Would you suggest this 24 hours at room temp as best for flavor?  or a day or two in the frig & then an hour at room temp as best?

When I roll it out are you in favor for layering? 

I was thinking of rolling it out, then folding it 2 or three times & then rolling to the final crust... any negatives to this ...?

Thanks for the replys !
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 12:21:18 PM »
Glenn,

The flavor of the finished crust comes from the yeast itself and the byproducts of fermentation. I think a room temperature fermentation works well to produce good crust flavors but if the cold fermentation is long enough, that can also produce good crust flavors. You can also use natural starters/preferments to get good crust flavors but that is a much more involved process.

I generally do not favor layering but haven't done enough experiments to find the formulation and layerinig techniques that work best for me for that method. Member fazzari has used layering quite extensively so you might want to read some of his posts at the original thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html to see how he does it.

Peter

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2008, 08:49:38 AM »
Well a report back on my attempts with in the last 7 days at making up this cracker-style pizza dough...

Remember I am a complete newbie to making my own dough/pizza crust...

1st the bad news...

My first batch... didn't turn out very good at all...  :-\     I think... this was because of two elements... the 1st being I didn't have a scale & measured using a measuring cup & the second being... leaving the dough to sit at room temp for 24 hours made for way way to much fermentation (alcohol)...  the dough didn't end up cracker-style & really didn't taste very well...

Now the Good news...  :chef:

on my 2nd attempt...  using my new 7001DX kitchen scale ($25.97 ebay Buy-it-Now) www.OLDWILLKNOTT.com

made up the dough... using same recipe... placed it in a glass bowl, covered it with a light covering of olive oil & plastic wrap over the top of the bowl... then into the frig right away... let it sit in frig for 24 hours, then took it out... plastic wrapped the dough ball & sat it on a plate for 2 1/2 hours to bring to room temp, then rolled it out & made my pizza's... preheated oven to 550 baked on oven stone on bottom rack for about 8-9 mins & then moved to top rack for about... 1 min under broiler watching carefully till perfectly browned toppings...

Eureka  :chef: FANTASTIC cracker-style :pizza: !!!   

My recommendations... for any newbie... get a scale & follow the recipe exactly, then put the dough in the frig for 24 hours right away... (my next batch I might let sit for 48 hours in frig) then bring to room temp & bake... for wonderful cracker-style pizza !
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 08:52:32 AM by snowdog »
glenn

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2008, 09:48:25 AM »
Glenn,

Thank you for your report. I was hoping that you would tell us how things worked out.

I am pleased to see that you ended up with a good pizza. Making a cracker-style crust is not the easiest crust to make so you should congratulate yourself for having come up with such good results on only the second try. That is even more impressive given your "complete newbie" status, as you described your level of skill at pizza making.

I agree with you that it is possible to have too much fermentation flavor in the crust. When I first experimented with the long (24-hours) room-temperature fermentation, it was during a cool month (November) so the fermentation was not as fast and as pronounced as it would be this time of year. I also discovered that, even with a long cold fermentation, it is possible to end up with too much flavor, as I discussed in Reply 97 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg50088.html#msg50088. So, this is a point you may want to keep in mind if you decide to extend the time that the dough spends in the refrigerator.

In my early experiments with the modified-DKM cracker type doughs, especially when I went to warming the doughs, I rolled out the doughs into skins and placed them in the refrigerator at that point. I had intended to try using the warming method after a cold fermentation of a dough, but member Jon (Jackitup) conducted that experiment and proved its feasibility, making it unnecessary for me to repeat the experiment. You didn't indicate that you warmed your doughs at any point, so I assume that you didn't use that method. Did you find it difficult to roll out the dough after removing it from the refrigerator and letting it warm up?

It also sounds like you did not pre-bake the last crust. If so, can you tell us how you dressed the pizza and what amounts of sauce, cheese and toppings you used? Also, did you put the cheese down before the sauce and, if so, was the cheese sliced or shredded/diced?

Again, congratulations on your success. With your new food processor and your new scale, you should be producing great results for some time to come.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 10:13:27 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline snowdog

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Re: Newbie needing help/suggestions
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2008, 02:37:47 PM »
I didn't have any difficulty rolling out the dough after removing it from the refrigerator and letting it warm up wrapped in plastic ... just out on the counter at room temp... I rolled the dough out very very thin with my heavy rolling pin, I then put the skin on my wooden pizza slip, which I had sprinkled with a little flour & then a little corn meal, it slipped right on to the stone perfectly  ;D !

I did not  pre-bake the crust (I may try this in the future).  I did apply a light spray of Crisco olive oil on to the skin (I like quality Olive Oil, but this is the only one I could fine in a spray) & then dressed it with Cento Pizza sauce right from the can, I then added about 1 teaspoon of Penzeys pizza seasoning (thanks for that suggestion, bought 1 big bag of this great seasoning) sprinkled over the sauce, I then added about 8 ounces of mozzarella shredded cheese & then covered with pepperoni slices.  I finished the pizza off after baking right as it came out of the oven with about 1/2 more teaspoon of Penzeys pizza seasoning & about about 4 leaves of torn up fresh basil... for a simple delicious Classic Pepperoni pizza  :pizza:

I am still learning... and have really found some great post on the forum here... have read several hundred post so far...  ::)  & thank you Peter for taking the time to reply back to a newbie like me !




« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 02:49:04 PM by snowdog »
glenn


 

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