Author Topic: Sourdough Cultures or "Starters"  (Read 23013 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline varasano

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 712
  • Location: Atlanta (Bronx born and raised)
  • Seeking perfection
Re: Sourdough Cultures or "Starters"
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2005, 12:13:12 PM »
Hey pyegal,

When I have dough that fails a windowpane test I really feel it needs to go back in the machine, rather than be hand mixed.  I have never, (and believe me I've tried) seen much improvement in a hand knead. In fact, oddly, it seems to make it worse. I've never quite determined why, but I've certainly tried a zillion times.

I don't break off a tiny piece to test. I test using a full dough ball size piece.  Again this is from experience.  Some try to make a little 1 inch by 1 inch square and if it looks translucent they think it's ok. To me test test is to see if the dough will go full size without breaking.

The truth is that after a few experiments you have to be able to advance to a different level of testing anyway.  The dough may come off the hook not testing well, yet after 15 minutes it would test great. But by then you don't want to stretch a piece because once you stretch it out and roll it back up, it will never quite spring back the same for the pizza.  So for now I'd make a bit extra and test that and toss it. But really, after a while you can just tell what it's supposed to be like at the hook and so you never test at all.  The overall smoothness, satininess and blistering of the dough balls is the indicator that the dough is in great shape.

When the dough is done mixing, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on it and feel it. It should be SOOOO soft and smooth, even if the areas that had no flour sprinkle were sticky and not so smooth.

This is a lot easier to show in person...

Jeff


Offline pyegal

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 84
  • Location: North Carolina, USA
  • Have a peetza pie everyday!
Re: Sourdough Cultures or "Starters"
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2005, 01:58:29 PM »
"Just like a baby's bottom," right Jeff? LOL! That's what I used to say about how bread dough should feel when I was teaching breadmaking classes.

I used AP flour (KA) yesterday (because that's what was the closest to hand) but I've got KA bread flour in the pantry also. I think I will use that next time for pizza dough. And maybe use one of the recipes here for the crust, no sourdough starter.

What I would like in a pizza crust is chewiness without being tough and a good flavor, thin w/o being cracker-like. I think flavor is of prime importance. When I buy a pizza, I usually get the handtossed from Papa John's or a regular Neapolitan style from a good local Italian restaurant, Sal's.

I like sausage pizza over pepperoni and have been making my own country breakfast sausage for several months. So... maybe I'm ready to try making a batch of my own Italian sausage?

Teresa, aka pyegal

Offline varasano

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 712
  • Location: Atlanta (Bronx born and raised)
  • Seeking perfection
Re: Sourdough Cultures or "Starters"
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2005, 02:19:01 PM »
Hey teresa,

I wouldn't drop the starter. The best recipes here use a starter, in my opinion. I haven't tried Carl's but have heard good things about it on other sites. I use one from Patsy's pizza.

Jeff

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21203
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Sourdough Cultures or "Starters"
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2005, 04:28:15 PM »
Teresa,

I agree with Jeff on the use of starters. The best tasting crusts I have made have come from using a natural starter along with 00 flour, specifically, the Caputo 00 pizzeria flour, in a scaled-down version of a recipe originally posted by pizzanapoletana. If you go to the Caputo thread (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.0.html) where I reported on the results of my efforts using those ingredients, as well as some other variations, you might find some helpful tips for producing a crust with the characteristics you mentioned.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 24, 2005, 04:33:19 PM by Pete-zza »